Recruiting Guidelines for Students

In addition to the rights and responsibilities for students below, it can be helpful to know the recruiting policies and procedures for employers as well.


Evaluating Offers

We urge employers to grant you enough time to make prudent, thoughtful career choices, and we've developed specific recruiting offer timelines for internship and job offers. Employers who are unable to follow our recruiting policies and procedures, or provide some flexibility to students in need of more time, can be sanctioned and possibly suspended from campus recruiting.

Our offer deadlines apply to jobs found through On-Campus Recruiting, career fairs or other recruiting events at MIT. Job offers received through other formal recruiting programs on campus, such as the Sloan Career Development Office, external recruiting programs or through employers not participating in recruiting activities at MIT may have different deadlines. Should an offer deadline provided be less than the dates requested in the recruiting policies and procedures, we will do our best to advocate on the your behalf.

You are not guaranteed to get the exact deadlines we request of employers. You may need to negotiate a shorter timeframe, hopefully one that is mutually beneficial for you and the company.

Negotiating for More Time

If you need more time to decide on a job or internship offer, reach out to the employer as soon as possible and explain your situation. You should not request more time unless you are sincerely interested in the position. Employers typically are able to provide some additional time within reason, especially if the request is made promptly. It may be helpful to inform the employer of our suggested recruiting timelines.

See our page on how to negotiate for more info, and consult our staff during a career appointment if you need additional assistance.

Use of Social Networking Sites in Selection of Candidates

Employers should not require or request that job candidates provide password/login information to their personal social network accounts as a condition of employment or as a condition of consideration for employment, as this practice violates ethical standards.


Campus interviewing is a privilege that carries certain expectations for student conduct. To clarify the standards, we've adopted policies to serve both students and employers. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 617-715-5329, or arrange an appointment.


Invitations to interview with employers should be responded to as soon as possible, preferrably within 24 hours. Please select to accept or decline the interview as soon as possible so that employers may seek other candidates.

Interview times may be changed or cancelled up to 48 hours before the scheduled interview directly in Handshake. If necessary, email us or call us at 617-715-5329 for assistance. Cancellations within 48 hours for reasons other than illness or an emergency are not acceptable and will jeopardize your recruiting privileges.

Please arrive 5 - 10 minutes early to check-in for your interview. Schedules are typically very full and late students may lose the opportunity to be interviewed.

Interview Conflicts with Classes

CAPD does not advocate or condone the use of class time for anything other than class. Please schedule your interviews so that you are able to miss little to no class time. In cases where this is not possible, talk to your professor about your schedule and ways to make up for any potential loss. Note: There are classes for which excused absences are not allowed. In these instances students should be alerting CAPD if the employer is not flexible with scheduling an interview. 

Interview Cancellation and No-Show Policy

Failure to appear for scheduled interviews prevents other students from using a time slot and wastes the recruiter's time. Such behaviors reflect poorly on your professionalism and could jeopardize MIT's relationship with the employer, even causing employers to suspend recruiting at MIT.

If you miss an interview for any unexplained reason, or cancel or reschedule an interview within 48 hours of your appointment, you will be required to submit a letter of apology to the recruiter explaining your reason for missing the interview. A copy must be sent to us at within two business days after the missed interview. Otherwise your interviewing privileges will be suspended.

If you incur a second unexplained no-show, your recruiting privileges will be suspended immediately. You will be required to submit a letter of apology to the recruiter and justify missing the interview before your privileges will be reinstated. A third no-show will result in termination of your interviewing privileges for the rest of your tenure at MIT.

Ethics of Negotiating

MIT assumes that you will negotiate in good faith with employers. This means you should only negotiate with an employer whose offer you are sincerely considering.

Accepting an Offer

Once you have accepted a job offer, you should terminate all other job search activity. Failure to do so could deprive another student of those opportunities. Notify all other employers that you are no longer available for employment, and cancel all pending interviews. Update your Handshake account to reflect that you are no longer actively looking for jobs.

Declining an Offer

If you are declining an offer, you should inform the recruiter verbally as soon as your decision has been made and follow your conversation with a well written thank-you letter.

Reneging on Offers

Accepting an offer is a commitment to the employer. Reneging on an offer could be seen as an ethical and possibly legal violation of that commitment. If you are not ready to make that commitment, do not accept the job offer. CAPD considers reneging a serious ethical breach, except under dire circumstances. Reneging may result in the forfeiture of your right to participate in any additional campus recruiting. Before making a decision to renege on an offer, meet with a Career Services staff member to weigh your options and determine the best course of action.


All communication with employers should be courteous, professional and timely. Students are expected to be responsive to emails or calls, acknowledging the employer within 1-2 business days. Simply not responding to emails or calls, aka "ghosting", is not a positive way to participate in recruiting, and can have an impact on the impression you make on the employer. Email correspondence is not the same as texting; therefore, students should make an effort to be professional in tone and not be overly brief. In addition, "bumping" emails to employers (or to anyone) in hopes of getting a quicker response, can come off as demanding, which may have unintended consequences. Lastly, please remember that you are a member of the MIT community and your actions could jeopardize the employer's perception of MIT and its students.

After Accepting an Internship or Job Offer

Once you’ve accepted an offer for an internship or job, you should terminate all other job search activity. Notify any other potential employers which you are interviewing with that you are no longer a candidate for a position. Let them know that you’ve accepted an offer and you’re no longer available for consideration. Cancel all pending interviews and do not apply to additional opportunities on Handshake or elsewhere. It is also recommended you change your Handshake profile status to show that you are no longer in job search mode.

Remember that an accepted offer should be honored, so don’t take an offer just because it’s your first. Weigh your options carefully before accepting, and once you do, update the employers you have been engaging with and cease recruiting activities. Failure to do so could deprive another student of those opportunities. If a student is found to be interviewing through CAPD on-campus recruiting when they have already accepted a position, employers with whom they are interviewing will be notified and the student's Handshake account will be inactivated.

Resources to help you with professional correspondences such as cover letters, offer deadline extension requests, and more can be found in the MIT Career Development Handbook.