Poll: Almost Half of Middle East Hires Are Made After One Interview

73.4% of Middle East job seekers have had positive job interview experiences, according to the ‘Job Interviews in the Middle East and North Africa’ Poll

Dubai, UAE, 25 June 2018: Making a positive impression during the job interview stage is imperative for the jobseeker’s success. A new poll by, the Middle East’s largest job site, entitled, ‘Job Interviews in the Middle East and North Africa’ revealed that 45.3% of respondents believe that employers make the hiring choice after the first interview. 15.6% said it takes two interviews to make the decision, 17.2% said it takes three interviews, while 13% said four or more interviews are needed.

The Typical Interview Process in the MENA

While there are different types of job interviews, 71.6% of the respondents claim to have experienced group interviews, where the company interviews multiple candidates at the same time. One in five (21.2%) have had individual interviews and less than 5% have had panel interviews, behavioral interviews, or lunch interviews.

The greater proportion of respondents prefer group interviews (57.8%) and individual interviews (30.7%), while only 5.5% favor panel interviews, 3% prefer lunch interviews, and 3% prefer behavioral interviews.

According to the vast majority (90.5%) of MENA respondents, face-to-face interviews generally last less than one hour. 6.1% state that interviews last between one and two hours, and a nominal number (1.2%) have experienced interviews that lasted longer than two hours.

When it comes to phone screening interviews, three quarters of respondents (75%) claim that they last less than 15 minutes, while 15.1% say that they last between 15 to 30 minutes. Only 5.2% of respondents have experienced phone interviews that last longer than 30 minutes.

According to the poll, two thirds (67.1%) of MENA respondents say that they are generally asked one to five questions during a job interview, while 14.2% claim that they usually receive six to 10 questions. 7.6% claim to be asked 11 to 15 questions during an interview, and only 6.3% have had over 15 questions in their interview.

Verification questions are amongst the most common questions posed to potential candidates according to three quarters of the respondents (76.3%), this is followed by behavioral questions (7.5%), competency questions (7.3%), opinion and personality questions (4.2%), and case/problem solving questions (2.8%).

When it comes to assessing the candidates’ qualifications, four in five (81.4%) respondents believe that job interviews should include a test or an assessment, while 13.7% believe the opposite to be true.

“At we aim to prepare both employers and job seekers for a successful job search and hiring process,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Employer Solutions, “For many job seekers, the interview is perceived as the daunting part of the hiring process. As the majority of candidates realize the need to prepare prior to an interview, we offer insights and advice into what type of preparation a candidate should undertake in order to get the most out of their job interview experience and to give them the advantage in the stiff competition they may be facing. As the region’s largest job site, we continue to match 32.5 million job seekers with over 10,000 jobs that are available on on a daily basis. We hope that job seekers also make use of the information and tools we offer to be in the best shape for the interview stage.” 

Preparing for the Interview

When it comes to scheduling an interview, over two thirds (68.7%) of respondents state that they don’t mind an interview being scheduled less than two days in advance, while 12.1% prefer to be informed two to four days in advance, 6.8% need 5-6 days, and 8.5% require no less than a week’s notice prior to an interview.

Over three quarters of MENA respondents (76%) claim to prepare for an interview by ‘researching the company and position’, 3.7% ‘read common interview questions’ and 1.1% ‘practice with a friend or on their own’. One in five (17.1%) respondents claims to do all three things in preparation of an interview, while only 2.1% do not prepare before the interview.

Further, the majority (86.4%) of candidates polled by say that they prepare their own questions to ask during the job interview, while only 13.6% said they do not.

During the Interview

Two thirds of the respondents (66.9%) claim that they always take notes during the interview, while one in five say that they sometimes do (18.6%). 14.5% say they ‘never’ take notes.

82.3% of jobseekers polled state that they inquire about the salary and benefits during the interview, while 17.7% state that they request this information afterwards at the job offer stage.

After the interview

Four in five candidates (80.5%) say that they follow up with the employer after a job interview, while 19.5% of respondents say that they wait for the company to follow up after a job interview.

81% state that they always send a thank you note to the employer after the job interview, 9.2% say they ‘sometimes’ send a note, while 9.8% say they ‘never’ do.

When asked about their feelings towards job interviews in the Middle East, nearly three quarters (73.4%) of respondents claim to have had “positive’ job interview experiences. 5.7% were neutral and only 1.8% described their experiences as “negative”.

Data for the 2018 ‘Job Interviews in the Middle East and Africa’ poll was collected online from April 11, 2018 to June 10, 2018. Results are based on a sample of 10,617 respondents. Countries that participated are the UAE, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Bahrain, Tunisia, Qatar, KSA, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Others