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Prepare for Success with UN Competency-Based Interviews!

UN Competency-Based Interviews

In today’s competitive job market, it’s essential to be well-prepared for interviews that follow the UN Competency-Based Interview (CBI) format.

These interviews are designed to assess candidates’ skills, experiences, and behaviors in relation to specific competencies required for success in UN roles. Whether you’re applying for a position within the United Nations or any other organization that utilizes this interviewing style, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and strategies to excel in UN Competency-Based Interviews.

UN Competency-Based Interviews!

1. Understand the UN Competency Framework

The UN Competency Framework consists of a set of core competencies that are essential for success in UN roles. Familiarize yourself with these competencies, which may include:

  • Communication: The ability to effectively convey information and ideas in a clear and concise manner.
  • Teamwork: The capacity to work collaboratively with others, valuing diverse perspectives and contributing to a positive team environment.
  • Planning and Organizing: The skill to set goals, prioritize tasks, and manage time effectively.
  • Client Orientation: The commitment to providing excellent service to internal and external clients, anticipating their needs, and addressing their concerns.
  • Problem Solving: The capability to identify and analyze problems, propose viable solutions, and make sound decisions.
  • Accountability: The willingness to take responsibility for one’s own actions and decisions, and to deliver on commitments.
  • Flexibility: The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and embrace new challenges.
  • Integrity: The adherence to ethical principles and values, demonstrating honesty, trustworthiness, and respect for others.

Understanding the competencies and their definitions will help you align your experiences and examples with what interviewers are looking for.

2. Analyze the Job Description

Thoroughly review the job description and identify the key competencies required for the position. Pay attention to the specific behaviors and skills mentioned. By understanding the role’s requirements, you can tailor your responses to highlight relevant experiences and demonstrate your fit for the position.

3. Prepare STAR Method Responses

The Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR) method is an effective framework for structuring your responses in UN Competency-Based Interviews. For each competency, prepare specific examples from your past experiences that highlight how you demonstrated that particular competency. Describe the Situation or Task, the Actions you took, and the Results you achieved. This format allows you to provide concrete evidence of your abilities and showcase your suitability for the role.

4. Practice Mock Interviews

Practice is key to mastering UN Competency-Based Interviews. Seek out opportunities to participate in mock interviews with friends, colleagues, or career advisors. Use the STAR method to respond to sample questions related to each competency. Pay attention to your body language, tone of voice, and overall presentation. Practice will help you refine your responses and build confidence in your ability to articulate your skills and experiences effectively.

5. Research the Organization and Its Values

Demonstrate your interest and commitment to the organization by conducting thorough research. Visit the organization’s website, read their mission and vision statements, and familiarize yourself with their values and initiatives. Incorporate this knowledge into your interview responses to show alignment with the organization’s goals and values.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: How can I prepare for UN Competency-Based Interviews if I have limited UN experience?

A1: Even if you have limited UN experience, you can still prepare for UN Competency-Based Interviews. Focus on transferable skills and experiences from other contexts that align with the UN competencies. Highlight relevant experiences from volunteer work, internships, or previous jobs that demonstrate your ability to apply the required competencies.

Q2: Can I use the same example to answer questions related to multiple competencies?

A2: Yes, you can use the same example to answer questions related to multiple competencies. However, make sure to emphasize different aspects of the example that align with each competency. Tailor your responses to address the specific behaviors and skills associated with each competency.

Q3: How can I demonstrate flexibility during a UN Competency-Based Interview?

A3: To demonstrate flexibility, provide examples of situations where you adapted to changing circumstances or embraced new challenges. Highlight your ability to remain open-minded, embrace different perspectives, and adjust your approach when necessary. Show your willingness to learn and grow in dynamic environments.

Q4: Is it important to provide quantifiable results in my STAR method responses?

A4: While providing quantifiable results is beneficial, it is not always necessary. Focus on the impact of your actions and the outcomes you achieved. If you can quantify your results, such as cost savings, percentage improvements, or increased efficiency, it can strengthen your responses. However, qualitative results that demonstrate the value you brought to a situation are also valuable.

Q5: Howcan I showcase my integrity during a UN Competency-Based Interview?

A5: To showcase your integrity, provide examples of situations where you demonstrated honesty, trustworthiness, and respect for others. Highlight instances where you upheld ethical principles and made decisions based on moral values. Emphasize your commitment to transparency, accountability, and maintaining confidentiality when necessary.


Mastering UN Competency-Based Interviews requires thorough preparation, understanding of the competencies, and effective communication of your skills and experiences. By following the strategies outlined in this guide, you can enhance your chances of success in these interviews. Remember to practice, tailor your responses, and showcase your alignment with the organization’s values. Good luck in your future interviews!


Related Articles:


  1. United Nations. (n.d.). Competency Framework. Retrieved from
  2. United Nations. (n.d.). Interviews. Retrieved from
  3. Mind Tools. (n.d.). The STAR Method: Answering Behavioral Interview Questions. Retrieved from

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