Interview Fundamentals

Types of Interviews

There are a variety of types and ways that companies interview for positions, and you may actually experience a number of these for one job.

Initial Screening

Initial screening is usually a brief call to ensure you meet basic qualifications and you are clear on the job posting.


Behavioral interviews look at past behavior to find indicators of how you will perform on the job. You will be asked to describe past behavior using the STAR format in your answer. (Situation, Task, Action, and Result)  

Technical Interviews

Software engineering interviews have a very specific format focused on whiteboard coding and algorithm design, and many students struggle if they haven’t practiced that specific format. Work on practice problems and focus on how to arrive at the answers, not just what the answers were.


  • Practice coding problems at online sites such as Interview Cake
  • Think out loud. Provide a rationale why your thought could work well and try to answer the question, even if you don’t know the answer.

Case Interviews

This type of interview is popular with consulting firms and is designed to test your ability to think analytically and professionally, handle ambiguity, and measure your confidence and problem-solving skills. These can include brain teasers, engineering problems, and real-life situations. Feel free to ask your recruiter what type of case interview to expect.


  • Utilize big picture thinking to focus on key issues in solving the problem.
  • Think out loud. Provide logic and reasoning for your decisions and share your assumptions.
  • Stay focused. You can ask for clarification to ensure you’re answering the question asked.

Follow Up after the Interview

Follow up with the interviewers and recruiters within 24 hours to find out next steps in the hiring process, ask for business cards, and thank them for their time to interview you.

  • Record the names of the interviewer(s) during your interview
  • Send a “Thank You” email & a LinkedIn connection request and message
  • Share any examples that you forgot during the interview

    • Redeem any missed opportunities
    • Re-summarize your top three strengths as they relate to the role
  • Send an email if you do not hear back within one business day of the communicated timeline

Having Questions about Any of the Steps?

Make an Appointment with ECS to Discuss Your Steps