Policies & Expectations

Offer Dates and Guidelines

These are guidelines for Northwestern University and are effective for companies that recruit on and off campus. If you have questions or concerns about an employer’s adherence to these policies, please do not hesitate to contact Northwestern Career Advancement.   

Offer Guidelines

NCA expects students will pursue opportunities of genuine interest, and thoughtfully and carefully evaluate all extended job offers. To give students adequate time in their decision making, we request that organizations use the following offer guidelines:

  • For return offers (full time employment or internships) extended to current summer interns, offers should remain open until November 5
  • For all other formal offers of employment (intern or full time), offers should be open for a period of three weeks.

Occasionally, an employer’s hiring timeline may fall outside of these preferred windows, and/or a student may ask for an extension or exception to these dates.

We expect employers will:

  • Demonstrate flexibility in working with students to consider reasonable requests
  • Communicate hiring timelines clearly and acknowledge if they fall outside NCA’s preferred offer policy guidelines
  • Not place undue pressure on students to make offer decisions

We expect students will:

  • Not accept an offer for employment while continuing to pursue other opportunities
  • Make requests for reasonable accommodations in a timely manner
  • Work under advisement of NCA and make NCA staff aware of any instances in which our stated offer dates cannot be met

Once you accept a job offer, whether via On-Campus Recruiting or in an independent job search, it is the expectation that students will decline other interview invitations and stop applying for other opportunities.  Reneging on an offer is unprofessional behavior that negatively impacts your reputation and that of Northwestern University, our alumni, and current students.  NCA reserves the right to rescind access to its services (as deemed appropriate) should a student renege on an accepted job offer. 

Cancellation of On-Campus Interviews:

Students who are canceling an interview within Handshake more than two (2) business days in advance of their interview may do so without penalty. 

To remove one’s name from an interview time slot, students should login directly to their Handshake account and edit the schedule details.

A cancellation of less than two (2) business days before an interview, or failure to attend an interview without notice, will be considered a no-show. As the result of a no-show, Handshake privileges will be suspended, and students will be asked to write an apology email to the employer acknowledging the missed interview. Notes should be written in professional format – no spelling errors or typos – and sent in a timely manner. Only after receipt of this apology note will Handshake access and OCR privileges be reinstated.

After a second no-show, on-campus recruiting privileges may be permanently terminated, in the sole discretion of NCA.

Misrepresentation: If you falsify documents or your Handshake profile, or misrepresent yourself to any employer, whether via on-campus programs or in an independent job search, you may be subject to University disciplinary action by Student Conduct and/or NCA, in its sole discretion, may elect to rescind my on-campus recruiting privileges. You understand that employers have the right to terminate your employment or withdraw a job offer for misrepresentation.

Participating in On-Campus Recruiting while studying abroad

If you are studying abroad and applying to positions hosting on-campus interviews at NCA, please keep in mind the following:

  • Clearly articulate to the employer that you are currently abroad via your application materials.
  • If selected for an interview, proceed as you normally would in choosing a time slot from the available options, noting that all interviews are in the central time zone.
  • Reach out directly to the recruiter, communicating you are abroad and ensuring the company is comfortable and open to conducting the interview virtually. Employer policies and processes vary greatly on this.
  • Copy the appropriate Employer Relations Strategist on your request to the recruiter. They will work with you directly to provide the technical logistics for connecting you virtually with the recruiter at the designated interview timeslot.

Attendance at Other Employer-Hosted Events

Throughout the year, NCA facilitates events designed to connect employers and students in meaningful ways, hosted both on and off-campus. Examples include: panel discussions, networking hours, coffee chats, information sessions, and the Career Trek program, among others. These events require a great deal of time and resources from participating organizations and an accurate attendee list is essential for planning purposes. Failure to show, especially when space is limited or based on an individual timeslot, reflects poorly on students and the institution. Students should only register for events in which they have the full intention of attending.

If you have any questions relating to the policies set forth by NCA, please feel free to contact our office either via email at nca@northwestern.edu or by phone at 847.491.3700. 

Our business hours are Monday through Friday 8:30am until 5pm.  Our email and voicemail are not monitored outside of regular business hours.