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So here's the deal, I've already gone through two interviews for A and after passing, they told me to submit all the requirements. I'm basically hired ... verbally. Everything would have been fine if it weren't for the fact that my preferred companies suddenly contacted me a week after I finished submitting my requirements for A. They're superior in a lot of ways from A, but of course, they're just contacting me now and they're only doing initial interviews.

I still want to try my luck with the companies that I really want to work in, but I don't want to let go of company A. I also don't want to make it seem like I'm fishing. I just don't want to have all these options, but at the end of the day, it might appear that I would have none if I don't play my cards right.

What should I do? I do have a reason of not being able to find a decent place yet near company A. (I'm 45 kilometers away but it basically takes me 4 hours because the traffic in my country is horrendous) I also haven't signed any contract. They're just asking me to report on a certain date.

P.S.: I'm actually applying for the government, and all of these companies are government positions (3 contractual[company A] and 1 regular position), and they're all in a rush because it's midyear.

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    First thing to do is to go back to company A and politely (but firmly) say that you like the position, but you can't commit to anything until they give you a formal contract to look over and sign. – Kaz Jul 14 '17 at 11:20
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    Before you report? I hope you mean "before you accept or decline their offer"? If you accept an offer without expecting to actually start working for them that's hardly better than leaving after a week. – Lilienthal Jul 14 '17 at 11:24
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If you were in the States, I'd say it's still open season until you received an offer letter. A verbal offer (and even an acceptance) is nothing. You could show up on day one (without having received an offer letter) and discover that the salary being paid isn't what you were told by phone; in the US, there's not much recourse in such a situation besides quitting.

You could tell company A that you're not in a position to make a commitment without a written offer letter. But I don't know your culture, so I cannot assume that doing so would not backfire. If the company was okay with working toward producing a written offer letter, it might buy you a little time.

  • This is the right answer. If you haven't gotten an offer letter here in the US at least, I would say you haven't gotten the job yet, so press on with other interviews until you do. Once you have an offer letter, then you can negotiate dates. – Mister Positive Jul 14 '17 at 14:07
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I would highly recommend against backing out after you've accepted a job offer simply because you kept searching and found something better, as that's very much frowned upon and is a good way to burn bridges.

Generally you should not do more than ask for an extra week or two to consider the offer, but only before accepting it.

If you haven't formally accepted yet (by signing a contract), you can consider approaching the second company, telling them you have another offer (that you haven't accepted), and see if they can speed up the interview process (simply emphasise your enthusiasm to work there and that you plan on accepting the other offer on a certain date, and let them decide if and by how much they can speed up their interview process).

While I'm not sure how things work in the Philippines, not being given a contract would make me suspicious. I would start by firmly but politely requesting they send through a contract so you're on the same page regarding the terms of your employment, because the alternative seems like a good way to, at worst, be taken advantage of and, at best, have there be misunderstandings about what's expected of you.

That said, it's entirely reasonable to ask something like:

Would it be possible for me to start a week later to give me some more time to move and settle in?

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