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Current Students

Recruiting Policy

The HCDE Recruiting Policy for students provides guidelines and suggested practices to better serve you and the explorers engaging with our students. Please familiarize yourself with these standards of appropriate behavior before participating in any UW Campus recruiting event.

The HCDE department works closely with the Career Center @ Engineering, alumni, local and international companies, and recruiters to provide school-sponsored networking events, workshops and career expos for current HCDE students. Attending these events and engaging in on-campus interviews sponsored by the HCDE department or campus partners is a privilege.

Additionally, the HCDE Department has also defined a Recruiting Policy for Employers to ensure recruiting entities work within a framework of professionally accepted recruiting, interviewing and selection techniques as stipulated in the NACE Principles for Professional Conduct.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your interactions with employers, please contact HCDE’s Outreach and Events Manager, Melissa Ewing, at

Cancellation and no shows

Failure to appear for scheduled interviews prevents other students from using your time slot and wastes the recruiter's time. Such behavior reflects poorly on your professionalism, could jeopardize HCDE’s relationship with the employer regarding research and related activities, and could ultimately cause employers to suspend recruiting HCDE students. Therefore, it is important to follow through on all interview appointments. If you cannot make your scheduled interview, be sure to take the appropriate steps in advance. At any point, we encourage you to reach out to a career counselor in CC@E or to your HCDE academic advisor for suggestions to engage in these difficult conversations. 

Canceling interviews

Recruiters, hiring managers, and technical interviewers take time to prepare for and conduct your interview. Canceling within 48 hours for reasons other than illness or an emergency is not acceptable and will jeopardize your recruiting success. If you must change or cancel an interview, call the recruiter to inform them and e-mail both the recruiter and the interviewer (if you have the interviewer's e-mail address). You should apologize for the inconvenience the cancellation causes them and reiterate your interest in their company and the position for which you are being considered.  Ask if it would be possible to reschedule, but understand that such a favor is at their discretion.

No shows

If you miss an interview for any unexplained reason, contact your recruiter to apologize. It is important to understand that a "no show" for either a phone screen or an in-person interview is looked at very negatively.  It could remove you from consideration for the position and possibly for future employment.

Ethics of negotiating

It is assumed that you will negotiate in good faith with employers. This means you should negotiate with an employer only if you plan to accept the employer’s offer if the negotiation goes well. It is unethical to negotiate with an employer whose offer you have no intention to accept. If you reach an acceptable compromise in your negotiations, it is assumed you will accept the position. Negotiate only if you plan to accept the compromise.

It is appropriate to politely refuse to provide an employer with specific information about any job offers you may have received from other employers. If asked, you can affirm if you have other offers pending. You do not have to name the organizations that have made offers to you, nor are you obliged to provide specific information about the salaries, perks or other compensations involved. Instead, broad responses to these questions that include salary ranges (rather than specific dollar amounts) are perfectly acceptable.

Evaluating offers

When you receive a job offer, you are likely to feel elated and probably a little anxious. Consequently, you may be tempted to rush into accepting the offer immediately. Try to evaluate all aspects of the job offer and think objectively about your choices before responding to an offer.

There is no standard amount of time that an organization is legally required to give you to make a decision. The HCDE Department details the expectations and timelines that employers must follow in our Recruiting Policy for Employers, and we ask that all Affiliate companies abide by it when recruiting our students.  An employer's failure to do so could result in sanctions against employers in their access to school recruiting activities; therefore, it is in their best interest to adhere to the policy.

Delaying a response

You may find that you need more time than an employer initially extends to make a decision on a job offer, especially if you have other employment opportunities pending. There are appropriate ways to approach this matter that minimize any negative impact on the employer, your reputation, UW HCDE or other students who might be interested in pursuing an opportunity with this employer. Please consult with an adviser in CC@E for suggested language. 

Accepting an offer

Once you have accepted a job offer, it is important to 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 any interviews (on-campus or off) you have pending.

Declining an offer

If you are declining an offer, do so with sensitivity to the employer's needs. Inform the recruiter verbally as soon as your decision has been made, following your conversation with a thank you letter. DO NOT delay contacting the employer: while making that phone call may be difficult, it is unlikely bad news will get better with time. Employers need to know you are declining their offer as quickly as possible so they can adjust their plans accordingly. Waiting until the last moment to contact them could force them into a situation they cannot remedy or delay their process to notify other interested candidates. 

Reneging on offers

Accepting an offer is a commitment to the employer who made you the offer. Reneging on an offer could be seen as an unethical and possibly legal violation of your commitment. Besides negatively affecting your reputation and that of the HCDE Department, reneging could also taint the reputation of our future graduates.

Professional communities are never as large as they seem. Recruiters share information and change companies throughout their careers. They might share information about someone who reneged with other recruiters, or they may move to another recruiting position at a different company, which could cost you future interviews and job offers. If you are not ready to make that commitment, do not accept the job offer and reach out to your career counselors for support. 

Our affiliate members abide by our Employer Recruiting Policy, often to the detriment of their own recruiting interests. We've recently updated our recruiting policy to remove ambiguity and ensure our students have an adequate amount of time for recruiting activities.

If a student reneges, they will be asked to report to advising for a 1:1 meeting to discuss the circumstances. If it is determined that the student initiated a reneg for inappropriate reasons, they will be barred from HCDE career events for 1 (one) calendar year. 

Please note there are very specific circumstances when reneging is acceptable (ie. An employer not abiding by our employer recruiting policy or rare, excruciating situations). For questions about the recruiting process or suggestions for engaging with employers, please contact your HCDE academic advisor or a CC@E career coach. 

The HCDE Student Recruiting Policy was adapted from the policies in place at UW’s iSchool, Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department and the MIT Career Office.