how to respond to a volatile rejected job applicant

A reader writes:

I have a question regarding applicants who, after being interviewed and rejected more than once, apply over and over again.

I have one applicant who has been interviewed twice, rejected twice, and keeps sending new applications. The first time she was interviewed was two years ago by our previous recruitment coordinator, and a second time by me a few months ago. This applicant seems emotionally unstable, and the position I am hiring for is home care for vulnerable adults. When I rejected this applicant a few months ago, I sent her the standard form rejection letter email. Afterwards she left me multiple voicemails asking why I rejected her. In some of the voicemails she was shouting, and in some she was crying.

I do not want to interview or speak to this person again, but I want to let her know that we will not be considering her application. Normally I send out a form letter, but I feel that’s a bit cold in this case. How can I politely let this applicant know we will not be interviewing her again?

Well, let’s talk first about how to handle applicants who keep applying when you know they’re not the right match, and then we’ll get to this one in particular.

In general, if you know for sure that someone who’s applying continually is never going to be the right candidate, I think it’s a kindness to tell them. People put real time and effort into cover letters and resumes (or at least some of them do), and it can be considerate to nicely steer them in a different direction.

For example, you can send an email that says something like this: “We really appreciate your interest in our work, and the time you spent talking with us a few months ago. I want to be forthright with you that while you clearly have a number of strengths, the match just isn’t right for the work that we do. We’re looking for a very specific combination of skills and experience, and as a result we end up turning down a lot of great people. But I wish you all the best in whatever comes next for you.”

However … when someone has reacted poorly to rejection in the past, that changes the equation a bit. Generally in that case, just continuing to send your standard form rejection makes more sense, because they’ve shown you that they’re too volatile for you to engage with in any real way. On the other hand, sometimes sending someone a particularly kind, personalized email can defuse them. So I’d go with your gut on that one — but know that it’s okay to handle it either way; there’s certainly no obligation to continue to engage with someone who has left you harassing voicemails.

{ 145 comments… read them below }

  1. Katie the Fed*

    In general, I won’t give feedback to someone who asks “why didn’t I get the job” – the tone is already defensive and I doubt there will be much value, because they’re probably trying to argue about the decision.

    I WILL give feedback to a request like “I was hoping you might have some insight from the process that might help me be more competitive for future openings.”

    In this case – no way would I give her a reason. You might get away with telling her that you’ll keep her resume on file for potential openings and she doesn’t need to keep applying.

    1. Joseph*

      I disagree with you about saying “you’ll keep her resume on file”. In most circumstances, it’d be fine, but this applicant has clearly demonstrated that she won’t get the message. So saying you’ll “keep the resume on file” will almost certainly be (mis)interpreted as leaving the door open for her to continue to call and ask about potential openings.

      This is one of those situations where OP needs to either completely not engage or provide a crystal clear “never ever ever”. Anything in between will be a disaster.

      1. neverjaunty*

        Though as Allison pointed out downthread, a single ‘this is final, we will not hire you ever’ letter is probably a good idea, to make it explicit that their decision is final. She probably won’t accept it but it won’t be for a lack of clarity.

    2. Sami*

      I’m not sure about telling her that her resume will be kept on file is wise. (No matter if it or isn’t – for documentation purposes or whatever)
      That would likely serve to keep her hopes up and keep contacting the OP.

    3. Clarabell*

      How do you know she doesn’t have some medical condition? Maybe this is just the last straw for a very depressed and trouble person receiving no guidance or encouragement on any level after a stressful and fruitless job search. It doesn’t justify her actions, of course, but maybe she could use a little kindness. Maybe she diffuse with a more personal rejection.

      1. Katie the Fed*

        Did you mean to reply to me? I don’t really understand how it relates to my comment.

        In any case, no matter what medical condition she may or may not have, I’m under no obligation to explain to anyone why we went with a different candidate, and my response is perfectly kind. If I think someone is going to argue or be defensive about the decision, I’m not wasting my time providing feedback.

        1. Annonymouse*

          And you really shouldn’t waste time like that.

          As a hiring manager your job is to find the best candidate for your team/job ON TOP of your own regular job.

          Spending time worrying and personalizing every rejection would become a full time job itself. Then the arguments or giving thoughtful feedback on top of that? Nope.

          That is nowhere near the best use of your time or talents.

      2. Temperance*

        I occasionally deal with people that I suspect have mental health issues or dementia in my job. I’m more gentle with the folks I suspect have dementia (confused seniors who call me), but I’m always direct.

      3. Megs*

        I really don’t think that any employer should tie themselves in knots wondering if they owe something to a verbally abusive applicant who won’t take no for an answer. Yes, it’s good to be kind and empathetic generally, but it’s also not a hiring manager’s job to look after the mental health of the people applying to work for them. I think there’s a lot of information out there about why personal rejections are impractical, pointless (because people will read into anything), and even counterproductive. And if a near stranger shouts and cries at me, I might shake my head sadly and hope that they’re working on whatever crud is going on in their life, but I’m not going to want to insert myself in that crud any more than necessary.

      4. anon who needs a name*

        We can’t really armchair diagnose without knowing everything involved. It’s very easy to jump to a “what if” scenario, but I don’t think it’s fair to tell a hiring manager to consider what outside factors might be making a candidate act that way. They’re not obligated to provide a personal rejection letter and it’s not like a form letter is that unusual during the job search.

        1. Pompous Ding-Dong*

          You might consider looking over your form email to see if it’s the type of thing that might set someone off – while most people would just think you’re a jerk and lose respect for your company, some people might react. I’m job hunting right now and in the last week I received two form rejection emails – but they varied, a lot. One made me livid, while the second one made me respect the company a great deal.

          The first one was your typical, cold rejection – at first. But then the second half of the email was basically an advertisement for their blog and Twitter feed. To top it off, it was sent from a no-reply address, so asking for feedback is impossible (unless I want to go fully mental and stalk someone on LinkedIn, which I suspect wouldn’t turn out so well). I didn’t call the company screaming, but I sure felt like it. Putting yourself out there as an applicant is an act of vulnerability that deserves respect, even if you don’t want to hire the person. This company may as well have chewed up my cover letter and spat it out at my feet, and then said, “Oh by the way, check out my Instagram.” Images of a schoolyard bully come to mind.

          Company number two did a much better job. When I received the second message I was disappointed, of course, but even in the throes of rejection I was touched by the message. It was signed by an actual person who works at the company, for starters. They didn’t try to push their social media accounts on me or give me any of that “resume on file” crap. The email simply stated that they were not moving forward with my candidacy, and while they were unable to offer feedback on every application, if I would like someone to review my materials in particular to please reach out and they would be happy to do so. Simple, honest, and to the point. My opinion of this company has actually risen because of this correspondence.

          My point is that all rejection letters are probably going to lead to disappointment on the recipient’s end, but you can ease the sting by not being a pompous ding-dong. Re-read yours carefully and think about how you’d feel in the applicant’s shoes.

      5. fposte*

        How does she know that about any of the candidates, though? This seems like the fallacy that the person who’s most out of line is the most suffering, but lots of people suffer terribly without behaving like this. Why is the person who behaves alarmingly most entitled to special generosity when there are lots of other people being rejected who may be suffering as well?

        1. Lissa*

          I am going to remember this line of reasoning for future endeavors…wow, I’ve never heard it put quite that way before, but it’s really true. Also the phrasing “how do you know she doesn’t…” Nobody said they knew she doesn’t, but I don’t think the advice really changes. It’s not about punishing her or calling her bad, but dealing with it in a way that will be most effective for all, and, I don’t think that changes…

        2. Techne*


          I have mood problems and anxiety around job searching to the point where sometimes I burst into tears thinking about job rejections from months ago. But I’ve never called an employer to demand they tell me why they didn’t hire me. After receiving a rejection I cry for a little while, send an upbeat email thanking them for the interview and congratulating the successful candidate, then cry some more.

          I mean, that said, impulse control problems is definitely a thing. But it did kind of blow my mind in a good way to hear you phrase it like this.

      6. neverjaunty*

        It’s not the job of OP or her company to imagine every possible mental health diagnosis for a persistent applicant and then bend over backwards to accommodate them. All that this applicant is owed is civility.

        1. Turtle Candle*

          YES, thank you. Any behavior up to and including punching your interviewer square in the nose mid-interview could conceivably be explained by some kind of undisclosed mental health diagnosis. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make assessments of people based on their behaviors.

      7. Elizabeth West*

        Or perhaps she’s just an entitled asshole. Could be either way. However, OP doesn’t owe her anything beyond a standard rejection. It’s on her to move on now.

        I haven’t read all the way down, but I think there is a chapter in The Gift of Fear dealing with similar situations. If I remember correctly, once you’ve sent the initial communication, it should be radio silence afterward.

    4. Benjamin Adams*

      Katie-you sound like a Fed. Just remember: it’s nice to be smart…but smart to be nice.

      1. Annonymouse*

        It sounds like she’s already sent a polite form rejection and they’ve emailed back.

        If someone says “why didn’t I get the job” after it’s probably been stated (not the right skills or experience match/focus on stronger candidates)

        Then you know they are gearing up to persuade/disagree with you to reconsider them.

        Someone asking how do be stronger comes across as accepting it and wanting to improve.

        It’s a kindness to not fight someone who has already lost the fight before it started.

  2. Kyrielle*

    “The first time she was interviewed was two years ago by our previous recruitment coordinator, and a second time by me a few months ago.”

    The other thing you might do, OP – and I don’t know about risks/legal exposure/policy here – is you might give this applicant a file so that the next person into this role doesn’t interview her again. If she’s this volatile, it’s possible that another interview (down the road, with someone else) could further escalate it.

    1. Megs*

      This might not be a bad idea. Being called for an interview sends a pretty clear message of “you are qualified and we think you could be a good match”, and there are many reasons why one might not get a job after an interview other than “the interview made it clear you’re not going to work out.” I’ve interviewed multiple times for the same employer before, and my assumption is that they wouldn’t be wasting their time or mine if there wasn’t a shot.

      1. OP*

        I agree with this. As current recruitment coordinator for the office I do try to be specific with the reason why I reject a candidate. Sometimes I am afraid to put certain comments in there. For example, a recent candidate I passed on because during the interview she constantly picked at her scabs, shoved her hand into her shirt to itch between her breasts, and joked about cursing at her children for breaking the law and getting into trouble.

        Yup. All of that was one person. I still am trying to get the image out of my head of her itching her breasts.

        So really, how much information is appropriate to put into history notes?

        1. EmmaUK*

          Couldn’t you just write that the person acted inappropriately during the interview?

          1. littlemoose*

            Since the OP mentioned hiring for health care, this is probably a succinct and accurate way to put it to defer future interviews of this person.

        2. Bethlam*

          Ick. I had a candidate who came in for an interview and, while waiting for the hiring manager, sniffled, wiped his nose on his shirt, sneezed without covering his mouth, and proceeded to walk around and touch a number of things in my area. On top of that, another employee was walking a vendor out and he overheard them talking about what he did, and the applicant reached ONTO MY DESK and picked up the resume I had copied for the hiring manager and gave it to the vendor who was on his way out.

          He immediately went on the “never, ever, ever” list, but kept applying and calling to see when he would get another interview. He either got the message or got another job, because I haven’t heard from him in over a year. (Counting my blessings.)

        3. gecko*

          Any notes you leave can potentially be read by outside people in certain situations. If you are ever audited for EEOC compliance or sued by a rejected applicant for example. Keep notes brief, professional and as dispassionate as possible. I would recommend something along the lines of “lack of professional demeanor not a fit for our culture.” For really bad behavior, you can add “do not pursue.”

          1. snuck*


            You can add “Has left six messages on the answering service to follow up in twenty four hours, including shouting and crying messages” if that is factual. No one is going to argue with that later.

            And I’d politely say something to her, because you are going to keep advertising I assume for similar positions… “Right now, and for the foreseeable future, we’re looking for people with more professional norms and behaviours. We appreciate you are keen to hear from us, but the frequency and timbre of your contacts have ruled you out of our process for a lengthy period of time. I know you are keen to work in this industry, can I recommend that you spend some time with Mentoring Program Y and Professional Skills Development PQR to further help you with your job search with other organisations.” But you possibly will still get crying angry follow up calls. Which you can just say back to “This is the reason why we can’t put you in front of our vulnerable clients right now, please understand that we want the best for you that is why we made the recommendations that we did. At this point in time I am uncertain when we might consider an application again from you but it will be a lengthy period of time. Please leave us alone from here out.”

        4. Omne*

          Actually our HR prefers that we be specific on observations as long as they’re not protected such as pregnant, ethnicity etc.. It would be easily defensible to put down exactly what you just wrote. We had someone come in for an interview for an entry level accounting position and she was wearing a bare midriff t-shirt, shorts(not dress shorts) and rubber flip-flops and that’s what went into the interview notes. Some people do odd things.

          1. TootsNYC*

            In fact, it’s probably more defensible AND more helpful to the person who will read those notes in a couple of years.

            Facts are always a defense against libel or defamation. So saying: “she scratched here and picked at there during the interview itself” is really more helpful than euphemisms like “displayed unhygenic behaviors.”

    2. Laura*

      100% this! I think most companies with structured hiring systems have some way to do this. The applicant is obviously wrong for the job, so there needs to be permanent documentation to indicate why, and how to respond to her.

    3. Yet another Allison*

      Writing as someone who used to do hiring for a homecare agency, I kept a “Do Not Hire” list. I can’t speak to the legality of it, but it felt necessary. Homecare aides are (criminally) underpaid and there is a lot of turnover in the industry. Caregivers often work part-time for multiple agencies, and there’s a lot of hiring, deactivating, disappearing (getting more or better hours with another agency so they stopped accepting shifts from us was most common), and re-hiring going on. There was also a lot of turnover in the admin staff where I worked, which I think is also the norm. I maintained that list so that the agency wouldn’t end up re-hiring someone who’d been fired or rejected for cause down the line when I was gone. To make the list as fair and balanced as possible, I always noted the person’s name, date added to the list, reason, and by whom they were added.

      1. Leatherwings*

        I worked for HR in a call center for a bit and did the same thing – people would no call no show and then get re-hired a year later and do the same thing. If people didn’t give a weeks notice, they were put on a Do Not Hire list, barring exceptions for true emergencies and the like (this was something that was explained at training as well).

        We would also do this for candidates who applied over and over again but clearly couldn’t do the job as well.

      2. INTP*

        This is very common and legal – the ATS I’m familiar with (SendOuts, though I’m sure others have the same) even has an option to set a person’s status in the system to “Do Not Hire” so that it will appear if they ever apply again. It’s necessary for staffing agencies or large companies with many recruiters handling hiring for different positions.

    4. Bee Eye LL*

      Also as part of the rejection letter it may worth mentioning that you’ll keep their application on file for X number of months and that they will not need to re-apply during that time. It may keep them off your back for a little while.

  3. Noah*

    No. This person is a stalker. The best way to deal with a stalker is to ignore them. I would advise against responding to her most recent inquiry.

    1. Leatherwings*

      Well. Leaving hysterical voicemails over and over again is certainly not good and definitely makes this person volatile, it doesn’t amount to stalking in and of itself. If they start turning up at the building it may be a different story, but there’s no reason to jump to such an extreme conclusion.

      1. Noah*

        Maybe not a violation of laws that prohibit stalking, but the kind of behavior that typically doesn’t go away by telling the person to go away.

    2. Shannon*

      I agree. I’m getting a total “Gift of Fear” vibe from this letter. I would not interact with this person in a meaningful way ever again, because that just gives them the perception that your relationship is personal.

    3. TychaBrahe*

      Actually, the first thing you have to do with a stalker is tell them in no uncertain terms that you are not interested in them, whether it’s hiring them or dating them or whatever. Because if you are forced to go to the police or to a lawyer to draft a C&D, the first thing you will be asked is whether or not you clearly told the person “No.” And it needs to be documented, so a letter or an email or a text message.

      Then you ignore them until you feel it requires police or legal action.

  4. Anna*

    I would also tread pretty carefully with any response you do give her. Someone who leaves crying voicemails can also write accusatory messages on Glassdoor or your company Facebook (we had one applicant who did this, ughhhh.) Personally, with someone like this, I think it’s rarely worth the worry and headache to engage.

    1. Mickey Q*

      Agreed. Do not engage. Don’t send a final email. Don’t do anything other than your standard rejection procedure for any candidate. Ignore any further contact. If it escalates into threats call the police and let them handle it.

  5. GigglyPuff*

    After reading this and the links Alison included, I really hope there might be a ask for “worst rejection responses” post from Alison soon.

      1. Blurgle*

        I still have nightmares about the guy who reacted to rejection by nailing dead small animals to the door and placing wild screeds on the windshields of cars in the parking lot next to the building. (The wrong parking lot, at that.)

        1. EmKay*


          I don’t have words for how horrified I am right now.

  6. Allison*

    I would vote for sending her one final e-mail informing her that while she’s clearly interested in the work you do, you have decided she is not a fit for the organization and will not be moving forward on any of her applications. And then that’s it, don’t respond to any more of her applications. Document her responses (if any) in case things get so bad that the police would need to be notified. Consider giving her photo (something off Facebook or LinkedIn) to the front desk with explicit instructions on what to do if she shows up, notify building security if applicable – not because you’re assuming she will show up, but as a precaution in case she does.

    1. The Cosmic Avenger*

      Great advice on how to deal with someone who doesn’t understand boundaries or norms of behavior in general. Plenty of times you may take some of these measure as a precaution and not hear from the person any further, but the one time they turn out to be dangerous, you’ll be very, very glad that you took those precautions.

  7. animaniactoo*

    Is it possible to work on something that frames “This job takes a particular type of temperament which involves patience and being able to deal with difficult situations calmly and practically. Based on your response to not being hired after your interview for our last opening, we* do not feel that you would be a good match for this type of position, and we will not consider you for future openings. Thank you for your interest and best of luck in your search.”?

    It does have a possibility of escalating the situation, but I think this may be volatile enough that *anything* you do (including not answering) will escalate it. Which would be really unfortunate.

    * I would use “we” so that it comes across as a company thing, not a you personally thing.

    1. Adonday Veeah*

      As an HR person, I will tell you that a response such as this will (in my experience) lengthen the communication with this person rather than end it, and not in a good way.

      1. TootsNYC*

        (total aside–I love your user name. I wonder how many other people get it. I went home and dug the books out to reread.)

      2. animaniactoo*

        I agree, I like Allison’s route (directly above me) and would go with that one. Less opening for debate.

  8. Michelle*

    We had a woman apply to work in the Cafe our museum. She was super aggressive with calling to check on her application, when was she going to get a call, etc. Finally I convinced the manger to send her the form rejection letter so hopefully she would stop calling 3 times a day. Once she got the letter, she called and before I could complete “Good morning” she went off on a 10 minute tirade, which included gems like “you must hire only unqualified candidates”, ” I have a degree in XXX, I can’t believe I’m not qualified to work in the Cafe. It’s like McDonald’s; who can’t get hired by McDonald’s” and on and on. When she paused for a breath, I politely suggested she apply at McDonald’s if she was in such desperate need of a job that she thought calling to yell at the person who had no say in the hiring decisions of the museum was such a good idea and hung up on her. My manager supported my decision.

    1. Elizabeth West*


      We had one person come into Exjob over and over and over. They never called him, but he kept applying. In person, which was massively awkward. I could only take his application–I wasn’t authorized to tell him anything. He was always polite, so I just took it and said I would pass it to HR. I suspect he was applying for unemployment purposes, because it eventually stopped, so I don’t know if he got a job or just gave up.

      I always hated that we took paper applications. I did not want to deal with it and people would always ask questions I couldn’t answer. Or do things like answer their cell and have loud conversations in my area, or STICK THEIR GUM UNDER THE SEAT. Yes, someone actually did that. One guy came in dressed very nicely and was super polite, and I put a sticky note on his app to that effect because I was so impressed.

  9. sunny-dee*

    Side note, I don’t know the size of your organization or the culture for your industry, but two applications in two years doesn’t really strike me as applying “over and over again.” If it’s a place that she wants to work — a move up, a good work environment, good industry rep, more money — applying once a year (or even less) isn’t that big a deal.

    Now, this candidate sounds horrible. But as a general pattern, that wouldn’t raise any flags with me.

    1. Spooky*

      I have to say, I agree. Plus, look at it from her POV – she’s probably thinking, “wow, they liked me enough to interview me twice! They must be interested in me, but just haven’t found the right position yet.” I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t there been similar conversations on this very site? I think you need to make it clearer that this is Not Going to Work Out long-term, or I think you risk more of these.

      1. Megs*

        I had initially been thinking to post something along these lines as well, but it seems clear to me that the real issue the OP has here is not the multiple applications in isolation, but the multiple shouting and crying voicemails following the last rejection. I guess that speaks to a part of the timeline that isn’t clear to me: is this the firsttime the OP is rejecting this person since the voicemail incident, or did she only react that poorly following her last interview and since then has been rejected from multiple jobs without interviews? If the second is the case, I’d think that reaching out again isn’t a good idea and to just try and make a record so no one else interviews her in the future. If it’s the first, then I’d understand being more concerned.

    2. LisaLee*

      I read it as the candidate had gotten to the interview stage twice, but had applied for more positions than that.

    3. BuildMeUp*

      It sounds like she’s applied for a number of positions, but only been interviewed for 2. LW says she “keeps sending new applications.”

    4. themmases*

      The OP didn’t say that this person applied twice; they said that she had been interviewed twice: “has been interviewed twice, rejected twice, and keeps sending new applications.”

      She’s sending in a lot of other applications that don’t even lead to an interview.

      1. TootsNYC*

        That’s a very definite possibility even if our OP wasn’t really specific in her letter; I’ll totally accept that. I’ll believe her assessment, even if she didn’t include every detail.

        However, this woman did get interviewed twice–I don’t think it’s unreasonable for her to think that this was an indicator that she was doing the right thing by applying, and that she was at least a reasonable candidate, and that she could keep trying until the odds broke her way (competition weaker, her credentials stronger, whatever).

        By now, of course, she’s shown herself to be someone our OP doesn’t want to ever interview again, and I agree w/ the OP’s assessment to find a way to reject this woman firmly and for the long term.

        1. snuck*

          This. All of it.

          The applicant has gotten close a couple of times, and thus is thinking she continues to be close. A form rejection doesn’t tell her anything at all… I know a polite phone conversation explaining that you are seeking a more calm and unflappable personality is likely to flame the situation, but it could well be short term pain for long term gain.

    5. Sidenote*

      Interviewed and rejected twice… OP doesn’t mention specifically how many applications, but implies more since then (and possible others before/between the interviews).

    6. Xina*

      I thought that too. My thoughts on “too frequent” would be every month or anything less than that, and that’s only if it’s not the same position.

    7. Pwyll*

      I read this as she was -interviewed- and rejected twice, and that she’s assumedly applied more than twice.

  10. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    1) Ah, this is where the parental advice = “Keep pestering them, they’ll hire you eventually” comes out – yet, we all know that it isn’t the case.

    2) The “resume on file” – if someone had what seemed to be a good interview – and the “resume is on file” and there wasn’t a formal rejection – you can expect rejected candidates to keep applying (unless you sternly , categorically say “no, never”).

    3) Exception to the rule of re-applying – I worked in a place once – where a guy applied for a job with manager “A” and was rejected. A few months later manager “B” in another group interviewed him, thought he was a good fit and hired him. B liked him. A memo went around saying that “once a person is rejected, he’s not to be interviewed ever, ever, ever, never, by golly, not ever” — and this is a PIG-HEADED policy. If a guy or gal is not good – that’s one thing. Not a good fit for a particular position but MIGHT be for others – well, that’s different, I think.

    In IS/IT people have different skill sets – and various positions have different skill sets. You don’t blackball someone from your company solely based on one interview.

    1. TootsNYC*

      I think this is one of the reasons that the internal records for why someone is rejected need to be very clear, and very factual. Because if he was rude to the receptionist or racist in the interview w/ Manager A, maybe Manager B would have had a different reaction.

      Or, if Manager A thought he was too flip, or didn’t have the right skills, Manager B could argue that the candidate’s style would fit in Department B, or the skills were different, etc.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      Point #3–absolutely. If my company had this as an arbitrary policy, I wouldn’t be here–because I applied for two different positions and had two interviews, and they hired me for the second one. I think your last point is true across the board. Someone who may not be a fit for Job 1 might be perfect for Job 2.

  11. TootsNYC*

    “the match just isn’t right for the work that we do. ”

    I might be even more specific, and say, “isn’t right for our company.” And maybe even add, “I would hate to see your waste your energy applying with us; I wish you the best in finding employment with a different company.”

    Because they might come back to apply for a receptionist job or something, and you just don’t want them around ever, in any capacity.

  12. Milton Waddams*

    From my experience, at least, most people who do that work do it out of financial need rather than public service; if they are at all aware of the job, they know it isn’t just listening to kindly old ladies tell stories about their lives and helping them reach the top shelf in the cupboard.

    I would hazard a guess then that the emotional intensity is probably related to a nearing eviction or something similar.

    Keep in mind that there may be a difference in social class going on here; while people like to poke fun at the movie depictions of the WASPy lady who is horrified by the crudeness of their Italian handyman, less extreme versions of this interaction happen all the time. Being emotionally expressive may actually be a benefit when working with vulnerable adults, provided that there is no chance of physical violence — many clients in that position can feel isolated by the “clinical” nature of everyone surrounding them.

    If you genuinely mean “emotionally unstable” in a clinical way, you’ve got to be more cautious — if the job could be performed with reasonable accommodation provided, a blanket statement that you would never hire them could be seen as discriminatory.

    The clearest way to talk about your concerns seems like it would be, “Working with out clients can sometimes be stressful; if you shout at me, how can I know you won’t shout at them? Without proof to the contrary it puts me in a tough spot hiring you to work with vulnerable adults.”

    An especially helpful thing to include would be an alternate goal. Would you place them back on the “maybe” list if they applied again after gaining experience working with vulnerable adults elsewhere, and with good references from their previous employer, for instance?

    1. Megs*

      I really don’t think that the OP needs to worry about discrimination issues or anything, even if this person is a member of a protected class, which we have no reason to know (aside from gender, I suppose). Calling a prospective employer and shouting and/or crying at them is a clear violation of professional norms and is a perfectly reasonable reason no to ever want to hire someone again.

      1. Milton Waddams*

        I’m not so sure — a lot of people write in to Ask A Manager with their crying issues, for instance. A blanket ban on hiring those who cry easily might make the hiring process faster, but is that really an essential component of all jobs?

        1. Turtle Candle*

          But there’s a huge, huge difference between getting teary during a difficult conversation, and calling up someone who told you “no” to yell and cry at them. I can and will work with someone in the former case, but the latter would be a hard dealbreaker.

          1. Megs*

            Absolutely, 100% agree. This particular situation has so many red flags aside from the crying, such as: (1) calling after being rejected, (2) calling more than once, and (3) shouting, and that’s not even getting to the initial reason the OP wasn’t interested in hiring her. I just think the OP needs to justify not wanting to interact with this individual again.

      2. Connie-Lynne*

        Yeah, there’s nothing about yelling and screaming on voicemail that indicates a protected class.

        Poor self-control isn’t a disability.

        1. Milton Waddams*

          I hate to be a pedant, but it is actually an entire category of disabilities, known as “Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders “. :-/

          1. Turtle Candle*

            Well… not quite. Poor impulse control is a trait that can be a symptom of mental illness. But it isn’t as simple as “poor impulse control is a mental illness.” Furthermore, mental illnesses can meet the standards of a legally protected disability, but it’s not the case that all of them in all circumstances do. And, even if they do, companies are only required to provide reasonable accommodation, not any accommodation possible.

            It’s a little frustrating that every time someone sends in a question about someone behaving in an inappropriate or disruptive manner, the armchair diagnoses come out, and the assumption seems to be “disruptive behavior is definitely a symptom of mental illness, and mental illness is definitely always a protected disability, and protected disabilities mean that you basically have to put up with yelling and table flipping,” or whatever. Could this woman have a mental illness that’s causing her behavior? Sure. But she could also be simply temperamental in a way that doesn’t rise to the level of illness, or perfectly capable of controlling herself and choosing not to because it feels good to let off steam, or simply entitled. It’s a huge leap to assume that there must be a discrimination issue in play here.

            1. Milton Waddams*

              I agree!

              As I mentioned, my first impulse is that her emotional intensity was due to financial pressures or possibly being from a class or culture that is more comfortable with being emotionally expressive.

              Sometimes it can be hard to tell the intent of a person’s letter, sadly, because a lot of phrases that started out with a clinical meaning are now used in a slang way. I suppose what I meant was, if on the off chance the OP happens to believe that this applicant has a genuine mental illness that will prevent them from doing the job, that they should proceed in a more cautious way. :-)

              1. Elizabeth West*

                While you may have a point about the origin of the candidate’s emotional overreaction, it doesn’t matter what her reasons are. The way she behaved is enough for the OP to not want to interact with her any more, and indeed, OP is under no obligation to do so.

          2. Argh!*

            There are two sides to ADA law: disabilities that are covered, and accommodations that are reasonable.

            When a mental illness is involved, there is no reasonable accommodation when the job duties require emotional self-control. Someone who really can’t control their emotions may qualify for SSI or be an okay fit as a night-time security guard for an empty warehouse, but not for this kind of job.

            1. Milton Waddams*

              I agree!

              Well, mostly. Many disorders respond well to medication, or slight adjustments in existing medication regimens. While my first impulse is that you are also correct on the duties of the job, it’s important to make sure that you’ve separated your personal feelings, i.e., “I would feel uncomfortable around someone being emotional because of my upbringing.” from the requirements of the job, “Would this cause problems with our clients, even with reasonable accommodation?”

              1. fposte*

                The point is that accepting the behaviors described by the OP wouldn’t be required as a reasonable accommodation in most workplaces, so it’s perfectly legitimate to screen based on them whether they indicate a disability or not. It doesn’t matter if medication *could* take care of them or you *could* coax old Mrs. Pushover into dealing with shouting and crying.

                I get what you’re saying about class and culture standards, but I don’t think they’re enough to jump the gap between what the OP would need somebody to be (given that she seems to have a decent whack of experience hiring for these positions) and what this woman was.

      3. Patrick*

        Just want to chime in here as a reminder that everyone is a member of several protected classes – it’s illegal to discriminate against women because it’s illegal to discriminate against any gender.

    2. OP*

      In this case, the applicant had been working with vulnerable adults in the past in a group home setting. She has jumped around in employment (her applications never say the same place of employment). She had some red flags in her interview about cares she provided for current clients, or rather cares she was supposed to be providing but was not. A lot of these red flags had to do with follow through on specific tasks and boundary issues. These red flags in addition to the volatile response she gave from being rejected do not make me feel comfortable with giving her another chance in the future.

      1. Milton Waddams*

        If she has worked for your competitors, I think the important thing to keep in mind is their turnover rate — as you are probably aware, not all businesses are stable workplaces. If everyone quits or is fired quickly, it is often a problem with the company or management, rather than with the rank-and-file employees.

        If it’s just her, then you have a fairly straightforward and helpful explanation right there; “Because of the personal nature of the work, we are looking for someone with long-term experience working with the same group of individuals — I see that while you have worked with vulnerable adults, it has only been on a short-term basis. if you apply again after X years working with the same group of individuals, we would be happy to consider you.”

        The cares about the client suggests that there is a training concern. You could frame that like, “Our clients often cannot communicate their own needs, so we need someone who has been solidly trained. Unfortunately we do not have the budget at this time to provide training ourselves; we would be happy to reconsider your application when you can provide formal proof of additional training, such as certification.”

        1. Kyrielle*

          But why? Why, given the concerns OP states, would they _ever_ consider her again? Why are they obligated, as a place with a job opening, to give a chance to someone whose responses in an interview, whose responses to a rejection, and whose job history ALL raise red flags?

          1. Milton Waddams*

            They have no obligation to consider her again, but she has no obligation to stop applying for future positions again, either — by providing a set of goals, one of two things happen:

            1) The most likely: she doesn’t meet the goals, and stops applying voluntarily.

            2) Less likely, but possible: she does meet them, and has addressed the initial doubts in an unexpected way; perhaps something has changed.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              I can’t imagine considering this person again in the future no matter what experience she gets down the road. Actions have consequences, and yelling at an employer means that she’s not going to be considered there again. That’s reasonable. They have lots of good applicants who haven’t yelled at them.

              1. Turtle Candle*

                Yeah, I mean, I’m imagining having a pool of applicants, and weighing their pros and cons, and… all the applicants that have “Did not call me, unsolicited, to yell at me” in the “pro” column are going to get bumped way up over the person who doesn’t have that qualification.

                It’s not that I’m saying that this person is unilaterally awful and will never change and should never be hired by anyone forever and ever amen. But it’s like if I’m having a bad day and snap an an acquaintance, and they don’t want to be my friend after that. It’s not that I’m never allowed to have any other friends ever again, or even that it’s not understandable that sometimes people have bad days and get snappish. But I’m certainly not entitled to a second chance from that specific person.

              2. Milton Waddams*

                Perhaps they do.

                I suppose my perspective is that many hiring practices today are colored by the recession; in large cities especially there is an assumption that there will always be another applicant coming down the pipeline who will be better than the applicants now, for instance.

                To my mind, this is an assumption worth examining. Otherwise when the tides change, it will become much more difficult to adapt — if one has never ever before thought to themselves, “These applicants are likely all there will be; how do I determine what is most important to the role?” then it can be easy to get stuck without the tools needed to succeed in a more competitive market.

                1. Kyrielle*

                  I would consider an unfilled role better than an applicant with self-control or anger issues so bad they yelled at the person they were trying to get to hire them. I mean, this is literally a relationship where the power resides with the person they were yelling at, and yelling is a clearly-unwelcome behavior in almost every environment. /How does someone like this treat someone they perceive as having little or no power/?

                2. Turtle Candle*

                  I think what I’m saying is that I would in almost all cases rather wait to fill the role with someone else than pick someone who makes unsolicited angry/demanding phone calls. And I say that as someone in a department that is understaffed–I really want us to hire! But not at the cost of having to work with someone who I’m afraid will lose it as soon as we have a disagreement.

                  I agree with you that sometimes it is necessary to look carefully at whether you can loosen your requirements and still get a good or decent fit for the job. I just don’t feel like it’s necessary to encourage people to loosen a requirement that’s basically “don’t call me up out of the blue to shout and cry.”

                3. Omne*

                  I’ve rarely seen a situation where it was better to hire a bad employee than to leave it vacant for a while longer for a better one.

                4. Milton Waddams*

                  Maybe for context, here’s how the problem was addressed in the 1960s, when there was a real struggle finding and keeping good salesmen —

                  Note their approach to layoffs during an employee’s market, which would seem unimaginable in today’s employer’s market. By focusing on the essential parts of each role, more choice was opened up even when there weren’t any new applicants available:

                  “A western company in the leasing business wanted us to evaluate a branch employing 42 men to determine why there had been a mediocre level of sales activity, why there had been some difficulties among the men, and whether some of the 42 should possibly be let go. After looking at the test of each person, we did an ‘X-ray’ of the branch; that is, following the table of organization, we evaluated the staff, department by department, especially in terms of who was working with, over, and under whom, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each department.

                  Virtually all the men on the staff were found to be worth keeping on, but a good third were suggested for job shifts to other departments. Thus, the person with greatest sales ability, together with a great deal of managerial ability (by no means the same thing), was found in the accounting department. But that job did not completely satisfy him. He has since become the new branch sales manager, a more appropriate use of his considerable abilities.

                  One of the older men, though rated an adequate B salesman, was evaluated as an A office manager. He had good empathy, but not the strongest ego drive, which was why he was a B rather than an A salesman. But on the managerial side, he had the ability to handle details, relatively rare for a salesperson; he was able to delegate authority and make decisions fairly rapidly and well. These qualities, plus his good empathy, gave him excellent potential as a manager, but not as sales manager, for his only moderate drive would have hurt him in the latter position. As office administrative manager, the position he was moved up into, he has performed solidly.

                  The former office administrative manager, a man well able to handle details reliably and responsibly, but with little empathy (and thus unable to deal understandingly with his office staff), was moved laterally into the accounting department, an area in which he had had some previous experience, and where he could carefully deal with and manage details rather than people.”

                5. Calliope*

                  There are definitely industries where it makes sense to hire an applicant who lacks some skills or experience you’d ideally need in the role, and then train them. And there are applicants I’ve interviewed who we might hire in future, later in their careers, if they acquire specific skills and experience we can’t do without.

                  But someone who leaves phone messages shouting at you and crying? Training isn’t going to fix this. There is no way that I would ever hire someone who did that in response to a rejection from my company, no matter what they did in the rest of their careers.

                6. TootsNYC*

                  I would rather hire a vastly underqualified and undertrained person than someone who would yell at me.

                  I can provide training. I can provide experience. I can coach.
                  Plus, a great many jobs are basically just common sense.

                  You can’t train “yelling at someone whom you want to hire you” out of someone.

              3. TootsNYC*

                “They have lots of good applicants who haven’t yelled at them.”

                And even if they don’t, being shorthanded would probably be much easier to deal with than having this person as an employee.

        2. Sarahnova*

          I’m kind of really not comfortable with the way you seem to be trying to tell our OP her business and how she needs to look at this differently.

    3. Engineer Girl*

      As a counterpoint – Emotional disregulation can also be a cause of financial issues. The person can’t hold a job because of the drama they create. Or the person goes on a spending spree to self-soothe. These may not be bad enough for a diagnosis but can still affect the persons life.
      That said, it isn’t on the potential employer to fix. In fact, the employer can’t fix it. The majority of the fix is on the employee.
      And it isn’t fair to the clients or the coworkers to put up with uncontrolled behavior either. It is wrong to subject others with potential harm just because you want to help others. If they agree to it, then yes. But forcing it on others? No, no, no.

      1. TootsNYC*

        “emotional disregulation”–there’s the term for that! I’ve talked about it before but didn’t have a term as useful as that.

    4. TootsNYC*

      Being emotionally expressive may actually be a benefit when working with vulnerable adults, provided that there is no chance of physical violence — many clients in that position can feel isolated by the “clinical” nature of everyone surrounding them.

      Well, yelling is verbal violence, so I don’t think this particular candidate is appropriate.

      Clients in that position often are literally isolated, and having someone berate them could be incredibly upsetting and perhaps even dangerous, physically–even if it’s only words!

      1. Elizabeth West*

        Thank you–I was thinking that was a huge NO. You absolutely do not want someone who can’t control themselves working with vulnerable adults. Many of the clients may have their own issues with self-control or emotional instability, and the caregiver needs to remain calm.

  13. Artemesia*

    Being interviewed twice in a two year period suggests she IS a good fit but is just losing out to better candidates. I think most people would assume that this is a firm that would welcome their applications since they are interviewing her. If she is a ‘do not hire’ then she needs to be on a list that would prevent future interviews. I know lots of people who have been hired by organizations that interviewed them and then later hired them when other openings came up. Interviews are strong encouragement.

    1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

      I agree, Artemesia. A qualified guy or gal may be able to do the job but there’s someone better out there — and that person is hired and doesn’t work out — Or leaves – OR another position opens – OR a firm might be so impressed with a candidate that they carve out a position.

      1. TootsNYC*

        Or the job candidate grows a little in experience or skills, or presents better at the interview…

  14. Pwyll*

    Reminds me somewhat of a dilemma we went through in the past. For 8 years we received an unsolicited resume from the same person, roughly once per month. In the beginning, they were faxed to us. The first few times I would send back letters that we appreciated her interest but we not hiring at the time (true). Then we were hiring, but she was very clearly not qualified. I sent her the standard “other qualified applicants” letter. Then, she graduated to e-mail and started including a writing sample that read as a college essay but whose contents were 100% wrong, and with terrible grammar. (For example, “please see inside my writing sample essey about why hillary Clinton is the best Secretary of Treasury”). At some point I stopped sending “Thank you for your interest but we don’t believe you’re the right fit” letters, but each resume came in with a new Temp job on it, and the cover letters seemed to become more and more desperate (and were all very personalized, including quoting our recent press articles).

    I really, really wanted to bring her in for an interview if only to find out why she was so interested in our tiny little company in an industry she had zero experience in, or to at least give her some kind of partial win. But I knew we’d never hire her, and I just couldn’t bring myself to call and get her hopes up only to dash them. I spoke with my successor at the company recently, and she tells me that the applications still come in, albeit now only once per quarter, and no letter, e-mail or fax from us saying it’s a bad fit will convince her otherwise.

    1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*


      Back in the 90s when things were hopping , expanding, jumping, we would make a job posting somewhere, and then spend an afternoon reviewing resumes and cover letters from applicants.

      The most “interesting” ones (in a negative sense)

      a) A guy who was around 23 years old and had worked in no fewer than 18 places in four years. Now, we didn’t know if he was placed in those places by a contract firm — was he a 1099 employee on short term projects? He should have said so, if that was the case.

      b) A guy who wrote a cover letter – in a style that is irritating but seemingly popular among SOME young people – “I have heard all about your firm and read about it and it really sounds interesting as you have some products that do (whatever) and I know someone who has some of them and he says that they’re great anyway you can get back to me when you feel like it because I really want to come in and talk thanks”. Since the job required written communication skills – we couldn’t consider him.

      c) a lot of well-written “gumption” applications – specifying no specific skills, but a strong attitude. We just couldn’t take the time to reply beyond we “have your application and if there is interest on our part we’ll call you.”

      1. Pwyll*

        Oh, I’ve got plenty of bad application stories too. This wasn’t so much a bad applicant story as much as my feeling sad for the people who are really struggling in the economy.

        Your c) reminds me of one story though: the guy wrote a really terrific cover letter, so much so that, even though we weren’t hiring, I invited him in for an interview with our CEO (I made it clear that it was just informational). He was a no show the first time, but left a nice-sounding voicemail apologizing with some kind of medical excuse. The second time was an e-mail 2 minutes prior to start that he was trapped on the highway. The third he just didn’t show up. Then, weeks of phone calls and e-mails demanding a newly scheduled time to meet, even though I repeatedly told him we were not going to consider or meet with him due to his (lack of) professionalism. The final message from him was a letter sent Certified Mail (!) in which he informed us of his withdrawing his candidacy for (a non-existant) position, and that if there were any further contact from us, or by us to others involving him, he “reserved all rights.”

        We got a kick out of that one.

        1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

          Well, the nice thing is – if you’re in a larger company – you can list open ositions on your company’s website. One might need an admin assistant, or a tech writer, or office “person Friday”… and some of those applicants can be referred there…

        2. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

          I might also add – the person who sent the “writing sample” may be applying to five, ten, twenty other places, using the same “M.O.” as you saw.

          And yes, having been unemployed ONCE in my 43-year career, there are people struggling in this economy – so much so that some have given up. I can understand desperation, gimmickry, and those bombarding everyone for every situation (“gumption” applications) because there aren’t a lot of entry opportunities now — or anymore, for that matter.

    2. Amy McGirt*

      So you had one of those too? I’ve been working at my current employer (in HR) for 13 years. When I first started we would get an application from this same lady delivered to our security guard in person about once a month or so. These applications were almost always a mess, they literally looked like they had been run over with a car. She would stick post-it notes on the application written in red ink telling us when she was available to interview and other random information.

      Then we stopped giving out applications to anyone off the street, so she changed to mailing her resume or dropping them off with security. Again, these resumes would be crumpled and messy with random red ink handwritten post-it notes attached. She had no applicable experience to our industry, and we rarely hire anyone with just general admin skills. She actually had a decent-sounding administrative job with the state government. I have thought about interviewing her from time to time just to find out why she was so obsessed with working here that she would keep this up for well over a decade. I mean, we’re a good company, but far from the only game in town. I haven’t received any contact from her lately, so I wonder if she has finally given up or retired (based on her resume she had to be getting close to that age).

  15. knitchic79*

    This reminds me of the time a older than 40 female applied with us. She managed to put the hackles of all three interviewers up; super abrasive, impatient, and just plain rude. So because the interviewers didn’t want to end up fighting with her they told her she was rejected because all available openings had been filled. She walked in a couple of weeks later, demanding the corporate office number. Our now hiring sign was still up. Corporate forced us to hire her and since she belonged to two protected classes it took the better part of a year to get her out.
    Be crystal clear with any further communications OP, you don’t want to paint yourself into a corner.

    1. Pwyll*

      This is a fairly good example of why it’s not a good idea to lie about filling the position. Say they’re not a good fit, that you are moving forward with other candidates, that they’re lacking a credential that is necessary (so long as it is), etc. But don’t say the position is filled if it isn’t, or that you’re not hiring if you are.

      Your corporate team was silly in hiring her, though. The time and productivity lost was likely more than the potential lawsuit was worth.

    2. New Bee*

      Also, everyone belongs to multiple protected classes (because everyone has a race, gender, etc.), so their reasoning for hiring her didn’t hold water.

  16. Recruit-o-Rama*

    I have tons and tons and tons of compassion and empathy for people who are looking for a job. It’s hard and demoralizing sometimes. In my position as an internal corporate recruiter, I make it a priority to provide timely updates. However, I have professional boundaries. If she has been told that she is not moving forward more than once, it’s time to be clear and direct and tell her to stop contacting the company.

    Our normal form rejection letter that comes from our ATS is a much softer (although still clear) than the one below, but this is the message I would (and have) sent to candidates who will not stop calling/emailing.

    Dear applicant,

    Thank you for your interest in our organization. We are moving forward with other candidates and will not be bringing you onboard. We have provided you with this update in multiple occasions. You have asked for the reason why, but we are not able to provide individual feedback. Please stop contacting the company by phone or email. Thank you.


  17. Tessa*

    I recently read The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker (at Alison’s suggestion), he he gives some very good advice for dealing with situations like this. If you don’t want to continue engaging with someone, be absolutely clear and then stop contact. Responding to messages or continuing to communicate in any way means that you are continuing to engage and just prolonging the interaction.

    I vote for a letter like the one Recruit-o-Rama suggested, and then no contact ever again. Of course we are sympathetic for people who behave like this, but unless the original poster is prepared to actually give her a job (which would be irresponsible, given the nature of the work), it’s not kind to give false hope.

    1. Recruit-o-Rama*

      I agree that once the final email has been sent, no
      more communication should occur. I use a cell phone for work because I work remotely so I program problem candidates in so I can not pick up their calls and I do not respond to their emails. I do save the crazy emails and voicemails though, in case we need them in the future. This is surprisingly common in day to day hiring.

  18. Mel in HR*

    This was a well timed letter for me. I had been interviewing people for a position that ended up being cancelled. As per my usual, I reached out to everyone to let them know- whether I had interviewed them or not. Of course, the one’s I interviewed, I used a more personable letter to let them know I appreciated that they had taken the time to speak with me.
    One person in particular called while I was out of the office and left me a 15 minute voicemail that was nothing short of a mental break down. It started with them saying that they received the message saying the position was cancelled, but they just KNEW it really meant that I didn’t like them. They went on to ask why I didn’t like them and began bawling and rambling on about their life circumstances and how they really needed this job, then got angry because they didn’t get the job. By the end, my manager was in my office telling me to notify the FSO because they could hear how unstable this person was!
    Due to the volume of positions that I fill, I have received a rather decent amount of volatile responses to rejections over the past few years. Some seem to do better with a kind response, others harass and continue to apply to ANY job we post regardless of location and qualifications. At times it can be scary- almost moreso than terminations where the person reacts rather hostile. I half expect my tired to be slashed one day..

  19. Rod*

    Try being on the side of the fence. Not having sufficient money to buy clothing or food. The threat of your social security running out. Why wouldn’t someone have deteriorating mental health in such a situation?

  20. Jonathan T*

    This woman needs to have it clearly communicated to her that she is wasting her time and energy applying to a company that clearly doesn’t want her and has no intention of ever hiring her. This is time that could be better spent getting training, education, treatment and sharpening skills-learning new skills etc. and then applying at companies that may be more willing to give her a chance. I don’t get her fixation on this particular company, why does she want to work for this particular company so badly that she is pushing the boundaries and is dangerously close to having a restraining order taken out against her?

    1. Jonathan T*

      Another way to look at it is maybe this woman simply reached a breaking point after receiving multiple rejections for jobs she felt she’d be perfect for and snapped. It happens, there is a lot of frustration involved in repeatedly being told “no” and being passed over in favor of someone else. Many job seekers think of themselves as “hot free agents any company would be lucky to have.” Therefore being rejected can be very ego bruising to say the least. This is especially true when the applicant feels they are doing the company a “favor” by agreeing to even consider joining their team.

  21. Jonathan T*

    Not only being simply being rejected but rejected in such a way that the person rejecting you seems cold and robotic like, like they really couldn’t care less whether you land on your feet somewhere else or end up broke, penniless and dead in a gutter somewhere can really take a toll on a person especially when and if it’s a recurring theme. There is a major difference between being employed and having a steady paycheck coming in while looking for better jobs on the side, and being unemployed and needing a job, any job to keep the bills paid and a roof over your head. In this case, it’s like you are fighting for survival and losing when you get those rejection letters and phone calls.

    1. Jonathan T*

      Not only simply being rejected but rejected in such a way that the person rejecting you seems cold and robotic like, like they really couldn’t care less whether you land on your feet somewhere else or end up broke, penniless and dead in a gutter can really take a toll on a person especially when and if it’s a recurring theme. There is a major difference between being employed and having a steady paycheck coming in while looking for better jobs on the side, and being unemployed and needing a job, any job to keep the bills paid and a roof over your head. In this case, it’s like you are fighting for survival and losing when you get those rejection letters and phone calls.

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