You are short-listed for UN job. What is next?

This guide describes the recruitment and selection process for FTA contracts on the stage of short-listing.

A short-list of candidates should consist of a minimum of two and (generally) a maximum of four candidates.

The short-list of candidates will include a minimum of one and preferably two or more qualified women from the pool of applications. The reasons for not short-listing women candidates for these posts must be fully documented. Where no qualified women have been identified for short-listing, the Hiring Unit should review the applications to ensure that no qualified women have been overlooked. In the event that no additional qualified women have been identified, the Hiring Unit is encouraged to re-advertise the post, and take affirmative steps to bring the post to the attention of qualified female candidates. Such actions should be fully documented.

HR may add the names of other staff members to the short-list of candidates in furtherance of UNDP talent management and diversity priorities, including unassigned PA, CA and FTA staff members with good performance records. In such an instance, the total number of short-listed candidates may be increased to more than four.

If, at any time during the long or short-listing processes, where there appear to be fewer than three candidates who meet all the requirements of the post, the Hiring Unit may elect to re-advertise the position, or proceed with the selection process. In the event that only one suitable candidate has been identified, the Hiring Unit may elect to re-advertise or, in consultation with the Chief of Recruitment.

Assessment of short-listed candidates

HR Offices are now authorized to conduct desk review in lieu of an interview for all positions up to P5 level. The desk review would still need to be conducted by an independent panel which adheres to the recruitment principles as set out in the above policy.

All short-listed candidates will undergo the same selection process and by the same means, whenever practicable.

Hiring Units are strongly encouraged to use a range of assessment tools and techniques to evaluate short-listed candidates. Such tools and techniques shall include but are not limited to, technical testing, interviews or an assessment of work samples, performance reports, reference checks, competency-based panel interviews. The Hiring Unit shall consult with OHR/HR to ensure the selection process uses the most appropriate approaches.

Technical Assessment: To assess a short-listed candidateโ€™s technical competencies, the Hiring Unit is encouraged to use at least one of the following:

a. technical interview;

b. on-line written test; or

c. technical test administered at the office.

d. work samples

The technical interview panel should be comprised of individuals with a substantive background to evaluate the technical suitability of the candidate for the post. Panelists may be drawn from within or outside the Hiring Unit and on occasion may include persons external to UNDP. Members of the technical panel should not sit on the competency-based interview panel to avoid the appearance of undue influence over the final selection decision (although OHR is cognizant of the difficulty of this in

Only those candidates who have met the minimum technical competencies for the post, as determined by a technical assessment based on pre-determined standards, may be given further consideration for the position.

Competency-Based Interview: Every short-listed candidate for FTA international posts will be invited to participate in a panel interview, or assessed through desk reviews.

The Hiring Unit will identify up to five competencies from the job announcement that are the most essential to success in the post for assessment at the interview. When evaluating a candidate, the panel should consider only the information provided to them during the course of the interview.

The panel will rate a candidate on each of the competencies being assessed, assigning a score for each rating, to arrive at an overall score of the candidate for the interview. The panel will also assign one of three recommendations for each candidate including; recommended, recommended with reservations or not recommended and rank candidates in order of suitability for a position. The scoring of each candidate will be reflected in the panelโ€™s interview report which will also detail the reservations, if any, noted by the panel. Candidates who are recommended with reservations must still meet the stated qualifications for the position. The reservations may relate to objective perceptions by the panel as to various aspects of the candidates overall fit and anticipated performance but not in terms of a deficit of the qualifications listed in the vacancy. Only those candidates who, in the view of the interview panel, possess the minimum competencies required for the post and meet UNDPโ€™s ethical standards, may be given further consideration.

No recruitment and selection process is complete without proper and thorough verification of critical information, including academic qualifications, languages, nationality, prior UN employment, and detailed reference checks. The Personal History Form (P-11) provides a useful source of candidate information on these matters that requires verification and, in particular, on the candidateโ€™s employment history for purposes of reference-checking. Please see UNDPโ€™s Policy on Academic Qualifications which spells out specific criteria for verifying academic qualifications.

Given the importance of the verification process to the proper selection of a candidate, under no circumstances may a proposed initial appointment be submitted to the CRB or an offer of appointment be extended or otherwise communicated to a candidate, without the hiring unit first having completed all reference checks and found them to be satisfactory.

Conducting the reference check by telephone is often the fastest way to obtain a reference, and may yield important information that might not otherwise be obtained through a more formal, written process. Reference checks by phone should follow a consistent format of questions, with questions and answers documented in detail.

Selection of a candidate

The results of the various assessment techniques used in the evaluation of short-listed candidates shall be summarized in a candidate assessment report prepared by HR for submission to the Hiring Manager for consideration.

When selecting a candidate for the post, the Hiring Manager shall take into account the results from all the assessment methods used to evaluate the short-listed candidates, including the technical assessment/interview; competency-based panel interview; reference checks and performance reports.

In the event that a fully qualified candidate cannot be found following a competitive selection process, the Hiring Unit may re-advertise the position with the view of attracting additional applications, or may have the job description revised and reclassified at a lower level, and proceed with a new recruitment and selection process.


You may find detailed information on the interview and written tests here:

Recruitment Process in UN

FAQ about UN recruitment