I've been looking for an software engineering internship for the end of my studies. I was accepted at company X. However, a colleague from my previous job proposed me another job at company Y.

While company X looks like a very good job, company Y has great potential so I'd like to have an interview with company Y and make my choice after. Company Y makes video games and that excites me a lot but I didn't have a look at it from the inside as I did for company X. Y is potential for an awesome working experience while X is security (and also a great company). If I was forced to make a choice now, I'd take company X.

Another problem is that the recruiting process is not really started with company Y. I have a contact telling me "I'm good" and I sent my CV but that's all.

However, company X wants me to come sign the contract this week. The job will only start in 3 months. Should I tell them to report my appointment in, let's say, 2 weeks? Should I go at the appointment and explain them that since I want to stay open-minded, I prefer finishing my other interviews before signing anything? Should I say nothing, sign the contract and then cancel if I decide to join company Y?

marked as duplicate by Dukeling, scaaahu, gnat, Community Nov 28 '17 at 13:29

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  • Some times ago a coach told me that, under many aspects, job hunting is not that different than dating. In your case, would you tell date A that you are not sure if dating him/her or dating instead B? I hope you agree with me that it would be a suicidal move. – L.Dutch Nov 28 '17 at 7:11
  • "I was accepted at company X." Did you accept their offer? Have you discussed timeline at all with either company? – Lilienthal Nov 28 '17 at 7:24
  • @Lilienthal I showed interest by calling them back to know what was going on and that reminded them to setup an appointment to sign contracts. I never said I'm going specifically but I said the times at which I would be available for the appointment. – Winter Nov 28 '17 at 13:31
  • 1
    @Winter Well... that's basically the same thing as accepting. The time to ask about their deadline was in that phone call. As Joe said there are potential issues with trying to back-pedal now and you'll have to decide if that's worth it. Internships are special and companies usually know that students may be pursuing multiple options. But there is the risk of losing X if you tell them you want to give Y some time first. – Lilienthal Nov 28 '17 at 13:40

Should I say nothing, sign the contract and then cancel if I decide to join company Y?

Of all your questions, this one I would surely not recommend.

Besides being unprofessional from your part (going back on your word) you don't know if dissolving that contract is something easy to do, as it may include some legal clauses that may bind you in such way as to abide to your promise. It could even be the case that cancelling the contract implies some compensation payment, etc.

The other questions are really up to your discretion.

You should try delaying the contract signing as much as you tactfully can, while also attempting to have the other interview as early as possible. This will give you maximum time frame to decide on this one.

Worst case, do as your gut tells you (you say X is also good choice so no big problem if this happens).

  • Thank you for the advice. Simply going for X right now would be declining Y and not being really nice to my old colleague but I guess it's better than signing a contract and try to cancel it. – Winter Nov 28 '17 at 2:07
  • @Winter glad I could help. It could be worth seeking the opportunity at Y, but not if that would harm your application with X (otherwise you may end up with nothing). Hope you can work this out, good luck. – DarkCygnus Nov 28 '17 at 3:11
  • Sometimes contracts specify that any of the parts can withdraw before the employment start date with no notice and penalty. – L.Dutch Nov 28 '17 at 7:12
  • @L.Dutch yes, maybe sometimes... most contracts I know don't. OP could also find about that, but cancelling a contract is not my style though... – DarkCygnus Nov 28 '17 at 13:49

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