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26 May 2024 09:00

Advertising & Marketing

Standing out from the crowd is key in dynamic Middle East job market

The competitive and transient nature of the Middle East expat community lends itself to candidates adopting a perfect blend of self-verification and authenticity in order to stand out among candidates. This is according to the latest research by Daniel Cable, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School.

The research explores whether individuals who self-verify flourish or flounder on the job market. Professor Cable warns: “There is a pressure to perform in job interviews, but trying to portray a particular image and other ‘impression management’ tactics do not lead to universally positive outcomes for candidates. In fact they can often backfire. Our research proves that if you are a high-quality candidate for the job, just being yourself can be a better route to success.”

The research found that individuals rated by an organization as being in the top 10% of candidates were significantly more likely to receive a job offer if they have a stronger drive to self-verify. It also tested whether individuals who are high and low on this trait communicate differently in a structured mock job interview.

Cable added: “Applicants’ self-verification affects the language they use during interviews, which in turn affects how they are perceived by interviewers. High self-verifiers use more ‘function words’ (prepositions, pronouns, auxiliary verbs) which reflects how fluidly an individual speaks, as well as more ‘seeing words’ (such as ‘look’, ‘see’, ‘view’).

When there are many high-quality applicants going for the same job, candidates need to stand out from their competition, and recruiters need to find ways to differentiate amongst them.

“These insights illustrate how high-quality, high self-verifying candidates can turn an interview into a conversation by being themselves and sharing how they perceive the world, rather than merely trying to think up the best answer for the job,” he concluded.

Top candidates who strive to self-verify significantly increase the likelihood that they will receive a job offer. This can be attributed to differing behaviours and linguistics (high (vs. low) self-verifying candidates) present during the interview process that picked up by interviewers. For high-quality candidates, the best way of landing a dream job is to be authentic.

The research was conducted in collaboration with Celia Moore, Associate Professor, Department of Management and Technology, Bocconi University, Sun Young Lee, Assistant Professor, Organisational Behaviour, UCL School of Management, University College London and Kawon Kim, Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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