20 UNDP Interview Questions and Answers

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

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is an international development agency that helps countries achieve sustainable development. UNDP works with governments, civil society, the private sector, and people around the world to build inclusive, sustainable societies.

UNDP has a wide range of programs and projects that focus on poverty eradication, crisis prevention, and social development. As such, UNDP is always looking for qualified candidates to fill a variety of positions.

If you’re interested in working for UNDP, you’ll need to go through a rigorous interview process. In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of some of the most common UNDP interview questions so you can be prepared for your interview.

UNDP Interview Process

The interview process at UNDP can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one written assessment and one interview. The written assessment is usually timed and based on a subject relevant to the role you are applying for. This assessment is used to assess your knowledge and mastery of the subject matter, as well as your technical skills and ability to work under pressure. The interview is usually conducted by a panel of interviewers and may be either in person or virtually. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your motivation for the job, your experience, and your skills.

1. Tell me about your experience working with local governments.

The United Nations often works with local governments to implement projects that benefit the community. This question helps employers understand your experience working in this type of environment and how you can contribute to their organization.

Example: “I have worked with several local government agencies throughout my career, including a small town council and a county commission. In both cases, I helped develop strategic plans for economic development and job creation. These experiences taught me how important it is to work together with other organizations to achieve common goals.”

2. What would you say is the most important part of managing a project?

This question is an opportunity to show your understanding of project management and how you would apply it in this role. Your answer should include a specific skill or process that you use when managing projects.

Example: “The most important part of managing a project for me is communication. I find that if my team members don’t know what’s expected of them, they can get confused about their roles and responsibilities. To prevent this, I make sure to communicate with all stakeholders on the project regularly. This includes regular meetings with my team, weekly updates to my supervisor and monthly reports to senior leadership.”

3. How do you think we can improve our efforts in poverty alleviation?

This question can help the interviewer understand your knowledge of UNDP and its goals. Use examples from your experience to show how you would improve current efforts in poverty alleviation.

Example: “I think we need to focus more on local initiatives that support sustainable development. In my last role, I worked with a community that was struggling with food shortages due to drought conditions. We were able to provide them with seeds for crops that could withstand dry weather so they could continue to grow their own food. This helped them become self-sufficient and avoid famine.”

4. Do you have experience working in a multicultural environment?

Working for the United Nations requires a high level of cultural sensitivity and awareness. The interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to work with people from different backgrounds. In your answer, try to highlight any experience you have working in a multicultural environment.

Example: “I’ve worked in a multinational company for five years now, so I’m used to working with colleagues from all over the world. However, I think my most memorable experience was when we had an international team-building event where everyone got to know each other better. It was really interesting to learn about our colleagues’ cultures and traditions.”

5. Give an example of a time when you had to use diplomacy skills, how did that turn out?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills and how you use them in the workplace. Use examples from previous work experiences that show how you used diplomacy to solve a problem or improve a situation.

Example: “In my last position, I had to manage several projects at once. One of those projects involved working with a team member who was very outspoken. This person often spoke out against ideas they didn’t agree with, which caused conflict within our group. I talked with this person privately and explained why their behavior was affecting the project. They understood and apologized for their actions. From then on, they were much more diplomatic when speaking up during meetings.”

6. Have you ever worked for a company or organization that focuses on social development?

This question is a great way to show your interest in the field of social development and how you can apply your skills to help others. If you have experience working for a company that focuses on social development, explain what you did and how it helped people.

Example: “I worked as an assistant manager at a local food bank where I was responsible for organizing volunteers and helping them with their tasks. This position gave me valuable leadership experience and taught me how to work well with others. It also showed me how important it is to give back to my community.”

7. What are your thoughts on the current state of the world’s economy?

The interviewer may ask this question to gauge your knowledge of current events and how they relate to the role. Your answer should show that you are aware of what’s happening in the world, but also that you have a plan for how you would help improve it.

Example: “I think we’re currently experiencing an economic boom, however, I believe there is still room for improvement. For example, many countries are still struggling with poverty, which can lead to other issues like crime and disease. I think UNDP could use its resources to help these countries develop their economies so they can become more stable.”

8. Why do you want to work at UNDP?

This question is an opportunity to show your passion for the organization and its mission. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific project or initiative that you admire.

Example: “I want to work at UNDP because I am passionate about helping people in developing countries. In my last role as a social worker, I worked with many families who were struggling financially. It was rewarding to see how much progress we made together toward bettering their lives. I would love to continue working on projects like this one day.”

9. What quality do you think makes someone a good leader?

This question can help an interviewer understand your leadership style and how you would apply it to a role with UNDP. When answering, consider what qualities you think are important in a leader and relate them to your own experiences as a leader.

Example: “I believe that the most important quality of a good leader is their ability to inspire others. A great leader should be able to motivate their team members and encourage them to work hard toward achieving goals. I have been fortunate enough to work for leaders who possess this quality, and I try to emulate their behavior when working on my own projects.”

10. What is your biggest weakness?

This question is a common one in interviews, and it’s important to be honest. Interviewers want to know that you’re aware of your weaknesses and are actively working on them. When answering this question, try to think of something that isn’t too serious or negative but also shows that you’re self-aware.

Example: “I’m very passionate about my work, which can sometimes lead me to overwork myself. I’ve been trying to make sure I take regular breaks throughout the day so I don’t burn out.”

11. Describe a situation where you were faced with difficult circumstances, how did you handle it?

This question is a great way to show your problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a situation that you overcame or how you managed the situation successfully.

Example: “In my last position as an assistant manager at a local restaurant, I was faced with a difficult circumstance when one of our servers called in sick on a busy Friday night. With only two servers working, we were short-staffed and needed someone to cover their tables. I immediately asked another server if they could help out by covering the other person’s tables for the rest of the evening. They agreed, and together we were able to serve all of our customers without any issues.”

12. How would you rate your communication skills?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you are confident in your ability to communicate with others. Your answer should include a specific example of how you used your communication skills to solve a problem or achieve a goal.

Example: “I have always been passionate about learning and sharing my knowledge, which has led me to become a teacher for the past five years. I find great joy in helping students learn new concepts and understand difficult topics. In my last teaching position, I was able to help several students improve their grades by at least one letter grade. One student even went from failing her class to getting an A.”

13. What are some things you do to keep yourself up-to-date on current events and issues?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your current awareness and how you stay informed. It also helps them understand what resources you use to learn more about UNDP’s mission, goals and objectives.

Example: “I subscribe to several news sources online that I find reputable and informative. I also have an app on my phone where I can set alerts for breaking news stories so I can read them as soon as they’re published. I think it’s important to be aware of current events because it helps me better understand the issues people are facing around the world.”

14. If hired, what goals would you set for yourself within the first 30 days as a consultant?

This question is a great way to learn more about the candidate’s work ethic and goals. It also allows you to see how they plan their time and what they prioritize when starting a new job.

Example: “I would start by learning as much as I can about the organization, its mission and its values. Then, I would meet with my supervisor to discuss my strengths and weaknesses and find out what projects are available for me to take on. Finally, I would begin working on one of those projects so that I could get started right away.”

15. Can you tell me about a time when you were working under pressure, what did you do?

This question is a great way to assess your ability to work under pressure and how you respond to it. When answering this question, try to think of an example that shows you can handle stress well and perform well in high-pressure situations.

Example: “I was working on a project for my previous employer where we were tasked with creating a new website for the company. We had a tight deadline because the company wanted to launch the site at a trade show. I knew that if we didn’t meet our deadline, we would lose out on a lot of potential business. So, I gathered all of my team members together and explained the importance of meeting the deadline. Then, I delegated tasks so everyone could focus on what they needed to do. In the end, we met our deadline and launched the website at the trade show.”

16. How will you contribute to the mission and vision of our company?

The interviewer will want to know how you can help their company achieve its goals. Use examples from your previous experience that show how you helped a team or organization succeed.

Example: “I believe in the UNDP’s mission of helping people around the world live better lives. I am passionate about this cause and would love to be part of an organization that shares my values. In my last role, I worked with a team of data scientists who were tasked with creating a new program for the state government. We used our skills to create a comprehensive plan that was accepted by the governor.”

17. What is your greatest strength?

This question is a common one in interviews, and it’s important to be honest. Employers want to know what you’re good at so they can use your strengths to their advantage. When answering this question, think about the skills that are most relevant to the job description.

Example: “My greatest strength is my ability to work well with others. I am always willing to collaborate with others on projects and find solutions to problems. In my last role, I worked with a team of five other people to create an online database for our organization. We all had different skill sets, but we were able to work together to create something beneficial.”

18. What has been one of the toughest challenges you’ve dealt with?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle challenges and obstacles. When answering this question, it can be helpful to discuss a time when you overcame a challenge or faced an obstacle and succeeded.

Example: “One of the toughest challenges I’ve ever had to overcome was during my first year as a social worker. I worked with a client who was experiencing homelessness and mental illness. He also struggled with substance abuse issues. It took me several months to get him into a treatment program that could address all of his needs. However, after working with him for over a year, he finally got clean and sober and found stable housing.”

19. What was your involvement in past projects?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the UNDP program and how you can contribute to it. When answering this question, try to highlight any past projects that are similar to what UNDP does.

Example: “In my last position as an environmental engineer, I worked on several projects that focused on sustainable development. One project in particular was for a local community center where we installed solar panels to help reduce energy costs. Another project I worked on was with a local school district to create more environmentally friendly lunch options.”

20. Tell us about your favorite internship experience.

This question is a great way to learn more about your potential future colleagues. It’s also an opportunity for you to share what you learned from the internship and how it helped you develop professionally.

Example: “My favorite internship experience was at my current company, where I work as a marketing manager. My internship here taught me so much about digital marketing and how to use social media to reach new audiences. This knowledge has been incredibly helpful in my career, and I’m excited to continue learning more about digital marketing.”


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