30 NGO Interview Questions and Answers

Pass YOUR Non-Government Organisation interview at the first attempt!

Here’s the FULL LIST of NGO INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

Q1. Tell me about yourself and what qualities can you bring to our organisation?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

“I first became aware of the great work carried out by the ****** when I was younger and being someone who feels passionately about the values and ethics you abide by, the drive, skills and experiences I possess are a natural fit for this role. Prior to applying, I considered the ***** mission and vision statements carefully, and more importantly, the competencies needed to perform this role to the right levels. My experiences to date include, always acting with professionalism and integrity, being able to work effectively as a wider team, having a ‘can-do’ and persistent approach to all tasks, being able to communicate strongly with clients and stakeholders and also planning and organizing my work effectively. I strongly believe that, if I am successful in my ambition to work for the ******** in this role, I will be able to contribute positively to the team and the organization to help you continually work towards achieving your objectives.”

SUGGESTED ANSWER

“For a number of years, I have been a great admirer of the excellent work and support the organisation has provided communities around the world, and when this opportunity arose, I had to apply for a number of reasons. The first reason, I would like to work for the organisation is because of the strong values and code of ethics you uphold. I myself, live and work to the highest levels of integrity and honesty and truly believe that the organisation makes a real difference to the communities it serves, and I believe that I would get immense job satisfaction from the role and represent the organisation to the highest of standards. The second reason I would like to join the organization, is that I truly believe my skills and qualities are a natural match for the role. Having worked previously in both services and team environments, I am well aware of the levels of support required to make a difference to the communities we serve, but also to each other.”

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WHAT IS AN NGO?


A Non-Government Organisation or NGO is an organisation which functions independently to any government. An NGO is also a non-profit entity, which relies on funding through various means such as grants, membership fees, private donations and through the sales of goods or services. NGO’s focus on various projects such as development in under-privileged areas, humanitarian needs, environmental, health and foreign policy. Some NGOs rely solely on volunteers, but most have large numbers of paid staff.

Working for an NGO is perceived as a highly worthwhile occupation, which really does make a difference to the lives of millions in the area of the NGO’s focus.

It is estimated that there are over 10 million NGOs worldwide, all with different missions and objectives. Many are small, and most of us would not be aware of them, but there are a number of major players in this field which receive millions of dollars of funding each year. These include:

  • UNICEF,
  • Oxfam,
  • BRAC,
  • Care International,
  • Greenpeace
  • and the World Wildlife Fund.

Many also believe that the United Nations is an NGO. However, although many NGOs helped to form the UN, it is not classed as an NGO.

VALUES OF NGOs

Although some specific NGOs will have different values and codes of ethics, you will find that many will be closely related to each other.

BRAC International

BRAC is a not-for-profit organisation which is currently operating in ten countries across Asia and Africa. It’s goal as an NGO is to provide resources and solutions to communities living in poverty, disease and in areas which lack competent forms of education. BRACs success of implemented programmes has touched the lives of 130 million people giving them the support and confidence to achieve their potential.

As of today, BRAC employs over 100,000 staff in a vast array of different occupations and skillsets across four continents. Each of these employees would have had to demonstrate the values below to have any chance of success.

INTEGRITY: We approach our work with honesty and integrity.

INNOVATION: We innovate and iterate to improve our impact.

INCLUSION: We foster inclusion to reach those who need it most.

EFFECTIVENESS: We strive for effectiveness to better serve people in poverty.

UNICEF

Another of the larger NGO’s, which employs over 31,000 people from various backgrounds and professions. The goal of UNICEF is to improve the lives of children and young people across the globe. UNICEF is working currently in more than 190 countries to provide support in a number of areas such as nutrition, education, emergency relief for children, sanitation & hygiene and vaccinations. UNICEF, will go wherever the need arises and is not restricted by war or natural disasters, if a child is in danger the UNICEF will assist, no matter the circumstances.

UNICEFs mission is underpinned by its strong values, which are testament to the organisation and the men and women who do such amazing work around the world.

CARE: We are mindful of each other’s well-being, professional growth and development.

RESPECT: We treat each other with the same level of thoughtfulness we want for ourselves, and we promote, diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging for all. 

INTEGRITY: We act ethically, with honesty and transparency, setting the highest standards for ourselves and with partners, donors and the global community.

TRUST: We depend on and believe in each other to act in line with the core values and mission of UNICEF and in the best interests of children.

ACCOUNTABILITY: We hold ourselves and each other responsible for our behaviours; this means being answerable for our actions.

OXFAM

The main focus of Oxfam’s mission is to put an end to global poverty. This can come in the form of various issues, such as a lack of clean running water, the effects of climate change on under-developed communities, combating hunger, by eradicating lack of food globally. Health and education also play a big part of Oxfam’s mission by providing free quality health and education where required. Emergency disaster response also have a big part and wherever disaster strikes Oxfam will be there to provide assistance.

EQUALITY: We believe everyone has the right to be treated fairly and to have the same rights and opportunities.

EMPOWERMENT: We acknowledge and seek to expand people’s agency over their lives and the decisions that impact them.

SOLIDARITY: We join hands, support, and collaborate across boundaries in working towards a just and sustainable world.

INCLUSIVENESS: We embrace diversity and difference and value the perspectives and contributions of all people and communities in their fight against poverty and injustice.

ACCOUNTABILITY: We take responsibility for our action and inaction and hold ourselves accountable to the people we work with and for.

COURAGE: We speak truth to power and act with conviction on the justice of our causes.

CARE International

Care International primary focus is reducing poverty globally. Operating in over 100 counties they provide resources and aid to communities in the most need.

Care was formed in the USA in 1945 to send care packages to those in need who were worst affected from the destruction and devastation caused by World War II. This model consisted of Americans donating $10.00, so families in Europe could receive a package with food and other essential supplies. Over the next 77 years, Care has grown considerably and employs over 11,000 people from various backgrounds.

TRANSFORMATION: We believe in urgent action, innovation and the necessity of transformation, within the world and our own organisation.

INTEGRITY: We are accountable to the people and partners we humbly serve, transparently sharing our results, stories and lessons.

DIVERSITY: We know that by embracing differences, actively including a variety of voices, and joining together we can solve the world’s most complex problems.

EXCELLENCE: We challenge ourselves to the highest level of learning and performance, tapping the best of the human spirit to create impact.

EQUALITY: We believe in the equal value of every human being and the importance of respecting and honouring each individual; we know that change happens through people.

World Wildlife Fund

COURAGE: We demonstrate courage through our actions, we work for change where it’s needed, and we inspire people and institutions to tackle the greatest threats to nature and the future of the planet, which is our home.

INTEGRITY: We live the principles we call on others to meet. We act with integrity, accountability and transparency, and we rely on facts and science to guide us and to ensure we learn and evolve.

RESPECT: We honour the voices and knowledge of the people and communities that we serve, and we work to secure their rights to a sustainable future.

COLLABORATION: We deliver impact at the scale of the challenges we face through the power of collective action and innovation.

The above are just examples of five organisations values, and you will be able to identify that all of the values of all of the above listed above are closely related, and therefore these values will be across the board in most of the NGOs globally. However, it is important to remember that you should check the values of the NGO you are applying to ensure your answers indeed match the specific values.

Within the NGO Interview Questions and Answers guide, which is available to download on this page, we will provide you with over 30 sample NGO interview questions and brilliant suggested answers to help you pass!

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