It is important to determine your personal motivation and suitability before deciding on a position and location in the international health and NGO community. Through research and self-reflection, you must conduct an assessment of your skills and your career path.

Sense of Commitment
To work for an international NGO you must show a strong sense of commitment and eagerness to work in the international environment. Your skills must illustrate your enthusiasm and drive. It is also essential to be able to be able to give specific reasons why you would prefer to work for one NGO or company over another.

It is crucial to demonstrate that you are a good team player, even in emergency health situations. Other skills that are very important are your problem-solving capabilities, dealing with conflict situations, relating to local personnel, building respect and trust in a group, and of course, your self-confidence and leadership ability.

Coping with Stress
Your ability to cope with stress will be judged by international recruiters very closely. You will likely be asked questions on your tactics to deal with stress, your ability to not let your stress affect your work and your ability to help others deal with stress.

Willingness to Accept High-Risk Situations
To work for an international NGO, you must be ready to take risks to work in an unstable and explosive environment. Be prepared to face natural disasters, epidemics, famine, civil war and several other situations.

Ethical Behavior
These are a wide range of skills that international health recruiters are interested in such as your comprehension of ethical behavior, your ability to deal with ethical misbehavior, your compassion to deal with the local populations that are in dangerous situations, your knowledge of your obligations to the NGO and awareness that you must follow internationally accepted ethical and legal practices, your national laws and respect the local laws and traditions.

Language Skills
Knowledge of one or more languages besides your mother tongue is crucial. While English is spoken in most countries, other languages like French, Portuguese and Spanish will increase your chances of international placements.

Entry-Level Skills
Some NGO's are not as demanding on first-time employees and do not require extensive experience. Instead, they will place emphasis on personal characteristics. Candidates who are ready to take up challenges and are flexible and able to leave at short notices for long-term assignments might find placements easily.

Being part of an international organization requires serious thought and personal introspection. It requires qualities that will help you deal with dangerous and difficult situations, while being committed, motivated and enthusiastic.