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I was interviewed by a (probably small scale) company. First they asked me to submit a small project that they had given me to do. Then they arranged an interview and discussed in-depth of my current work experience and project.

But then, they started with twists. First even though I said that I am working on a Govt. project, they asked me to show some codes. They said they will offer me salaries based on my coding skills used in these projects. Instead, I sent them the same codes that I used to complete the project that they gave me initially. Then, they called me again saying that my coding skills are not upto mark, but they would still hire me with a 20% hike. Also there would be 6 days work week instead of 5.

Again, they called me at 7 pm later that week, to have a conversion with their team lead (under which I am supposed to work), and he asked me a lot about the work that I am doing right now. After giving a detailed explanation of how I work and what I do, and everything work related, they told me there is a 99% chance that I would be hired.

Even though I gave them somewhat 90% of the answers, and even though my current company praises me for my coding skills, still they (the new company) are saying otherwise.

First off, the city where I am staying right now, is a lot cheaper than the one that I have to go , after the pandemic. Secondly, they already know this fact. Third, I am only 1 year experience, so I may not be a coding master. Fourth, I am already getting way below industry standard for which I am changing my job (around 195 usd for Software Engineer , or rather Full Stack Developer), and they offered only 20% hike in it.

When I asked them why they would offer so less hike, they said it was because of my coding skills. I feel I was stupid, and it was a complete waste of my time. Should I wait for them to send me an offer letter and then say no, or should I just say it?

Edit- I tried to explain the situation, but I am bad at it. It's like your current city is where house rent is 100 $ per month, the new city has house rent of 500$ per month. Other expenses are similar as well. But, when I am getting 195 usd in my current city, they are offering only 20% hike in the new city. I took my first job, only because I couldnt get a better one due to pandemic. I dont want a job, worse than my current job –

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    In that case wait for the bad offer. Only withdraw if you are 100%- like you are married and your wife said "If you move there, you are going with out me" or something.
    – Damila
    Jul 16 at 15:05
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    I don't understand the salary figure. Do you mean $195,000 per year? Or $195 per hour? Something else? Jul 16 at 15:50
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    It's useful to get a clearer idea of the job market and see what they'll offer, if only so that you know what to ask for when you apply for other jobs. Unless there's a pressing reason to say no, why not wait?
    – Stuart F
    Jul 16 at 15:54
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    What the heck country are you working in that allows an employer to specify a 6 day week? Jul 16 at 16:14
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    @DanielR.Collins Yes that pretty much sums up the situation. What I wanted to know was if I should say no directly, or wait for their offer letter, see, if they provide other benefits and then say no. Like some companies may be offering housing facilities and all. I am new to this professional world, so I needed help.
    – Asish
    Jul 20 at 2:44
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To be clear, they are asking you to work 20% more time for 20% more pay. This is not an increase. Factor in the higher cost of living in the new location and you are effectively taking a cut.

If you don't intend to take the job (and there would have to be some good reason you haven't mentioned to do so) I would just wait for the offer and reject it. I don't see any benefit to you preemptively telling them no. If you get an offer either accept or reject. If they ask why tell them you expect more money and if they don't feel you are worth that then there is nothing further to talk about.

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  • "This is not an increase. Factor in the higher cost of living in the new location and you are effectively taking a cut." -Please explain it a bit more.
    – Asish
    Jul 16 at 15:03
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    By working an extra day, you are working 20% more hours for 20% more pay. That's not an increase in pay, it's just more hours. By moving to an area where your living expenses increase, and your hourly equivalent pay is the same, you are making a disadvantageous move.
    – Carson
    Jul 16 at 16:07
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    To be fair, the offer is actually more money. There are circumstances in which someone might accept a six day week for +20% - if they were currently unable to pay their expenses, if they were saving for something specific that they couldn't afford without the extra money. Jul 16 at 16:19
  • @Asish Say you are currently working in Vilnius, Poland and you are earning 30k which is slightly above average. You are offered a job in Paris for 35k. Is that an increase? On paper it is but you find the average salary for the job in Paris is 50k so you go from earning slightly above average to well below average. I would consider this an effective pay cut. You will find everything, especially rent, will cost a lot more and you may find your 5k increase means you go from having a good bit of spare cash to barely scraping by.
    – Eric Nolan
    Jul 19 at 11:15
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    @Asish Similarly I would consider an offer to earn 10% more money for 20% more work to effectively be a pay cut. As DJClayworth pointed out, it is not literally a cut and you may find yourself forced to take it but I would be treating this as "I was forced to work extra hours to make ends meet" not "I got a pay increase".
    – Eric Nolan
    Jul 19 at 11:19
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tl/dr: Iff you are 100% certain its a no, then fine to contact them now. Whenever you pull out, make it succinct.

If you are 100% certain that you will not take the new job if offered:

Yes, it would be fine to send them a message thanking them and saying you have decided to withdraw your application. Be polite- you never know if you might apply to them, or to someone who is with them now but a different place down the road. But also be succinct- don't list a bunch of reasons like how much the city cost of living is. "Thank you for your time. I enjoyed meeting you and learning about your company. On careful consideration, I have decided to remain in my current job. I hope we cross paths in the future. All the best, Asish."

If you would consider going with them Then do nothing now and wait until you see the offer. If you decide no, then you can send pretty much the same "No thanks" as you would for the first scenario, with thank you for the offer...

If you would like to work with them but the money is too low Then do nothing now and when the offer comes, reply that you would like to accept but you can only accept for X amount. If/when it appears that you won't get there., send the same "No thanks" you would send in scenario 2, with appropriate modification.

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    Good answer, but I wouldn't give extra information. "Thank you for your time. I enjoyed meeting you and learning about your company. On careful consideration, I have decided to withdraw my application. Thank you, Asish.". They don't need any more info, and if you give them more, they may try to start a discussion. "No" is a complete sentence.
    – PeteCon
    Jul 17 at 16:50
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If you know what offer you are going to get, and you know that you will decline it, there is no point in waiting for a formal offer letter. But make sure you decline the specific offer you have been given, not the job in general.

In general you should always wait for an actual offer before you decline a position, but that does not mean you have to wait for a formal letter. That is just delaying the process for no reason.

So if they have offered verbally $N for some conditions, and you don't want to accept that, say (verbally) that you will not accept an offer for that much money with those conditions. If they send an email offering $N for a some conditions send an email saying you will not accept an offer for that much money with those conditions. This always allows the employer to make you a better offer if they want. There is never a point at which you need to say "I don't want the job". You just keep declining their specific offers, and eventually they will either make one you like or stop making them.

Do not say "I don't wish to accept the job". Always say "I don't accept the offer you have made." (Unless of course there is no amount of money that would cause you to accept the job, and I've seen a few of those.)

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I am assuming the location is India. If yes, then note the following points.

Is this company anywhere working on the same domain that you are currently working on? In short, is this company a competitor to your current employer? Was it the reason that you were drilled so much?

There are many companies in India which ask for a six day working. It is not unusual here. You need to take a call on it.

How many companies have you interviewed at? If this was the only one, then you need to keep trying for more and for better ones too.

Remember that the minimum hike one gets when moving from one company to another is 30% in India. Again, joining another company for 20% hike is your call.

Criticizing junior developers for not being good coders is to demoralise them and ensure that they accept the low hike they are giving. This is merely a dirty mind game played by many recruiters, here. You do not want to fall into that trap.

If at all, there are any further rounds of interview, then you need to be very clear if you still want to attend these, even after you were being criticized. Do you really want to wait until they make you an offer? If not, you can always mention the following.

If at all you are going to reject the offer or further rounds of interview, be concise. Thank them for their time and mention that you do not want to proceed with this offer/job and hope to cross paths again in the future. Not a single word beyond those sentences. Be strict about it that later on, you shouldn't be entertaining any calls, WhatsApp messages, SMSs, emails or any other mode of communication from them.

Indian software industry is picking up and there are jobs. You already have a job; work there until you get a good hike. Do not rush.

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