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Offer decision deadline too tight - what to do?

Anonymous A asked on Nov 19, 2019 - 4 answers

About 2 weeks ago I interviewed with a Tier3 firm and they quickly made me an offer. The decision deadline is in around 1 week. I did not sign it yet because last week I had interviews with two other Tier3 firms.

However, shortly afterwards I got interviews secured with three Tier2 firms. One is in early December (cannot be accelerated since they have fixed assessment days), with the other one I have a phone interview this week (I should be able to accelerate the process if I get into 1st round) and the third told me that they'll try to accelerate it, but cannot promise anything because their assessment days throughout December are full and the next empty spots are in January.

Now, the options are:
- reach out to HR and try to extend the deadline until January. I think I might have higher chances if I change my desired start date as well: I said January after the offer, but thought again about it and decided that I need a bit more time-off. Maybe if I say that I wanna start in March instead it will be more reasonable to extend the deadline to January.

- accept the offer and decline it later in case I get offer from a Tier2. However, there might be legal issues with that, and I would also risk getting into trouble with my potential Tier2 employer who would have made me the offer. As far as I know, as soon as I sign the job contract, the only way to escape afterwards is formally quitting shortly after having started my job (at least in Western Europe).

Not sure what to do here... On the phone, when they announced the offer, I stated that the deadline might be too tight, as I am interviewing with other firms as well, and HR said ''let's keep this deadline for now and we'll see''... I am afraid that choosing the first option might appear unprofessional and lead the company to withdraw their offer, therefore I would risk remaining jobless if the other interviews are not successful...

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Deniz
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replied on Nov 20, 2019
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Hi,

Worst case, you can still accept the offer and decline later.

Best,

Deniz

Antonello
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replied on Nov 19, 2019
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Hi,
it is a common situation. I do not think you would have legal consequences in rejecting the offer (in Italy it is only a letter of intent and you do not incur in them, since each part has 6 months by the beginning to terminate the contract). Of course it is not 100% fair, but also the HR play their cards keeping the deadline too short.

Hope it helps,
Anto

Francesco
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replied on Dec 01, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

I would recommend the second option, I cannot see how there could be consequences if you sign (unless clearly stated in the contract – I know some companies add penalties in China for that). Proposing to extend the deadline is a risky move as can lead to second thoughts on your commitment.

Best,

Francesco

Already managed to get an extension, so meanwhile it's all good. It's stated in the contract though that a termination of the contract before the starting date is not permitted (and a fine of around one monthly salary would be applied in this case). The company is in Germany. — Anonymous A on Dec 01, 2019

Vlad
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replied on Nov 20, 2019
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Hi,

There are no legal consequences and you can do that. It's not the best situation, but if you don't have any personal connection with the partners - it's ok

Best