20 World Health Organization Interview Questions and Answers

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

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was established on April 7, 1948, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its current Director-General is Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who began his five-year term on July 1, 2017.

The WHO’s primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations system. The WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends.

World Health Organization Interview Process

The interview process at World Health Organization can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one written exam and one interview. The written exam may be followed by a second interview, which could be either in person or over the phone. For some positions, such as internships, the interview process may be shorter and only consist of one phone interview. Overall, the interview process can take anywhere from one month to several months to complete.

1. What is your biggest weakness?

This question is a common one in interviews, and it’s important to be honest. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are self-aware and can admit your weaknesses. When answering this question, try to think of something that isn’t too serious or negative.

Example: “My biggest weakness is my perfectionism. I want everything to be perfect, but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. This has caused me to miss deadlines before, which is why I am working on being more realistic about what I can accomplish each day.”

2. Tell me about a time when you had to work on multiple tasks at once and how did you handle it?

This question is a great way to show your ability to multitask and prioritize tasks. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention how you organized the multiple tasks and what steps you took to complete them all in a timely manner.

Example: “In my current role as an assistant manager at a local restaurant, I am responsible for managing multiple employees while also ensuring that customers are having a positive experience. One time when we were short-staffed, I had to work on multiple tasks at once, including interviewing new applicants, training new staff members and helping existing staff members with their duties. I was able to handle these multiple tasks by prioritizing which ones needed to be completed first and delegating some of the tasks to other team members.”

3. Why do you want to work for the WHO?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your interest in the position. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific aspects of the job that you are excited about and why they appeal to you.

Example: “I am interested in working for the WHO because I have always been passionate about global health issues. The work that the organization does to help people all over the world is inspiring, and I would love to be able to contribute to that mission. I also think that my background in public relations makes me an excellent candidate for this role.”

4. What steps would you take if an intern was not performing their job up to par?

This question is an opportunity to show your leadership skills and ability to manage a team. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide specific examples of how you’ve helped interns or other employees improve their performance in the past.

Example: “In my current role as director of operations at a hospital, I have several interns who work with me on a daily basis. If one of them was not performing up to par, I would first meet with them privately to discuss what they’re doing well and what areas they could improve upon. Then, I would create a plan for them to follow that outlines specific goals they should achieve by a certain date. I would also check in with them regularly to see how they’re progressing.”

5. Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.

This question is an opportunity to show your communication skills and ability to persuade others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide specific details about the situation and how you were able to use persuasion to achieve a positive outcome.

Example: “In my previous role as a nurse manager, I had a staff member who was consistently late for work. This behavior negatively affected their performance at work because they would often miss important information during morning meetings. After talking with them several times about the importance of arriving on time, I realized that they simply didn’t understand why being on time was so important. So, I explained to them that being on time shows respect for their coworkers and supervisors. They agreed to try harder, and after two weeks, they arrived to work on time every day.”

6. Do you have any experience working with health data?

The World Health Organization is responsible for collecting and analyzing health data from all over the world. The organization uses this information to make decisions about public health initiatives, so it’s important that candidates have experience working with large amounts of data. If you do not have any experience working with health data, consider describing your ability to work with complex data sets in previous positions.

Example: “In my last position as a research analyst, I was tasked with organizing and interpreting complex data sets on consumer spending habits. This involved creating reports based on the data we collected and presenting them to senior management. My team used these reports to create marketing strategies that increased sales by 10%.”

7. How do you think the current coronavirus pandemic will impact public health as a whole?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of current events and how you can apply it to the role. When answering, make sure to include specific details about what’s happening with the virus and how it will impact public health.

Example: “The coronavirus has been spreading throughout the Middle East for several months now. The World Health Organization recently declared a state of emergency due to the severity of the disease. I think this pandemic will have a huge impact on public health because it’s so widespread and there are no vaccines or treatments available yet.”

8. How can technology be utilized to improve healthcare outcomes?

The World Health Organization is constantly looking for ways to improve healthcare outcomes around the world. This question allows you to show your knowledge of how technology can be used in this way and what specific examples you have from your past experience.

Example: “Technology has a huge potential to help with health outcomes, especially when it comes to providing care to those who are underserved or don’t have access to quality medical care. In my last role as a nurse manager, I worked on implementing telehealth services into our hospital’s emergency room. We were able to use these services to provide remote consultations to patients who needed them, which allowed us to free up staff members so they could focus on more urgent cases.”

9. How would you describe the relationship between humans and animals during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your ability to work with others and collaborate on projects. Showcase your interpersonal skills by describing how you worked with other professionals during the outbreak.

Example: “I believe that humans and animals have an important relationship, especially when it comes to health. During COVID-19, I was working in the emergency room at my hospital when we started receiving patients who had contracted the virus. We immediately put into place quarantine procedures for all incoming patients, but some of our staff members were concerned about the safety of their pets and livestock. To address these concerns, I organized a meeting between the hospital administration and local farmers to discuss ways they could protect themselves and their animals from contracting the disease.”

10. Are you comfortable working in a fast paced environment?

World Health Organization is a fast-paced organization that requires its employees to work quickly and efficiently. Employers ask this question to make sure you are able to adapt to their environment. In your answer, explain how you can handle working in a high-pressure situation. Show the employer that you have experience with multitasking and time management.

Example: “I am very comfortable working in a fast-paced environment. I thrive when there is pressure on me because it motivates me to perform at my best. Throughout my career, I have worked for several organizations where I had to meet tight deadlines. I always managed to complete my tasks before the deadline. I also enjoy multitasking as it allows me to get more done in less time.”

11. Where do you see yourself five years from now?

This question is a common one in interviews, and it’s often asked to see if you have career goals. When answering this question, be honest about your future plans but also emphasize how they align with the job description.

Example: “I would like to continue working for an international organization that focuses on health care. I am passionate about helping others, so I hope to work my way up within World Health Organization to become a regional director of operations.”

12. What do you know about the World Health Organization?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the organization and its mission. It also allows you to show that you have done some research about the position before coming in for an interview. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention what you know about the WHO’s history, how it works and any specific projects or initiatives it has worked on.

Example: “I am familiar with the World Health Organization because I was inspired by my high school biology teacher who volunteered at a local clinic that received funding from the WHO. She told us about her experiences working there and encouraged us to apply for internships when we were ready. I did so after graduation and spent two summers as an intern at the WHO.”

13. Are you available to travel internationally?

Travel is a common part of working for the World Health Organization. The organization’s employees often travel to developing countries where they can provide medical care and support to people who need it most. When you answer this question, make sure that you are honest about your willingness to travel internationally. If you have any concerns or reservations about traveling, be sure to mention them as well.

Example: “I am happy to travel internationally if needed. I understand that there may be times when I will need to stay in one place while my colleagues go on assignments. However, I would love to get the opportunity to visit other countries and help those in need.”

14. Can you tell us about one of your strengths that is relevant to this position?

This question is a great opportunity to highlight your skills and abilities that make you an ideal candidate for the role. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about what makes you unique as a candidate and how those strengths would benefit you in this position.

Example: “One of my greatest strengths is my ability to work well with others. I have always been someone who values teamwork and collaboration, which has helped me succeed in previous positions where I worked on teams or projects. In my last position, I was part of a team that developed a new program to help improve health care access in rural areas. My collaborative nature helped us create a plan that we all agreed upon.”

15. Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflicting priorities and how did you resolve it?

World Health Organization is an international organization that works with many different countries and cultures. It’s important to be able to work well with others, communicate effectively and resolve conflicts.

Example: “In my current role as a nurse manager, I have to manage the needs of both patients and staff members. There are times when these priorities conflict, such as when we’re short-staffed or need to hire new employees. In these situations, I try to prioritize patient care first while also ensuring our team has everything they need to provide quality care. For example, if we’re understaffed, I may ask nurses to work overtime so we can ensure all patients receive proper treatment.”

16. How well do you work under pressure?

World Health Organization employees often work under pressure to meet deadlines and ensure the organization’s success. Interviewers ask this question to learn how you handle stress and whether you can perform well in a high-pressure environment. In your answer, share an example of a time when you worked under pressure and succeeded.

Example: “In my current role as a medical researcher, I am constantly working under deadline pressure. For instance, if I have a project due in two weeks but need more information from another source, I may not be able to get that information until one week before the project is due. This means I have only one week to complete the research and write up the report. However, I always manage to meet these tight deadlines because I plan ahead and prioritize my tasks.”

17. What are some ways you can keep track of your work responsibilities when you have many different projects going on at once?

World Health Organization employees often have many projects and assignments to complete at once. The interviewer may ask this question to see if you can manage your time effectively and prioritize tasks when necessary. Use examples from past experience where you’ve had multiple responsibilities or talk about how you would handle having several projects going on at the same time.

Example: “In my current role, I regularly have multiple projects going on at once. For example, I am currently working on a project that involves creating new health care legislation for the state of California while also helping with an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about childhood obesity. In these situations, I use organizational software programs like Trello to keep track of all my work and delegate certain tasks to other team members as needed.”

18. Give me an example of a goal you reached, and tell me how you achieved it.

This question is a great way to show your potential employer that you are goal-oriented and have the ability to achieve them. When answering this question, it can be helpful to give an example of a specific goal you set for yourself and how you achieved it.

Example: “When I was in college, I wanted to get my degree as quickly as possible so I could start working sooner. So, I took extra classes each semester and completed all of my assignments ahead of time. This allowed me to spend more time studying for exams instead of stressing about turning things in on time.”

19. Have you worked on international teams before?

This question can help interviewers learn more about your experience working with people from different cultures and backgrounds. If you have worked on an international team before, share what you learned from the experience. If you haven’t, explain how you would adapt to a new culture or country.

Example: “I’ve never worked on an international team before, but I am very open-minded and empathetic when it comes to meeting new people. In my previous role as a nurse, I had to work with many doctors who were older than me. I learned that we all have something unique to offer each other, so I always made sure to listen to their advice and opinions.”

20. What type of software applications are you familiar with?

The World Health Organization uses a variety of software applications to complete their work. The organization may ask this question to learn about your experience with specific programs they use. Before your interview, review the job description and identify any software that you have used in previous positions. If you are unfamiliar with any of the listed applications, consider researching them before your interview so you can discuss your knowledge if asked.

Example: “I am familiar with Microsoft Office Suite, Google Drive and Dropbox. I also have some experience using Salesforce CRM.”


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