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For many jobs and internships at international development organisations, you have to complete interviews and psychometric evaluations part of the pre-employment screening process. Below we have outlined the steps involved in getting an international development job, as well as how you can increase your chance of getting hired.

What Is the Hiring Process for International Development Jobs?

No matter the type of organisation that you are applying to, the hiring process for jobs in international development follows the same basic format:

Apply: There are many different ways to find jobs to apply for, including through recruiters, job boards, professional organizations, and newspapers, as well as networking with academic and research institutions, think tanks, and NGOs/CSOs. Ensure that your qualifications match the job requirements and explain why you are a great candidate. Important points to mention in your cover letter include your academic qualifications, years of relevant work experience, and fluency in foreign languages.

Psychometric Testing: Many organisations invite applicants to sit an online written test or a technical test administered at the office. These can be aptitude tests, such as a numerical reasoning test or a verbal reasoning test. Some candidates also take personality tests which assess a candidate's work-related behaviours and attitudes.

Work Samples: For many international development and aid jobs, you will need to demonstrate that you have produced quality work in the past by submitting a few samples of your work.

Interview: Since this is the first chance that you have to make an impression in person, it is crucial that you prepare for your interview. You should be able to articulate how you would contribute to the organisation's goals, why you want the job, and how your skills and abilities set you apart from the rest of the candidates. You can read more about international development and aid interviews below.

Background Check: All government and intergovernmental agencies (such as the UN) require a background check. This can take some time, so be patient if you haven't heard back after your interview. You should also let your references know that they may be contacted by hiring managers.


 

What Can I Expect from My International Development Interview?

Interviews in this field are usually competency-based panel interviews. This means that hiring managers look for a few key competencies while interviewing candidates. You can usually find organisation-specific information about the competencies that they emphasise.

Your interview will likely take anywhere from half an hour to two hours (if you are asked to complete an assessment in the office). Be ready to demonstrate your fluency in foreign languages, and to answer questions about your relevant work experience as well as your willingness to relocate.