Adventures in job hunting: they called the wrong candidate.

When I answer the phone, if it’s a number that I do not recognize, I won’t identify myself upon answering, I’ll simply say ‘Hello’. There’s a lot of reasons for this, but bottom line is if I don’t know them and I don’t know how they get my number, I’m certainly not telling them who I am.

At 7:00 o clock this morning my phone started ringing. Typically, I’ll look before answering, but sometimes I make questionable decisions first thing in the morning.

‘Good Morning this is Jessica calling from ‘X Company’, I was hoping now was a good time to have a quick chat and ask you some questions about your application.’ The woman said.

Oh, yeah. Since I applied for a position with ‘X Company’ last week, I just assumed they were calling candidates with resumes they liked and asking a few questions.

Questions she asked were simple. Things along the lines of ‘So why did you apply for this position?’ and ‘What is your salary expecations for this position?’ and ‘What do you like about X Company?’

They were easily answered and we were about five minutes into the conversation when she said ‘So Holly, can you tell me a little about your experience with Y Company?’

I was confused.


Y Company?


She’d never actually acknowledged my name. She’d never actually said who she was calling for, or looking for. She simply just said ‘Hi I’m Jessica’ an then started into it.

‘I think there’s a mistake here’, I said.

‘Oh?’ She questioned.

‘I’ve never worked for Y Company’, I said.

‘Oh, Holly, it’s listed on your resume as experience for the past four years’. She started sounding suspicious.

‘My name isn’t Holly.’ I said.

‘What?’ She asked

‘My name’s not Holly and I’ve never worked at Y Company’ I said.

‘What?’ She asked again. ‘Am I speaking to Holly [Insert Last Name Here]?’

‘No. My name is Vee [Insert last name here]’ I responded.

The woman seem to become frantic and scared at this point. She began questioning me as to why I never told her my name. She didn’t take too kindly to my reminding her that she phoned me and she never acknowledged who she was calling so I just presumed in phoning my phone number she was looking to speak with me.

She then said ‘It’s really unprofessional to not acknowledge yourself when you answer the phone’.

I apologized for not acknowledging my name when I answered the phone and then I politely said that as it was my phone number, I again presumed that she was just calling for me. As I applied for this position she was speaking of, I had no reason to think she wasn’t calling for me.

She then, reluctantly, apologized for the confusion. I could tell that she didn’t really want to though.

I suggested that she could use my answers for my own application and that she must have my application there, in her candidates pool and that I hoped the phone call could bring value towards my application.

She said ‘Thanks for your time, we’ll be in touch in a few days with respect to your application’.

When she hung up I had an inkling that I was never going to hear from this company again. Just her tone and the way she spoke, I have a feeling that, though she was the one who messed up, this was counting as a strike against me.

Sure enough, about 30 minutes later I got generic rejection email that said ‘Thank you for your application. X Company has moved on to the next round of the application process and your application is not being considered at this time. Please feel free to apply for future positions on our website ———————.com.’


Saw that one coming.

Onto the next, I guess.

120 thoughts on “Adventures in job hunting: they called the wrong candidate.

  1. The woman was at fault. What’s even more irritating was that she was trying to blame you for not mentioning your name upon answering the phone. Definitely is a red flag if they call you by a different name: goes to show that the company is careless with applications and not worth working for if they can’t even be precise with interviews. You dodged a bullet there!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. You and Holly had the same last name. You can understand the confusion, Vee Insertlastnamehere.
    Sounds like a well-oiled machine they have. The moment they start calling you the wrong name, start having fun with it. Tell them about Holly’s Simpsons cosplay, her insistence that it’s a red velvet — not chocolate — cake for her birthday, dammit!, and of course, ask their flexibility on Monday and Friday absenteeism.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, I have an extremely uncommon last name. Extremely, extremely uncommon last name. My grandparents kind of… made it up when they immigrated from Germany.

      My thought was that maybe Holly and I had similar phone numbers and she just accidentally dialled 59 instead of 95 or something like that.

      I was in full-fledged try to save this mode. But thinking back, it probably wasn’t worth it to start with. I don’t know that I’d ever be gutsy enough to do what you’ve listed, but I bet that would make me laugh if I actually had the guts to do it. haha

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve had to learn over the last few years that having fun in certain situations really lifts the spirit. My son hates when I’m in a certain mood and feel like talking to waiters, waitresses or cashiers.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I just take it in strides. If she’s going to be like that, I never really had a shot to start with. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. lol. Rejection? Nah. She’s just an idiot.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can see why she rejected your application after reacting to her mistake the way she did, but it was a mistake. To try and blame it on you is soooooooooo unprofessional. I’m sorry you have to go through this, Vee.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah. I mean… if you’re an HR Professional, shouldn’t you be professional enough to say ‘Hey, I messed up here I’m so sorry!’. Just take it in stride, I guess. Onto the next!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yeah, I agree. It’s a classic defensive move, and I get it, people don’t like appearing incompetent.

      But come on, this is the 90s! I thought we already had the “vulnerability” talk. Just admit you made a mistake and have a laugh. She should have treated it as on-the-job soft skills training 😆

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hoo-boy – That woman was in the wrong, even scammers know enough to ask “Is this so-and-so?” At what point in the conversation were you supposed to identify yourself? Oh yeah, when she addressed by another name!!! Kinda reminds me of Ernestine the phone operator “Is the person to whom I am speaking?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank You!
      I definitely have my moments, but I’m trying to turn it into learning experiences and not be too, too bitter. I’m a little bitter… just not too bitter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you thought about signing with a temp agency just to get some work I did that for a long time and several jobs turned out to be longer than originally planned for. Even got hired by one later on.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for the suggestion!

        I signed up with an Agency in Sept and they took $125 from me and then two weeks later told me the economy was struggling and there were no positions matching my skills required and they’d keep my resume on file for the next six months in case anything came up.

        Downsides to living in a small town? Think soo….


  5. If someone I don’t know is calling, I never say my name first. (People I know show up on caller ID because I have them programmed, so I assume they know it’s me.) Even if I know they’re calling, I let them ask for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? Who answers their personal phone and says “You’ve reached ——[Insert name here]”. You just assume that if people are phoning your personal number, they know it’s you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Such bullshit, unlucky way for a prospective job to go. Pretty sure that’s illegal in UK at least to reject an application for no reason like that. Not that you’d want to work there anyway, as others have said.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This pisses me off on your behalf. It’s infuriating how many employed people suck at their jobs while qualified applicants get pushed aside – presumably to keep the bar low so current employees don’t lose their luster of competence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m just telling myself that she’ll be in the job she has now, forever, whereas I will one day be her boss. (or the boss of someone just like her… because there’s lots of them out there)

      Liked by 2 people

    1. To be totally fair here, I only share the bad stories. When people are good I either get hopeful I’ve found a good opportunity so I roll with it, or the experience was just good throughout the process so I dont feel the need to vent about them on my blog. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It can’t be her. People with jobs never do anything wrong, right? People with jobs are perfect. lol I’m laughing about it this much later in the day.


  8. If these are reputable companies, how can they hire such incompetent employees? Trying my best to be respectful for all parties involved but as an outsider following your job hunt, I think it is fair to express my concern. I am seeing a pattern of people either being improperly trained or just not giving a shit about what they are doing. INFURIATING! You should not have to suffer due to someone else’s mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to be fair here – the ‘Adventures in Job Hunting’ series I share is very one sided. I only share the bad. Good does happen. I just… if good happens I find myself getting hopeful at the prospect of being hired so I don’t share because I don’t want to jinx it. And if I don’t get it then I’m just too disappoint in myself to share about the employment equivalent of the one that got away, ya know?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. It kind of baffles me that someone wouldn’t say ‘Hi is this Holly?’ or ‘Hi is this Vee?’ But then that’s also my bad I guess, for not catching it until five minutes into the call.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! We’re all human! You screw up? Admit to it! That’s what I wanted to say to her. But I was trying to salvage the call. Looking back, that was kind of a waste… lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. She is definitely someone who just doesn’t know how to own up to her own mistakes. HR People aren’t perfect, I know that. But, like… admit to your mistakes if you make them!!! Sorry. I just needed to say that. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh man, how uncomfortable and awkward. You did NOTHING wrong. Looking for a job is so vulnerable and scary (like dating). Don’t sweat about this one. It wasn’t meant to be. The right job is still out there! What type of job are you looking for?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My skills are around Marketing/Digital Marketing and PR/Communications. I’ve been looking for positions related to any of these criteria, as well as just applying for office assistant and receptionist jobs. I tried to get a retail job in the mean time and I’ve basically been laughed out of every grocery store, retail store and fast food restaurant in this town. So not that now, I guess. Still hoping, but not expecting.


      1. My undergraduate degree is in Communication Studies and I found getting a job in that field difficult. Why have you been laughed out of retail/low skill jobs? Is it because you are overqualified? I’m currently looking for a part-time job while I work on my Master’s. Hopefully that doesn’t happen to me! What town/state do you live in if you don’t mind me asking?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I live in a small town in Northern Canada. I’ve got nearly a decade of experience on my resume of Marketing Management so, when I initially started applying for retail I just gave them my resume as is and my friends were telling me I was probably being declined because they didn’t want to invest in an employee who was just going to get a new job and leave right away for her career.

        I tried changing my resume but by that point the town is so small it was a little too late to lie on my resume.


      3. I see. If you were in a large city, you’d be inundated with job offers! Don’t get discouraged. The right job is going to come your way. You’re intelligent, well spoken, and experienced. Are you able to pay your bills/are you okay in the meantime?

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I think it may be a blessing in disguise that you weren’t considered for that position because of her mistake. You wouldn’t want to work for someone like that. Best of luck to you with your job hunting. Don’t lose hope! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was pretty bad all around. It’s funny, they want to hire employees willing to admit to mistakes and be a part of a team, but their team doesn’t seem to be willing to do that. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  11. As a fellow job seeker this really cheered me up!! What a laugh you must of got out of this persons idiocy, you’re definitely better than that job if they can’t even get your name right 🙌🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wait…what? She was teaching you what unprofessional is? My my my that is rich coming from someone who rang the wrong person. Something she should really have gotten right ad it’s a basic part of her job

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pretty much. Some people just need to really… be willing to admit to and own up to their mistakes. We’re all human, we all make mistakes. It’s annoying AF when people don’t admit to them.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. SHE is the unprofessional one. YOU handled her error really well.
    If I was in the position to, I would have hired you long ago based on all your posts regarding your search! Small comfort, I know.
    But these stupid companies just don’t know what they’re missing!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow that sounds awful. She was SO unprofessional. She should have immediately apologized for the mix up and asked if you minded continuing answering questions as yourself. I never give people information when they call me because I assume they mean to call me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would’ve loved it and be totally fine if she apologized and just asked if we could continue and she could add the answers to my file. But no. She panicked, apparently.


  15. That’s incredibly unprofessional of her. It’s a bullet dodged if you ask me. If that’s their hiring behaviour then I would hate to see how they treat actual employees. Chin up my lovely friend.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t make me get on a plane!! Haha! I know what you mean though, I’ve been awake for an hour and been over and over so many different levels of anxiety already. Sending love ❤️


  16. Love it when people try to avoid taking responsibility for their mistake. Sounds like you dodged a bullet working for or with that woman. I hope you find a job you love!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh my days – this is terrible! Recruiters really irk me something terrible. I have spent my fair share of time looking for jobs with them over the years and I even did a few posts on my experiences as I was so annoyed by them. For me, they just never seemed to listen – they would constantly contact me about jobs in areas I did not live near to and for roles in completely different industries to what I was looking for! It is literally all a numbers game to them! x

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You don’t want to work for a company who doesn’t have their act together. She absolutely should have confirmed who she was talking to… that in my opinion was unprofessional of her and the position she is holding at that company.

    Sorry sounds like you dodged a bullet on this one.

    I once applied for a company and when they gave me their employee information packet – there were misspellings all through-out

    If you are a company, you want to put your best foot forward and be professional – if you can’t do that as a company – do you really want a job with a company like that.

    You are going to find the perfect job… trust me it will happen …

    You have the drive, you keep trying, you sound like a decent person… sounds like you would work very hard for a company who would give you a chance.

    You are going to find something that will fit you and you will be happy and enjoy.

    Takes time and is frustrating – but keep going – you got this. It isn’t easy!!!

    Also… screw that company and that woman… they aren’t worth your thoughts or worries.

    Hoping the best for you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha … I was out!! If it’s that bad and I hadn’t even started – yeah I didn’t have a good feeling- I was out!!

        Looking back at now I laugh lol – but at that moment I was disappointed.

        That was bad lol

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I can’t say that I have ever answered the phone with anything more than “Hello” and if she had not asked for me by name then I would be in the same exact situation. Not your fault at all. I have to agree with anyone who said she was the unprofessional one, not you. I am so sorry this happened to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh my goodness 😔 that woman over the phone was not professional at all. Usually whoever from a company that I interview with often asks me “Hello is (name of person) available to chat? This is (insert name) from (company).” Honestly, I’m surprised as to why the woman who spoke to you was hired at the company in the first place 😂


  21. Oh my god that’s so awkward! A bit ridiculous too, you never did anything wrong and she handled that mishap really poorly. She was definitely in the wrong, she should have confirmed who she was calling at the start of the phone call.


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