When your career aspirations and the knowledge, skills and competencies you’ve built lead you to apply for a job opening, you need preparation to be most effective in a competency-based interview. You are likely to be asked to demonstrate your competency through situational questions—what you would do or how you would approach various challenges.
Competency-based interviewing questions might be like these:
Q: Tell us about a challenging assignment when you went above and beyond your manager's expectations.
Q: Give an example of a time when you used your problem solving abilities to resolve an issue between staff members.
Q: How have you handled situations when you had a number of demands being made for delivery at the same time?
Before your interview
|Research the work programme of the Department/Office.
Understand the goals and results the teams in the unit are striving for. Primary sources of information are the official reports and other documents as well as its intranet or website.
Review the competencies in the job opening.
Complete the learning programme “Pursuing Your Career in the UN”.
Access it through the Blue Line, a suite of learning programmes available through the United Nations System Staff College. The programme has a helpful module on interviewing (along with modules on the selection system, tips for filling out PHPs and more).
|Prepare a range of brief real life stories about your accomplishments.
Link specific skills to each example and remember to include the positive outcome or lesson learned from each experience. Prepare to address positive results and achievements and also challenges you have had in each of these areas using the competencies.
|Practice, practice, practice—especially with someone who has been successful in an interview.|
At your competency-based interview
|Greet the interviewers and thank them for the opportunity.|
|Listen to the question carefully. Keep to the point. Be as specific as possible|
|The structure of your answers should be: Situation, Action, Result.|
|Share information you feel is appropriate and relevant.|
|In a face-to-face interview, keep a relaxed yet business-like body posture, calm hands, open and thoughtful facial expression.|
|During a telephone interview, you will not have cues based on the panellists’ body language, so listen carefully and be responsive and concise.|