17 United Nations (UN) Interview
Questions & Answers

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Here’s the FULL LIST of UNITED NATIONS (UN) INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

Q1. Tell me about yourself and the qualities you can bring to the United Nations?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

“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.”

Q2. Why do you want to work for the United Nations?

SUGGESTED ANSWER

“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.”

Q3. Provide an example of when you experienced a setback at work?
Interview Questions And Answers Example 01

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Q4. Tell me how you would explain something complex or difficult to someone who did not have the same level of knowledge as you?
Interview Questions And Answers Example 02

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Q5. Describe a situation when you put the needs of a client or customer first?
Interview Questions And Answers Example 03

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Q6. Explain to me how you organize and plan your workload?
Interview Questions And Answers Example 04

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Q7. Describe a situation you were in when you encouraged a team to be more proactive or positive?
Interview Questions And Answers Example 01

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Q8. Describe a time when something went wrong at work and you took control?
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Q9. Tell me about the hardest team you have ever had to manage?
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Q10. Have you ever been in a situation when you disagreed with a colleague om how to achieve a task?
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Q11. Tell me about a time when you had to make a really difficult decision at work?
Interview Questions And Answers Example 02

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Q12. Talk me through how you would resolve conflict within a team?
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Q13. Talk me through a situation when you had to use effective communication or negotiation techniques to achieve an objective?
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Q14. What’s your biggest weakness?
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Q15. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
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Q16. Why do you want to leave your current job to join the United Nations?
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Q17. That’s the end of your United Nations interview. Do you have any questions you would like to ask the panel?
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United Nations Interview Competencies


During the preparation for your United Nations interview, we recommend you prepare for the relevant competencies that are applicable for the job, position or role you have applied for.

What is a competency?

A competency is a ‘behaviour’ that is required to perform a specific task, duty or responsibility relevant to a role. For example, in most organizations that require specific capabilities, ‘communicating effectively’ is one of the more common competencies and behaviours assessed.

How do I demonstrate competencies during my UN interview?

The most effective way to demonstrate you meet the competency at the United Nations interview, is to provide a specific example to the competency interview question being asked. For example, if you are assessed against the competency of ‘teamworking’, you may be asked a question along the lines of:

  1. Describe a situation you were in where you worked as part of a team to complete a task or project?

When responding to this competency-based interview question, you would need to provide a specific example of where you have already demonstrated the core skills necessary surrounding the competency of teamwork.

What are the likely competencies to be assessed during my United Nations interview?

This very much depends on the role you are being interviewed for. However, the follow list of competencies and values are the areas we recommend you concentrate on during your interview preparation:

  • Communicating effectively;
  • Planning, prioritizing and organizing workloads;
  • Demonstrating a commitment to excellence;
  • Professionalism;
  • Respect for diversity and integrity;
  • Leadership and management capabilities;
  • Continuous professional development;
  • Effective decision-making skills;
  • Problem solving capabilities;
  • Building and maintain relationships;
  • Taking ownership and accountability;
  • Working as part of a team;
  • Client focus and orientation.

3 TIPS FOR PASSING YOUR UNITED NATIONS JOB INTERVIEW

TIP #1 – In the build-up to your United Nations (UN) interview, we recommend you look into the history of the organization, the excellent work it undertakes and also study the mission and vision statement, so you have a thorough understanding of their objectives. So, if the interview panel asks you the question, what can you tell us about the work we do here at the United Nations, you will be able to answer the question with confidence and clarity.

TIP #2 – You will, most likely, be asked a series of competency-based interview questions during your United Nations interview. We have provided you with a small number of competency examples on this page for you to prepare answers for. However, we also strongly recommend you study the applicable core competencies and values for the role you are applying for and prepare specific examples of where you have already met each and every one of them in a previous work-related role.

TIP #3 – At the end of your UN interview, you will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the panel. We recommend you prepare three questions to ask at the end of your interview that put you across as someone who genuinely cares about the work the United Nations carries out and also its future ambitions and plans.

If you want to prepare fully for your UNITED NATIONS interview, download a copy of our interview questions and answers guide on this page! All proceeds and sales of this guide are donated to UNICEF on a quarterly basis.

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