Interviewing

Interviews are your chance to show recruiters what you’ll bring to the position. It’s when prove you have the skill set they’re looking for and that you’ll be a good fit for the company.

Mock Interviews

Not sure what to expect in an interview? That’s ok. We’re here to make it easier. The best way to prepare is to participate in our mock interviews. These are held either in-person or via I-Link and will help you get comfortable in those situations.

Some tips on how to prepare include:

1. Know your skill set and prepare for specific questions. Don’t embellish, but play up your strengths. Write down your greatest accomplishments and struggles. 
2. Research the employer. Know what they do and why. Have a good understanding what the position entails. 
Study their website and review industry trends. 
3. Dress professionally, ideally in a suit. 
4. Bring copies of your résumé in a professional portfolio or binder and the questions you plan on asking. 
5. Be at your best during the entire experience. Anyone could have clout when it comes to hiring. Shake hands, smile, listen, answer the question that asked while finding ways to consistently showcase your skills. 
6. Find out next steps in the hiring process, ask for their business cards, and e-mail a thank you letter within 24 hours.

Types of Interviews

Traditional
You’ll be asked broad-based questions to determine what your skills are and if you fit into the organization. Sample questions include:
  • Why did you choose Illinois / your major?
  • What is your favorite class and why?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What has been your greatest challenge / accomplishment?
  • Why are you interested in working for us?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
Telephone
As part of the screening process, companies regularly hold telephone interviews. Sometimes they are not scheduled to make you think on your feet, other times they will be scheduled.
Tips
  • A land line is best. 
  • Speak as if the person could see you. Smiles can be heard over the phone. 
  • It’s easy to be brief on the phone but provide detailed answers and specific examples. 
  • Ask questions about the job, employer, and interview process.
Video
Occasionally, screening interviews are conducted via video chat. 
Tips
  • Prepare for and conduct the interview as you would an in-person interview. 
  • Choose colors wisely. Shades of blue and solids are preferred; reds and patterns can be distracting on camera. 
  • Choose a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed.
Case
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. 
Tips 
  • 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.  
  • Practice these scenarios with ECS in mock interviews.
Behavioral
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 in a situation, the action you took, and the end result. This is referred to as a complete STAR (situation, action, and result). 
Tips
Review the job description for desired qualifications (leadership, communication, initiative, etc.) and for each think of a complete STAR from your background that demonstrates your competence in that behavior. 
Take Sample Interview Questions and Scoring Rubric from http://business.illinois.edu/bcs/_shared/pdf/COB-JS-Interviews.pdf page 45
Second Interviews / Company Site Visits
Interviewing on Campus
Interviews are held in the College’s 39-room Corporate Interview Suite located on the 3rd floor of the Digital Computer Laboratory (DCL). Interviewees must check-in at the computers in Suite 3260 DCL, by swiping their I-Card.  Suite 3260 is located directly across the hall from the ECS Main Office. After check-in, you will be directed to the waiting area where you will wait to be called by the recruiter. 
Canceling an Interview
If you need to cancel an interview, you must do so within the guidelines of the registration agreement which you signed at registration. This policy states that you will cancel at least four days in advance by contacting ECS directly or by removing your name from the interview schedule on the online job board. In an emergency situation, you must notify ECS as soon as possible. Your situation will then be reviewed and documentation may be requested. Missing a scheduled interview without canceling or providing ECS notification will automatically disqualify you from all services provided by ECS for three months from the date of the missed interview.
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