7 Steps to get a job in the United Nations

UN Missions - practical tips on how to pass UN interview (part 2).

The procedure of interviewing in UN agencies and International organizations can many times differ from the procedures in private companies. Here we collect the most important general tips.

Part - 1 UN Missions - general tips on how to get a job in the UN?

"CARL" Principle for the UN interview.

Context. Provide an overview of the situation; what it was about, when it occurred, and how you first got involved; identify key events and timeframe.

Actions. Cover significant events, specific instances, that were clearly attributable to you rather than the team.

Results. What was the outcome, impact or results of your actions? You may be asked questions such as: How did it turn out? What was the final result?

Learning. What learning did you take away from this experience?

You may prepare all these situations in advance and learn them. For example, answer the interview question "Tell us about a time when you dealt with a "difficult" partner. Yor should always say about lessons learned and how to avoid such situations in the future (if it possible).


During the Interview

What to do during the interview:

  • Make a good first and last impression
  • โ€ข Maintain eye contact with the person who asked the question, if culturally appropriate

  • Even on the telephone, smile
  • โ€ข Listen carefully to the complete question

    โ€ข Keep to the point & be as specific as possible

    โ€ข Provide concrete examples demonstrating how you were able to handle a situation and/or learned from it

    โ€ข Ask for clarification if a question is not clear

    What do NOT do during the interview:

    • Answer in hypothetical
    • Talk about "we" rather talk in the "I". If you tell about teamwork, specified what was your read of responcibities.
    • Talk endlessly about theories or statements about future
    • Interrupt the panel
    • Ask questions about benefits and entitlements

    UN Personal History Profile (PHP) -General Tips

    • Ensure your cover letter and the information provided in your PHP are always up to date.
    • Your cover letter is the personal introduction that accompanies your PHP. It should not be longer than 1/2 to 1 page with greetings and ending part "thank you for the consideration".
    • Look at the 'work experience requirements in the job opening and make sure these are clearly reflected in your PHP
    • Do not use acronyms - spell out everything. It means do not right down "EUBAM Rafah" - write the full name of the mission - "European Union Border Assistance Mission for the Rafah"
    • Tailor your PHP and cover letter to the actual you are applying to - it means check job description and adjust your PHP and Cover letter to the requirements of the job describtion.
    • Always proofread your application and edit for consistency and accuracy. It is good to use plugins for Chrome such as Grammarly.
  • The majority of current mission vacancies are in french speaking countries. Being bilingual in French and English is an enormous asset.
  • Currently our most desired candidates are Arabic speakers, French speakers, and/or senior women. New missions are currently being staffed for MALI (MINUSMA), Somalia (UNSOM), and our newest integrated. peacekeeping operation in CAR - MINUSCA. UNMEER (the mission combatting ebola) is also...
  • The United Nations has made a serious commitment in achieving gender parity in its workforce. Currently women comprise about 28% of internationally-recruited civilian staff, so qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Read out other articles:

    UN Jobs: Very Desirable but Hard-To-Get

    Recruitment Process in UN, UNICEF, OSCE, and other NGOs.