Recruiting Guidelines and Resources

Recruiting MIT students is an exciting and fruitful process for all involved, and our Employer Relations Team is available to guide you and facilitate a positive experience. In addition to Career Advising & Professional Development's (CAPD) recruiting guidelines listed below, the following tips and resources will be helpful in learning how to build your brand here at MIT:

Recruiting Guidelines

Employers seeking to recruit MIT students for internships and jobs (whether with CAPD involvement or through independent recruiting processes) are expected to follow Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines, as indicated by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting, in addition to our outlined guidelines below.

Non-Discrimination Policy

CAPD makes its services available to employers who do not unlawfully discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Recruiting Timeline

The recruiting cycle at MIT starts annually in mid-late September with our career exploration week leading up to the start of the career fairs held in Fall semester. The start of the fall semester is when students apply for internships or jobs that start the following summer. Students use the tangible internship or research experiences from summer to help them narrow down the scope of roles and employers of interest to them and develop a recruiting strategy for the new academic recruiting cycle.

Full-time Job Offers: Employers are asked to provide students until October 29, 2021, or four (4) weeks, whichever is longer, to make a decision on full-time job offers, including internship conversion full-time job offers.

Internship Offers: We ask that employers provide students until December 3, 2021, or four (4) weeks, whichever is longer, to make a decision on internship offers. Internship offer deadlines should not be more than 6 months prior to the start of the summer internship. 

Micro-Internship Offers: We ask that employers provide students 5 to 7 business days to make a decision on a micro-internship offer for the January (IAP) term.

Tips for Successful Recruiting

  • Allow Students the Opportunity to Explore: Employers are cautioned from interviewing students more than one academic year ahead of the start of the opportunity and asking students to decide upon internship or job offers more than 9 months prior to the start date. Doing so, prevents the student from exploring their interests over the summer or in the fall semester of the academic year. This is particularly true for first- and second-year students. The summer and fall semester courses provide students with important career exploration and skill development to help them determine what the right future internship or job is best for them. 
  • Provide Students Time: Employers are cautioned from asking students to decide upon internship or job offers in advance of MIT Fall Career Fairs or from providing students with short decision timelines throughout the year as they can result in students reneging on offers, which is strongly discouraged. CAPD offers programs and services to assist students in their job search, evaluating offers, and decision making so that they can provide a response to an employer as soon as is possible. We discourage students from making rushed decisions about offers and request that employers be flexibile with offer deadlines, finding a compromise that will work for both the student and employer. 
  • Avoid High Pressure Tactics: No special incentive should be held out to induce early acceptance of an offer, nor should a student be subjected to the terms of an exploding offer. The term "exploding offer" is used to indicate a very quick response time, reduction in offer package, or any other practice that puts unreasonable pressure on a student (same-day or next-day second round interviews, abbreviated deadlines for accepting offers, and/or exploding salary bonuses and offers.
  • Early Recruiting Initiatives: Employers are cautioned against having students agree to binding offers no more than 9 months prior to the start of a fulltime job and no more than 6 months prior to the start of an internship. Employers should instead plan on maintaining a relationship with the student throughout the year, checking in on their recruiting and career exploration progress to ensure that the student is still a viable candidate. Regular check-ins will benefit the employer by further developing the relationship and providing the opportunity for the student to change their mind in a timely manner that does not negatively affect your recruiting timelines and goals.
  • Consult with Employer Relations: If an employer foresees a challenge with any of these recruting guidelines, we ask that you contact Employer Relations. It is our hope that discussions in advance of recruiting will improve the employer and student experience during the recruitment process. 

Interview Rounds

When asking students to come back for second/final round interviews, employers must attempt to accommodate students’ schedules and allow reasonable time if their schedules need to be adjusted. Employers are asked to support students in upholding prior commitments to academics and other previously scheduled interviews. Please observe these guidelines:

  • Employers should extend invitations for second-round interviews to students a minimum of 72 hours in advance. During this time of COVID-19, employers are discouraged from hosting off-campus second-round interviews, and so, should be scheduled no sooner than seven days after the student's initial interview.
  • It must be clearly communicated to the student at all times that they should feel comfortable speaking up about any scheduling conflicts. Employers must offer alternative dates, without negative consequences, for a second-round interview if the date originally suggested by the employer interferes with a valid conflict.

Full Disclosure of Start Date and Basis of Compensation

Start Dates: All offer letters must include a start date. Candidates who interview with employers on campus expect to start work after graduation and by mid-September at the latest. Employers who anticipate start dates later than September 15 must disclose this information in their job descriptions and when scheduling campus recruiting dates. Employers who knowingly delay employment start dates beyond the terms specified in the offer letter will not be permitted to recruit on campus for at least one year.

Basis of Compensation: For employers to participate in on-campus recruiting, they must offer bona fide positions that do not require new hires to pay a fee for training or other job-related expenses. Employers who compensate employees based solely on commission (i.e. without a base salary as well) must clearly disclose this information in the job description. Employers who compensate employees based on partial commissions must disclose accurate estimates of expected earnings in their job descriptions. They must also present an accurate base salary/expected first-year salary at that time.

Timely Communication: Employers are expected to keep student informed of their status in the hiring process and to communicate hiring decisions within a reasonable time frame.

Cancellation and Refund Policies

Interviews can be cancelled at any time. However, please provide our office and our students at least 24 hours advance notice of an interview cancellation.

Interview reservations are eligible for refund, minus a 5% processing fee, only if both of the following criteria are met:

  • Cancellation is no more than 30 days after payment date
  • Cancellation is no less than 30 days before the interview date

Inclement Weather and Institute Closings

CAPD is required to follow MIT protocol about inclement weather and emergency closings. Up-to-date information on closing decisions can be found at the MIT homepage, the MIT Emergency Information page, and on the Snow Line (617-253-7669 or 617-253-SNOW). 

If your Virtual Interview schedule is cancelled due to MIT closing, the Employer Relations team will work with you to identify potential rescheduling options or provide a refund if you are able to conduct your interviews by phone or video conferencing as an alternative. Employers will be expected to contact their applicants directly about interview cancellations and alternative interview options.

Third-Party Representatives

All interviews must be directly scheduled and conducted by the organization's employees, rather than by third party representatives. For a definition of a third-party representative or recruiter, please see NACE's Third-Party Recruiting Policy.

As stipulated in these guidelines, third-party recruiters will not disclose to any employer, including the client-employer, any student information without obtaining prior written consent from the student. Under no circumstances can student information be disclosed other than for the original recruiting purposes nor can it be sold or provided to other entities. Online job posting and resume referral services must prominently display their privacy policies on their web sites, specifying who will have access to student information.

Third-party recruiters who charge students for services will not be permitted to use any CAPD services.


Serving alcohol should not be part of the recruitment process. This includes information sessions, presentations done on or off campus, and all events that are company-sponsored during the recruiting process.

Consequences of Unacceptable Recruiting Practices

Students rely on CAPD's  relationship with employers to advise them and insulate them from problematic or unethical practices. To do anything other than honor this commitment would show negligence and complete disregard for the well being of students. If an employer foresees a challenge in being able to adhere to NACE or MIT's recruiting guidelines they should contact Employer Relations prior to recruiting at MIT. It is our hope that discussions in advance of recruiting will improve the employer and student experience during the recruiting process.

Note that employers knowingly violating NACE or MIT recruiting guidelines may receive deferred interview dates or be denied access to the recruiting program for the following season. Letters to campus student groups may also be sent with the name of the employer involved and the behavior cited whenever such penalties are imposed.

Use of Social Networking Sites in Selection of Candidates

Recently NACE reported that a significant percentage of employers are using social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to screen potential candidates. As an employer interviewing MIT students, we expect you will provide a clear explanation of your selection process to potential candidates. If you consider the content of a social media profile in evaluating a potential employee, we request that you state this in your job description for any interviwing events.

Confidentiality Policy

All materials received from our students (letters, resumes, transcripts, via email or hard copy), should be shared only with those persons at your firm involved in the hiring process. Forwarding these materials potentially embarrasses applicants or compromises their current employment; it also creates a negative impression of your organization.