Competency-based Interviews (CBI) Training

Competency-based interviewing (CBI) is a style of interviewing in which a job candidate’s competence is assessed through eliciting information about past experiences and the behaviour and skills used. It is the standard style of interviewing at the United Nations Secretariat.

There are online learning programmes available for interviewees and for staff who will serve on interview panels as part of a selection process. It is mandatory for all panel members to complete CBI training before they participate on a panel.


cbi training


UN Competency-Based Interviews (CBI) Training for Panel Members

This online programme will be available in the spring of 2020. It gives staff members a comprehensive introduction to competency-based interviewing requirements for panel members.

Please note the following:

  • It is mandatory for all staff who serve on interview panels (if you have not already completed an in-person version of the programme)
  • Self-paced – you may log in and out at your convenience, but it must be completed within 2 months of starting it
  • Takes approximately 4 hours to complete if you do not take breaks
  • A certificate verifying completion is available at end of the programme


Frequently Asked Questions (CBI for panel members)
Some duty stations may offer an in-person version; check with your Executive/Administrative office for more information.


There is great demand for the CBI for panel members programme across global duty stations. This is due to the requirement that all interview panel members be trained in the technique. It was difficult and expensive for HR/learning teams to fulfill the demand. With an online programme, staff can take the course from anywhere and at any time.

There is no fee for eligible Secretariat staff.


If you have comments or questions about the content of the programme write to

In terms of questions or concerns about interview practices, staff should seek guidance from their Executive/Administrative office.


Although it is not a requirement, staff should repeat the programme every 3-5 years as a refresher. 


  • Secretariat staff with fixed-term, continuing or permanent contracts who will serve on an interview panel are required to take this programme.
  • Other staff with fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointments who are interested in this subject and may serve on a panel at some point in the future may also do the programme.
  • Staff members with temporary contracts, along with interns, consultants and contractors are not eligible for this programme.


No: interview note-takers, ex-officio members and administrative support staff who may be present during an interview do not need to complete CBI for panel members.   




CBI Training for Applicants

Do you have an interview coming up? Or are you applying to jobs and hope you’ll have an interview soon? Explore the resources below to prepare yourself for the competency-based interviewing style used in the UN system.

Learning Programme

Competency-Based Interviewing for Applicants (LMS-1118):

All staff are eligible to take this self-paced online learning programme in Inspira. You can hear testimonials from UN staff members, learn about the UN competencies and their indicators, read sample interview questions, master the C-A-R technique and action verbs in answering interview questions and watch short videos of a simulated interview. Additional resources and a reading list are presented at the end of the programme.