View the Handshake Employer Help Center’s Interviews section for instructions on How to Post an Interview Schedule to a SchoolHow to Add a Job to an Interview ScheduleHow to Edit Your Interview Schedule, and more. 

For additional support through this process, watch Handshake’s Employer Training Posting Jobs and Requesting Interviews webinar!

Best Practices

Whether you hold your interviews on-campus or virtually, consider the below best practices for managing your interview schedule to make the most of your recruiting efforts, develop a strong applicant pool, and make a positive impression on JMU students.

Strategic Timelines

As soon as your interview schedule is approved, review your timeline dates in Handshake (to the left as you open your interview schedule) and reach out if you’d like us to make adjustments. Strategize your deadlines around your other recruiting involvement. 

  • Before applications open: attach your position(s), review your timeline trigger dates and request any adjustments, and review your interview time slots to make any necessary changes.
  • Between your application open and application close dates: host virtual or on-campus recruiting events, participate in a career fair, or connect with a relevant classroom or student organization.
    • This allows you to better funnel the students you meet to apply to your positions and participate in an interview.
  • Before your employer deadline: make your applicant selections in Handshake 
    • Pay careful attention to your selection deadline; missing a deadline in this environment could be especially confusing for your student applicants

Language & Qualifications

Be mindful of the language and qualifications of the positions you have attached to your interview schedule. 

  • Specific qualifications may unintentionally hinder your diversity recruitment goals. For example, GPA minimums for entry level positions have a disproportionately negative impact on low-income students and Black students. 
  • Consider the language used in your job descriptions, such as using more inclusive language like ‘partner’.
  • If you know that your company has an inclusive, robust benefits package that would appeal to LGBTQ+ candidates or candidates with disabilities, highlight those features in your job description language. 
  • Many students are actively seeking remote internships and jobs. If your position is remote eligible, check the “allows remote workers” box as you create the position in Handshake, include verbiage in the description to indicate this, and include the words “remote” or “remote eligible” in your position title. 
    • Students often use Handshake’s keyword search; which means that your position may not display in their search if you do not include language beyond checking the “allows remote workers” box.

Communication with Applicants

  • More communication is better than less, particularly if you are undertaking a virtual or hybrid recruiting strategy. 
  • Ensure all applicants have the correct interview time on their calendar, properly adjusting for different time zones, in any reminders and messaging you send your applicants. 
  • Provide students with contact information for questions about their virtual interviews as well as the best contact for any questions you may have. 
  • Leading up to the interview day, if you do run across an accommodation request for the virtual interview that you aren’t sure how to handle, as a general best practice be sure you touch base with your HR contact to ensure you’re familiar with your obligations and options for accommodations. We’re also available should you have questions.
Our Interview Center

Our Interview Center - located on the third floor of the Student Success Center - has 14 interview rooms, as well as a teleconference room and employer lounge. All employers are welcome to utilize our Interview Center to interview JMU students, free of charge.


Recruiting Dates

View JMU's recruiting season start and end dates within our employer newsletter.

There will be no recruiting on the following dates:

  • Day 1 of the University Career Fair
  • Assessment Day
  • Fall, Winter, and Spring Break

Check out our academic calendar for additional dates to consider before selecting your interviewing date.

Interview Models

When creating an interview schedule, it is important to consider the type of schedule that will best meet your recruiting needs. Your options include:

  • Preselect to Alternate: This model allows you to collect primary and alternate student applicants and handle interview sign ups via Handshake. Primary and alternate student choices are selected after the application period. Primaries are allowed to sign up before alternates.

  • Room Only: This model allows you to reserve a room, but you build your own interview schedule outside of Handshake. Each recruiter is responsible for creating their interview schedule and communicating about interview times with their applicants directly. This option is often used for scheduling interviews immediately following career fairs, building an interview schedule from an existing non-interview posting, or creating a less traditional interview schedule format.
    • If you select this model, please email your interview schedule to before your interviewing date. 
    • You must also schedule all interviews between 8:30am-4:30pm, as detailed below in Your Interviewing Day.
  • Virtual Preselect InterviewsThis model allows you to collect student applicants and handle interview sign ups via Handshake, then host your actual interview date virtually. Primary and alternate student choices are selected after the application period. Primaries are allowed to sign up before alternates. Once sign ups close, you can then set up and invite students to virtual interviews using an online video communications software, such as Zoom.

Interviewing dates are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, so try to schedule at least four weeks in advance of your preferred date! Scheduling early will assist you in securing a date that is suitable to your recruiting itinerary and will ensure a sufficient number of interview rooms are available to meet your needs.

Virtual Interviews

Want to interview our students but can’t make it to campus? Let us help you set up virtual interviews, to speak with our students from your location.

Just as if you were holding on-campus interviews, you can collect applicants and manage interview sign ups using our Virtual Preselect Interviews model. Then, once sign ups close, you can invite students and schedule virtual interviews using an online video communications software, such as Zoom. Review Handshake's guide to Hosting Virtual Interviews for additional instructions.  

Check out these virtual recruitment strategies to make the most of your virtual interviews and to make sure your hiring process remains legal.

What software do we recommend?

Our Employer Services team recommends using Zoom to conduct your virtual interviews, as this software is easy-to-use, offers secure meetings, has streamlined calendar options, and collaborates with many types of devices.

If you have any questions or need assistance with scheduling your virtual interviews through Zoom, you may contact us at  

Already use your own software?

If your organization already uses a standard virtual interviewing software, you are welcome to use this software to conduct your designated practice interviews. 

Tips for Success

Build your brand on campus! 

Communicate with your candidates throughout the recruiting process.

  • Contact applicants who did not make it to the interview stage so that that they know their status and can improve.
  • Stay in touch with your applicants and with us!  We value your partnerships and thank you for your interest in our students.
Hotels & Lodging

If a hotel stay will be part of your visit, view our list of local accommodations.

You can stay at Hotel Madison with a 15% off discounted rate.

Inclement Weather

If the university is closed, on-campus recruiting activities and events will be cancelled.

If the university has a delayed opening, interviews will begin when the university is open.

Any interviews taking place before the University’s new opening time will need to be rescheduled.

For more information, please review our Inclement Weather Policy.

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