Knowing what to expect from the hiring and assessment process at UNHCR will help you succeed.
Learn about all the steps you will need to take to get to your dream job at UNHCR.
UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives and protecting the rights of refugees, with the mandate to protect refugees,
forcibly displaced communities and stateless people, and assist in their voluntary repatriation.
The interview process
UNHCR recruitment process and job opportunities are advertised on a regular basis; please visit the UNHCR career page frequently.
- Find your Job
- Online application
- Confirmation email
- Assessments and Competency Based Interviews
- Job Offers
- Start your first day
Employment Assessment Test
As you can imagine, the process can vary greatly depending on the position you are looking to fill. Also, depending on your location, some branches may include additional evaluations.
Start practice today and improve your hiring chances
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Video
Joining UNHCR means living, sharing, and promoting the organization.
- International Professional Staff
- Talent Pools
- Temporary appointments
- Junior Professional Officer
- United Nations Volunteers
- Other Opportunities
Common Interview Questions
Interviews for positions at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) can be quite rigorous, as the organization seeks individuals who are not only skilled but also deeply committed to its mission of protecting refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people.
Interview questions and answers you need to know
- How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You?
- How long do you expect to work for this company?
- What Are Your Salary Requirements?
- What Do You Think We Could Do Better or Differently?
- Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?
- What motivates you?
- How much do you expect to get paid?
- Can You Explain Why You Changed your Career Paths?
- Why do you want this job?
- What’s a Time You Disagreed With a Decision That Was Made at Work?
UN Job opportunities
Search for potential jobs in the UN organization
- UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund
- World Bank
- FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization
- UNHCR – UN Refugee Agency
- WHO – World Health Organization
- ICJ – International Court of Justice
UNHCR Written Test Questions
you can expect questions that assess the skills, experience, and qualifications needed for the job role you’re applying for.
Here are some general types of questions you may encounter, depending on the position:
- You may be asked to analyze a situation, policy, or piece of data relevant to the role you’re applying for. For example, you might need to analyze a hypothetical refugee crisis and make recommendations for UNHCR’s action.
Subject Matter Expertise
- Depending on the role, you may get questions that test your specialized knowledge. For instance, a candidate for a legal position might be asked questions about international refugee law.
Situational or Behavioral Questions
- These questions will present you with scenarios you might encounter on the job, asking how you would handle them.
- You may be required to draft a memo, write an email, or otherwise demonstrate your written communication skills. The content could be technical or managerial, depending on the position.
- Roles that involve budgeting, data analysis, or other numerical skills may include quantitative questions. You may be asked to interpret data, create a budget, or solve a math problem.
- For positions requiring proficiency in multiple languages, you might be tested on your language skills, either through translation exercises or by having to answer questions in a language other than your first language.
Knowledge of UNHCR
- You may also be asked questions that assess your understanding of the UNHCR’s mandate, operations, and current challenges.
To prepare for the written test, you should:
- Carefully review the job description to understand the skills and experience needed for the role.
- Study any documents or materials related to the subject matter of the job.
- Practice your writing and, if necessary, quantitative skills.
- Familiarize yourself with the UNHCR’s mission, operations, and current events affecting the organization.
Competency Based Interview UNHCR
Competency-based interviews are designed to assess specific skills, knowledge, and behavior that are critical for a particular role. In the context of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), such interviews are aimed at evaluating your qualifications for working in complex, often challenging environments that require a strong commitment to the values and mandate of the organization.
Here’s what you can expect and some tips for preparing:
Types of Competencies Assessed
- Leadership Skills: Ability to lead teams, make decisions, and influence others.
- Communication Skills: Clarity, diplomacy, and the ability to communicate effectively at all levels.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Ability to assess situations and come up with viable solutions.
- Teamwork: Ability to work in a multicultural environment and foster team spirit.
- Technical Skills: Depending on the role, specific technical skills may be assessed.
- Adaptability: Ability to adapt to changing conditions and work environments.
- Ethical Judgment: Ability to make ethical decisions aligned with UNHCR’s values and mandate.
Common Formats of Questions
Competency-based interview questions often start with phrases like:
- “Tell me about a time when you…”
- “Describe a situation where you had to…”
- “Give me an example of…”
- Leadership: Tell me about a time you had to lead a team under a tight deadline.
- Communication: Describe a situation where you had to manage a conflict between team members.
- Problem-Solving: Can you share an example of a challenging problem you faced and how you resolved it?
- Teamwork: Tell me about a time you worked in a team with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Adaptability: Describe a situation where you had to quickly adapt to significant changes in your work environment.
- Technical Skills: Can you share an experience where your technical skills were crucial to project success?