This page is currently being developed. Contents will gradually be added. A French version is in process.

POLNET (Political, Peace, and Humanitarian job network) refers to a UN job network included in the new administrative instruction on staff selection and managed mobility system (ST/AI/2016/1). The vacancy exercise is comprised of various steps with pre-determined and fixed assessment dates. It is very important for applicants to ensure availability on those dates. Test dates will be made available to applicants via their Inspira account, under "My Upcoming Test Schedules" as well as on this website as they become available.

 

 Table of Test Dates by Job Opening (updated on 16 November 2017)

 POLNET 2017 Semi-Annual 2

  • The application period for the second POLNET vacancy exercise in 2017 is open from 7 August until end of September 2017, for most of the vacancies (please refer to the indicated posting period in each job opening).
  • The Standard Pre-Selection Test (SPT) will be conducted over the period 14-16 October 2017 and UN Assessments, through the Office of Human Resource Management (OHRM), is pleased to offer you a range of support and information ahead of, during and after the test.
  • The process is rolled out through a pre-determined set of steps. At each point we will communicate with you, but it is important that you regularly check your email during the period. It is also critical that you carefully follow the instructions shared at each stage. We request that you also update your web browser – preferably to Google Chrome or Mozilla FireFox – to ensure you are using the latest version and do not experience technical problems.
  • We also want to make sure you are well prepared for the test and its format. To this end, we have developed a ‘practice’ test, which allows you to prepare for the test by running through some example questions. A live practice test, which opens a week before the actual test, also allows you to familiarize yourself with the online platform used to administer the test.

Please note: The practice test will not be scored and is for orientation and practice purpose only. It allows you to test your connection and other technical elements ahead of the actual test. It also helps you to become accustomed with the type of test questions asked and the other elements of the test, such as the countdown timer, the format of the questions and how to select or input answers.

 

  2017 POLNET  SECOND VACANCY EXERCISE IMPORTANT DATES 

Please find below important information about the assessment process for the second POLNET vacancy exercise of 2017. Please note that if you applied as a rostered candidate to a specific job opening, you will not be subject to any of the below assessments (but reviewed for suitability during the recruitment process).

Standard Pre-selection Test (SPT) and Drafting Skills Test (DST)

  • 9 October 2017:

    • Email from United Nations Online Examinations and Tests System with login details (for new applicants only)
    • Test invitation email(s)
    • Notice of test exemption for SPT and/or DST (if applicable): this is only applicable to applicants who have received a formal notice of their exemption status.
  • 9 -14 October 2017: Practice test window is open for SPT and DST [Closes 10:00 AM NY Time 14 October] 
  • 14 - 16 October 2017: Actual test window is open for SPT and DST [10:00 AM NY Time 14 October to 07:00 PM (19:00) NY Time 16 October]
  • End October 2017: SPT results are issued

To learn more about each test’s description, purpose, format, scoring, and how to prepare for the test, as well as feedback on practice test results, please visit the HR Portal Assessment page.

 

Other assessments for successful SPT and/or DST candidates (as applicable)

  • End October 2017 to December 2017: Assessments specific to each job opening, e.g. Substantive Knowledge Test (SKT)

    • November 2017 – December 2017: SKTs are administered during a 48-hour testing window with time limits. Candidates will receive an email invitation and be given an opportunity to test their on-line settings prior to the test.
  • December 2017 to February 2018: Interviews

Please note that actual test dates may vary slightly. Candidates need to check the “My Upcoming Test Schedule” page in Inspira for actual test dates. To learn more about other assessments, please click here or visit: https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx?viewtype=AYI

 

 TEST FORMATS
During the 57-hour test window over the period 14-16 October, two separate tests will be administered: the Standard Pre-Selection Test and the Drafting Skills Test

To learn more about each test’s description, purpose, format, how to prepare for the test, scoring, and feedback on test results, go to the HR Portal Assessment page: https://hr.un.org/page/assessment. 

1.1 Standard Pre-Selection Test 
Testing Period for POLNET 2017 Semi-Annual 2: 10:00 AM NY Time 14 October to 7:00 PM (19:00) NY Time 16 October
Only for eligible non-rostered applicants
  • Applicants will be given a  57-hour testing window within the testing period and must complete the test within this prescribed time frame.
  • Eligible applicants will receive an email between 6-9 October 2017 with information on how to gain access to the UN Online Tests and Examinations Platform which will also contain a practice standard pre-selection test.
  • Regardless of the number of openings the candidate has applied to across all FS and P levels, he/she will only be required to complete one standard pre-selection test. 
  • There will be no standard pre-selection test for applicants to D level positions.
  • For a detailed information sheet on the POLNET Standard Pre-Selection including what it measures, click here.
  • For more detailed information on how to answer Social Reasoning questions, click here.
  • For the English practice test questions, click here
  • For the French practice test questions, click here
  • To view statistics and feedback on a SPT, select the appropriate network exercise: 2017 POLNET Exercise 1

For video instructions on how to complete this test, click here.

Want to know more about the Standard Pre-Selection Test? Click here.

 

1.2. Drafting Skills Test 
Testing Period for POLNET 2017 Semi-Annual 2: 10:00 AM NY Time 14 October to 7:00 PM (19:00) NY Time 16 October
Only for eligible non-rostered applicants
  • Applicants will be given a 57-hour testing window within the testing period and must complete the test within this prescribed time frame.
  • Eligible applicants will receive an email between 6-9 October 2017 with information on how to gain access to the UN Online Tests and Examinations Platform which will also contain a practice Drafting Skills Test.
  • Regardless of the number of openings the candidate has applied to across all FS and P levels, he/she will only be required to complete one Drafting Skills Test. 
  • There will be no Drafting Skills Test for applicants applying to D level positions.
  • For the English Practice Drafting Skills Test with example answers, click here.
  • For the French Practice Drafting Skills Test with example answers, click here. 

 

Learn more about the Drafting Skills Test 

What is the Drafting Skills Test?

The Drafting Skills Test (DST), a new addition to the assessment process, is a written response item intended to assess a candidate’s ability to write an authentic workplace communication. Applicants will be provided input and tasked to produce a briefing document of a maximum of 400 words in 50 minutes. The word limit for the French DST is increased to 450 due to the expected increase in character volume. All the information required to answer the question will be provided in the input. No prior substantive knowledge is required to successfully complete this task.

Who takes the Drafting Skills Test?

At this time, all eligible, non-rostered candidates who apply to positions at the P2-P5 level in the POLNET job network are typically required to complete the Drafting Skills Test, regardless of exemption status from the SPT. In a small number of cases, however, certain candidates may be exempt from taking the Drafting Skills Test. These candidates will receive prior notification informing them of their exemption. If a candidate does not receive this communication, they should assume that they are required to complete the Drafting Skills Test. 

I am rostered under POLNET – do I still need to take the Drafting Skills Test?

Maybe – Applicants who apply to positions for which they are rostered will be exempt from the assessment process, including the DST. However, a roster membership does not mean that you are rostered for ALL job openings in that network/family/level. When you are rostered for a position, you normally would receive an automated email from Inspira informing you about the job opening and inviting you to apply as a rostered candidate to that position.
 
Your roster membership is based on job codes of similar functions. In order to view the similar job code titles for which you are considered rostered in Inspira, you can go to "My Roster Memberships" and click on "Associated Titles" for a complete list.
 
If one or more of the positions to which you apply does not share the associated job code title(s) for which you are rostered, you are required to partake in the full assessment process including the Standard Pre-Selection Test (P-level only), Drafting Skills Test (P-level only), possible Substantive Knowledge Test, and Interview.
 
If you apply to a position for which you are rostered, you will be advanced to the end of the process and exempt from further assessment. It is possible to be rostered for a particular position and only need to be screened for suitability, while not be rostered for another position and be subject to the full assessment process.
 
For an outline of this process, click here.

How is the Drafting Skills Test administered?

The Drafting Skills Test is administered over the internet using the UN Examinations and Tests system during the same 57-hour testing window as the Standard Pre-Selection Test. The dates for the Standard Pre-Selection Test and Drafting Skills Test are fixed for each staffing cycle and can be found on: https://hr.un.org/page/assessment. Test-takers can complete the test at a time most convenient to them over a 57-hour window using an internet connected computer.
 
The Online Examinations and Tests System should preferably be accessed through the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Google, Chrome, or Microsoft Internet Explorer via laptop or desktop computers. Applicants need to make sure that their computer is stable and has a reliable power and internet connection while taking the test.
 
Because the new staffing system runs on a predetermined and fixed timeline there is no flexibility to postpone or reschedule tests. Therefore, if applicants are unable to complete the test within the testing window, their application will no longer be considered for this round of the staffing exercise.

How can applicants prepare for the Drafting Skills Test?

Before the actual test, applicants will be provided with a practice test consisting of instructions, explanations, and a practice drafting task with the expected format. They may take/view the practice test as many times as they wish. We encourage applicants to try the practice test from different devices to identify the best environment for their actual test, and to familiarize themselves with the test format.
 
For the English Practice Drafting Skills Test with example answers, click here. For the French Practice Drafting Skills Test with example answers, click here. 

How is the Drafting Skills Test (DST) scored?

At the very minimum, completion of the Drafting Skills Test is a requirement in order to advance in the assessment process. Failure to complete the DST in the given testing window will result in disqualification from the assessment process and your application(s) will no longer be considered for the current exercise.
 
For all P2-level positions, the DST responses will be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation criteria. The scores of the suitable candidates will be used to help determine the shortlist for the interview stage.
 
For P3-P5 level positions, if the programme manager has decided not to run a Substantive Knowledge Test (SKT), the DST scores of suitable candidates will be used to help determine the shortlist for the interview stage. 

Who grades the Drafting Skills Test?

The drafting skills test is dual and blind graded by trained POLNET subject matter experts using a standardized mark scheme developed by testing professionals.

In what language will the Drafting Skills Test be conducted?

As with the Standard Pre-Selection Test, candidates may choose to respond to the Drafting Skills Test in either English or French.

Will the results of the Drafting Skills Test be communicated?

While the results of the Drafting Skills Test are not shared with individual candidates, they will be used to help determine the shortlist for the interview stage. 

2. Other assessments for successful SPT and/or DST candidates (as applicable specific to each Job Opening)
  • Substantive Knowledge Test (SKT): Testing Period for POLNET 2017 Semi-Annual 2: November 2017 – January 2018: SKTs are administered during a 48-hour testing window with time limits. Candidates will receive an email invitation and be given an opportunity to test their on-line settings prior to the test.
  • Please note that actual test dates may vary slightly. Candidates need to check the “My Upcoming Test Schedule” page in InspiraI for actual test dates. To learn more about other assessments, please see below.
Learn more about the Substantive Knowledge Test(s)

What is a Substantive Knowledge Test?

A Substantive Knowledge Test is a constructed-response (open writing) test directly related to the requirements of any given job opening. It is one of the steps within the assessment process under the new United Nations (UN) Staff Selection System.

What is the purpose of a Substantive Knowledge Test?

Substantive Knowledge Tests are used to assess the substantive knowledge and technical skills required for the position an applicant applied for. Substantive Knowledge Tests simulate performance on the job by asking test takers to provide a work sample under testing conditions. Substantive Knowledge Tests are known to be good predictors of how well a person will perform in the job.
 
Substantive Knowledge Tests provide limited insight into competencies; these elements are assessed elsewhere in the selection process.

How is the Substantive Knowledge Test administered?

A Substantive Knowledge Test under the new staffing system is administered over the internet using the UN Online Examinations and Tests System. The Online Examinations and Tests System should preferably be accessed through the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Google, Chrome, or Microsoft Internet Explorer via laptop or desktop computers. Applicants need to make sure that their computer is stable and has a reliable power and internet connection while taking the tests.
 
Test-takers can complete any test they are invited to at a time most convenient to them over a 48 hour window using an internet connected computer. Each test or test part is timed and can be taken separately during those 48 hours. Each Substantive Knowledge Test is timed between 90 and 180 minutes, with the time for each question or test part being indicated.
 
Because the new staffing system runs on a predetermined and fixed timeline there is no flexibility to postpone or re -schedule tests. Therefore, if applicants were unable to complete the test within the testing window, their application will no longer be considered for this round of the staffing exercise.

What is the format of a Substantive Knowledge Test?

Substantive Knowledge Tests are constructed-response tests, which means that candidates type a written answer to each question into the UN Online Examinations and Tests System. Each Substantive Knowledge Test is based on the requirements outlined in respective job opening. The tests may therefore differ in format due to differences in requirements for the associated job openings, but will generally consist of one or several questions, which can consist of one or several parts each.

How and when will applicants know that they will have to take the written tests associated with the job opening they are applying for?

The dates for written tests are fixed for each staffing cycle. However, not all job openings will have a Substantive Knowledge Test. If the hiring office has opted for a substantive knowledge test, applicants will only be invited if they are deemed eligible through the eligibility screening in Inspira, and, if applicable, have passed the standard pre-selection test (in the current or previous exercise), taken the drafting skills test (if applicable), and are deemed suitable for the position through a review of their Personal History Profile. To determine whether an applicant is invited to take a Substantive Knowledge Test, applicants should access the "My Upcoming Test Schedule" page in their Inspira account, where the tests they are invited to are indicated starting at least three days prior to the testing period. About 72-hours before the actual testing window opens, they will also receive an email inviting them to log on to the United Nations Examinations and Tests System. Applicants are encouraged to log into the system as soon as they receive the login information to ensure that their set-up for taking the test on-line works well. Applicants will be able to navigate the system, but they will only be able to take the actual test starting at the indicated time (New York time) and start date.
 
It is important to note that knowledge may be assessed in interviews. If an applicant has not received the email invitation to a test or interview and if there is no test listed in Inspira, then he/she can assume that they will not be invited to take the test or partake in the interview for that job opening. Candidates already rostered for the position will not have to take part of the assessment process.

How can applicants prepare for the Substantive Knowledge Test(s)?

Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the requirements outlined in the job opening. Substantive Knowledge Test(s) questions will assess the substantive knowledge and technical skills needed to perform the main duties and responsibilities of the position. Substantive Knowledge Test(s) simulate performance on the job by asking test takers to provide a work sample under testing conditions. They are known to be good predictors of how well a person will perform in the job.
 
Substantive Knowledge Tests provide limited insight into competencies; these elements are assessed elsewhere in the selection process.

How can test-takers provide feedback on the written tests?

An online survey is included at the end of the test, which will allow test-takers to provide feedback on their test-taking experience.

How and when will test-takers know the outcome of the Substantive Knowledge Test and what is the process going forward?

If an applicant did not pass the Substantive Knowledge Test, he/she will not be invited to an interview. If an applicant passes the Substantive Knowledge Test, he/she will be invited to an interview within 2-6 weeks of having taken the Substantive Knowledge Test.

 

3. Interview
Interviews for 2017 POLNET 2nd Vacancy Exercize: December 2017 to February 2018
Only for candidates who have passed the Drafting Skills Test or Substantive Knowledge Test
  • Candidates will receive an invitation to an interview by email in advance of the interview.
  • Interviews are conducted online via live video or similar means with an expert panel.

Want to know more about the Interview?  Click Here or follow the link to the competency-based interview on-line tutorial: https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx?viewtype=AYI

 

 

 COMMUNICATIONS & TEST INFORMATION

All applicants will receive between five and eight sets of formal, general communications from UN Assessments/OHRM regarding POLNET vacancies, outlining various pieces of information, test instructions and ultimately your individual results for the SPT. Please note that while you may pass the SPT, you may not automatically advance in the recruitment process, which is dependent on other subsequent assessments and screening.

This is a summary of the communications you can expect to receive, all of which will come from the no-reply@un.org email address. Please add this email to a safe list to avoid emails going to a spam/junk folder.

 

 TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Technical support is accessible through the links provided on the login page of the system. To access the United Nations Online Examinations and Tests System, go to the following link by either clicking on the link or by copying and pasting it into your web browser: https://assessments.un.org/

 

 TEST LENGTH

The Standard Pre-Selection Test takes roughly 2-3 hours to complete and the three test parts (analytical, textual and social reasoning) can be taken and completed separately at any time during this window. The Drafting Skills Test takes 60 minutes. Please note that all test sections must be completed within the 57-hour test window. All test sections, regardless of status, will close at 10:00 AM NY time on 16 September. Therefore, candidates are encouraged to start the test as early as possible to allow enough time to complete it in the event of a technical issue.

 

 TEST FEEDBACK

We want to continuously improve the tests we deliver at the United Nations – and your feedback is critical to this process. Help us improve the tests, and the information surrounding them, by taking a few minutes to fill-in our online survey after you have completed the SPT. Your insights will help us adjust and enhance subsequent tests and improve the recruitment process.

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All the best in your preparation for POLNET – remember to make use of the practice tests in the week leading up to the actual tests to become acquainted both with the type of questions and the technical elements.