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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

Do you have what it takes to work at Ikea UAE? Now you can find out...

Turns out, you need to be a whizz at putting furniture together – quickly

Ikea UAE got creative with the interview process recently, and filmed the whole thing. Courtesy Ikea
Ikea UAE got creative with the interview process recently, and filmed the whole thing. Courtesy Ikea

We've all been there: bought ourselves a Hemnes, Billy or Stall from Ikea, only to take it home and be confused by the instructions and myriad bits and pieces you're meant to use to put it all together.

Now imagine you're being timed while you do it. And filmed. And interviewed for a job that depends on you putting it together properly.

Well, that's what Ikea UAE did.

When a job role recently became available, the regional arm of the Swedish home furnishing retailer got creative and invited unwitting job-hunters to assemble an Ikea chair as part of the interview process.

The only thing is that the applicants had no idea that's what was happening.

"I didn't even know what was going on," said one male applicant in a video that has now been released, which shows how they all did. "I felt all kinds of emotion in that moment," said another.

All of the job-hunters were told to sit in a room and wait. "Just sit on the chair," said the Ikea representative. But there were two chairs – one behind a desk, and another that was lying neatly in bits on floor. Beside it was a big sign saying: "assemble this chair to proceed with your interview".

One applicant gave up and walked out. Courtesy Ikea
One applicant gave up and walked out. Courtesy Ikea

Hilarity ensues. Some looked quizzically around the room, trying to figure out what to do next. One plonked herself on the chair behind the desk, before someone came in and informed her that it was not her chair, pointing to the signboard with the instructions on. (This same applicant later gives up and says "no I will not do it, sorry", before walking out.)

We're told the aim was to test whether or not these candidates fit in with Ikea's brand values of "being humble, getting things done and leading by example".

As one applicant put it: "You would not hire a salesman at a dealership who doesn't know how to drive". Fair point.

The job was given to a young female interior design student who put the chair together in the fastest time. Courtesy Ikea
The job was given to a young female interior design student who put the chair together in the fastest time. Courtesy Ikea

With a couple of exceptions, we're told in the video by an Ikea employee that "most of the candidates had a really great attitude – it was really difficult to make a decision".

But a decision was made. It turns out the job went to a female interior design student who managed to put the chair together in the fastest time.

So, now do you think you have what it takes to work for Ikea?

Watch the full video here:

Updated: February 5, 2019 09:57 AM

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