UN announces opening for English-booth conference Interpreters

Candidates passing the exam will be placed on a roster from which present and future vacancies for English-language Interpreters will be filled.

The purpose of the present job opening is to invite applications from prospective candidates who wish to take the competitive examination for English language interpreters, tentatively scheduled to be held on 11 and 12 July 2017 in Geneva, Nairobi, New York, Vienna and other locations according to the number and location of qualified applicants invited to take the examination. 

All applications will be reviewed by the Board of Examiners. In instances where a large number of applications are received, the Board of Examiners reserves the right to admit to the examination only the most qualified applicants based on a review of qualifications over and above the minimum criteria. All applicants will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision in respect of their application. The Board’s decisions are final.

On the basis of the overall results of the examination, the Board will recommend to the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management the names of candidates who qualify for inclusion in the roster. All examinees will be informed in writing of the Board's final recommendation in respect of their candidature. The Board's recommendations are not subject to appeal. The Board does not release individual scores or results. 

As a result of the competitive examination, a roster will be established from which present and future vacancies for English-language Interpreter will be filled. When vacancies occur in the language services of the United Nations Secretariat in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Geneva, Nairobi, New York, Santiago, and Vienna, successful candidates will be recruited from the roster, subject to the requirements of the service in terms of expertise and language combinations. Successful examinees may thereafter be called upon to serve at other duty stations according to the needs of the Organisation. Successful examinees are expected to serve a minimum of five years in a language post. Successful candidates should note that, in accordance with the needs of the Service/Section, they may be called upon to work outside normal working hours, including weekends and holidays.

Successful candidates who receive an offer of appointment are strongly encouraged to accept it, as declining may affect their prospects of receiving a subsequent offer. A successful candidate who declines two offers will be removed from the roster. 

Successful examinees selected from the roster to fill vacancies are normally offered an initial two-year fixed-term appointment at the P-2 level. This level comprises 12 steps, each corresponding to an annual increment awarded if performance is satisfactory. Upon satisfactory completion of this trial period, they will be considered for a continuing appointment according to the staff rules in force and they may be promoted to the P-3 level, which comprises 15 steps. The fixed-term appointments of interpreters whose performance proves unsatisfactory will not be extended. Fully qualified interpreters with several years of internationally recognized professional language experience and demonstrated ability to perform high-quality work may be recruited at the P-3 level. 

Incomplete application lacking evidence of language fluency and those that are received after the above deadline will not be considered. No extensions for submission will be given if applications cannot be sent by the deadline set in Inspira. (New York HQ local time).

SPECIAL NOTICE TO INTERNAL APPLICANTS

The competitive examination for English Interpreters in 2017 is open to staff members of the United Nations at the P-3 level and below who meet the eligibility requirements, as well as qualified external candidates, in accordance with the provisions of ST/AI/1998/7 and ST/AI/2000/1, as amended by ST/AI/1998/7/Amend.1 and ST/AI/2003/1.

The assignment of staff members of the United Nations who are successful in the examination and are selected to fill vacancies will be subject to the following conditions: 

  1. Staff members selected to fill vacancies will be assigned as English language Interpreter for a trial period of two years according to the staff rules in force. Staff members below the P 2 level or in the General Service category will receive a special post allowance to the P- 2 level. Staff members at the P-2 and P-3 levels will be assigned at their respective levels.
  2. Staff members with a special post allowance to the P-2 level and those already at the P-2 level who successfully complete the trial period and are recommended by the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management and the Office of Human Resources Management may be promoted to the P-3 level. Staff members already at the P-3 level who successfully complete the trial period will be confirmed in their functions at the P-3 level. After two years of satisfactory service on a fixed-term appointment, the candidate will be considered for a continuing appointment. This means that the candidate will have to demonstrate within that time that he or she possesses the requisite qualifications to serve as a career staff member of the United Nations in order to receive such an appointment. Staff members who do not successfully complete the trial period will be reassigned to posts at their previous levels, and the special post allowance, if any, will be discontinued. 

Staff members from subsidiary organs of the United Nations and staff members whose service is limited to a particular organ, fund or programme of the United Nations or special missions are considered external candidates for the purpose of this examination. Such candidates, if successful in the examination, will be offered a new appointment with the United Nations, subject to normal United Nations recruitment procedures and standards.

Org. Setting and Reporting

These positions are located in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) at Headquarters, Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna as well as the Regional Commissions where applicable. These positions are under the general supervision of the Chief of Interpretation or Language Section/Service as appropriate.

Responsabilities

Within delegated authority, the Interpreter will be responsible for the following duties: 

  • Services up to seven meetings per week (exceptionally eight), usually of no more than three hours duration, of various United Nations bodies. 
  • English interpreters provide interpretation into English of speeches given in French and Russian or Spanish. 
  • May occasionally be assigned to sensitive meetings. 
  • May function as team leader of all interpreters assigned to a given meeting. 
  • May perform other related duties, as required.

Competencies

  • Professionalism: Ability to demonstrate a high level of concentration and work under continuous stress. Knowledge of a broad range of subjects dealt with by the United Nations, i.e., political, social, legal, economic, financial, administrative, scientific and technical. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work. 
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed. 
  •  Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings. 
  • Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Education

Hold at least a three-year first level university degree from a recognized school of interpretation in which at least one full academic year is devoted to interpretation. Alternatively, applicants must hold a three-year first level degree or an equivalent qualification from a university or institution of equivalent status at which English is the language of instruction, and have 200 days of experience as conference interpreters or 200 days of work experience in the fields of translation, editing, verbatim reporting or other related fields. The Board of Examiners may, at its discretion, admit an applicant graduating from a university whose principal language of instruction is other than English provided he/she has adequate secondary educational qualifications from an establishment at which the principal language is English.

Work Experience

Work experience as conference interpreters and/or work experience in the fields of translation, editing, verbatim reporting or other related fields will be an asset.

Languages

  • Have a perfect command of English, which is normally expected to be their main language. ("Main language” should be understood to be the language into which the applicant is best able to interpret.) 
  • Have an excellent knowledge of French and an excellent knowledge of Russian or Spanish. 
  • Applicants' claim to knowledge of official languages of the United Nations must be supported by relevant documentation attached to their application. Further evidence of degrees, knowledge of languages and/or relevant experience may be required prior to convocation.

Assessment

  • ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A ONE-PAGE ESSAY IN ENGLISH LIEU OF A COVER NOTE, EXPLAINING WHY THE CANDIDATE WISHES TO WORK AS AN ENGLISH-LANGUAGE INTERPRETER AT THE UNITED NATIONS. APPLICATIONS WITHOUT THE REQUIRED ONE-PAGE ESSAY WILL NOT BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION. 
  • Applications will be screened and carefully assessed on the basis of the eligibility criteria, and only those applicants who are deemed qualified will be convoked for the examination. Only those examinees that are successful in the first part of the examination will be invited to the oral examination (interview). 
  • The first part of the examination, which is scheduled to take place on 11 and 12 July 2017, will consist of two components: 
    • For candidates with a perfect command of English as their main language and an excellent knowledge of French and Russian:
      1. Simultaneous interpretation into English from recordings of three speeches delivered in French (approximately 8 to 10 minutes per recording); 
      2. Simultaneous interpretation into English from recordings of three speeches delivered in Russian (approximately 8 to 10 minutes per recording). 
    • For candidates with a perfect command of English as their main language and an excellent knowledge of French and Spanish:
      1. Simultaneous interpretation into English from recordings of three speeches delivered in French (approximately 8 to 10 minutes per recording);
      2. Simultaneous interpretation into English from recordings of three speeches delivered in Spanish (approximately 8 to 10 minutes per recording).
  • On the basis of the results of the first part of the examination, the Board of Examiners will invite selected examinees to a competency-based interview. The Board will interview each examinee to assess whether she or he possesses the competencies required for the position. The interview is an integral part of the examination. Therefore, examinees who are invited for an interview should not assume that they will be automatically placed on a roster or offered an assignment.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. 

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: no amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

The deadline for registration is 8 May 2017: APPLY NOW


Recommended citation format:
AIIC. "UN announces opening for English-booth conference Interpreters". aiic.ca April 19, 2017. Accessed November 23, 2017. <http://aiic.ca/p/7936>.