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I am getting many interviews in the recent weeks. I might get nothing or more than one offer.

Imagine I get two or three offers and couldn't make my mind. In that case if I sign all of the offered contacts, would it cause some legal issues when I make a final decision after some weeks of signed contracts?

(Assuming the contracts have one month notice)

edit: My problem is if I get an offer from job X this week and I like job Y more I will sign job X because I cannot be sure if Y will be offered. And now imagine after one week of signing contract with X now job Y is also offered. How would you take this kind of situation?

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    You need to edit a country tag. It depends on the laws of the country, and the attitude of company owners to such behaviour.
    – gnasher729
    Nov 7, 2020 at 22:15
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    Are these actually legally binding contracts, or are they simply offer letters?
    – joeqwerty
    Nov 8, 2020 at 0:13
  • "What happens if I sign more than one contract and make my decision later?" Your name and your word won't even be worth the paper it's written on. A contract is a legal binding document - no one that is even just partially sane would navigate themselves into such a mess..
    – iLuvLogix
    Nov 9, 2020 at 11:22

3 Answers 3

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Most companies will just blacklist you, assuming that taking you to court for damages and/or breach of contract is not cost effective.

German companies would very likely take you to court regardless of cost, because that kind of thing pisses them off, it is dishonourable, and they will try to make you pay for this dishonourable behaviour. Other countries or just companies might do the same.

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  • My problem is if I get an offer from job X this week and I like job Y more I will sign job X because I cannot be sure if Y will be offered. And now imagine after one week of signing contract with X now job Y is also offered. How would you take this kind of situation?
    – pnatk
    Nov 7, 2020 at 22:27
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    @pnatk here are your options: ask for more time from X, decline X and risk not getting any better offers, accept X and risk not accepting the best offer, accept X and then back out and risk ruining your reputation. That's it, those are your options, there is no magical way to get everything you want. It's up to you to decide which to pick.
    – Kat
    Nov 7, 2020 at 23:06
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    (One more option: ask Y to make a decision earlier.) Yup, everyone faces this dilemma and there's no magic bullet that gets you both the ideal job and the ideal relationships, all while ignoring others' needs and investment in the hiring process. One might as well ask: How do I say yes to this suitor, knowing that later on I might find someone I love more? We have a proverb for this: "You can't have your cake and eat it too" (can't retain all options while exploiting one). Nov 8, 2020 at 15:03
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A lot of these questions answer themselves if you flip it around.

"Our company sent an employment offer out to Pnatk and SuperiorCandidate, figuring only one would agree. Turns out both accepted and signed, but we only want one. How do we tell Pnatk that he's not hired after all?"

Yeah, that company sounds like a real a-hole entity, doesn't it? Why would they send a written and official offer... and then turn around and try to revoke it? Even if it was somehow entirely legal, it's still a terrible thing to do. You wouldn't want to ever work at a place like that

And that's what you're thinking of doing, Pnatk - and every company would feel the same way as the example above (and would want nothing to ever do with you ever again.) You accept an offer and sign a contract to work with a company? Then honor your agreement.

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  • Who cares about the honor when this capitalist slavery system and company owners(robbers) are already dishonorable in this barbaric system. You want the exploited poor workers to be super honorable to maintain the evil companies' benefit? Sorry I am not a commodity..
    – pnatk
    Nov 9, 2020 at 19:47
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    @pnatk. Wow. It amazes me how people that work in well-paid, non-physical jobs in a voluntary arrangement (with multiple suitors for their skillset) can think of themselves as a "slave". The historical understanding of "slavery" seems to be really lacking, I suppose. But, hey, I suppose it lets you justify doing terrible/dishonorable things.
    – Kevin
    Nov 9, 2020 at 19:56
  • Unlike pnatk I don't (necessarily) see company owners as robbers in a barbaric system. However I do think that the analogy in this answer is not 100 percent accurate. The consequences for a revoked employment contract are in general far higher for an employee than for a company. Also you should keep in mind that almost every company, when serious money is involved, will use any legal avenue available to renege on an contract when this is necessary. As I said in my own answer don't renege on a done deal too lightly. However sometimes you just have to put your own interests first. Nov 10, 2020 at 16:04
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Recently I was in the position as you describe. Having a concrete offer/contract of company A available while awaiting the decision of the much larger and more bureaucratic organization B. Being soon out of a job that time and being the only breadwinner of my family I decided to play safe and accept the offer of company A. However about two weeks later organization B finally came around with an offer that was just a lot better (for me) in many ways. Although I felt slightly guilty about it, I accepted the offer of B (where I still work now) and canceled A. In my case it all ended without drama, lawsuits and/or angry emails/phone calls. The owner of company A even ended his last email to me with a polite success-in-the-future.

So based on my own experience I think it is a viable strategy if you can't afford to decline a job but still want to keep an option open for another job. However I think it is better not to pull this trick too often and only use it as a last resort.

Important detail in this story is that the contract of company A contained a probation period of a month which enabled me to back out of it in my jurisdiction, the Netherlands. IANAl but I think that having a probation period in a contract will enable an employee to legally back out of the contract beforehand in most other jurisdictions as well.

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