20 IOM Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at IOM.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the world’s leading inter-governmental organization dealing with migration. Founded in 1951, IOM works to ensure the orderly and humane movement of people across borders. It does so by providing services and assistance to migrants, governments, and other partners.

IOM is a unique organization in that it is both inter-governmental and international. This means that it is composed of member states – currently 163 – who have all agreed to uphold the IOM Constitution. As an international organization, IOM also has a General Assembly, which is made up of representatives from all of its member states.

IOM’s work is diverse and far-reaching. Its activities include providing humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, promoting humane and orderly migration, advocating for the rights of migrants, and assisting governments in developing and implementing migration policies.

IOM is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has a presence in over 100 countries.

IOM Interview Process

The interview process at IOM can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most interviews will be either competency-based or technical in nature. The length of the hiring process can also vary, but it is typically around three to four months.

Common IOM Interview Questions

1. Why do you want to work at IOM?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand why you are interested in working at IOM. It is important to show that you have done your research on the organization, including what it does and its history.

Example: “I am passionate about international relations and foreign policy. When I was researching organizations that work with these issues, IOM stood out as a leader in this field. I would love to be part of an organization that helps people around the world. I believe my skills and experience make me a great fit for this role.”

2. What is your approach when dealing with a difficult coworker?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills and how you handle conflict. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with and the steps you took to resolve the issue or improve your relationship.

Example: “In my last position, I worked with a coworker who often made sarcastic comments that were unhelpful and sometimes hurtful. At first, I tried to ignore her remarks, but after a few weeks of hearing these comments, I decided to speak up and tell her that her comments were making me feel uncomfortable. She apologized and promised to try to stop making those types of comments. After that, we started having more positive interactions.”

3. How would you handle an employee that wasn’t following procedures correctly?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle conflict and whether you’re willing to hold others accountable for their actions. Use examples from your experience where you helped a colleague or employee understand company policies or procedures.

Example: “In my last role, I had an employee who was consistently late to work. At first, I spoke with them about it in private and asked if they were having any issues at home that may be causing them to arrive late. They said everything was fine, so I scheduled a meeting with them and our HR manager. We discussed the importance of arriving on time and what would happen if they continued to show up late. After that meeting, they arrived to work on time every day for two months.”

4. Are you comfortable working in a team environment?

Teamwork is an important skill for IOM employees. The organization’s mission is to promote peace and security, so it needs people who can work well with others. When answering this question, you should show that you are a team player. You can talk about your experience working in teams or mention the skills you have that make you a good teammate.

Example: “I am very comfortable working in a team environment. In my last job, I was part of a project team where we had to come up with solutions to complex problems. We all worked together to find creative ways to solve these issues. I enjoy collaborating with others on projects because it allows me to learn from other people’s ideas.”

5. Describe any experience you have with project management and budgeting.

IOM is a large organization that requires extensive project management and budgeting. Your answer should show the interviewer your experience with these processes, as well as how you can apply them to this role.

Example: “I have worked in my current position for five years now, where I am responsible for managing multiple projects at once. In addition, I also manage our department’s budget, which includes allocating funds for new equipment and software updates. These experiences have helped me develop strong skills in both project management and budgeting.”

6. Do you have any experience managing projects or teams?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience with managing projects and teams. If you have management experience, discuss it in detail to show how you used your skills to complete tasks or meet deadlines. If you don’t have any management experience, you can talk about other leadership roles you’ve held.

Example: “In my previous role as a project manager, I was responsible for overseeing all aspects of a client’s website development process. This included creating timelines, assigning tasks to team members and ensuring that everyone met their deadlines. In this position, I also had to manage budgets and communicate regularly with clients to ensure they were happy with our progress.”

7. Tell me about a time where you were able to motivate a group of people to complete a project.

This question is a great way to show your leadership skills and how you can motivate others. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight the steps you took to motivate the group of people and what the outcome was.

Example: “When I first started working at my previous company, there were many projects that needed to be completed by our team. One project in particular required all members of the marketing department to work together to create an ad campaign for a new product. We had a tight deadline, but I knew we could get everything done if we worked as a team.

I met with each member of the department individually to discuss their role in the project. Then, I created a schedule where everyone would have time to complete their tasks. By doing this, I was able to motivate the entire department to work together and meet the deadline.”

8. Provide an example of how you helped resolve a problem within a team.

This question can help the interviewer understand how you work with others and your problem-solving skills. Use examples from previous jobs to highlight your teamwork abilities, communication skills and conflict resolution skills.

Example: “In my last position as a project manager, I had a team of five people who worked on various projects for clients. One day, one of our employees called out sick, which left us short-staffed. I immediately contacted another employee to see if they could come in early or stay late to help meet client deadlines. They agreed, and we were able to complete all of our projects by the deadline.”

9. Can you tell me about a recent global event, what was the impact and how did it affect you personally?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of current events and how they affect you. It also shows the interviewer that you are aware of what’s going on in the world, which can be important for an international organization like IOM.

Example: “I think one of the most recent global events was Brexit. As someone who has family in England, it affected me personally because my relatives were worried about their future. However, I think this event had a huge impact on the entire European Union as well. The EU is still trying to figure out exactly what Brexit means for them.”

10. Have you ever worked on a project that failed? How did you deal with it?

This question can help the interviewer get a better sense of your problem-solving skills. When answering, it’s important to highlight how you used critical thinking and problem solving to overcome challenges.

Example: “In my last position as an IT specialist, I was tasked with creating a new database for our company. Unfortunately, after several months of work, we realized that the system wasn’t going to be able to handle all of the data we needed to store. We had to scrap the entire project and start over. It took us another six months to create a new database that could hold all of the information we needed.”

11. What are some things that you think need to be improved about the current immigration system?

This question can help the interviewer get a better understanding of your knowledge and experience with immigration. It also helps them determine if you have any ideas for improvement that could be implemented in their organization. When answering this question, it’s important to focus on positive solutions rather than just listing problems.

Example: “I think one thing that needs to improve is how long it takes for some immigrants to receive citizenship. I know there are many factors that go into this process, but I believe we should look at ways to streamline the system so that people don’t have to wait as long. For example, I worked with an organization that was able to reduce the amount of time it took to process applications by 50% simply by changing the way they organized paperwork.”

12. What is your opinion on the refugee crisis?

The refugee crisis is a hot-button issue in the media and among many governments. Your answer to this question will show your interviewer how you feel about refugees, their rights and what should be done to help them.

Example: “I believe that all people have the right to live without fear of persecution or violence. I think we need to do more to help refugees who are fleeing war zones and other dangerous situations. We can start by providing safe places for them to stay while they wait for resettlement.”

13. IOM focuses on providing humanitarian assistance for refugees and migrants. Where do you see the world headed in terms of technology and migration, both legal and illegal?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the organization and its mission. It also gives you a chance to share your opinions on current events, which can be helpful if they are relevant to the position.

Example: “IOM has been at the forefront of migration for decades, so I am very familiar with their work. As technology continues to advance, it will become easier for people to migrate without proper documentation. This could lead to more illegal immigration as well as human trafficking. I believe that IOM should continue to develop new ways to help migrants navigate legal channels while providing humanitarian assistance when necessary.”

14. What do you know about IOM’s mission statement?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the organization and its goals. When answering, it’s important to show that you understand what IOM does and how it helps people around the world.

Example: “IOM’s mission statement is ‘To promote humane conditions of migration.’ This means they work to ensure safe and orderly migration for all people in the world. They do this by providing technical assistance to governments and other organizations who are working on migration issues. For example, they helped create the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which was signed by over 150 countries.”

15. Give us an example of when you had to solve a problem in a short amount of time.

This question can help the interviewer understand how you approach challenges and solve problems. Use examples from your previous work experience to highlight your problem-solving skills, time management abilities and ability to think critically under pressure.

Example: “In my last position as a project manager for an IT company, I had to manage a team of five developers who were working on a new software program. One day, one of our programmers came to me with concerns about the code they were writing. They said it was too complicated and that they didn’t know if they could finish in time. I asked them to explain their concerns further so we could find a solution together. After talking through the issue, we realized that the programmer’s concerns were valid. We decided to simplify the coding process by using a different language.”

16. Providing care and services to migrant populations can sometimes be difficult. What qualities do you think make someone suitable for this type of position?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your qualifications for this role. Use examples from your experience to show that you have what it takes to succeed in this position.

Example: “I think someone who is empathetic and compassionate would be well-suited for this type of work. I’ve worked with many migrant populations, and these are two qualities that I feel make me an excellent candidate for this role. Migrants often need care and services when they’re at their most vulnerable, so having empathy and compassion can really help them feel more comfortable.”

17. What aspect of immigration law interests you most?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your interests and how they align with their organization. Your answer should reflect your passion for immigration law, but you may also want to include some specific skills that are relevant to this role.

Example: “I am passionate about helping immigrants integrate into their new communities. I believe it’s important to provide them with resources and support so they can find jobs, learn English and become active members of society. In my last position, I helped create an outreach program where we partnered with local organizations to offer free citizenship classes and other educational opportunities.”

18. Do you have any experience negotiating with government officials?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience working with people in positions of power. If you do, share a story about how you successfully negotiated with someone and what skills helped you achieve that goal.

Example: “In my last position as an international trade specialist, I had to negotiate with government officials from several countries regarding tariffs on goods. The company I worked for was trying to expand its business into these countries, so we needed to find ways to lower or eliminate tariffs. I used my communication skills to build relationships with each official and explain our company’s goals. Eventually, we were able to reach agreements that benefited both parties.”

19. If hired, what would you say is your greatest strength?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you would fit in with their team. When answering, it can be helpful to think of a specific example that relates to the job description or company values.

Example: “My greatest strength is my ability to work well under pressure. I have experience working on several projects at once, which has helped me develop excellent time management skills. In one previous role, I was responsible for managing multiple social media accounts while also creating content. One day, our primary account manager became ill, so I had to take over her responsibilities as well. I was able to successfully manage both tasks without any issues.”

20. Tell us about a conflict you have been involved in and how you handled it.

This question is a great way to show your problem-solving skills and ability to work with others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention how you used teamwork or collaboration to resolve the conflict.

Example: “When I was working as an assistant manager at my previous job, there were some issues between two employees that led to one employee filing a complaint against the other. The HR department asked me to help mediate the situation, so I met with both parties separately to hear their sides of the story. After hearing both accounts, I helped them come up with a compromise that would allow both employees to continue working together.”


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