Monitoring and Evaluation is an important component of many organizations as it is key to ensuring that their projects are on track and so when organizations are looking for Monitoring and Evaluation officers, it is an important delicate role which every candidate must scale convincingly to be hired.
- The “Tell me about yourself” question: This is not a time to share your complete life history; rather your interviewers are looking for signs that you have the required training, capacity and fit for the vacant role. You should utilize the opportunity of this question to express some of your accomplishments in the Monitoring and Evaluation roles that you have performed in the past.
- Question on previous M&E Roles: Questions will be asked of you to test your experience and knowledge of M&E. Being a crucial position, most organizations do not prefer to recruit individuals without experience in this role; therefore, you should share different scenarios and positions where you have performed M&E and your corresponding lessons and achievements from those positions.
- Questions on your experience in managing people: Monitoring and Evaluation is about working with people. Here, the interviewers want to know how you would handle members of the team whose work you have to monitor and evaluate. They want to see that you are objective, dispassionate and firm in your assessment yet considerate of peculiarities of individuals. In answering this question, you want to ensure that your team spirit and interpersonal skills are clearly expressed to the interview panel.
- Run the steps in setting up an M&E system: This question seeks to examine your capacity and experience. While there are general principles to M&E, the interviewer would be looking to see how you can develop a system that is suitable and effective for their operations. Only be careful not to divulge too much information. Your research on the company and industry will weigh in heavily as you may need to describe industry-specific terminologies and metrics
- What have you done to improve your knowledge as a Monitoring & Evaluations Officer in the last year?: Nobody wants to recruit a dinosaur. Your interviewers want to know that you are keeping up to date with best practices and continually improving yourself to deliver the best value to them. This is why it is useful to take advantage of trainings and certifications to boost your skills.
- How do you react with pressure: One of the most important aspects of the role of a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer is the management of pressure. Because they have to objectively assess the work performed by others, they are often under pressure to provide good reports. Here, your interviewer needs to understand that you will always be able to deliver honest reports and analysis in your role.
- Describe a time you disagreed with your supervisor: The role and authority of an M&E professional is usually not absolute. With a question like this, you want to focus on what you did to make the said supervisor see your point of view, not the details of your disagreement. Your interviewers want to know whether you can be firm and objective in your assessment, yet open to considering new information that may change your position.
- What special contribution have you made to your previous employers: Your role as a Monitoring and Evaluation Official is not merely to collect data and publish information based on that data. A robot can do that. What distinguishes you as a professional is the innovative contributions you have brought to make the business perform better. Here, you can state what you discovered in the process of collecting and analyzing data on a project, the recommendation you made and the beneficial impact of your recommendation to your organization.
- Tell us about a time you failed: This question is to assess your sense of responsibility — to see whether you are the type of person to push the blame to other people or you take responsibility for your own mistakes, and more importantly, to know if you learn from your failures. In questions like this, state the scenario where you failed to do something, how you realized the error and what you did to make it right.
- Describe a time you needed to present complex information in a simplified way: The results of your assessment can sometimes be filled with information that could be nuanced or considered too technical, yet it is important for your team to understand why you made the decisions you have made. In a question like this, you should provide specific job-related examples, along with the tools you used and the outcome of the simplified presentation.
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