I hope you take the outpouring of responses here as affirmation that most of us go through this at one time or another. Design is not like accounting, it is not 1+1=2. So the needs of hiring managers are greatly varied. It takes time to find the right fit. As someone who has hired a lot of designers I can say it can be just as frustrating on our side, reviewing dozens, sometimes hundreds of portfolios, taking time to interview the candidates who's work I think is the best fit for what our team needs, and then figuring out who is the right personality mix for the team now and in the next few years... all the while the work is piling up! But these decisions have to be made with care because the team will have this person for 2-5 years on average.
The entire thing is a dance. Some dances are fast, and some are slow.
When I was in your shoes I was definitely falling into despair. A few years ago I wrote an article about it for core77's main blog. You can read through all of the grey details here. It was painful and humbling. It is easy to say now, but I'm glad I had the experience. In a way I needed it. (It still sucked though)http://www.core77.com/posts/21454/the-p ... city-21454