The African Development Bank Young Professionals Program (AfDB YPP) interview stage includes a Personality Assessment (Online) and a face-to-face portion that involves multiple questions on different subjects. At this stage, the AfDB YPP team aims to gain an in-depth analysis of the candidates’ knowledge, competences and experience. There is no difference in the weighting for the online assessment interview and the face-to-face interview; both are equally relevant for the AfDB YPP interview process.
In this article, we’ll look at the AfDB YPP interview.
AfDB YPP Interviews are an interpersonal research method used to obtain more in-depth information from someone, using questions and answers (conversation), and observing non-verbal elements (such as attitude, behavior and presentation, among others). AfDB YPP Interviews can be conducted using different methods and approaches, seeking the most appropriate candidate for the vacancy.
Therefore, knowing about this important phase of the selection process, the exercises and logic, helps the candidate to be better prepared, increasing their chances of being selected by the AfDB YPP team.
In pursuit of its mission, OpenIGO Network has prepared support and guidance services with the aim of increasing your chances of success in this competitive process, including the AfDB YPP interview stage.
These services include revising your AfDB YPP application documents (curriculum vitae, cover letter and other documents) and a mock interview as per the AfDB YPP interview model. Having a mock interview with a professional who has extensive experience and knowledge of the AfDB YPP interview model will help you be better prepared, greatly increasing your chances of being selected for the desired vacancy.
1) AfDB YPP INTERVIEW: Personality Assesment Interview (Online)
The personality assessment interview is conducted online (by video conference) and functions as a pre-selection phase for short-listed candidates. The Personality Assessment is based on the Behavioral-Event interview (BEI) model.
The BEI is commonly used in the selection process of organizations that already know the competences they are looking for in their candidates. Therefore, the questions posed during the interview aim to discover whether the interviewee has the competences pre-selected by the organization. To evaluate competences, the BEI sets off with the premise that the best predictor of an individual’s future behavior is their past behavior.
When attempting to identify an individual’s competences from their past behavior, the BEI seeks to: make it difficult for the candidate to invent answers about competences which they do not really have; avoids subjective evaluations based on future hypotheses and allows the interviewers to explore details in related situations, thereby identifying inconsistencies in the answers provided.
Preparing for the BEI Interview: 10 examples of questions
The best way to prepare for the AfDB Personality Assesment/BEI Interview is to understand how the questions posed by the interviewers are structured, and the expected responses. Thus, this section will start by presenting how the BEI questions are crafted, followed by how to formulate the responses.
The BEI questions are directed towards the interviewee’s past, focusing on previous situations, and allowing specific competences to be revealed. The questions follow a line of reasoning in which the interviewer leads the candidate to describe a situation or event experienced in the past, the corresponding action and the final result achieved (if it was positive or negative)3.
BEI questions usually start with: “talk about a time…”; “give me an example of a time when…”; “describe a situation…” and “how you dealt with a given situation…”. Some examples of these questions are as follows:
- Tell me about a time when you had to work on a project which you considered daunting.
- Describe a situation in which you tried to explain your reasoning to the group but it was not understood. How did you deal with this situation?
- Give me an example where someone came to you to resolve a complicated situation.
- Tell me about a project which you successfully completed, even though many thought that you were not capable.
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an unexpected situation.
- Give me an example of when you had to deal with a dissatisfied client.
- Have you ever had a project which failed? Tell me about this experience.
- If your manager asked you to complete a task you thought impossible at first, how would you go about it?
- Tell me about a time your manager wasn’t satisfied with the results of your work. How did you discuss the issues and what did you do differently the next time?
- Tell me about a time you had to fill in for someone. Were you successful? How did the experience make you feel?
Think of your answer as a story! Your response should give examples about the behavior the interviewer is interested in. Remember to give specific examples of situations from your individual experience.
2) AfDB YPP FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEW
After the Online interview, selected candidates are invited to the AfDB Headquarters (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire), with all related costs sponsored, to a panel interview. For the on-site interview, AfDB uses the traditional and technical interview model with the goal of testing the candidates’ technical knowledge and understanding of the organization’s operations and objectives.
Candidates are usually asked two types of questions:
- Introductory/traditional questions
- Technical questions
Below, we present some examples of questions that may be asked in this type of interview:
This type of question is well-known, since it is widely used by organizations in their selection processes. It is also one of the oldest methods of formulating an interview, following an easily-identifiable pattern: the interviewers ask questions, which require short and direct answers and seek to identify a specific element. The questions posed to candidates are usually linked to elements listed on their resumés, as well as information on the application form and essay. Examples of the questions at this type of interview are as follows:
- Do you prefer working in a group or alone?
- What are your strong and weak points?
- Why should we employ you?
- What are your three main achievements until now?
This approach is demonstrated in the AfDB YPP interview, in the form of questions about the candidate’s prior work experience, their area of study and specialization, as well as their course completion work (thesis and/or dissertation). The specific aim of these questions is to understand aspects presented by candidates on documents submitted during the process, which may raise questions, and to evaluate certain knowledge from their area of study.
The Technical Interview model is an interview method in which the candidate is faced with questions or problems regarding their area of expertise or development. It is Africa-oriented.
Some examples of this model of questioning are presented below:
- Where do you see Africa’s financial service industry going?
- What should be done to foster economic growth on the African continent?
- How would you develop the Bond market in Africa?
Do you want to know more details about the AfDB YPP interview? Do you want to become the next AfDB Young Professional? We can help! OpenIGO is an extensive network composed of former young professionals, professors and researchers from the best universities in the world, international civil servants and Human Resources specialists.