IR Search Anton van Rossum

Anton van Rossum 

11 January

C.C.H. asks:

I’m a software engineer with over eight years of experience in quantitative trading systems with leading high-tech companies in Taiwan. Looking to build a career in Europe, I came in contact with several potential employers in the Netherlands. I’ve already been interviewed by several companies in domains like wireless technologies and fintech.

Before starting the process, I did quite some internet research about salaries and the cost of living in the Netherlands. I discovered that there are quite some differences and especially the equity can be interesting. It was also nice to find out about the 30 percent rule, granting me a tax exemption of 30 percent of my income as a foreign engineer.

After several interviews, I received a job offer, which I accepted after some negotiation. It’s a great position with a very smart fintech company. But now, even though I’ve already found a job, the recruiters keep chasing me. To be honest, they do make me curious about the jobs, technologies and potential financial compensation.

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That’s why I’ve continued the procedures. I also like doing the associated tests to improve my technical interview skills. However, after I told the interested companies about my offer, my interviews got canceled.

I still want to work for the company I signed with, and my provisional residence permit for the Netherlands (MVV) is in that company’s name. But I also would like to know whether it’s possible to switch even after accepting an offer.

The headhunter answers:

For sure, you can reject an offer after accepting it. Irrespective of the company you choose, do note that you need a visa to work in the Netherlands. An MVV isn’t enough. The good news is that the company name on your MVV is irrelevant to the visa procedure.

Depending on the situation, there can be consequences to rejecting an offer. A labor agreement usually has a probation period during which you can end the contract without explanation. In certain cases, however, you can be liable for costs. In the pre-contractual situation, you’re obligated to act ‘in good faith’ and if the company already started a visa procedure and paid for travel and hotel costs, they might not let you come away with it so easily. I expect this to be of minor importance in your case, though.

When you tell a company you’ve accepted an offer, conclusions can be drawn about your trustworthiness, ethics and integrity. If you can break your word so easily, you could do it to them as well. They might think you’re only in it for the money. They could even blacklist you, which really wouldn’t be beneficial to your career. So if you only want to improve your technical interview skills, don’t tell them.

However, you could also do some online coding challenges instead, for example on Hackerrank, Testgorilla or any other assessment site. Just google “assessment software” and a wide range of sites pop up. Most of them offer paid services to companies and are free for individuals who want to prepare for a technical screening or improve their coding skills. Many sites offer challenges in almost any programming language, from Java, Python and C++ to Ruby. Just register and let the fun begin!

In my opinion, this is much better than wasting the valuable time of those companies interested in hiring you.