When you're searching for a job, the hiring process can seem like a mystery, especially if you are considering a move to another country. Understanding the steps most companies follow in Dubai when they're hiring can take away some of the stress when you launch your job search and when you’re waiting for an answer.

Familiarity with the recruitment process in the UAE can also give you clues about what to do at each stage to give yourself a better chance of landing the job. Here are the basic steps you can expect, plus some other considerations as you approach a job search.

Basic steps in the Dubai recruitment process

Step 1

Most companies have a digital programme that scans your CV for keywords and phrases after you submit it. Typically, the words and phrases it's looking for are those in the job description. If your CV includes some of the language from the job description, it's more likely your application will make it through the scan.

Step 2:

Next, a HR representative goes through the flagged CVs and picks the ones that fit best with the position's requirements. That representative then calls each chosen applicant for a short phone interview.

If you get one of those calls, answer the HR representative's questions with professionalism and enthusiasm. He or she is not only confirming what's on your CV; but also gauging your communication skills and interest in the job and deciding whether to pass your CV on to the hiring manager.

Step 3:

Once the HR representative has passed this onto the manager, they choose which ones to invite for an interview. They will already be familiar with candidates' skills and work history, so in this meeting, the manager will be evaluating personality and fit with the position and corporate culture.

Prepare to be asked a range of common questions about your skills and experience and how they match up with the requirements of the job. Also be ready for situational questions, which focus on how well you understand the process for certain job requirements, and behavioural questions, which are designed to gauge your interpersonal and judgement skills.

Step 4:

After the first round of interviews, the hiring manager generally narrows the field of candidates to two or three. Those candidates are then asked back for a second interview, often with another manager, potential colleagues or the head of the department.

At this stage, let your personality shine through but maintain your professionalism. This interview is designed so the interviewer can get an even better sense of your working style and your character.

Step 5:

Once the interviews are complete, managers who have been involved compare their impressions of each applicant. A final choice is made, and the HR representative makes an offer to the selected candidate.

If you make it to the final stage of the recruitment process, congratulations! If not, don't be discouraged. There's often a very thin line between the applicant who gets the job and a candidate who doesn't. If you got close, you were clearly a strong candidate for the position, and if you maintain your focus on your Dubai job search, another opportunity may soon arrive.

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Show your potential as a candidate

1. Let your personality come through

Recruitment consultants certainly want to see your work history and talents, but they also want to see your personality and what you can bring as a UK expat working in the UAE.

When candidates interview with consultants, they typically talk about the job seeker’s background and strengths, as well as the person’s soft skills and the types of environments he or she wants to work in. That way, the agency can match you with a workplace where you'll be happy and successful.

2. Be up front about your needs

Recruitment consultants will represent you in the recruitment process, so they need to know your work preferences and salary requirements. Your consultant will only send you information about positions that match your range.

It's also helpful for the recruitment consultants to know what perks and benefits you consider dealmakers or deal breakers. Remember, you can be upfront about the fact that you will be new to the Dubai work environment, they're experts and they want to help.

4. Keep the lines of communication open

Whether the position you land through the recruitment process is short-term or permanent, you should stay in touch with your recruitment consultant.

Send an email every three to six months to share how the new job is going. Your consultant is just as invested in your success as you are. And the next time you're looking for a new position, they’ll be up-to-speed and ready to help.

Showing off your soft skills

As you pursue your search for a new job in Dubai, you'll have numerous opportunities to make a good impression.

At every step, you need to project an approachable demeanour and an enthusiasm for your work. You have to rely as much on your interpersonal skills as you do on your functional and professional talents.

1. Prepare your pitch

Craft a compelling storyline that describes you, your particular skills and your unique career experiences. Then, narrow this story down to an elevator pitch — a one or two sentence succinct version that functions as the positioning statement for your personal brand. You can also give a little insight into why you're so excited to move from the UK to the UAE.

2. Express your enthusiasm

When you're genuinely excited about your work, it draws other people to you. Did a past project teach you a new technique or solve a particularly sticky business problem? Was the team inspiring to work with? Be ready to discuss what excites you about your work. You'll naturally relax and smile during the conversation.

3. Watch your body language

How you speak and present yourself is just as important as what you say. A few essentials in the non-verbal department: Make eye contact with the person you're meeting with, adopt an attentive posture and present a firm, warm handshake.

4. Give, don't just take

Go in knowing how to sell yourself and your ideas. Part of that includes tuning in to the other person's perspective and, most important, listening to what they say. Pay attention, ask questions and actively engage in the conversation.

Come to the interview prepared with a few questions of your own, in case nothing comes to mind when it's your turn to do the asking. You will not be perceived in the best light if you have no questions.

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