Here's a conversation I had with a rejected job applicant today. He left me a voicemail inquiring about the status of his application, and I checked and saw that we had sent him an email two weeks ago to let him know that we would not be able to consider him for a position. Feeling bad for the guy, I broke my own "no rejections by phone" rule and called him back to tell him. Here's what happened:
Me: We sent you an email on July 22 to let you know that we wouldn't be able to further consider you. I'm sorry you didn't get it! Sometimes emails inadvertently end up in a spam folder, so you might check there.
Candidate: I don't have a spam folder.
Me: Well, I'm very sorry you didn't receive it. In any case, we'd certainly welcome an application from you in the future if we have other openings you're interested in.
Candidate: But I don't have a spam folder. So where is the email?
Me: I'm not sure. I'm looking at a copy of the email right now, and it went to (redacted) email address.
Candidate: That's my email address, but I don't have it.
Me: I'm not sure what happened. I have a copy of the email here, so I know it was sent on our side. In any case, I'm sorry we weren't able to move you to an interview.
Candidate: So you're not considering me for any positions?
Me: No, I'm sorry, we're not.
Candidate: Whatever. (Hangs up.)
Lovely. So I'm thinking, well, at least our screening process works and we rejected this guy right off the bat.
Two minutes later, my phone rings again. It's him.
Candidate: Is this because I listed (name redacted) as a reference?
Me: I'm not sure what you mean.
Candidate: I listed (name redacted) as a reference and then he told me that there's bad blood between him and your organization.
Me: No, it's nothing like that. We have a very competitive hiring process and generally have many well-qualified candidates to choose from. We only interview the top few who are the best matched with the position.
Candidate: So you're really not going to interview me?
Me: No, I'm sorry.
Candidate: (Hangs up on me again.)
Seriously, what is wrong with people?
See also: Job rejections and vitriol and Job rejections and vitriol, part 2