If executive personal assistants are applying to work for a high net worth individual, billionaire or celebrity, then they are inevitably going to be confronted with disappointment when they don’t get the dream job. The first knee-jerk reaction is to ask for feedback because they want to know what went wrong. Taking such a stance is pointless and even counterproductive. While some recruiters and headhunters may feel it’s OK to solicit for feedback, here are my reasons for being against it:
The statistics are against you: Mathematically speaking, open positions with the one-percent are in very high demand. Candidates that apply for any position (estate manager, PA, social secretary, etc.) are going to be up against world-class competitors – most of which are more experienced. It’s not uncommon for industry leaders and Fortune 500 executives to get hundreds or even thousands of applications for open jobs, so the chances are simply against you. Don’t worry, the employer probably didn’t feel a “connection” (professionally speaking), even if you were qualified for the job.
Employers aren’t going to be truthful: Even if someone does give you feedback, they’re not going to be completely honest anyway. Because of human resource managers that enforce company policies (and other miscellaneous employment laws), the information that flows out of companies about job applicants is very washed-out. There are dozens of (negative) reasons they may not have liked you, but they’re not going to admit it. Maybe your interviewing skills aren’t up to par, or perhaps they thought you weren’t well-groomed. In the end, there are a number of unspoken qualifications they are looking for that simply are not listed in the job description (fair or not, that’s the world we live in).
It’s in the eye of the beholder: Even if you could get the employer to be 100% honest with you about why you were rejected, it should be taken with a grain of salt. What one employer may not like may be perfect for someone else. Your focus should be to keep moving forward and put the past behind you. If you really want unfiltered information about why you’re not scoring jobs, then you should speak with a career coach because, ultimately, they have no stake in the game and will give you honest feedback from a third-eye perspective.