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I've interviewed at two companies (both big, international organisations) and I've received offers from both.

I much prefer company A, but it's been a couple of days since they called with their offer and they've not sent any email confirmation. Is this usual in Germany?

I'd be irresponsible to turn down company B with nothing in writing from A. In this sort of situation would it be acceptable to call/ email A, explain, and ask for their on-boarding documents?

This is not something I've experienced before and I'm not sure what the procedure is. In the past in the UK, I've received confirmation of the offer via email directly after the call.

closed as off-topic by IDrinkandIKnowThings, gnat, Mister Positive, scaaahu, The Wandering Dev Manager Dec 15 '17 at 12:56

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My experience is that it varies by company. Some are very quick and others very slow. But in my limited experience I have found that they are much slower than companies in the UK . Both in terms of getting back to you from initial contact (my current record is around 6 months later asking me for an interview) and in getting paperwork done.

I have not personally seen it happen where an offer was made and not then followed up on. It would be very surprising especially from a large international company.

In fact, I have heard from employers that the reverse is more often true. An employee agrees to an offer only to reject it later.

A few days delay for a large company is not that far out of the ordinary. If you want to cover yourself, you can also accept the offer from company B as well. Until you've put something down in writing, you're not tied to a particular offer (this is not ideal and may damage any future relations with company B, but it's also not so very rare as I mentioned above).

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Just to add to Eoin's excellent answer, there is usually a discussion about the contract terms, then they will snail mail the final contract. Even if you are already in Germany you can expect to wait a day or two before you receive the final offer in the mail. If you are outside of Germany and they use standard post to send the contract, obviously it will take a bit longer.

In some companies you might be offered a draft of the final contract by email as part of the contract discussion/negotiation, which gives you the option to negotiate tweaks to the final agreement, perhaps with respect to notice period or what have you. But in a larger company this is less likely - they simply don't tweak contracts for most positions (aside from salary which you have presumably discussed already)

If you are concerned I would simply call them and ask if they have mailed the final contract yet, and if not, ask them when you can expect it.

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