• A high level of concentration and split-second accuracy
• Ability to work under continuous stress
• Ability to assimilate a broad range of subjects and specialized terminology
• Ability to tailor language, tone, style and register to the speaker’s statement and to the audience
• Excellent comprehension of accents and regional language variations
• Sensitivity to speakers’ cultural backgrounds, attitudes, perspectives and outlooks, and ability to render these nuances accurately in the target language
• Ability to work collaboratively and willingness to learn from others
• Ability to work effectively with people of different national, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, with sensitivity and respect for diversity
• Readiness to share credit for team accomplishments and accept joint responsibility for team shortcomings
• Conscientiousness and efficiency in meeting commitments and achieving results
United Nations interpreters must:
• Pass the United Nations competitive examination for interpreters.
• Hold a university degree from a recognized school of interpretation in which at least one full year is devoted to interpretation,
Hold a degree from a university or institution of equivalent status at which the language of instruction is the language into which they interpret, and have 200 days of work experience as conference interpreters and/or work experience in the field of translation, editing, verbatim reporting or other related fields.
• Have as their main language one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
• In the case of English, French, Russian and Spanish interpreters, have a perfect command, respectively, of English, French, Russian or Spanish, which must be their main language and an excellent knowledge of at least two other official languages of the United Nations. In some booths special language combinations are required. English interpreters, for example, must have French.
• In the case of Arabic interpreters, have a perfect command of Arabic, which must be their main language and an excellent knowledge of English or French.
• In the case of Chinese interpreters, have a perfect command of Chinese, which must be their main language, and an excellent knowledge of English; knowledge of another official language of the United Nations is desirable.