Guide for preparing for UN jobs interview – Question and Answers
The United Nations’ greatest asset is the quality of its staff. To make sure that the very best people join the UN team we use a competency-based interview process. Competency-based interviews are also called “behavioral interviews” or “criterion-based interviews.” Such interviews are based on the notion that past behavior and experience is the best indicator of future implementation. In other words, your history tells a story about you: your talents, skills, abilities, knowledge, and actual experience in handling a variety of situations.
You may want to see: How to make a winning application for UN jobs
What to do before the interview?
- Research the work programme of the Department/Office.
- Comprehend the purposes and results the teams in the unit are striving for. Primary sources of information are the authorized reports and other documents as well as its intranet or website.
- Check the competencies in the job opening.
- Match your past behavior and experience with what is being asked for in the job duties and have examples that show your skills in these competency areas. Prepare examples of how you could contribute to the work in the specific position you are applying for.
- Complete the learning programme “Pursuing Your Career in the UN”.
- Access it through the Blue Line, a suite of learning programmes available through the United Nations System Staff College. The programme has a useful module on interviewing (along with modules on the selection system, tips for filling out your job application, and more).
- Prepare a range of brief real-life stories about your accomplishments.
- Link specific skills to each example and remember to incorporate the positive outcome or lesson learned from each experience. Prepare to address positive results and achievements and also challenges you have had in each of these areas using the competencies.
- Practice—especially with someone who has been thriving in an interview.
- Prepare a wide range of brief real-life stories about your accomplishments. Be aware of the specific skills each story illustrates and remember to include the positive outcome or lesson learned from each experience.
- Be ready to discuss your strengths and your ability to learn from past experiences. Also think about how you could contribute to the work of the United Nations and to the specific position you are applying for.
- Review the competencies mentioned in the job opening. These will be probed in your interview, so your stories should show your skill in these competency areas.
- You should be prepared to address positive results and achievements using these competencies and also the challenges you have had in each of these areas.
- Learn as much as you can about the Department and Office you are applying to and the work it does., Practice.
Also check: What is the Application Process for UN jobs?
On the interview day
- Greet the interviewers and thank them for the chance.
- Listen to the question carefully. Keep to the point. Be as specific as possible
- The structure of your answers should be: Situation, Action, Result.
- Share information you feel is appropriate and relevant.
- In a face-to-face interview, keep a relaxed yet business-like body posture, calm hands, and open and thoughtful facial expression.
- During a telephone interview, you will not have cues based on the panelists’ body language, so listen carefully and be responsive and straightforward.
Check this out: What skills are needed for getting UN jobs?
Questions and Answers of UN jobs interview
1. Tell me about yourself and the qualities you can bring to the United Nations.
“I first became aware of the great work carried out by the United Nations when I was younger and being someone who feels passionately about the values and ethics you abide by, the passion, skills and experiences I possess are a natural fit for this role. Prior to applying, I considered the UN mission and vision statements carefully, and more importantly, the competencies needed to perform this role to the right levels. My experiences to date include, always acting with professionalism and integrity, being able to work effectively as a wider team, having a ‘can-do’ and persistent approach to all tasks, being able to communicate strongly with clients and stakeholders and also planning and organizing my work effectively. I strongly believe that, if I am successful in my ambition to working for the United Nations in this role, I will be able to contribute positively to the team and the organization to help you continually work towards achieving your objectives.”
2. Why do you want to work for the United Nations?
“I want to work for the United Nations simply because you are an organization that shares the same passion and beliefs that I have held for many years. Promoting international peace, strengthening action towards climate control, human rights, the eradication of poverty, and education are all objectives I want to be a part of. The work you carry out is ongoing and requires determination, professionalism, integrity, and patience, and I would feel immensely proud to part of your organization. I understand that to work for the United Nations there comes a huge amount of responsibility, and I am ready for the challenge that this role will bring if you deem me to be a suitable fit for your organization.”