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This is a sample email to a candidate who made it to the exercise stage of the hiring process (in this case, right after an initial screening call).

From: Jordan Suttles
Subject: Brave New Schools Center
To: Roseanne Gott-Liu

Hi Roseanne,

Thanks so much for your interest in the Senior Manager of Partnership with BNSC.

Because we’ve had a tremendous response to our posting, we’re asking the most promising candidates to complete an exercise relevant to the work of this position. We realize this requires a bit of investment of your time—likely about an hour—and we appreciate your help in determining if we’re a strong fit for one another. This exercise will focus on how you would plan to generate new partnerships between BNSC and school districts.


We believe that every student, particularly those from traditionally marginalized communities, deserves an education that will support their lifelong growth, learning, and liberation. BNSC exists to support school and school system leaders in pursuit of that reality as they build, lead, and manage excellent and diverse teams.

This year, we want to work with more school district partners. So far this year, we’ve worked with three medium-sized districts, all of whom came to us by word of mouth. By the end of next year, we’d like to increase that number by at least five, with at least two of those new districts being BIPOC-led (BIPOC = Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color).


Write a memo (no more than one page) that outlines the process you would develop and actions you would take to ensure we meet our next year’s goal. Please be specific in articulating a plan that goes from input-gathering to action. We hope you’ll spend no more than two hours on this assignment.*

Please reply back to this email (in the next week / seven days) with your memo. You can attach it via a Word document, PDF, or Google Doc.

For further information about the Brave New Schools Center, I’m attaching a short handout with a bit more information about our hiring process and a copy of BNSC’s core values.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Jordan Suttles

*Compensating candidates for significant time/contributions: We recommend paying applicants if the project will likely require more than two hours. It is also ethically important to pay candidates if the product (or some aspect of it) may be used by the organization. Here’s how you might communicate about this:

Thank you for your continued interest in the position. We’re so excited to move you forward to the next step in our process (which we will compensate you for). Read on for more information.

[Insert project context, directions, and additional information.]

We value your time and energy. Because this is a time-intensive portion of our process and we expect candidates to spend around 3-5 hours completing this project, we will pay you $X for your time. When you send back your response, please also send the following:

  • A completed copy of this expense report (attached; just fill in the highlighted portions)
  • A completed W-9 form (attached)

We’d ideally like to get this back from you within the next two weeks, but we can be flexible if you need more time or if you want to return it earlier!

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