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I interviewed with two IT companies recently. One of them is clearly better choice for me but they are delaying the final result. My interview went quite well in the better one and I am 75% confident that I could eventually get selected provided I wait for their hiring round to complete (~10 days). On the other hand, the other job which I interviewed just for backup has selected me and is asking me to join immediately.

I am afraid if I take the backup job and then after 10 days the better offer comes, the backup company will ask me to serve 30 day notice period which the better job would not accept (since both the companies were looking for immediate joiners as per their job description). One the other hand if I say no to the backup company and then the 25% probability kicks and I get rejected, I would lose both offers. What choice should I make?

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  • @DreadedHarvester, I am just a little curious : How do you know that there is a 75% chance for you to get the first job ? Is it based on the fact that they have promised verbally that the written job offer will be sent to you soon ? Or is it based on how happy they were with your performance during the interviews ? Jul 25 at 21:18
  • Should probably tag this India if that's the location, to emphasize the rigid 30-day notice expectation. Jul 27 at 3:29
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Tell the backup company you need ten days to take care of personal business before you can give them an answer.

It depends on the industry and level, but for professional jobs this is normal enough that if they cannot accommodate you then you have probably dodged a bullet.

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In most western jurisdictions, companies can't force you to come and work (even during agreed notice period). What they can theoretically do is sue you for damages if you don't work the notice period. BUT, in reality it's almost impossible to prove damages and it's way too much work, so no company does that.

The end effect is, even if you stop showing up, the worst that can happen is that they don't pay you the wages for that period. It is however an extremely unprofessional thing to do, and the company will likely be very upset. This may have some negative effect on your career.

If you are early career and the difference between the two companies is big: you could carefully weigh the risk/benefit of doing this. If the job market is large (like you are a non-niche developer in the Bay Area), you are in early career, and the company in question is small etc. the risk of negative consequences from pissing off this company off is small. So it might be overall beneficial to do it in order to get into the company you prefer.

It's something you should only do as a last resort - like once in your career type of move. But it does happen from time to time, and at the end of the day you must look after your own career. If it makes a huge difference in your career, you got to do what you got to do - the company that hired you will be ok in the end.

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  • Note that OP is located in India, where release letters are (as I understand it) mandatory before accepting another job. I've suggested that the question be tagged India to clarify. Jul 27 at 3:31

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