20 UNFPA Interview Questions and Answers

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

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, is a UN organization. Headquartered in New York City, UNFPA provides technical assistance to countries around the world in family planning, maternal health, and reproductive health.

If you’re hoping to land a job at UNFPA, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions about your qualifications, work history, and availability. In this guide, we’ve assembled a list of UNFPA interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

UNFPA Interview Process

The interview process at UNFPA can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require a written test followed by a competency-based interview. The written test is usually 2 hours long and is conducted online. The competency-based interview is conducted by a panel of 3 members and focuses on your experience and skills related to the job description. After the interview, you may be asked to provide additional documents or complete online courses. The entire process can take up to 2 months.

1. What do you think is the most pressing issue facing women today?

This question can help interviewers understand your passion for women’s rights and the issues you’re most passionate about. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific issue that is important to you and how you would work to solve it if you were hired.

Example: “I think one of the biggest issues facing women today is gender-based violence. I have worked with many survivors of domestic abuse in my previous role as an advocate for victims’ rights, so I know how devastating this problem can be. If I was hired for this position, I would use my experience advocating for victims to create programs that educate people on what they can do to prevent gender-based violence.”

2. How would you handle a situation where you were working with an intern and they weren’t meeting your expectations?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you manage your team and interns. Give examples of how you would communicate with them to ensure they meet your expectations, and how you would support them in improving their performance.

Example: “I have worked with interns before, and I always make sure to give them clear instructions on what is expected of them. If an intern isn’t meeting my expectations, I will first ask them about their progress and if there are any challenges they’re facing. Then, I’ll provide additional resources or training opportunities that may help them improve their performance.”

3. Do you have experience using UNIX, Linux or Windows operating systems?

UNFPA uses UNIX, Linux and Windows operating systems. Your answer should show that you have experience using these operating systems to complete your work. If you do not have experience with any of the three operating systems, consider mentioning a similar system you are familiar with.

Example: “I am very comfortable working on UNIX, Linux and Windows operating systems. I worked as an IT specialist for five years at my previous job where I was responsible for maintaining all company computers. I also helped train new employees on how to use the computer systems.”

4. Tell me about a time when you had to work in a team environment with people you didn’t get along with.

Working in a team environment is an important part of the job, and employers want to know that you can work well with others. This question helps them understand how you handle conflict and shows your problem-solving skills.

Example: “I once worked on a project with someone who was very critical of my ideas. I tried to be respectful when responding to their feedback but also made sure they knew I wasn’t going to change my approach just because they didn’t like it. Eventually, we found a compromise where I implemented some of their suggestions while still keeping my original idea.”

5. Why are you interested in working at UNFPA?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand why you are applying for this position. It is important to show that you have done your research on UNFPA, its mission and what it does. You should also mention how you feel about working in an international organization.

Example: “I am interested in working at UNFPA because I want to make a difference in the lives of women around the world. I believe that access to reproductive health care is essential for women’s empowerment and gender equality. I would love to work for an organization that supports women’s rights and provides them with education and resources they need to lead healthy lives.”

6. Describe your past experience as an administrative assistant.

Administrative assistants are a vital part of any organization. Employers ask this question to see if you have the skills and experience needed for the role. Before your interview, make sure you read through the job description. Highlight any skills or requirements that you possess. Use these as examples when answering this question.

Example: “I’ve been an administrative assistant for five years now. In my current position, I am responsible for managing our company’s social media accounts. This includes creating content, responding to comments and questions and scheduling posts. I also manage our email inboxes and organize our office supplies. These tasks help me develop my time management and organizational skills.”

7. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

This question can help the interviewer gain insight into your problem-solving skills and ability to overcome challenges. Use examples from your previous work experience that highlight your abilities to think critically, communicate effectively and collaborate with others.

Example: “In my last position as a social worker for an adoption agency, I had a client who was struggling emotionally after her baby was born prematurely. She wanted to give up on the adoption process, but I helped her understand how important it was for her child to have a family. I spent time talking with her about her feelings and helping her find resources to support her during this difficult time. Eventually, she decided to continue with the adoption process.”

8. Can you explain your role on each one of these projects?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the work you’ve done in the past. It’s also an opportunity for you to talk about what you enjoy most about working on these projects and how they have helped others.

Example: “In my role as a community health worker, I worked with women who were pregnant or had recently given birth. My job was to educate them on their options when it came to family planning and reproductive healthcare. In my role as a midwife, I assisted doctors during childbirth and provided emotional support to mothers and families. As a public health educator, I taught people about sexual education and family planning.”

9. What programs do you have experience with?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your experience with similar programs. Use your answer to highlight the skills you developed while working on these projects and how they can help you succeed in this role.

Example: “I have worked with a number of reproductive health organizations, including Planned Parenthood and the National Women’s Health Network. In both roles, I helped develop educational materials for patients and healthcare providers. These experiences taught me how to create effective communication strategies that are easy to understand. They also gave me valuable insight into what information is most important for patients and doctors.”

10. If hired, what kind of goals would you set for yourself within the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?

Interviewers ask this question to see if you have a plan for how you would approach your job and what kind of goals you would set. Your answer should include specific, measurable goals that show you are ready to take on the role and make an impact right away.

Example: “I know UNFPA is committed to helping women around the world achieve their reproductive rights. My first goal would be to learn more about the organization’s mission and find out where I can best contribute to achieving those goals. I also want to get to know my coworkers and understand what they do so we can work together to support one another and help each other succeed.”

11. What is your favorite thing about programming?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and understand what motivates you. Your answer should reflect your personality, but it also needs to show that programming is more than just a job for you.

Example: “My favorite thing about programming is when I solve a problem that no one else has been able to figure out. It’s rewarding to be able to create something new or fix an issue that many people have struggled with. I love being able to use my skills to make someone’s life easier.”

12. What do you think is the biggest challenge in this position?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the position and how you can overcome challenges. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest about what you think is challenging in the role but also highlight your skills that will help you overcome those challenges.

Example: “The biggest challenge I see in this position is the need for constant communication with different stakeholders. In my current role as an outreach coordinator, I have experience communicating with many different groups of people. I am skilled at finding common ground between parties and building relationships that allow me to get information out effectively.”

13. Are you willing to travel internationally?

The United Nations is an international organization, so it’s likely that you’ll need to travel internationally at some point in your career. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re prepared for the possibility of having to relocate and work abroad. In your answer, explain how you feel about traveling internationally. Explain why you are or aren’t willing to do so.

Example: “I am definitely open to traveling internationally. I love learning about other cultures and meeting new people. I think it would be a great opportunity to see more of the world. However, if I were offered this position, I would have to discuss with my family whether they would be comfortable moving internationally. My husband has a good job here, but we could always look into relocating.”

14. Give us an example of a project that you worked on that was successful and one that wasn’t so successful, why do you think it failed?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your decision-making process and how you handle challenges. When answering, it can be helpful to focus on the steps you took to make a project successful and what you learned from the unsuccessful one.

Example: “In my last role as an international development coordinator, I worked with a team of volunteers to create a new website for our organization. We had a lot of ideas that we wanted to implement, but we also knew that we couldn’t do everything at once. So, we decided to prioritize the most important information and features first and then add in other content later. This helped us avoid overwhelming our users and allowed us to build up our site over time.”

15. Have you ever been involved in developing a budget?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience with financial management and budgeting. Use examples from past projects to highlight your skills in this area, such as how you developed a budget for a project or organization and what steps you took to ensure it was accurate.

Example: “In my current role, I am responsible for creating an annual budget that includes all expenses for the upcoming year. I first create a preliminary budget based on our previous spending habits and then work with my team to make adjustments where necessary. We also discuss any new initiatives we plan to implement during the next fiscal year so we can include those costs in the budget. After finalizing the budget, I submit it to senior leadership for approval.”

16. What motivates you to go above and beyond in your career?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand what drives your success. Use this opportunity to share a story about a time when you went above and beyond for a client or employer, and how it impacted your work.

Example: “I have always been motivated by helping others succeed. In my previous role as an HR manager, I noticed that many employees were struggling with their finances. So, I started a financial literacy program where we taught our employees basic budgeting skills and helped them create realistic budgets. The program was so successful that we expanded it to include all of our clients.”

17. How do you feel about public speaking?

Public speaking is a common requirement for many positions in the public sector. The interviewer may ask this question to determine how comfortable you are with presenting information to large groups of people. Your answer should show that you enjoy public speaking and have experience doing so. If you don’t, consider mentioning any other types of presentations you’ve done in the past.

Example: “I love public speaking because it gives me an opportunity to share my knowledge with others. I find that when I’m passionate about what I’m talking about, it’s easier to keep the audience engaged. In my last position, I gave several presentations on reproductive health at community events. I found that these presentations helped educate the public about important issues related to reproductive health.”

18. What would you say is your greatest strength and weakness?

This question is a common one in interviews, and it’s important to be honest. Interviewers want to know what your greatest strengths are so they can see how you will use them in the role. They also want to know about any weaknesses so that they can help you improve on them or decide if they’re something that won’t affect your ability to do the job well.

Example: “My greatest strength is my communication skills. I am able to clearly explain complex ideas and concepts to others, which makes me an excellent teacher. My weakness is that sometimes I get too excited when talking about things I’m passionate about. This has led to me speaking quickly at times, which can make it difficult for people to understand me.”

19. What are some ways you would use social media to promote UNFPA’s mission?

Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to promote UNFPA’s mission. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of social media and how it can help your organization achieve its goals. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to use social media effectively. Share any experience you have with using social media for professional purposes.

Example: “I believe social media is an excellent way to spread awareness about important issues like family planning. I would create content on my personal accounts as well as the official UNFPA account that promotes the organization’s mission. I would also encourage followers to share their own stories and experiences with family planning. This helps people feel more connected to the cause and may inspire them to get involved.”

20. We want our interns to be able to work independently. Do you think you would be a good fit for that type of environment?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you are a self-starter and can work independently. You should highlight any skills or experiences that make you feel confident in your ability to succeed as an intern at UNFPA.

Example: “I am very comfortable working on my own, especially when I have clearly defined goals and expectations. In fact, I prefer it because I know exactly what I need to do and how long it will take me to complete the task. This allows me to be more productive and efficient with my time.”


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