Job Opening

Posting Title: INTERPRETER - ENGLISH (FREELANCE Reserve List) (Multiple Duty-Stations), IN2 (Temporary Job Opening)
Job Code Title: Interpreter
Department/Office: United Nations Office at Geneva
Duty Station: OTHER
Posting Period: 22 June 2020 - 28 June 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Language-UNOG-137224-J-Other (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Org. Setting and Reporting

These positions are located in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) at Headquarters, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi. These positions are under the general supervision of the Chief of Interpretation or Language Section/Service as appropriate. Temporary appointments under the When Actually Employed (WAE) contractual arrangement may be offered to those placed on the reserve list of English interpreters for employment in the United Nations.


Duties and responsibilities depend on the service/section and duty station in which the temporary position is located. For interpreter positions, these include servicing up to eight meetings per week, usually of no more than three hours' duration, of various United Nations bodies; and occasionally being assigned to sensitive meetings and possibly functioning as team leaders of all interpreters assigned to a given meeting.


Knowledge of a broad range of subjects dealt with by the United Nations, i.e. political, social, legal, economic, financial, administrative, scientific and technical; is able to work under continuous stress and to deliver clear interpretation on those subjects; 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.

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.

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 decisions, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.


At a minimum, a first-level degree or equivalent qualification from a university or institution of equivalent status, preferably one at which English is the principal language of instruction.

In addition, a Master's degree in interpretation, or a Master's degree in translation and/or a post-graduate diploma in Conference Interpretation of at least one academic year of full-time study is desirable.

Work Experience

In the absence of a qualification in conference interpreting, a minimum of 50 proven days in conference interpretation is required.
At least one (1) year of practical experience in interpretation is preferred.


A perfect command of English is required, and must be the candidate's main language.
The candidate must also possess an excellent comprehension of French, as well as of Russian or Spanish, or both.

Applicants' claims to knowledge of any of the official languages of the United Nations must be supported by relevant documentation attached to their application. Further evidence of degrees or diplomas, knowledge of languages and/or relevant experience may be required prior to any invitation to sit the pre-selection test.


All applicants should submit a 150-250-word cover letter IN ENGLISH, accompanying their application, explaining why they wish to work as a freelance interpreter at the United Nations. Applications without such a cover letter will not be considered.

Applications will be screened and carefully assessed on the basis of the eligibility criteria, and only those applicants deemed to be qualified will be invited to the examination. Only candidates who are successful in the pre-selection test will be invited to the accreditation test.

The examination will be conducted entirely online, using a dedicated platform, as follows:
1. On 13 July 2020: the pre-selection test will consist of one simultaneous interpretation into English from a recording of one speech delivered in French (approximately 8 to 10 minutes ).
2. On 20 August 2020: the accreditation test will consist of :
•Simultaneous interpretation into English from recordings of two speeches delivered in French (approximately 8 to 10 minutes per audio recording); and
•Simultaneous interpretation into English from recordings of two speeches in Russian and/or Spanish (approximately 8 to 10 minutes per audio recording).
Details regarding the exact timing and arrangements will be sent to the candidates invited to sit the examination.

The exam window will be open for a limited time during which candidates will be asked to record their interpretations.
Approximately two weeks before the accreditation test, all eligible candidates will be provided the opportunity to complete a mock test to ensure that their equipment and internet connection are acceptable.
Applicants will be notified in writing of the Assessment Panel’s decision in respect of their application. These decisions are final and not subject to appeal. The Panel does not release individual scores or results.

Candidates who are successful in the accreditation test will be placed on the reserve list of English interpreters for employment in all DGACM duty stations on temporary appointments under WAE contractual arrangements.

Special Notice

The purpose of the present advertisement is to invite applications to sit the freelance accreditation test for temporary English interpreters. The aim is to expand the Reserve List of qualified English interpreters for employment on temporary appointments under WAE contractual arrangement in the United Nations Secretariat.

As indicated in ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1, temporary appointments may be granted for a single or cumulative period of less than one year to meet seasonal or peak workloads and specific short-term requirements. Temporary appointments for interpreters are governed by agreements with the Association internationale des interprètes de conférence (AIIC), whereby a temporary appointment may be granted for a maximum of 729 days (or 521 working days) within a 27-month period at the same duty station. Those granted temporary appointments usually need to work on United Nations premises.

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. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

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 Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The 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 according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. 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 reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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