Job Opening

Posting Title: 2023 Competitive examination for language positions: Spanish-language interpreters, P2, P3
Department/Office: Department for General Assembly and Conference Management
Posting Period: 06 February 2023 - 08 March 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-Language-DGACM-200109-L- (L)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

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


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.
• Interpreters in the Spanish Section provide interpretation into Spanish of speeches delivered in English and French.
• May occasionally be assigned to sensitive meetings.
• May perform as team leader of all interpreters assigned to a given meeting.
• May perform other related duties, as required.


Professionalism: Ability to demonstrate a high level of concentration; split-second accuracy. Ability to work under continuous stress and deliver clear interpretation on an exceedingly broad range of 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.

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.

Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.


Hold a first-level degree (Bachelor or equivalent) from a recognized school of interpretation in which at least one full academic year is devoted to interpretation. Alternatively, applicants must hold a first-level degree from a university or institution of equivalent status at which Spanish is the language of instruction and have 150 days of work experience as conference interpreters and/or work experience in the fields of translation, editing, or verbatim reporting.

The Board of Examiners may, at its discretion, admit an applicant graduating from a university at which the principal language of instruction is a language other than Spanish, provided the applicant has adequate secondary educational qualifications from an institution at which the principal language is Spanish.

Work Experience

No work experience is required, but work experience as conference interpreter and/or work experience in the fields of translation, editing, verbatim reporting or other related fields will be an asset.


A perfect command of Spanish, normally expected to be the incumbent's main language.

Candidates for this post must also possess an excellent knowledge of English and French.

NOTE: In Inspira, "perfect command" equals a rating of "fluent" in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand), and "excellent knowledge" equals a rating of "confident" in two of the four areas.

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.


All applicants should submit a minimum of 250-word motivation statement IN SPANISH in step 5 of the application process in Inspira, explaining why they wish to work as an interpreter at the United Nations. Applications without the required 250-word motivation statement IN SPANISH 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 called to sit for the examination.

Only examinees who are successful in the first part of the examination (Part 1) will be invited to the competency-based interview, which is the second part of the examination (Part 2).

Part 1
The first part of the examination (Part 1) is tentatively scheduled to be conducted online on 22 May 2023 and will consist of the following components:
1. Simultaneous interpretation into Spanish from recordings of three speeches delivered in English (approximately 8 to 10 minutes per audio recording);
2. And simultaneous interpretation into Spanish from recordings of three speeches in French (approximately 8 to 10 minutes per audio recording).

Exam window
The exam window will be open for a limited time during which candidates must record their interpretation.

Please note that, 2 weeks before the online Part 1, all eligible candidates will have an opportunity to ensure their equipment and Internet connection are acceptable and will be expected to complete a mandatory mock test that will not be graded.

Special Notice

The purpose of the present job opening is to invite applications from prospective applicants who wish to take the competitive examination for Spanish interpreters which is tentatively scheduled for 22 May 2023. 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.

On the basis of the overall results of the examination, the Board will recommend to the Director, Human Resources Service Division (HRSD) in the Department of Operational Support (DOS) 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 final and 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 Spanish-language Interpreters will be filled. When vacancies occur in the language services of the United Nations in Geneva, Nairobi, New York, 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 Organization. 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 (at midnight New York time).

Special notice to internal candidates

The competitive examination for Spanish-language interpreters in 2023 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/2020/3.

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 Spanish-language Interpreters 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 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 program 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.

Staff members selected to fill vacancies will be recruited as Spanish-language interpreters according to the staff rules in force.

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.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

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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