1. Assessments may include CBI which is an assessment conducted on the competencies listed in the job opening, and the preferred modality for interviews in the Secretariat. The shortlisted applicants or a smaller group of applicants who passed one or more preceding assessments, if any, are invited to the interview. In duty stations where CBI training for the interviewers is offered or available remotely, all panel members should have taken the training. Depending on the location of the applicant and availability of communication methodologies, a mix of in-person, video or phone interviews may occur while ensuring that interviews are conducted in a consistent manner as much as operationally possible.
  2. Through the CBI, the panel gathers objective evidence from the applicants’ past when they had an opportunity to demonstrate all the competency indicators specified in the job opening. The panel uses behavioural questions to specifically ask applicants how they handled or addressed a situation or task. For at least one of the competencies, the panel should ask for both positive and negative examples. Appraisal and comparison questions may also be utilized.

Types of questions used during CBI:

  • Behavioural
    • Give me an example of…
    • Please describe a situation when you had to… and how did you go about it?
  • Appraisal
    • What was the feedback you received from your team members?
    • What feedback did you receive about your role in this project?
  • Comparison
    • 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?
  • Probing/follow-up
    • What happened next?
    • What were your specific responsibilities in the team?
  1. Hiring managers and panel members should familiarize themselves with the competencies for the position and the competency indicators to prepare relevant competency-based interview questions which should be kept confidential until the interviews. The panel should avoid asking generic and untailored questions, which tend to encourage memorized responses that are not useful in objective evaluation.
  2. Except for probing or follow-up questions, the applicants should be asked the same opening question for each competency and be probed to elicit evidence on all indicators of the relevant competency or until the applicant has nothing else to add. The number of additional follow-up or probing questions may vary depending on the applicant’s experience and depth of responses. It is recommended that gender be assessed through a separate question.
  3. The applicants should be given equal opportunities to provide responses. Panel members should allocate sufficient time to conduct the interviews. The best practice is to allow 15 minutes per competency.
  4. For each applicant who is interviewed, the panel should rate each competency as
    Unsatisfactory, Partially Satisfactory, Satisfactory or Outstanding, which are defined as follows:
    • Outstanding: The applicant demonstrated all indicators.
    • Satisfactory: The applicant demonstrated more than half of the indicators.
    • Partially Satisfactory: The applicant demonstrated half or fewer of the indicators.
    • Unsatisfactory: The applicant demonstrated none of the indicators.


Last modified: 21 July 2021