7 Things Every Arab Has Been Asked at a Job Interview

*eye roll*

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For workforce newcomers, nothing is more unnerving than a job interview. From the application process to the interview itself, few things in life are as anxiety-inducing as the search for your next gig. 

But it’s not entirely complicated. Once you snag an interview, employers typically stick to a certain set of questions that vary from asking about what your ‘biggest strengths’ are, as well as your ‘biggest weaknesses’. If you’re looking for tips on how to answer those, the internet is abundant with solutions.

But that’s not what this article is about. We’re here to discuss the questions that, despite their outrageousness, have become normalised here in the region and beyond. Saudi artist and creative consultant Alaa Al Balkhy took to Instagram to point out the inappropriate nature of the interview process yesterday, and it’s all pretty shocking.  

Rooted in their attempts to define social classes, or ethnic and religious stereotyping, these are the red-flag questions to look out for during your next job interview. 

“What do your parents do?”
We are not defined by our parents’ occupations. 

“You don’t look Arab!”
In a region that sprawls from the far West of North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, what does an Arab look like exactly?

“How did you pay for your university fees?”
It’s.not.your.business.

“Are you planning on having children anytime soon?”
Again… this is not anyone’s business. 

“Wow, your English is great for a [insert Arab nationality here]”
It’s 2020. English is literally a global language. 

“For someone so religious, you’re very educated”
Hijabis often bear the brunt of this one. 

“Where did you summer as a kid?”
Your classism is showing, love. 

“How much did your last job pay you?”
Don’t ask me about my salary history. Pay me what my job is worth.

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