Reference Checking

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UN linguist
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Re: Reference Checking

Post by UN linguist » 02 Nov 2019, 16:18

I joined the UN through the competitive exams for linguists and was extremely surprised to find that none of my referees were contacted. When you think of how much detail you have to provide for the PHP, then they don't contact a single one of your referees, that makes no sense at all!

That said, by the stage of recruitment to a particular duty station from the competitive exam roster, you've already done two full days (very full days) of editing and translating/precis-writing exams, then done the usual interview preceded by another timed translation (with a clock ticking away loudly next to you and nothing in the room except you, the test paper and a pencil in a successful attempt to make you panic),so they know that you can do the job, so it's only really a question of whether you will fit in.

They do, however, check your academic qualifications extremely thoroughly and you can lose your job if you are found to have lied about them. It happens.

Incidentally, I used to work for the European Union in HR and there the only information they would provide in a reference were the dates that you worked there, your job title and the grade. Nothing else at all.

I would also say that letters of recommendation are generally (with a few exceptions in a few parts of the world) a complete waste of time, as employers have no way of being sure that they are genuine. These days it would be so easy to produce something that looked very authentic on your own computer. Many years ago - in the days before people had their own computers - I used to work with a chap who had a large collection of headed paper from everywhere he had ever worked so that he could create his own letters of recommendation whenever he needed to, adjusting the information as necessary. Ah, those were the days...

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Re: Reference Checking

Post by finsalscollons » 03 Nov 2019, 00:55

Fleurdunil wrote:
29 Aug 2019, 11:59
Hi all,

I applied for a P3 post with WFP at the end of May. I got contacted 1 August to do a video interview which I did on 11 August, then I got contacted ten days later to do a skype for a business interview with the hiring manager and panel. I did that this Tuesday, on Wednesday (next day) they e-mailed me that they could not confirm anything in the process yet but they needed 2-3 references who I worked with in the past. I immediately provided 3 strong references that could describe my ability to do various aspects of the the task. So far this is sounding pretty good, is it possible that I get a rejection though?
Hello, Fleurdunil.

I need to contact you because I am in a middle of a WFP process and I don't know what is being asked in the video interview. I don't know how to prepare. I have sent you a private message. Is there any way to contact you to get some information?

Thank you very much,


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Re: Reference Checking

Post by Fleurdunil » 12 Nov 2019, 17:59

Hi finasalcollons I just saw your message now. Overall, I want to emphasize that you will have the possibility to practice the video interview...also think that there will be general questions but then ones that will be more related to your understanding of the position and the job family and perhaps the region as well as the oveall work of the WFP...speak consistently, clearly, and do not worry about not being perfect..your future colleagues will most likely look at the video and the hiring manager as well as others who work with the role will be interested in how you do and shortlisting those who pass to the interview of luck! Hope you make it and I can strongly recommend the WFP (have been working here only a month but am a big fan) as I believe it's an organization with so many different aspects to it: protection, programs, research, partnership, operations, innovation/ humanitarian and development..etc..

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Re: Reference Checking

Post by finsalscollons » 16 Nov 2019, 12:48

Thank you very much, Fleurdunil! Very encouraging and useful information. I did the video interview and I am awaiting results. So it seems that you suceed in your process because you say you are working in WFP. Congratulations!

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