Frequently Asked Questions

General

Q: How often are YPP examinations held?
A:
YPP examinations are held annually. Each year the UN invites un- and under-represented Member States to participate in the programme. It is up to the Member States to decide whether they want to participate.
Q: What exam subjects are offered for the YPP examination?
A:
The exam subjects offered in a particular year depend on the projected needs of the UN. They are announced on the YPP homepage . Most exam subjects will be offered every second year, but there could be changes to this schedule.

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Nationality

Q: I am not a national of a country listed. Can I apply?
A:
If your country of nationality is not listed, you are not eligible to apply. The reason why the examination is not open to all nationalities is that the YPP examination is designed to recruit nationals of un- and under-represented Member States in the United Nations Secretariat. As geographic representation changes, you should check every year which nationals are eligible to participate in the examination.
Q: Do I need to prove my nationality? What kind of proof will be accepted?
A:

All candidates must present a valid picture ID issued by a state authority. The ID needs to prove candidate’s nationality as well as identity. Examples of such IDs are national passport or national identity card, but not a driver’s licence or a birth certificate.

EXAMPLE: A candidate has been convoked to sit for the YPP examination. The candidate applied as a national of country A, which is participating in the YPP. However, he/she lives in the country B and has dual citizenship of both countries. Country B is not participating in the YPP. He/She does not have a passport or a valid ID of country A, which he/she indicated as the country of his/her nationality for the examination. The candidate’s passport issued by country B indicates country A’s capital as the place of birth. Can the candidate participate in YPP as national of country A? No, because the candidate does not have a valid picture ID issued by state authority in the country of country A nationality. The candidate will therefore not be admitted to sit the exam.

Q: I have more than one nationality. Am I qualified to apply?
A:
You can only apply under one nationality. Please note that your preferred nationality must be indicated in your online application as the "Country of nationality." You find this by clicking on the tab “Cover Letter & Additional Information.” The “Country of nationality” dropdown list is in the box at the bottom of this page, which is called “Personal Information.” Also, please indicate your nationality in the “Profile” portion of your online application.
Q: I am a resident alien and/or I have applied to become a citizen in one of the countries participating in the YPP. Am I qualified to apply under my upcoming nationality?
A:
No, you can only apply under a nationality that you hold at the time of the application. Prospective nationality or residency status does not qualify for application purposes.
Q: I got married/divorced and changed my name after having applied to the YPP. What should I do?
A:
If you have been convoked to the examination, please send an email to the YPP team through YPP2018@un.org and notify them of your change of circumstances. Please attach a document that proves that change.
Q: How many nationals from my country will be selected through this process and offered a position?
A:
There is no pre-set number or a quota of successful candidates per nationality. The number of selected candidates depends on candidates’ success in the competitive examination process. Candidates from all participating countries are evaluated against the same questions and criteria.
Q: Why is the programme not open to nationals of all countries?
A:
The YPP is mandated to ensure equitable representation of all Member States in the UN Secretariat. Therefore, it is available only to applicants from countries that are either un- and under-represented in the UN Secretariat in a particular year.

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AGE, EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE

Q: I will be 33 years old on 31 December of the year of the examination. Can I apply?
A:
No, you cannot apply. You must be 32 years old or younger on 31 December in the year of the examination. There is no exception (even for one day) to the age requirement to apply for the YPP examination. However, you may apply for more senior positions which do not bear age requirements. You may find specific requirements for these positions by visiting the Job Openings page.
Q: I will obtain my Bachelor’s degree after the closing date of the job opening. Can I apply?
A:
No. In order to be eligible, you must already hold a relevant degree by the time of the application.
Q: I recently completed my Bachelor’s degree but have not received my diploma. What can I attach to my application to show proof that I have completed my degree?
A:
You can attach a letter from your university certifying that you have completed the degree. This letter should include the date of completion and the main course of study, not only the title of the degree.
Q: I will be obtaining my Master's degree in June of next year. I already have a Bachelor’s degree. Am I eligible?
A:
In regards to the necessary education, you should hold at least a first-level university degree with a main course of study which is listed in the job opening through which you apply. This means that you do not need a Master’s degree to be eligible. You must apply using only degrees that are already achieved.
Q: Do I need to have work experience to apply?
A:
No, work experience is not required. Relevant work experience will be taken into consideration as one of the additional screening criteria when more than 40 candidates from the same country apply to the same exam subject.

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APPLICATION PROCESS

Q: When should I apply?
A:
Apply as soon as the application period opens. In order to be eligible, all the basic requirements should be fulfilled at the time of submitting your application.
Q: Will my application go through a screening process?
A:

Yes, all applications submitted on time will go through a screening process.

First, the application is screened by the electronic tool inspira based on eligibility criteria: nationality, age, language, and education. This means that your application will automatically be screened out in the following situations: if you do not have the nationality of a Member State that participates in the process in a given year, if you are not 32 years or younger, if you do not indicate fluency in English or French, and if your education is not at least a three-year university degree with a main course of study relevant to the exam subject for which you have applied.

It is therefore important that you choose one of the fields of study listed in the job opening. Do not confuse “Main Course of Study” with “Field of Study” or “Specialisation”. If the official name of your main course of study does not correspond 100% with the choices in the dropdown list, please choose the closest item from the dropdown list and provide the original name of your degree/diploma in the space provided for it.

If more than 40 applicants from the same country apply for the same exam subject, those applicants will be further screened and ranked according to highest education achieved, knowledge of official UN languages, and relevant work experience.

It is important that you indicate all the UN languages you master and the level of your knowledge. Finally, it is important that you describe your relevant work experience comprehensively so that we can understand its relevance to the job opening you applied to.

Please be aware that a lot of potential applicants do not pass the screening stage due to incomplete or inaccurate applications.

Q: I cannot find my Main Course of Study/Field of Study in the dropdown menu?
A:
If your exact education is not listed in the dropdown menu, please select the closest relevant option and explain discrepancies under the “Additional Comments.” Please note that the “Specialization” field will not be considered in the screening process.
Q: I need to add/correct some information on my application. Can I withdraw and resubmit my application?
A:
Even after you have submitted an application, you can change only the contact information in your profile, including your email address or phone number. However, the substantive part of your application (including the cover letter, work experience, education details and references) cannot be edited after an application has been submitted. If you withdraw an application (whether intentionally or by accident), you cannot submit a new application for the same job opening.
Q: I have submitted my application, but I forgot to attach the requirements. Can I still upload the required documents?
A:
Applicants who already submitted their applications can still upload the required documents as follows: After logging into inspira go to > My Career Tools (the box in the middle on the top of the home screen) > My Profile (a link in the lower right corner of that box) -> Careers Home (tab in the upper left corner) > Attachments > Add another attachment and save.
Q: If I apply to the YPP examination, can I also apply to other UN job openings?
A:
Yes, you can apply to other UN job openings provided you meet the education, work experience, and language requirements specified in the respective job opening.

Written examination

Q: Where will I take the examination?
A:
In any location where you have determined in advance that the internet connection is stable. You will also want to consider that you will have comfortable seating, appropriate lighting, and limited or no noise or distractions. Some examples could be: your home, a library, a university, and internet café.
Q: How will I know in advance if the internet connection is sufficient?
A:
Candidates that are convoked (invited) to participate in the exam, will receive a link to the online testing site a few weeks in advance of the exam date. This will allow candidates to familiarize themselves with the site and test their internet connection.
Q: How much time will I have to complete the written exam online?
A:
Updates will be posted to the Examination structure page on this site. The timing will be explained on that page. However, candidates will be provided with a broader testing window, within which they can choose when they complete the exam. This is done to best accommodate different time zones. For example, if the exam time limit is two hours, candidates may have a window of up to 14 hours within which they must complete the exam.
Q: Are there preparation materials available?
A:
Suggested reading lists and sample questions will be available on the Examination structure page. Please be aware of websites resembling the UN web site as they are not official UN pages and may contain misinformation that could be detrimental to your success at the YPP exam.

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EXAMINATION RESULTS AND CAREER PROSPECTS

Q: When should I expect the results of the YPP examination and how will I be notified?
A:
The marking of the written examination is usually completed within 3-4 months of the examination. The interviews normally take place 1–2 months after the written examination has been marked. YPP candidates must regularly check the YPP homepage for updates.
Q: I was invited to take last year’s YPP examination, but I did not take it. May I take this year’s examination instead?
A:
No, in order to take this year’s examination, you must submit a new application, meet all eligibility requirements, and be convoked to the examination.
Q: I passed the written part of the YPP examination, but I failed the oral examination. Do I need to repeat both parts of the examination at a subsequent examination?
A:
Yes, you will have to go through the entire examination process again, starting with the submission of your application. The YPP examination is comprised of both written and oral examinations, and the results from one examination year do not carry over to another examination year.
Q: What type of contract will be offered to staff recruited through the YPP?
A:

Candidates who pass the YPP examination will be offered a two-year fixed term contract at the start of their professional career with the UN. After two years, they will be granted a continuing contract, subject to satisfactory performance.
Candidates can also be offered a temporary contract while they are waiting for an available post. Such contract is not a fixed-term two year contract for the purposes of the YPP and does not carry the expectation of renewal after the expiry of the contract. Temporary contracts are an effective way to gain experience in the organization while waiting to be recruited to a vacant P-1/P-2 post.

Q: What is next if I am successful in the YPP examination?
A:
As a successful YPP candidate you will be placed on a reserve list of qualified candidates who can be selected for available positions within the Organization. Offers of posts are made quarterly to successful candidates and are subject to the requirements of the Organization. You may also be contacted for temporary positions. Please note that being placed on the YPP reserve list does not guarantee you a job at the United Nations. Placement from the reserve list is done in accordance with the needs of the Organization and the availability of positions. Your membership on the reserve list will expire after three years.
Q: If I am successful in the YPP exam and placed on the reserve list how long will it take to be recruited?
A:

The number of candidates placed on the reserve list is closely linked with the number of positions that are projected to become available while the reserve list is open. Each year, only the number of candidates that match the projected vacancies is placed on the reserve list. Offers for available posts are made quarterly to successful candidates and are subject to the requirements of the Organization.

For these reasons, successful YPP candidates can expect to be placed in the timeframe of three years while they are on their respective reserve lists. If the reserve list closes after three years and some candidates have not been recruited despite the projections, they will unfortunately no longer be considered for posts and will have to re-sit the YPP examination if they wish to be reconsidered.

Q: What career opportunities are there after I am recruited?
A:

All recruited YPP candidates will initially be appointed at the P-1 or P-2 level, depending on your qualifications. Candidates appointed at the P-1 level shall be promoted to a position at the P-2 level following a minimum of two years of satisfactory performance and depending on the availability of posts. Thereafter, candidates may apply for positions at the P-3 level through the staff selection system so long as they meet the necessary qualifications. After two years of service you will also be eligible for mandatory rotation to a different post. This rotation could be geographical or within the same duty station.

You will also be offered orientation and mobility training as well as career support. This will help you adapt and accelerate the learning period leading to productive work and job satisfaction as an international civil servant.

Q: What is the meaning of P-1/P-2 levels?
A:
These are the levels used to classify entry-level professional positions at the United Nations. P-1/P-2 level is at the entry level and does not normally require any extensive work experience. Please visit the Staff categories page for more information. For salaries and other benefits you can visit the Pay and benefits page.

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