I had a job interview last week and was offered the job on the spot. However, since I was thinking of attending other interviews, I told HR to give me more time to consider the offer. They agreed to give me seven days to consider the deal but I had to sign the offer letter on the spot. They told me not to worry and call them whenever I change my mind within seven days. Is it a normal practice to tell interviewee to sign the offer letter and allow them to rescind later?
If there is nothing to worry about, why push you to sign it immediately?
To me it seems like someone really had to find a way to fill the spot, and now you will be portrayed as the terrible, inconsiderate person who had already agreed to to the position, and now backs out of the deal.
I see this as them covering their own backs, so they can say "It's not me, its him".
No, but it normal for some employees in a hurry to disregard your needs in order to get their own job done. Hopefully someone else will deal with it if you change your mind, but the days work has been done, worry about that when it happens.
Is it a normal practice to tell interviewee to sign the offer letter and allow them to rescind later?
In my experience this is not normal practice. In over 40 years of work, I've never encountered this situation.
That said, signing a typical offer letter doesn't create a contractual obligation in my locale (the US). Thus, you can always back out without legal or financial penalty.