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UNHCR Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated May 19, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

33%
11%
11%

Interview Experience  

55%
33%
11%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
10 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in
1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Grants Manager Interview

Grants Manager
New York, NY

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 days - interviewed at UNHCR in May 2010.

Interview Details – Extensive, excruciating, successful.

Negotiation Details – N/A


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Legal Officer Interview

Legal Officer

I applied through other source and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at UNHCR.

Interview Details – The position has been announced by one of the regional offices. It was needed to fill in P11 form and to send everything via post. I have contacted in order to send it via e-mail too. 3 weeks latter I have received an invitation to take a written exam for the position. I took the exam for the position with 2 other persons, one of whom was temporary employed for the position on which we were competing - thus he even had the exam on his PC. We have received the tasks and also Hanbook guideliness of the UNHCR to consult, however it was not indicated that this matterial will be available. All in all, it was not clear whether there was a room for competition or not with the temporary working person.

Interview Question – Whether and how the UNHCR office in my country should intervene in issues related to detention policies?   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

FACE to FACE FUNDRAISER Interview

FACE to FACE FUNDRAISER
Melbourne (Australia)

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at UNHCR.

Interview Details – I applied on their website and within a few weeks was called and given an on-the-spot phone interview. In this interview she asked me basic questions like why I wanted to work for the company, what my experience was, and basic customer service questions. At its conclusion she invited me for a group interview the next week.

The group interview lasted for approximately two and a half hours. During this time we watched some videos and learnt a little about UNHCR before introducing ourselves, outlining our experience, and summing up why we wanted to work for the organisation. The recruiter would randomly select us and ask us questions, scenarios, and test us to see if we were fit for/had the passion for what is a pretty demanding job psychologically.

Overall it was a fairly relaxed interview that still demanded a sense of professionalism and knowing when to speak. If I could give any advice, it would be to keep smiling, to make yourself noticed without being obnoxious, to show your dedication to and knowledge of the organisation, and to always be interested in what your potential coworkers have to say.

Interview Question – What would you do if someone came up to you in the street and said "You're Australian, why are you working to help refugees?"   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Intern - Protection - Resettlement Interview

Intern - Protection - Resettlement

I applied online and interviewed at UNHCR.

Interview Details – I was shortlisted 3 times for UNHCR internships. Each time I submitted my resume and cover letter to an office or person in charge of program, be that through a public and competitive offer or directly as an unsolicited application.

I was offered an interview in the 3 cases and had some of the following questions:
-Can you go through your CV?
-Could you define what is a refugee according to the 1951 convention?
-Could you give us some thought on the refugee regime as practiced in this country?
-What did you previous experience on refugees bring you?
-You mention research interests on (x) and (y), how would that help to carry out your duties?
-You took these trainings on humanitarian affairs, how do you think you could incorporate that knowledge into what we're working on here?
-You have necessarily dealt with a difficult person on your workplace. How did you deal with it?
-When could you start?
-Do you have any particular questions?
-How have you ever innovated in a workplace?

... Then I had an email or phone call to confirm they wanted me to work but I declined in 2 cases as I was not available on the dates they offered. Overall I had a great impression of UNHCR officials in charge of interviews but it is obviously a quite subjective feeling.

Interview Question – How have you dealt with deadlines you have not respected in the past?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Nothing really important since internships are unpaid at UNHCR.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Senior Protection Officer Interview

Senior Protection Officer
Islamabad, Islamabad (Pakistan)

I applied in-person and the process took 1 week - interviewed at UNHCR in June 2009.

Interview Details – Had to undergo interviews in the local as well as English Language

Interview Questions

Negotiation Details – Was very good


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Interview

Associate
Budapest (Hungary)

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at UNHCR.

Interview Details – I applied for an online job advertisement, completed a special form available at UNHCR website and attached a cover letter. I got a phone call about 1 month later, than was invited for an interview and test. The interview was about 1 hour long, three persons, an assistant, an HR officer and another lady. Fully english, competent based interview, just their questions, nothing being asked from my CV. It was devastating so to say, but I felt it turned out good. They never called me though, and two months passed since, tried to call them, but they mentioned technical problems..... They might call me, but you know what this means...

Interview Question – Can you give me an example form your previous carrier, when you had to solve an internal conflict in your team, what did you do?   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Community Service Associate Interview

Community Service Associate

I applied in-person and the process took 6 months - interviewed at UNHCR in February 2011.

Interview Details – The interview consisted of a written test for short listed candidates, that was followed by a panel interview to a further short listed stage of candidates. The written test consisted of questions that were related to the position particularly and other questions that were related to UNHCR mandate and strategies like the Age and Gender and Diversity Mainstreaming (AGDM). As for the interview, it was more personality and character related but was highly dependent on the preference of the panel and what they thought personally of the candidate. Moreover, the panel was often late and kept candidates waiting for a long time and/or canceled and postponed candidates who have been waiting to be interviewed for a while. The results were announced four months later.

Interview Questions

  • How would you resolve conflict in the office?
    Other questions were related to UNHCR mandate and protection of refugees.
      View Answers (2)
  • What would you do if you were caught in a mass influx of refugees situation and you were all alone and had to make a decision to leave or stay.   View Answers (2)

Negotiation Details – There is no negotiation at UNHCR. my only advice is for candidates to ask clearly about their grade level if they are successful, as they can not trust the UNHCR to take care of their previous seniority level and might place them at a grade level that is way below what their past professional experience qualifies them to.


1 person found this helpful

Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Face to Face Recruiter Interview

Face to Face Recruiter

The process took a day - interviewed at UNHCR in February 2012.

Interview Details – Emailed me to set up an in person interview and had one 3 days later. One on one interview, very informal. Asked typical questions like: What are three words to describe yourself? What are qualities you look for in a good leader? What are you looking for in a career?

Interview Question – What are qualities of a good leader?   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Not the right job for me.


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Intern Interview

Intern

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at UNHCR in November 2010.

Interview Details – Applied through university. Contacted by staff in charge of intern recruitment. Scheduled date and time for interview. Interview was with head of division I would be under. Interview took 1 hour 30 minutes. Questioned on past experience, work ethic, interest in designated position and reasons for undertaking the internship.

Interview Question – What do you think about state responses to refugees?   View Answer


3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Protection Assistant Interview

Protection Assistant
Giza (Egypt)

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at UNHCR in August 2010.

Interview Details – It was a good experience, I had a a panel interview followed by one hour written exam which was very difficult. One of the exam questions was as follows:

In your own words and according to your understanding, can you briefly explain the following terms:
Refugee and Asylum Seeker, Unaccompanied Minor, Sex and Gender Based Violence and Durable Solutions

Interview Questions

  • In your own words and according to your understanding, can you briefly explain the following terms:
    Refugee and Asylum Seeker and Unaccompanied Minor
      Answer Question
  • In your own words and according to your understanding, can you briefly explain the following terms:
    Sex, Gender Based Violence and Durable Solutions
      Answer Question

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