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Selection Process

Selection Process

The World Bank YPP Selection Process 2019 is highly competitive. Approximately 5,000 people apply every year but only around 40 are selected. Some of the minimum criteria for this program are: citizenship of a World Bank Group member country; fluency in English; holding a Master’s or doctorate (PhD) qualification and relevant work experience. This selection process is divided into four rounds:

 

 

  1. 1

    1st ROUND - APPLICATION

    Involves completing the online application form and also sending in documents through the system. The following documents should be sent at this stage:

    You can download a World Bank YPP essay sample here.

    An average of 5,000 candidates take part in the first round. The selection team carries out the initial process to check whether the candidates fully meet the minimum eligibility requirements and select those who will take part in the second round.

    It is important to emphasize that all the candidates are notified of their application status in the selection process. This selection stage usually takes place between June and August.

  2. 2

    2nd ROUND – TECHNICAL REVIEW

    An average of 1,000 candidates takes part in the second round. Having received a message from the selection team about their approval for the second round, the candidate should send a copy of their passport and three reference letters.

    These documents, along with those sent in the first round, will be submitted to a technical review, carried out by specialists in the candidates’ areas of expertise. This selection stage usually takes place between August and November.

  3. 3

    3rd ROUND – INTERVIEW AND ASSESSMENT CENTER

    This is a face-to-face selection stage and involves an assessment center and an individual interview. At this stage, the WB YPP team aims to gain an in-depth analysis of the candidates’ technical abilities and behavior.

    There is no difference in the weighting for the interview and Assessment Center, both being equally relevant for the selection process. It is emphasized that, to be approved in this round, information from the previous ones will also be considered.

    The candidate will be invited to the WBG’s head office in Washington D.C. (USA) or its office in Paris (France), depending on where s/he lives.

    If necessary, the candidate is responsible for taking the required steps to issue a visa. However, the World Bank sends an official document to facilitate this process with the responsible institutions. The WBG will cover expenses for your air ticket and hotel and will also reimburse you for expenditure on food and transport.

    The third round is a full-day event (8.00 am to 5.30 pm) and is divided into two stages: an individual interview in one session and an assessment center (in a group of four) in the other.

    This round of the World Bank YPP Selection Process usually takes place between the months of December and January. An average of 200 candidates takes part in the third round.

  4. 4

    4th ROUND: FINAL SELECTION

    The fourth round is the final stage of the World Bank YPP selection process. In this phase, the candidates who were selected in the previous round (usually about 60) are referred for review by the vice-presidents who then make the final selection by matching the Bank’s current needs with the different candidates’ profiles. Approximately 40 candidates usually receive job proposals.

    If the offer is accepted, the WBG will carry out a security clearance process, which comprises a detailed investigation of the candidate’s personal background.

    If this stage is successfully completed, the Bank will send the candidate a letter of appointment, which establishes the type of contract, start date and entry salary, among other items.

    This stage usually takes place between February and March. The new YPs start work in September, providing sufficient time to prepare for the move to Washington D.C., advise current employers and finalize their studies, if applicable.

    See also our material on the World Bank Paid Internship 2018/2019

Competition, vacancies and quotas

The World Bank YPP selection process is advertised internationally, receiving an average of 5,000 applications each year. Of these, approximately 1,000 candidates are asked to send in additional documents. Around 200 candidates will go on to the next phase, and are invited to the assessment center and interview in Washington D.C. or Paris. Of these 200, approximately 60 will be referred for a final assessment by the vice-presidents, who will select around 40, who will receive proposals.

Therefore, there is a high level of competitiveness in this selection process (approximately 125 candidates per vacancy) and the majority of the candidates exceed the selection process’ minimum eligibility requirements.

Although the World Bank Group has a commitment to the diversity of its work environment (seeking a balance of genders and nationalities), there is no type of quota, such as nationality or gender. This means that only those evaluated as suitable are approved for the program.

Online application Form

The World Bank YPP application is carried out by completing an electronic form, which should contain personal, academic and professional information. In addition, an updated curriculum vitae (CV), academic certificates and transcripts, abstracts of the Master’s dissertation and doctorate thesis (if applicable) and the WB YPP essay should be attached to this form.

Some observations and recommendations about the application:

  • Be sure that you meet all the minimum World Bank YPP eligibility requirements before applying;
  • The link for the application form can be found on the official program site;
  • You will have to register an account and provide an email address (which will be the selection team’s main form of communication with you) to start the application process;
  • The application must be completed in a single session. Therefore, you need to complete all the information and send all the documents at one time (you cannot save an application which is underway);
  • Before submitting the completed form and the attached files, review it carefully. Be sure that all of the information and files are correct, as they cannot be changed or updated following submission;
  • After submitting your application, you will not be able to enter your account and review what has been sent. In other words, it is not an account where you can review a submitted application;
  • Note that there is no upload button for the documents on the form and only “select the file”. All the files will be uploaded when submitting the full application (which is why there is a delay after pressing “submit application” at the end of the application);
  • Your contact information must be updated during the selection period. If there is any change to your contacts, get in touch with the selection team by email yppadmin@worldbankgroup.org;
  • You should use the following browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Internet Explorer 10 (or higher);
  • The files attached must be in a .doc, .docx or pdf format; each file must not exceed 5MB and should not be password protected;
  • You will only be able to submit your application when all the documents requested have been uploaded and the mandatory questions answered;
  • The form should be completed in English;
  • After pressing the “Submit Application” button, the system will take some time to upload the files and then direct you to a thank you page which will only be displayed for a few seconds;
  • The application will only have been successful if the candidate immediately receives an email confirmation from the YPP selection team after submitting the form.

Curriculum Vitae

The Curriculum Vitae (CV) is one of the documents required to apply for the World Bank YPP selection process. It will be used by the selection team as an initial point of contact with the candidate’s profile, experience and qualifications. A number of aspects which should be highlighted about a CV for the World Bank YPP are as follows:

Be sure that all the eligibility criteria are on your curriculum

It is essential that you know all the minimum eligibility criteria and are sure that they are provided on the CV to be sent to the YPP.

The YPP requests a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and not a résumé

Be sure that the document prepared for sending to the YPP is a Curriculum Vitae and not a résumé. While a résumé is a short, one-page document, with a brief description of your professional experience and academic profile, a CV is more extensive and detailed, with academic and professional information, languages, publications, awards and honors, among other items. The aim of a CV is to provide a broad overview of a person’s professional and academic background. However, although the World Bank YPP does not establish a maximum length, the curriculum should not be more than three pages.

The World Bank YPP does not define a model or format to structure a CV

The World Bank YPP does not request a defined structure to prepare a CV. However, there is a requirement that the CV is in .doc, .docx or pdf format. It is important that the document is not password protected and the assessor can easily access your CV. As mentioned above, there is no maximum length for the document. However, it is suggested that your CV is structured in up to three pages, highlighting the fundamental aspects of your academic and professional background.

It is important that the following items appear on your CV: 1) Education: academic qualifications attained; the following should be listed in this order: the name of the qualification (PhD and Master’s, etc.), the area or course subject (economics and engineering, etc.), name of the university, location and year. The highest qualifications should come first and you do not need to include your secondary school. 2) Professional experience: professional experience related to international development, including internships, voluntary work and participation in research, ordering these from the most recent to the oldest. 3) Languages and level; 4) Short courses; 5) Conferences which you participated in; 6) Main technical and academic publications; 7) Scholarships, awards and academic honors and 8) Other relevant information.

Write a CV especially for the World Bank YPP

It is essential that you have in-depth knowledge of the World Bank Group, its activities in the field of development, its way of thinking and the World Bank YPP process. Then you will be able to display your suitability for the program on your CV and how you can contribute to the Bank’s challenges with your specialist area of knowledge. Therefore, it is important that the assessor can easily assimilate how your experience and qualifications are relevant for international development and the WBG.

Writing a curriculum is no easy task. Clearly communicating all your main academic and professional qualifications and achievements is a major challenge, especially when you are taking part in such a competitive selection. It is important that you prepare your curriculum carefully and direct it specifically at this application.

Academic transcripts and certificates

When applying for the World Bank YPP selection process, it is compulsory to send all your certificates and higher education academic transcripts.

An academic certificate is a document which confirms that a person obtained a specific qualification or passed a particular course. A diploma is equivalent to a type of academic certificate.

An academic transcript is the document which certifies a student’s academic progress, containing information such as: when the subjects were started and finished, the adviser’s name and the grades obtained by the student.

Considerations regarding the sending of certificates and academic transcripts:

  • The documents do not need to be translated into English. If the Bank is not able to understand them, they will ask you to re-send translated copies;
  • Sending your secondary school certificate and education transcript is not required. However, all the higher education course certificates and transcripts (such as first-level university degrees, Master’s and doctorate) should be sent, including doctorate study in progress;
  • Following analysis of the academic transcript, the assessors will be able to objectively evaluate the candidate’s academic performance. Therefore, academic performance is an evaluation criterion in the selection process but it is not the only factor taken into consideration;
  • If you do not yet have the official certificate and diploma, the documents issued by university on-line systems or declarations from your department may be sent;
  • Don’t forget that all the information sent to the YPP could be checked by the Bank with the educational institutions, if you are selected at the end of the process.

PhD/Master’s summaries

If you have written a doctorate dissertation or Master’s thesis, you should submit abstracts of these texts in your World Bank YPP application. It is emphasized that sending these documents is not mandatory if your Master’s or doctorate did not require a dissertation or thesis. In these cases, the absence of these documents will not affect your eligibility.

By sending these abstracts, the World Bank YPP selection team seeks to better understand your academic and professional profile. The research topic you focused on, how it related to international development and your theoretical approach towards development will be analyzed.

Some observations and recommendations on preparing and sending abstracts are:

  • The abstracts of your Master’s dissertation and/or doctorate thesis should be in different files (if applicable). The system will request each of these files at specific links;
  • The file must be in .doc, .docx or pdf format and each file a maximum size of 5MB;
  • The summaries should be sent when completing the online form. Therefore, it is important that they are finalized when applying;
  • The summaries must be written in English (no other language is accepted);
  • The files must not be password protected and the contents must be searchable. This is because the committee may use plagiarism detection software. Therefore, take great care that there is no plagiarism in your abstracts, even if it is in a small section. In other words, be sure that your abstracts are 100% original;
  • Carefully review the text’s spelling, grammar and coherence;
  • There is no defined length for the abstracts. However, make sure that each one is no longer than two pages;
  • There is no defined structure for the abstracts. However, it is important that the following elements are considered: 1) Brief contextualization (problem) of the research; 2) Research problem or issue; 3) General and specific goals; 4) Justifications (why did you select this topic?); 5) Methods selected (explain how you sought to elucidate your research question and how you structured your study) and 6) Results found and conclusions. These points should be approached in a summarized manner.
  • Have a good understanding of the World Bank Group’s mission and public policy model which guides its activities. From there, make it clear how your research aligns with the way that the Bank operates, its mission and its approach to international development;
  • Makes it clear how the questions researched in your thesis and/or dissertation are related or applicable to international development.

WB YPP Essay

Among the documents required to take part in the first round of the WB YPP selection process is the YPP application essay. A short text on the challenges faced by the World Bank Group in its work on international development, usually taken from one of the bank’s official publications, is supplied to the candidate in order to write the essay. Below the text, the candidate is asked to:

“Describe in fewer than 1,000 words your own contribution and the potential role of the World Bank in resolving some of the above challenges. Focus on your area of expertise when describing your proposal.”

You can download a World Bank YPP essay sample here.

Some observations and recommendations on writing and sending the WB YPP application essay are:

  • The WB YPP essay must be written in English (no other language is accepted);
  • Be sure that the text has a maximum of 1,000 words. This limit requires the candidate to have the capacity to summarize, so focus on the most relevant aspects of your contribution;
  • There is no defined structure for the WB YPP essay. However, it is important that it contains an introduction, development and conclusion;
  • Carefully review the text’s spelling, grammar and coherence;
  • Bear in mind the competences which the World Bank YPP seeks, which are: 1) client orientation; 2) professional experience and 3) team leadership. These competences are not only assessed during the interview;
  • Have a good understanding of the World Bank Group’s mission and global goals and public policy model which guides its activities. For example, providing solutions in your WB YPP application essay from a Marxist model will not help you in the assessment;
  • Explain in the text how your knowledge, experience and skills are connected to the Bank’s mission and how you could contribute to overcoming the challenges contained in the text provided. Show what you understand about international development and make your value to the WBG clear (your knowledge and skills);
  • The questions should be answered in the first person. Therefore, avoid stating what you and your team could do and concentrate on your own contributions (your academic-professional background and experience);
  • Work within your comfort zone, showing your specific knowledge. Therefore, if you prefer, focus on a specific region or field of a Global Practice (GP) or Global Theme (GT) unit.
  • The WB YPP essay sample should be in a single file, in .doc, .docx or pdf format and a maximum size of 5MB;
  • The WB YPP essay should be sent when completing the online form. Therefore, it is important that it has been finalized when applying;
  • The file must not be password protected and its content must be searchable. This is because the committee may use plagiarism detection software. Therefore, be very careful that there is no plagiarism in your WB YPP essay, even if it is in a small section. In other words, be sure that your WB YPP essay is 100% original;

You can download a World Bank YPP essay sample here.

WB YPP Reference Letter

Three reference letters  are required for candidates in the second round of the World Bank YPP selection process. These documents are the only ones which provide third party impressions of the candidates, highlighting their skills, knowledge and experience. The evaluation made by a candidate’s referee will be important input for the World Bank YPP.

Some observations and suggestions for the letters of recommendation are as follows:

Who to request the WB YPP reference letters  from?

Candidates should select referees who know them well and are able to provide details of their knowledge, skills and experience. Thus, it should be emphasized that the first criterion to be considered when selecting a referee is this person’s ability to provide relevant information on the candidate to the WBG. Hence, it is important to observe aspects such as the amount of time that the referee has known the candidate and their relationship. Candidates should avoid asking family members, friends and people who do not know much about their work (even if they are a famous researcher or president of the organization). The second criterion for selecting a referee is looking for a diverse range of opinions about the candidate, allowing the WB YPP assessors to assemble a broad overview of them. Candidates should always include their Master’s or doctorate advisers (if this is the case, candidates should give preference to the adviser for their highest qualification).

How to request a reference letter for the WB YPP Application?

First of all, it is important that the candidates advise their referees of their main reasons and goals for applying to the World Bank YPP. If the referees really understand this point, they may prepare a document with more information that is relevant to the selection assessors. It is extremely important that the candidate requests the letter of recommendation as soon as possible, as there is a set time limit to submit the document (no flexible). In order to assist in the process of inviting the submission of letters of recommendation, the World Bank YPP team send the candidate a letter (signed by the program coordinator) which should be forwarded to their referees. There is a detailed explanation in this letter of how the reference letter should be delivered and which content should be covered.

 What should the reference letter contain?

The selection team requests that the reference letters focus on the competences sought by the World Bank YPP, which are client orientation (client commitment, orientation for results, integrity and ethics), professional expertise (technical knowledge, strategic outlook and capacity to analyze problems) and team leadership (teamwork, listening and communication, innovation and ability to negotiate). In addition, it is also requested that the referee talks about the candidate’s integrity, their tact and diplomacy, maturity and ability to work with others. Each referee does not need to assess the candidate in all of these aspects but it is important that this is possible taken as a whole (the three letters). In other words, it is possible that one referee is more able to assess the candidate in detail in relation to one specific competence than another.

Other relevant information:

  • The reference letters must be written in English;
  • Your referees have total responsibility for sending these documents;
  • You do not have access to the information in the reference letters (they are handled with absolute confidentiality);
  • There is no definition for the number of pages, words or a defined structure for the reference letter;
  • After sending the reference letter, it is only your referees who receive an automatic email confirming receipt;
  • The files should be in .doc, .docx or pdf format, with a maximum size of 5MB each;

WB YPP Interview

The World Bank YPP uses a semi-structured interview combining different methods, which are the traditional, the brain teaser and the behavioral event interview.

The WB YPP Interview is conducted by a panel of three World Bank specialists and seeks to analyze technical and behavioral aspects and the candidate’s problem-solving capacity.

Candidates should bear in mind that the three main skills sought by the World Bank are client orientation, professional expertise and team leadership

 The dress code for the WB YPP Interview is formal wear, with a blazer and tie for men. Although the dress code requires something along these lines, remember that the interview and Assessment Center stage will take the whole day, so dress for comfort.

Assessment Center

In the World Bank YPP selection cycle, the assessment center (AC) stage takes place on the same day the candidates have the interview, during the other half of the day.

The candidate will be advised about the order of the day’s activities: whether they will have the interview in the morning and then the AC in the afternoon, or the other way around.

The activity is carried out in a group of four people and lasts an average of four hours. Explanations on the main questions candidates may have about this stage are provided below:

The type of assessment center

The type of World Bank YPP AC is a case study.  In other words, a type of group exercise in which information will be given to you about a realistic situation or problem relevant to the vacancy. Working in a group, the candidates will have to present solutions for the case. Two case studies will be carried out during the AC, both related to the theme of international development.

The case study

The cases applied are similar to those which the World Bank presents on its country diagnosis and reports page. Throughout the process, two observers will silently monitor the group. Any interventions during the process will be specific, so that the group is able to summarize the problems found and identify its priorities, which country employees the group intends to contact, the type of contact and which topics will be discussed with them.

At the end of this stage, you are invited to simulate a dialogue with a high-level government employee, to present the group proposal. Therefore, it is important for you to follow the group discussions at all times, so that you do not miss any essential information.

 How to prepare for this stage

Know how to solve problems according to neo-institutional economic logic, the theoretical line followed by the World Bank Group. Another important factor to prepare for this stage is to read the organization’s documents and reports, in order to understand its activities in engaging countries at different levels and areas, such as: health, agriculture, climate change, education and others.

Competences assessed

The skills assessed at the World Bank YPP assessment center are as follows: a) Client orientation; b) professional expertise and c) team leadership. Your problem-solving capacity and mental model will also be evaluated.

Result

The final result of the stage is released between February and March each year. Those who have been successful receive an email advising them of their success at this stage and stating that they will be considered for a vacancy at the organization, depending on internal demand. In 2015, for example, 67 (sixty-seven) candidates were successful at the interview and AC stage but only 57 (fifty-seven) received a job offer.

Visa

When applying for the WB YPP Selection Process, it is important to consider that:

  • A candidate is required to travel to the WBG offices in Washington D.C. or Paris for the third round of the selection (interview and Assessment Center exercises), and;
  • If s/he is selected on the WB YPP, the candidate will be required to relocate to Washington D.C.

 Obtaining a visa to take part in the third round. There are different processes to obtain visas to enter the US and France, each with their own specific requirements. Therefore, it is important for you to be aware of the “step by step” requirements and start applying for a visa as early as possible. If you are invited for an interview in the United States, a temporary B-1 business visa will be required, whereas you should request a short stay visa for France. N.B.: certain nationalities are exempt from visas, both for the United States and France. Check to see whether this applies to you.

 Obtaining a US visa to work at the World Bank Group. If you do not have US citizenship, a G-4 visa should be requested, which is designated specifically for employees of international organizations and their immediate families.

Job Proposal

Following the WB YPP selection process, a job offer is made to those who have been selected, outlining the proposed salary and benefits. If the offer does not meet your expectations, there must be a strong basis for salary negotiations, as there is little flexibility in the proposed values. In other words, the WBG does not usually negotiate the YPs’ salaries, which are in line with the organization’s pay scale. A real offer from another employer may be an argument for a counter-offer, if deemed necessary.

Security Clearance

All of those appointed to the WBG are subject to security clearance, which checks a candidate’s employment, education, criminal and credit records.

Therefore, all WB YPP candidates must sign a general release for World Bank security clearance, allowing the Bank to investigate a range of personal information.

During the security clearance, the WBG will contact former employers, universities, banks and criminal justice agencies, among others, in your country.

Generally, candidates cannot start working at the Bank until this process has been completed. If the candidate does not meet the World Bank Group’s security clearance criteria, the offer is withdrawn.

If you are successful at this stage, the Bank will send a letter of appointment, which establishes the type of contract, proposed starting date and entry level salary, among other items.

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