We derive an analytical expression for the effective force between a pair of macrospheres immersed in a sea of microspheres, in the case where the interaction between the two unlike species is assumed to be a square well or a square shoulder of given range and depth (or height). This formula extends a similar one developed in the case of hard core interactions only. Qualitative features of such effective force and the resulting phase diagrams are then analyzed in the limit of no interaction between the small particles. Approximate force profiles are then obtained by means of integral equation theories (PY and HNC) combined with the superposition approximation and compared with exact ones from direct Monte Carlo simulations.