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I have interviewed with a tech firm, and had a final interview already. After the final interview, the HR calls me the same day asking how I felt about the numerous interviews, the entire process, and whether I feel that the role is right after speaking with the team. I told them yes I enjoyed the process and want the role.

They then asked if I do have other offers from other companies or am I at a late stage of interviews with other firms, to which I replied yes there are a few other firms which I am interviewing with at late stages, and also am at a late stage with a different role in the same firm.

HR then tells me because the entire interview process was so quick (~1 week), and that they want me to have a good think about the role, that I take the time to reflect, consider the role, and review if this is the right opportunity. They have allowed me to have a few days to think through and make my decision.

After the call, I get an email:

  1. Reiterating the point that I should reflect and review if this is the right opportunity,
  2. and they also put in some time for a Skype call in the next couple of days to have a telephone discussion.
  3. Lastly, they mentioned if I am keen to proceed after points 1) and 2) , a separate team will reach out to me with a list of on boarding documents.

Can I take this as a Soft Offer pending as to whether I negotiate and accept the terms of the offer (which I haven't been given yet verbally or in writing)?

  • 2
    I'm confused by the term "soft offer". You mention that you haven't yet been given the "terms of the offer" in verbal or written form yet, and you don't mention if they've even specified a salary for example... to me that sounds like you've not been made an offer yet, simple as that. What is a "soft offer"? I'm familiar with the difference between a verbal and a written offer, but what could be softer than verbal? – BittermanAndy Mar 29 at 9:14
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    thanks, might be worth editing that link into the question. What you describes sounds like a "soft offer" as defined in that link, yes. However that link IMO describes a horrible way to complete recruitment, and the "soft offer", if that is indeed what it is, is worthless to you (and actually quite unfair to you: they're asking you to make a decision and an implied commitment on an offer they've not made yet and might never make) until it becomes an actual offer. – BittermanAndy Mar 29 at 10:08
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    ...in fact, that link finishes by explicitly telling the recruiter to refuse to provide an offer in writing, until the candidate has formally accepted a verbal offer (which may lack clarity or be misunderstood and could be changed arbitrarily with no proof otherwise) - all that with a 24 hour time limit, to pressure the candidate into accepting! This is sickening. The advice given in that link is morally bankrupt and actually makes me angry. I hope nobody really recruits like that. – BittermanAndy Mar 29 at 10:12
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    @dwizum the linked article explicitly differentiates between a "soft" offer (which is not an offer at all) and a "verbal" offer. In addition, while I understand the point of not wasting time and effort, "yeah, I'm interested, but let me see something in writing" should be enough to justify that effort - the article expects the candidate to explicitly commit to accepting an offer they haven't even seen (and hasn't even really been made) yet. – BittermanAndy Mar 29 at 12:44
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    Personally, I would have responded on the phone (and to the email) saying that it's not possible to evaluate the opportunity until the compensation package has been disclosed. In other words, you want this information before that call. – NotMe Mar 29 at 17:55
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If you have not signed an employment contract you do not have the job. Soft offer, no offer, it doesn't matter. Until both of you sign on that dotted line you do not have the job, negotiations are still going on even if they don't seem like it. Don't close the doors to other opportunities. Don't give notice at your current job. Get them to give you a contract.

  • im guessing the 'call' I have will be to discuss terms and thats when I should ask them to put it in writing? – user10433947 Mar 29 at 8:44
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    @user10433947 If they are professional they will do it anyway if it is a more informal type of a job they may need a nudge. I can't speak for the culture in your area or your circumstances, for all I know you could be a teenager looking for a summer job in which case I wouldn't worry so much but if they don't give me any contract after that I would consider them timewasters and move on. – Keith Loughnane Mar 29 at 9:59
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An "offer" has a specific meaning in most jurisdictions (for example, if an "offer" was made, and you "accept", and the company (or you) reneges on the employment there are legal consequences).
There are some requirements as to what constitutes an offer. That it includes basic terms of employment (such as salary, location, title etc.) is usually one of them.

In your case, I don't know in what jurisdiction you reside, but if it doesn't come with a set salary for example I'm pretty sure it's not an offer (in the sense that it can have no legal consequences if the company changes its mind).

You say "soft offer", but what does that actually mean? It is what it is - the company is very close to making you an offer, but not yet. Until you get an offer, you should assume they can reject you at any moment, so behave exactly like you would have before passing the final interview - keep other options open, don't assume you will get an offer.

2

Here There Be Dragons

An unscrupulous company will work this way to make you think you are getting a job from them, in the hopes that you will cancel your other interviews in progress. Then they will give you a lowball offer.

Do NOT stop the process with other companies.

Do your homework, and find out what the going rate is for this role.

Read the company reviews on Glass Door, Indeed, etc to see if they have a rep for this sort of action.

If they do give you a lowball offer, walk away. If they give you a "We're going to start you at but within 3 months you get a raise" make sure it is in writing.

If the reviews say the company sucks, or rather that this branch sucks, then increase your precautions accordingly.**

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If I was to guess, I would say you are on the shortlist, but they are still interviewing, and a job offer will depend on you being their best candidate at the end of their interview cycle.

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Can I take this as a Soft Offer pending as to whether I negotiate and accept the terms of the offer (which I haven't been given yet verbally or in writing)?

There's no such thing as a "soft" offer. They haven't offered you the job in any way, shape, or form.

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