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I was selected to for a job, but haven't signed nor seen the contract yet. The "you've been accepted" message was written in conditional format, "we would like to hire you" instead of "we want to..."/"we have hired".

This job requires investing into some gear and I wonder if the employer can only hire the applicants who have purchased the said equipment. The contract is behind a form of "paywall" as well, an iOS-only chat platform.

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In legalese, is there legal a difference between “we would like to hire you” and “we want to hire you”?

No. Both are merely expressions of interest, and neither reflects by itself the formation of a contract. Also, neither expression is conditional (or written in "conditional format"). The only difference might be that "want" signals a stronger interest, but that commonplace distinction is irrelevant at law.

A statement of the sort "you've been accepted" is a statement of fact that might or might not reflect the formation of contract. To determine that matter, one would need to know more details of the contract. That being said, the aforementioned phrases are not a hypothetical or conditional way of saying "you've been accepted" or "we have hired [you]".

Apropos of the latter part of your post, in many jurisdictions the investment requirement (i.e., as a condition of employment or continuation of employment) might be in violation of labor laws if the investment is tantamount to a consideration for the benefit of the employer. For instance, see MCL 408.478(1).

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