I recently went through an interview process and the hiring manager stated that I was the strongest candidate and wanted to proceed to an offer. I was asked for references, which I provided 3 of them. I was also asked for a current manager reference which I said I will provide later so they said OK since that can be a tricky situation. They checked 2 of my references. I know this because my references told me they were notified. I wait now for the offer letter but it never comes. I then receive suddenly a rejection email from HR for the role "At this time, the department has decided to move forward with other candidates. While your background and experience meet the requirements of the position, the department has identified other candidates whose background better suit their needs at this time."
I was really shocked to receive this email. Since my references were checked and they were looking to offer (the hiring manager emailed me this), I suddenly receive this. I emailed the hiring manager and the HR person but there was no mistake in sending this email. The HR person said my references were all positive but the department moved to other candidates.
Am I overreacting to being shocked that there was no sign or warning they would back out of an offer? I haven't received an explanation at all for this other than that all of a sudden they changed their mind at this part of the stage. Is this kind of poor recruitment practice common? I also found that them asking for a current manager reference left a bad taste in my mouth. I could provide them references from past managers but a current manager reference is really a sticky situation to put anyone in and puts one at risk to lose their job or burn a bridge. I am just quite upset over how this situation occurred at all and need some guidance through this.