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02 December 2023

Revealed: Top five reasons why you're not landing that job in UAE

By Shuchita Kapur

You’ve given many interviews at different companies and believe that you did a good job. You have all the qualifications needed for the job, answered the questions well yet did not get a call for a second round of interview or for the job itself.

But if you dig a bit deeper there will be some reasons, which you may not be aware of, jeopardising your chances of employment. Here are five most common reasons that may have kept you away from getting a job in the UAE but can easily be rectified.

#1 You don’t have regional experience

More and more hiring managers in the country are looking for candidates who have prior work experience in the UAE or at least in the region. There may be demand for professionals from other countries in areas such as investment banking, but in most sectors, employers prefer somebody who has knowledge of the market and you’ll definitely be rejected if you are running against a candidate who has worked for local firms.

If you are at a senior level, it gets a bit difficult to get local experience without leaving your current job. For those who are at the beginning of their career or just fresh graduates, you can work on building up experience in other ways like serving as an intern at a local company, volunteer within your industry, get a part-time job, or enroll in online classes that teach you more about the local market.

#2 You are not sure about living an expat life

Many times candidates make the mistake of talking about their personal lives during the interview. For example, they may rue about how much they miss their home, that may be far away, or their friends and family. This is very natural but will make the employer apprehensive of your longevity in the job if you were hired.

Employers look for candidates who are hardcore professionals without the emotional upheaval that can come with relocating to another country. Try to sound excited about the job and the company that you want to work with rather than indulge in personal nostalgic talk.

#3 You’re overdoing the social media 'thing' 

After the interview meeting, most hiring managers will do a Google search on you so remember what you publish online. Even if you have strict privacy settings, it is possible for someone to see what you are up to or things that you post.

According to a survey, more than 40 per cent of companies said they have turned down candidates based on what they see on their social profiles so be careful about what you post online. Any picture or post that can be deemed unpleasant should be taken off immediately.

#4 You have unrealistic salary expectations

The UAE has been a popular work destination because of relatively higher salaries and no income tax, but companies are still not willing to pay unrealistic salaries to workers. Hiring managers maintain that some jobseekers come with unrealistic expectations and expect every aspect of their expat life to be taken care of – schooling, rent, utility bills and many other things. Some big companies may indeed accommodate this for the top brass, but many others will not if the demands or the expectations of the candidates are too high.

A previous survey by recruitment firm Robert Half revealed that four in 10 overseas candidates have expectations for remuneration that exceed market conditions.

The survey indicated that while nearly half (49 per cent) of respondents believed the number of overseas candidates moving to the UAE has remained the same, many of these individuals have raised their hopes for higher salary and benefits than what the market prescribes.

You may hope for a lot but companies will not give you the job if your financial expectations exceed the set guidelines.

#5 You don’t have references

Most employers now want references in your previous job to assure them that you are as good as you claim to be. A bit of digging by companies can reveal and bring out in the open if there were problems at your previous workplace.

On the contrary, good recommendation can increase your chances of landing a job as your new employers will believe that you will be an asset to the company and not a trouble maker. Lack of good references will slim your chances of employment; so be prepared to provide some decent references to the hiring manager on request.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)