9 thoughts on “Illegal Interview Questions in Relation to Emirati Women

  1. Shaima Al Sayed says:

    Very well put .. a few years ago I went to an international company, ofcourse in my sheila and abaya .. and was asked if this was how I dressed all the time! When I asked them back if they had a problem with it .. they reluctantly said no …. for a country that was hiring in the UAE .. that came to me as a shock! ofcourse I dint hear from them …

    Its ironic for companies to be asking sch questions … and on the other hand you have a handful of men complaining that women are taking over the work arena from the men because they are over committed to proving themselves (I did have that argement this afternoon!) …

    Thanks for this lovely article .. hope it does enforce a change on how people view women's commitment in a workplace!

  2. Fatma AlKhaja says:

    Dear Shaima, Thank you for your comment. I must admit that to be asked if you wore that all the time is quite blunt and straightforward. Normally, they would get the answers ‘under the table’. I, too was interviewed at a multinational company, and was just looked down upon because of my social values and restrictions.

    I could tell that they weren’t happy, and I was 100% sure that I wasn’t going to get the call back.
    I hear the men-women complaints a lot nowadays. When a woman gets the job, she will excel in it to over prove herself, but it is the woman that goes through a gazillion interviews, writing exams, and other forms of tests before she gets the job. I was once called to an interview 4 times, examined in both languages, took a psychiatrist computer test, and all the times they were more concerned about my loyalty rather than my actual skills.

    Thanks again for your reply!

  3. Marijke says:

    Nice article, quite interesting and shocking to read that companies have the nerve to ask unacceptable questions. Another questions women get, not sure if local women have this but I have been asked if I would remove my hijab for a job as the company didn't want to hire a hijab wearing woman. This was through an agency so I don't know what company it was, but are there no guidelines as to what companies are and are not allowed to ask?

    Again, great article!

  4. Fatma AlKhaja says:

    Thank you, Marijke. In regards to your question, I know of a few agencies (advertising) to be exact that will never hire a woman wearing a hijab. This is due to their environment and job nature, and trust me I've seen it happen, for:

    1. They're always dressed comfortable (less) so they can work in their domains
    2. They spring up champaign bottles to celebrate a success
    3. Team meetings, and bondings are normally done at a night club
    4. They work around the clock, if you're to be at the office at 2am, then you should

    Unfortunately thre are no guidelines at the moment, but hopefully we can change this soon.

    Thanks again for your feedback!

  5. Jennifer says:

    This Article Hit The Nail Right On The Head …Well Done
    The Difference Between The UAE & The West Is …Believe it or not …
    These Same Thoughts Run Through Interviewers Minds ….
    Hence The Unspoken tendency , sometimes to not to Recruit Young Women – Because In their eyes
    She has no responsibilities
    She Is not commited
    She is not Loyal
    She will end up getting pregnant etc
    Whereas…We As Women Know How Resourceful , Determined, & Strong We Are !!!

  6. Fatma AlKhaja says:

    Dear Jennifer, thank you for your kind words. It's true what you say, this is an international thought that runs through everyone's mind. I hate how demeaning they make it look like when such things occur. I personally know/heard of an HR individual that refuses to believe that womenn are hardworkers when pregnant. They immediately are deemed as lazy, and insufficient the minute they know that she's pregnant.

    I'll also tell you a story, I once walked into the prayer room at work and found an individual breast feeding. I was a bit surprised because from what I knew she was still supposed to be on maternity leave, she was barely 2 weeks off. I was curious so I asked what brought her here, and she simply said, 'my boss called me and told me to cut my leave short and finish the project I was working on or else I will not get my appraisal/bonus for the year and will give credit to another member instead'.

    I knew she needed to work, so what she did was ask her husband to take some time off work so he can bring the baby in a few hours a day to be fed.

    I seriously had no comments for her, for I was too shocked.

  7. Nasra says:

    Nicely written, amazing How can you asked those questions in a Muslim nation. why do people see a Muslim women and think all she is good at is Housekeeping thing.. not that there is anything wrong with it, In fact if you can master the whole domestic goddess thing an office job will be a walk in the park. I went for an interview a year ago and been told that wearing an abaya was against health and safety regulation for this company. If i was applying a job in a warehouse or a mustering horses i would understand but it was an office job. fortunately i didn't get that job but since get a better job and am a happy employee.

  8. Fatma AlKhaja says:

    Hi Nasra! I must say that this is the first time I've heard, 'health and safety' regulation as an excuse?! I would've definitely raised it as its uncalled for. I'm glad that you've found a job that's better, which makes you happy. Thanks for your feedback.

  9. Fatma Al-Khaja says:

    Thanks both for your comments…

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