1. For job openings and generic job openings, the competency-based interview is a preferred assessment methodology. Only a select number of applicants are invited for this interview. The goal of this interview is to gather objective evidence of the applicants’ competencies through their past behaviour and performance.
  2. Before the interview, applicants should familiarize themselves with the indicators of each competency stipulated in the job opening and think about the past examples where they demonstrated those indicators.
  3. During the interview, the interview panel normally consisting of three United Nations staff members including the hiring manager, will ask for examples when they have demonstrated the competencies, particularly how they handled or addressed a situation or task. Applicants may be asked to give both positive and negative examples for some of the competencies. These questions are called behavioural questions. Appraisal and comparison questions may be used to obtain further insight on the applicant’s behaviours. Several probing or follow-up questions may also be asked until the interview panel has gathered sufficient evidence.
  4. The below table shows some examples of different question types which are asked during a competency-based interview:
  • Give me an example of… * Please describe a situation when you had to… and how did you go about it?
  • What was the feedback you received from your team members?
  • What feedback did you receive about your role in this project?
  • In relation to leadership specifically, what makes you stand out as compared to others around you?
  • Which of your previous experiences working in a team was the best as compared to others, and why?
  • What happened next?
  • What were your specific responsibilities in the team?
  1. A competency-based interview typically lasts 30 to 60 minutes. Depending on the location of the applicant and availability of communication methodologies, a mix of in-person, video or phone interviews may occur.
Last modified: 3 March 2023