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Dubai:  UAE professionals who are seriously looking for a new job will now have to do more than just make a great first impression or sweet-talk their way through interviews.

According to a new report released on Monday by networking platform LinkedIn, employers are ditching the old-school screening process and resorting to innovative interviewing techniques in order to make effective hiring decisions.

Expect to go through job auditions, skills tests, video interviews

Instead of doing the standard Q&A session and firing away generic questions like what makes the applicant perfect for the role or what they can contribute to the company, employers cut through the crap and now subject candidates to job auditions.

And in this case, applicants don't get to bluff their way through the screening, as they will be asked to perform specific tasks that they may be assigned to in the actual setting. An employer, for example, may stage a crisis scene to find out how well the applicant can respond.

Conducting soft skills tests and virtual reality assessments is also gaining traction, and employers now try to step outside the rigid confines of meeting rooms, to meet applicants in a casual setting. Video interviews are increasingly becoming common as well.

All of these non-traditional interviewing techniques are geared towards one goal: to recruit the right candidates and weed out any biases during the screening stage.

In its survey among 300 hiring managers and talent acquisition professionals in the region, LinkedIn said recruiters acknowledged that there is a “bias problem” in traditional job interviews, and they have limited ability to assess soft skills and weakness of applicants.

“Recruiters felt that it is hard to evaluate grit in a candidate or spot disorganisation simply by having a chat, and hence, the new interviewing process,” Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn Mena, told Gulf News.

Professionals in the region are highly advised to keep these trends in mind, if they want to stay relevant and active in the corporate world, or simply stay on top of their job search, as these can have an impact on the way people find jobs and get hired this year.

And how should applicants react to these innovative interviewing trends? Ali Matar said jobseekers should be prepared to share anecdotes that could demonstrate how they “reacted to a major change, how they came to make a big decision, how they made a difference to the company.”

This doesn’t mean an applicant’s achievements no longer matter. Al Matar said candidates should be able to show how they have been able to adapt, persevere and manage change.

“Of course, one should know themselves well, know their field of interest, do some research about the employer, the company and the position for which they have applied for.”

“It is also important to be open with the human resources (HR) and know more about the interview format ahead of time and get an understanding on the type of questions that can be asked and prepare for it.”

Employers hire for diversity

Another trend that candidates should watch out for is that companies now look to hire a diversified workforce. LinkedIn said that diversity has evolved to be the biggest game-changer and most embraced trend, with over half of companies in Mena now tackling it head on.

About eight in ten (80 per cent) of talent acquisition leaders and hiring managers said that, as companies are realising that diverse teams are more productive, innovative and engaged, diversity  is the top trend affecting how they hire.

Sifting through CVs gets automated

Many companies are now getting high-tech, and as much as they don’t want to miss the perfect candidate, sifting through thousands of CVs just to fill a single role can be a tedious process.

To save more time and focus on connecting with the top candidates, companies now use interviewing tools powered by artificial intelligence to browse through applications and automatically weed out those that are least qualified.

“The most sophisticated companies are piecing together every bit of data they have to try to compete. Just as they might have a social media strategy or an events strategy, they now have a talent intelligence strategy, too,” LinkedIn said in its "Global Recruiting Trends 2018" report.