Recruiters in the UAE are less regulated on what they can ask prospective employees. However, here are a few questions you can choose not to answer or answer diplomatically if you are not comfortable answering them.
1. Social media accounts and passwords
No recruiter can or should ask you to give up your social media handles and/or passwords. Most recruiters can and do conduct online checks on prospective hires, but that in no way obligates the candidate to reveal personal social media details.
“I am sorry but I don’t feel comfortable giving out these details” or “I’d prefer not to as my accounts hold private media and content that I can’t share publically.”
2. Previous salary
It is highly likely that they are asking you this question – to determine whether or not to give you a salary that is worth your skills or just a hike on your previous pay. If you feel confident in your skills and abilities, politely refuse to answer.
“I have an NDA with my employer about my salary details, so I can’t divulge this information.” Follow up with “I can tell you my expected salary” or “How much can you pay for my skillset and this role?”
3. Plans to be pregnant or not
This question is especially hard to answer because you never really know about these things and plans, even if there are any, are personal. Every woman is entitled to maternity benefits, depending on her contract, so the hire shouldn’t be based on your family plans.
“That is a hard question to answer with specifics, but I can ensure that those plans won’t affect my work output.”
4. Drinking or smoking socially
UAE frowns upon public drinking in general but that does not mean that your prospective employer has a right to know what you do socially unless it affects your job.
“I have never let my social life hamper my work and I am a stickler for company etiquette”
5. Childcare arrangements
Even if you give an indication of how old or young your children are, your prospective employer need not know about your childcare arrangements unless you are sure it is going to affect your job or your work timings.
“My children are well cared for and I don’t see that affecting my daily routine.”
Tell us about what questions you've been asked at interviews that you thought were irrelevant to the vacancy.