Selection process

Assessment and screening of candidates

The preliminary assessment of applicants for admission to the selection phase is carried out by the UN/DESA Rome Office. Following a careful examination of the profiles of all eligible candidates, the Office identifies a number of suitable candidates who satisfy the requirements requested by the international organizations for the positions being sponsored by the Italian Government.

This phase generally results in long-lists of between 12 to 15 potential candidates for each JPO position.
The exercise is performed taking into consideration all aspects of the candidates’ application form, such as reasons for applying, language skills, university qualifications, specializations, voluntary and professional experiences and motivation.


The outcome of the preliminary assessment of applications is further examined by a UN Commission comprising Human Resources experts from the UN Secretariat in New York.
This Commission undertakes a second in-depth evaluation of the applications received with a view to pre-selecting a maximum of 8 applicants for each JPO position.
The large volume of applications makes it extremely difficult for the office to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful candidates on their candidature. Only short-listed applicants will be informed by UN/DESA about the Commission’s decision. They are then invited to participate in the next phase and are provided with a full description of the JPO position for which they have been pre-selected.

Final selection 

The last phase of the selection process is carried out by the representatives of the international organizations to which the successful JPO candidates will be assigned. Responsibility for the final decisions lies exclusively with each organization.
This selection phase usually consists of a written exercise and a panel interview, both of which are administered by the respective organization.
The interviews of the short-listed candidates are conducted via web-based video conference facilities by the receiving international organizations.
At the end of the interview process each recipient international organization transmits to the UN/DESA Office the names of the:

1. selected candidate
2. reserve candidate

All pre-selected candidates are informed by e-mail of the outcome of the final selection phase. Reserve candidates are contacted only if the selected candidate declines to accept the JPO position.
Prior to official recruitment by the international organizations, successful candidates attend a mandatory online training course organized by the United Nations System Staff College, along with JPOs from other countries.
The final list of the selected candidates is posted on the UN/DESA website at the end of the selection process once all recruitment formalities are finalized. The list is available for one year only.

Selection process calendar (tentative)

January – March: Validation of applications
April – May: First assessment of applications,.
June: Pre-selection and short-listing of candidates. Notifications sent to pre-selected candidates.
July – August: Interview period. Notifications of the interview outcomes sent to selected, reserve and unsuccessful candidates
September-October: Mandatory online training course for selected candidates
October – December: Entry on duty