Recruiting Expectations For Employers

employer and student at career fair

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

Key Dates for 2019|2020 Academic Year


September 24, 2019: First day of class for the fall quarter
September 25, 2019: First day in which employers may host Information sessions and on-campus interviews (pending space and availability).
October 2-3, 2019: Fall Career Fair
November 27-December 1, 2019: Thanksgiving recess
December 9, 2019: Fall classes end


January 6, 2020: Winter classes begin
January 8, 2020: First day in which employers may host interviews and information sessions dates.
January 29-30, 2020: Winter Career Fair
March 13, 2020: Winter classes end
March 23-27, 2020: Spring break


March 30, 2020: Spring classes begin
April 1, 2020: First day in which employers may host interviews and information sessions
June 6, 2019: Spring classes end

Employers should consult their NCA recruiting strategist in advance of planning on-campus events. For more details on information session and other student engagement opportunities please visit our NCA Employer Events webpage

Offer Guidelines

Keeping these important parameters in mind, and so that students may thoughtfully and carefully evaluate their decisions, NCA requests 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 4, 2019.
  • 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. In such instances…

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

Second Round Interviews

To avoid late cancellations, NCA kindly asks organizations to be as flexible as their process allows when offering second/final round interview dates to candidates. Every effort should made to provide an alternative option for students if the first presented date cannot be met, particularly when scheduling around major religious holidays and the academic calendar. Employers hosting second/final rounds outside the Chicagoland area are especially encouraged to give candidates multiple options, given travel time.

NCA discourages reneging on accepted job offers in the strongest possible terms. Students are informed of NCA’s policies and the potential consequences to these actions.

Your partnership and cooperation helps ensure that students can accept an offer in full confidence and commitment to your organization, and prevents reneging of offers.

Alcohol Policy

When hosting recruiting events, NCA prefers that alcohol not be present or provided, even if most/all students are of legal drinking age. Offering alcoholic beverages can inappropriately shift the focus of the event and may put students in an uncomfortable position. Further, students who abstain from alcohol will likely feel less welcome. This policy is in keeping with the Principles for Professional Practice of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Third Party Recruiter Policy

All postings in Northwestern’s job posting platform, must disclose the name of the company. Postings from third-party recruiters are permissible so long as the applicant pool is explicitly and singularly for the stated employer and position. Third parties may not use our platform to solicit candidates for additional, unspecified opportunities.

Additional Expectations