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The processes and procedures to select a candidate and extend an offer to a student employee vary widely across UNC. The following is a general overview of things to consider when hiring a student employee. Please note, your School or Unit may have additional requirements or guidelines that you will need to consider. Contact your hiring representative for more information.

All student employees MUST complete a Form I-9 within three days of the date of hire. Failing to comply with employment eligibility verification procedures can jeopardize a student employee’s paycheck or employment. Review the Supervisor Checklist for more information.

Posting a student job is not required. However, if you would like to increase your recruitment effort, speak with your hiring representative about appropriate job boards to post the position. Keep in mind that your and other departments often have listservs or send out routine emails advertising student jobs.

Unless hiring a student for a work-study position, in which an interview is required, interviewing candidates for a student position is not required. However, it is recommended that you take the time to interview students before hiring them. This helps both you and the student make an informed decision about whether the job and the student are a good match.

Preparing for the Interview 

Before you interview a student, you should develop a list of questions to ask during the interview. Questions can include a mix of open-ended and yes or no answers, and should help you determine a student’s skill level as it relates to the job, and how a student will fit in with the culture of your department. Questions to consider asking a student during an interview include, but are not limited to:

  1. Do you prefer working independently or in a team?
  2. What did you like most or least about your last job?
  3. Can you perform [insert task relevant to the job]?
  4. Tell me about a time when [insert experience or qualification relevant to the job]?

If you require additional information about a student’s previous experience or wish to review a resume, make sure to notify the student in advance that they should bring those materials with them to the interview.

As you prepare to interview a student, it is important to keep in mind that employers are legally prohibited from asking questions related to any protected class. This includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital or family status, disability, or religion. For more information visit the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office.

The Interview

It is important to keep in mind that it may be a student’s first time interviewing for a job, or that they may be slightly nervous. Try to spend a few minutes at the start of an interview putting the student at ease with some small talk. Questions such as “Tell me about yourself” or “What year are you and what are your aspirations after graduation” are good ways to break the ice.

Before asking your questions, make sure to give the student information on the department, essential functions of the job, standards expected, supervisory style, and other factors relevant to the job. You should be clear about your personal expectations and ask the student for responses, questions, or comments. Some topics that should be discussed during the interview include:

  • Work schedule and the student’s availability
  • Description of job duties
  • Pay rate for the job
  • Personal conduct and dress code expected of the student
  • Previous experience needed to perform the job
  • Training to be provided to perform the job
  • Employment duration, anticipated start date and end date
  • Expected hiring decision timetable

Ask your interview questions. As the student talks about their education, training, and experience, it is important to listen carefully and to pose questions or comments that encourage elaboration.

At the conclusion of the interview, make sure to thank the student and let them know by when and how they can expect to hear about your decision.

The processes and procedures to select a candidate and extend an offer vary widely across UNC. Please contact your hiring representative for more details on the specifics or special considerations in your department.

Depending on the job the student employee will be working, they may need to complete a background check before being extended an offer. Jobs that often require a background check include those where student employees work with minors or work with residential programs.

If a background check is required, the student employee will be notified by your hiring representative. Learn more about employee background checks from the UNC Office of Human Resources.

Unless hiring a student for a work-study position, in which extending an offer letter is required, providing an offer letter for a student position is not required. However, it is highly recommended that you create and supply the student you are hiring with an appointment letter. The appointment letter should contain information relevant to the job and provide a means by which to ensure that you and the student are in agreement with the terms of the position. The appointment letter should include the following information:

    • Start Date
    • End Date
    • Pay Rate (indicate hourly or salary)
    • Job Classification (i.e., SHRA, EHRA)

Once you extend an offer to a student, make sure to inform your hiring representative so they can initiate the hiring process in ConnectCarolina. After selecting your candidate, please inform other students that were interviewed that they were not selected.

Once you select a student to hire, extend an offer, and have the student accept the offer, you will need to inform your hiring representative and work with them to provide the information needed to complete the hiring process as well as ensure that all required forms, including the Form I-9, are completed by the student employee prior to their first day of work.

Review the Supervisor Checklist for more information on what to expect leading up to the student employee’s first day of work and throughout their first week on the job.

Once a student is approved for work-study, the UNC Work-Study Office will communicate via email all the information necessary to process the student employee hire action. This email may be sent directly to the hiring representative or to the supervisor.

Visit the UNC Work-Study Prospective Supervisors Home Page to learn more about the program.