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A little background: I'm a job seeker in the pharmaceutical industry ,and have a bachelor degree in pharmacy followed by an M. Tech degree in Biotechnology) and have been applying to more or less anything that I'm finding even remotely close to my field.

About three months ago, I received a call from a big pharma company, and they simply took the first round of my technical interview then itself. I happened to qualify for the second round of interview. The second interview was taken on 15th of November. The HR had called me about half an hour before the interview started and only told me "best of luck, our HOD will be taking your interview shortly". The interview went mediocre at best, in my opinion, and possibly theirs too, since they asked me to study a topic they specified "take your time to prepare" and then "call the HR executive to schedule another interview". I made the call on 20th December. The HR person on that day confirmed my identity and said that they will do what's needed.

Since I didn't receive a call from them for the next two weeks, I decided to give the HR a call on 10th January again, when he told me that "you've cleared the technical round already, and when we receive the confirmation from the head office your offer letter will be released". Even when I enquired about not having received any mail, he said "yeah, there will be no mail for now, you'll only get an email once we get the confirmation from HO".

The job was actually posted on their website on 28th of December, nearly two and a half months after my first technical interview. All this has happened but I am yet to receive even a single email from the company, for any communication whatsoever. I searched on the internet to find whether or not it's something that actually does happen- all communications before the offer letter to have been exclusively over the telephone, but found only cases for jobs like a barista or the likes, and absolutely nothing for a job that deals with STEM field.

I'm unable to understand what to make of the fact that I am yet to receive a single email. Does it really so happen that a company, sends you the very first email, directly as an offer letter, with the only communication having been exclusively telephonic conversations?

P. S. The country I'm talking about is India, just in case the practices vary (I'm not aware of it at all.)

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  • Ask them to put the offer in writing and email you. Tell them that will make you feel more comfortable moving forward with them because otherwise, you may still need to search for jobs elsewhere. Jan 12, 2023 at 21:58

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I'd advise, until you have received an official communication, from a reliable source (via a company email, not some personal email @gmail or @yahoo), consider you do not have any offer.

While it's not common that companies (let alone a "big pharma company") run recruitment process only via telephonic conversation entirely, but post COVID, some companies started following all-remote process for many areas, recruitment is one of them. However, as long as you receive your offer from a verified source as mentioned above, you should be good.

Also, since you mention India, be aware if someone is asking about any money transfer / deposit before joining - no organisation asks any form of monetary payment for the application / joining process.

P.S. (for sake of completeness) Don't forget to check the spam/junk box of your email client. Sometimes, these policies behave in weird ways.

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  • The calls I received were from company landline phones (verified). So I'm positive about the fact that it was the company that had actually contacted me, and not a scammer. What I'm having a hard time believing is the fact that there's been no email communication whatsoever and am simply trying to confirm if this practice actually exists or if its just that they're filling up on the quota of time they need to show they've worked for.
    – Timon
    Jan 12, 2023 at 8:25
  • @Timon So, then, the advise is limited to first two paragraphs. Jan 12, 2023 at 8:26
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    In my country, phone numbers can be spoofed. Not sure what the situation is in India. Jan 12, 2023 at 11:09
  • A phone call is not a contract (except, perhaps, when recorded, and recording phone calls often requires explicit permission from both parties). Personally I wouldn't trust E-mail either. As far as concerned, it isn't an actual offer that I can accept (and stop other job-hunting) until I have it on paper, preferably signed, with details like starting salary.
    – keshlam
    Jan 12, 2023 at 15:15
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a big [any type of] company

That sometimes means average to mediocre communication between related departments. Or they still work remote, or have difficulties connecting departments due to different time zones/schedules, or they process by phone until the last moment. That should anyway be a very light warning for the moment.

I made the call on 20th December. The HR person on that day confirmed my identity and said that they will do what's needed.

The holidays weeks, the time for many companies to close/take time off/work less/have less time for more paper work. That should be another light warning for the moment.

But, as the old saying goes: "your offer is worth the paper it's written on". And you have nothing to rely on at the moment but promises. You can still keep searching while waiting for the real offer letter. How long you wait for their follow-up is up to you though.

I decided to give the HR a call on 10th January again

After this clarification and edit of yours, you still have to wait for the offer, but it's been only 2 days as of now, so you can be a little more patient maybe.

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