Eight candidates vying to be the new UN boss face being grilled for two hours each by representatives of the 193 member states.

Now you’re approaching something close to the interviewing process for the eight unlucky candidates vying to be the new United Nations Secretary General.

Over the next three days, each of them is to spend two hours being grilled by representatives from the UN’s 193 member states, most of whom have competing and sometimes even opposing priorities.

Oh yes, and it’s going to be broadcast live across the world.

United Nations Headquarters

The UN flag pictured in front of the organisation’s headquarters

The candidates have also had to submit a ‘Vision Statement’ to their interviewers ahead of time, just so there’s plenty of ammunition to clobber them with.

As if that wasn’t hard enough, there will also be some wildcard questions submitted via video by ordinary people who aren’t connected to the UN.

I understand this will include questions from UK school children and even indigenous groups who will want to know about a candidate’s positions on issues important to them.

It’s enough to bring you out in a cold sweat.

Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and current Administrator of the United Nations Development Program, speaks during an interview in New York

The current favourite for the top job is former New Zealand PM Helen Clark

This process has never happened before.

Previously the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – America, UK, France, Russia and China – have anointed a candidate and presented them to the rest of the UN as a done deal.

But this time current UN president Mogens Lykketoft has other ideas.

In a statement, his office said he has “committed to running his presidency in the most open and transparent manner possible.

“This also applies to the process of selecting and appointing the next United Nations Secretary-General.”

The P5, as they are known, will still submit a name for general approval, but not until all the candidates have been through the new process of public and rigorous scrutiny.

The candidates are from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Bulgaria, the Republic of Moldova and Portugal, but the current favourite is former prime minister of New Zealand Helen Clark.

If successful she would be the first woman to occupy the role, currently held by Ban Ki-Moon.