Tech Interview Guide - Getting the Interview

This series is a collection of all the learnings I gained while searching for internships as a computer science student at Texas A&M. Internships are a huge part of the computer science field and you’d have likely heard your peers or professors mention them.

Every company has universities that they choose to recruit from, which leads to them attending the university’s career fair or sponsoring student organizations. For Texas A&M, these companies include many Fortune 500 companies, oil companies (BP, ConocoPhillips), banks (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Capital One), and a few tech companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Meta). Getting interviews at firms outside of these will be more challenging, but this guide will help you find opportunities at other big tech companies and hedge funds/trading firms that are usually out of reach.


Have a good resume, and start applying early!

This guide covers how to obtain interviews from tech companies, and does not include the preparation required before that. I expect users of this guide to be familiar with what internships are and have prepared a solid resume.

Although these tips will work all the way leading up to the time of your internship, they are most effective at the start of the recruiting season for companies. This is typically July through December of the previous year (July-December 2021 for a Summer 2022 internship).

How to get the interview

There are many ways to get interviews for tech internships, each having different effectiveness. For companies that recruit at Texas A&M (or your university), the first 3 are approaches you can make use of that will be more effective than the methods later in this list.

Campus Career Fair

You’ve probably heard this many times, but the campus career fair is the most effective way to land interviews, especially if you’re a junior. All companies are there to recruit people, so by getting your resume in the hands of the recruiters and pitching yourself well you can find a pretty high rate of interviews. As a junior, I talked to around 20 companies at the Texas A&M Career Fair and got around 10 interviews.

If you’re not a junior, you can still take advantage of the career fair and try your luck! I had less success as a freshman and sophomore, but you only need one offer.

Campus Events

Companies that recruit from Texas A&M will typically do events with the university or student organizations across campus. The best way to find these events is to sign up for the email list for the computer science-related clubs, so that you are informed about the company that will be at their next meetings. Some examples at Texas A&M are the Aggie Coding Club and Texas A&M Computing Society.

Attend those events, learn more about the company and talk to the representatives if you get the chance, expressing your interest in an internship. If you’re like me and don’t feel comfortable approaching the representatives talking about a potential internship, just chat about anything that you might have in common and follow up about an internship after the event after getting their email. Sometimes, these companies will release a unique internship application link intended for the attendees of the event which increases your chances of getting an interview.

Campus Career Site

Last but not least, your campus will have a job board for these partner companies to post their internship roles on. Applying through this job board will give you a higher chance of getting interviews compared to applying on the external application.

In addition to that, the Texas A&M campus career site, HireAggies, has a Contacts section for each company.

To access this:

  • Log into HireAggies and click on an internship you’re interested in.
  • Click on the company that published the job
  • Click on the Contacts tab

Some companies do not add any information in the Contacts tab, but for those that do, you can get in touch with the recruiter for Texas A&M and score an interview this way. More information on what to include in this email can be found in the Recruiters section of this guide.


Referrals are quite common in industry, since having someone in the company vouch for your skills increases the likelihood that you get an interview. If you know someone currently interning or working full time at a company, you can ask them to give you a referral for the role you’re applying for. With a referral at most companies, you’re more than likely to receive the interview.

What should you do if you don’t have anyone you can ask for referrals from? In this situation, LinkedIn is an effective way to get referrals. I reached out to around 20 people and received referrals for 3 companies that all led to interviews.

  • Search for the company you’re interested in on LinkedIn.
  • See if there are any current employees who graduated from your university.
  • If so, message them asking for a referral.
  • If not, you can still ask the other employees for referrals, but it’s less likely that they will respond.

Cold emailing recruiters or hiring managers

Each company will have people who are responsible for choosing which candidates to interview. If you know who to contact, they can help you get your resume seen instead of being stuck in the online application pool. The effectiveness of cold emailing will depend on the quality of contacts you find.

  • If possible, try to obtain the email address for your campus recruiter or the recruiter for your region. For me, this would be the Texas A&M or Texas region recruiter.
  • In addition to that, having a network of peers in computer science is also helpful. If someone got an interview or offer from a company you’re interested in, ask them for the email of their point of contact.
  • Sometimes, you will also hear about people who got an interview after emailing a specific person in a company. Ask them for that email too.
  • Finally, you can do some online research and identify the emails of the recruiters at companies of interest. Popular techniques include finding the recruiter/hiring manager on LinkedIn and using LinkedIn Premium to find their email address. (You can also guess their email by sending emails to common company email formats. For example, John Smith will likely have the email jsmith@company or johnsmith@company).

Tip: During my time at Texas A&M, I know that it is always possible to get a Facebook/Meta interview by emailing the current campus recruiter, so ask around! Some other companies that have given me interviews from cold emails include Google and Pimco, but I only cold emailed recruiters that guaranteed interviews, or more reputable tech companies, so I am sure there are way more interviews that are obtainable this way.

Once you get the email addresses, it’s time to craft the email. Keep the email short and sweet. Below is a rough outline of how I write my cold emails:

  • Title: Software Engineer Internship Interest at Company
  • Short introduction (name, year, major, school) and expressing interest interning at the company.
  • Provide more info on your experiences and how it aligns with the company’s goals and mission (2-3 sentences, show your passion)
  • Mention that I would love to hear back and have the opportunity to interview with the company.
  • (Optional) Attach resume

If you don’t hear back from your email after 2 weeks, it’s safe to assume that the email got caught in a spam filter or they chose to ignore you.

Applying Online

The easiest way to find internships or full time positions is to apply through online applications. However, this is also the least effective way as it can feel like you’re throwing your application into the void. For most companies, you should apply through their online application, then try reaching out to recruiters or getting referrals to boost your chances.

It is useful to have a spreadsheet to keep track of all your application statuses while applying for tech internships online. There are also lists of all tech internships compiled by other tech students that you can make use of. The list is located on a different URL every season, but searching “{season} tech internships” should give you the list with over 300 internship openings.

Lists from previous seasons:

If you are a freshman, the chances of hearing back from online applications are really slim. It is likely that you have already been filtered out due to your graduation date. However, most big tech companies will have internship programs specifically for freshmen. You can find them by looking up Freshman Tech Internships and then applying to those.