No Thanks, No Way, Not Now or Not Interested. Their lack of courage (is it anything else?) or desire not to 'hurt feelings' means the rejection hangs around to sour relationships and future communication.
I saw this again with a young neighbour waiting and waiting to hear about a job application. Obviously they weren't getting the job, and they are still learning about the cold-hearted world of recruiting. Meanwhile, young managers watch and learn as their superiors demonstrate how to twist and turn, avoid, hide and generally take the coward's way out.
A few other examples - care to share more?
- We'll get back to you after everyone has looked at the report
- I will let you know if a position becomes available (your skills aren't what we want)
- We haven't decided yet (we have, but your price was too expensive)
- ......................(silence - never hear back from them)
- I'll ask the manager to ring you when she's made a decision
Anything but utter a clear, unmistakable, final negative.