Getting a job interview in the UAE can feel like a big deal.

And that’s because it is!

This guide will help you understand what to expect and how to prepare.

From understanding the work culture to answering tough questions, we’ve got all the tips you need. Ready to start?

Let’s dive in!

Some Things To Know Before The Interview 

The Country

Research is paramount before appearing before a panel for an interview.

The UAE has many emirates apart from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where you can get good job opportunities, so make sure that you know the essential things about these emirates.

Every emirate is more focused on a particular sector, and the values, traditions, and norms can change depending on the area, so it is best to research extensively before you go for the interview. 

You should know every emirate’s visa, work, and labor laws and the accepted social norms.

It is also vital to know the workweek as well so you can negotiate from knowledge when it is time to ask questions in the interview.

Going blindfolded in an interview will hurt your chances immensely of clearing it. 

The Job And The Company

Job Interview In UAE 1

It is, again, essential to research the company you are applying to.

The panel might ask you questions regarding the job position, what it demands and what is expected of you.

You should research your role thoroughly online or ask others as well. It is very crucial to clearly understand the tasks you would be asked to undertake.

If you fail to satisfy the panel that you don’t know what you are applying for, you will be rejected. 

The panel will look for someone who knows how things work, the company’s target market, and other metrics.

It is not essential to memorize metrics about the company you are applying to.

However, it is crucial to learn the growth rates, trends, and company’s overall position so you can convince the panel that you can solve their problems and will be valuable to them. 

Convincing the panel indirectly through your research skills, expertise and words is the key to acing any interview.

Things To Know About Interviews In The UAE

Just like every country has its own traditions and culture. Every business sector has traditions and norms based on the country you reside in.

So, we will be touching on standard etiquette before appearing for interviews anywhere in the UAE. 

Clothing

Clothing is an essential part of acing an interview. Your first impression from the moment you enter the room will be your clothes.

Make sure to have them ironed out and washed properly. Your clothes should not be torn or have visible stains since they might portray you as lousy or someone who’s not serious about the interview. 

You should make sure to wear formal business suits with dark tones.

The UAE has traditions that change emirate to emirate, so it’s advisable to cover up any tattoos and piercings which can be offensive to others.

Also, make sure to cover up your arms and not reveal too much of your skin for these interviews.

Researching the company’s website and looking for clues regarding acceptable business attire is beneficial. However, if you cannot do that, trust your gut and go as formally as possible. 

Ensure that you use deodorant or perfume which is not too loud and ideal for an office setting.

Wearing a clubbing scent to an interview will make the panel question your decision-making abilities, and that’s the last thing you would want to happen to you. 

Punctuality 

Punctuality is something we really want to stress since this will set the tone of your interview from the start.

There can be a lot of hurdles on the day of the interview. Therefore, it is always advisable to visit the premises once before the interview. 

This will help you calculate the estimated time to reach the place and the route. These interviews are most often a one-time thing, so you do not want to miss these.

Arabs regard punctuality very highly and patience even more so. 

So make it a point to arrive half an hour early so you can have time to gather yourself and review some things.

Punctuality speaks volumes, and your panel will know that they will judge your ability to complete tasks on time, your performance under pressure, and your general seriousness through your punctuality. 

Greeting 

Greetings are another powerful part of your interview, which can set the tone of your interview.

You should always greet the panel with positive enthusiasm. However, make sure to say as little as you can. 

You should make sure to extend your hand for a handshake if the panel is of the same sex as you are.

UAE, a traditional Muslim country, follows Islam’s teachings of Islam, and hence if the panel is of the opposite sex, they might not shake hands with you, so you should wait to judge their reaction.

It is best to put your hand on your heart and greet them if the panel is of the opposite sex. 

Small Talk 

Small talk is a great way to make yourself feel at ease during an interview.

Small talk makes you appear confident of your abilities, and hence it’s often recommended to do it.

It is quite essential to know that you should initiate the small talk and stick to the interview; unless someone from the panel themselves tries to make small talk. 

As an expat, you can indulge in some personal information or how things have been for you in the UAE. However, make sure to choose your words wisely since they can have an effect on the outcome of the interview. 

Small talk allows the interviewer to better understand you as a person apart from your qualifications and what is written on your resume.

Hence, be sleek and confident when you make small talk.

Also, make sure to let the interviewer end the small talk and let them finish since otherwise, it might be considered disrespectful, which could negatively affect your interview. 

Salary 

This can usually be a turning point in your interview and may lead to a soft tussle.

Hence, it’s vital to avoid this question during your first interview.

You should not bring it up unless the panel itself talks about it.

Even then, make sure you do not make any remarks about the salary itself. This will make you feel greedy and someone who is only in it for the money. 

You should seem professional and avoid talking about it.

You can only negotiate from a place of power after being accepted and knowing your package details. Discussing it beforehand is of no use and might affect your interview. 

Snacks 

Snacks in the shape of tea, coffee, or traditional Arabian drinks might be offered to you during your interview, and we would advise you to accept them. 

Declining a drink can be a sign of disrespect, and it’s not a good way to start your new work relationship with the company you are applying to.

You will appear to be accepting, confident and friendly if you accept the welcome drink. 

Also, make sure to accept the drink from the right hand as a sign of respect and keep the drinkware in your right hand because, in Arab culture, the left hand is often seen as a sign of uncleanliness.

So always accept the drink you are offered with a smile and thankful words. 

Questions To Expect In The Interview 

You can expect questions related to the job, obviously, and the ups and downs that come with it.

The interviewer might depict a grim picture of the job to see how well you cope with stress as well.

You should practice the answers to some questions since they are repeated a lot and help the panel judge you as a person and as an employee.

Some of the questions to accept are:

  • Talk to me about yourself 
  • What are your strengths and weakness, and how will they affect this job 
  • Why do you think we should give you this position
  • What are your expectations for a good salary for this job
  • Why are you resigning from your current job
  • Why do you see yourself in the next couple of years, and how do you expect to grow

Valuable Questions To Ask In The Interview 

Job Interview In UAE 2

There are some questions that you should ask the panel as well.

These questions will better help you understand the terms and conditions of the job, so you can decide about it if you are accepted.

Some of the good questions to ask the interviewer in UAE are:

  • Will you be transferred to any other emirates or country 
  • What is expected of you in this role 
  • How will the employers judge your performance, and what are the critical milestones and metrics
  • Will you have to travel for this job, and if so, how frequently? 

Conclusion

We’ve covered a lot about job interviews in the UAE.

It’s not just about your skills, but also understanding the UAE job market and work culture.

With this guide, you’re not just ready for an interview, you’re ready to impress.

Good luck!

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