What a season we are having! Instead of tree leaves falling, we have plenty of competitions blossoming. Rare flowers in form of competitions for specialist appear in front of our eyes, full with colors and small details to take into account if we want to apply. So after the competition for Technicians in audiovisual, building or laboratory, we got a new competition aimed for specialist and experts in two areas of Anti-fraud investigation : In the field of EU expenditure and anti-corruption and in the field of customs and trade, tobacco and counterfeit goods.
How many spots are available? When does it begin?
A good number of spots are available, in total 68 spots, distributed in 2 fields and 2 grades but you can only apply to one single grade and field. Be careful! the process began on the 7th October and it will be open for joining until 9 November NOON (let’s say 11.59 AM CET). Until then, you can fulfill and validate your application. Approximately you have been given one month +2 days , that’s more than enough but don’t fell sleep.
What are the criteria to be a candidate?
General criteria: Enjoy full rights as a citizen of a Member State of the EU (UK is not longer an option), meet any obligations under national laws on military service , and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned
Specific criteria – languages
LANGUAGE 1: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU and you should have, minimum, C1. If you are a native speaker, you should qualify yourself as C2 and CAREFUL! do not put any item of the level of language under C1 (otherwise you will be disqualified automatically). The CBT (verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning) test will be taken in this language 1 and also we can fill in our application (except the Talent Screener) in this language.
LANGUAGE 2: ENGLISH or FRENCH (sorry, you can only choose between these 2, duty calls for it and EPSO explain it long and clear why). Here we need a B2 level minimum (no need of having a degree to justify it, the assessment centre will be in this language and if you can work through it, then you have the level required). Remember not to put any item (written, oral level, or any other) below B2 level in your application.
REMINDER – language 1 and language 2 can not be the same. Even if you try, the application form will alert you. On the bright side, communication with EPSO can take place in one of the languages you have declared in your application form at B2 level or higher.
Specific conditions – Work experience and studies
Let’s go field by field
Field 1: Anti-fraud investigations and operations in the field of EU expenditure and anti-corruption
Field 2: Anti-fraud investigations and operations in the field of customs and trade, tobacco and counterfeit goods
To explain the part “professional experience in the field” means that when describing your professional experience in the application (CV- work experience), you must clearly identify the experiences and activities equal or similar to those you are expected to do in the European Institutions and describe in the notice. In order to do so, our past webinar could help.
What are test I have to pass? and the competition phases?
Based on the notice of competition + our experience we split the process in 3 phases : 1) fill in the application, 2) The Talent evaluation 3) the Assessment Centre and the party at the end is optional.
- Phase 1 Fill in the Application – You’ve got until 9 November (noon) to send your application and before that, fill it in with love and care. This is the first step of a competition and the way to differentiate yourself from the other candidates and all their experience (honestly, we don’t think EPSO expects a lot of candidates, but a few good ones with long CVs) in relation with the two different profiles.
- (wait we are still in phase 1) What is a TALENT SCREENER? This is a list of questions related to your academic and professional background that you must answer in your application, you can find the questions on the Annex II of the notice of competition. The board of the competition is in charge of evaluating the answers. Keep in mind that all candidates in the same profile and field answer the same questions. In this way, the responses of all the candidates are structured in the same way, which allows the board to make an evaluation (as objective as such a type of test allows) of the compared merits of all the candidates. Remember to look at annex II or the application form for all the details, and if you think we can be of help, ouexpected to do in the European Institutions and described in the notice, so take a good look at the third column. In order to do so, our past webinar could help.
- PHASE 2 – Talent Screener evaluation. Here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read your Talent Screener and rate it. We remind you the selection based on qualifications will be carried out only for those candidates deemed eligible… , using solely the information provided in this Talent Screener section (in language 2). You should therefore include all relevant information in your answers, even if already mentioned in other sections of your application form. The questions are based on the selection criteria included in this notice (check the photo above). The best of all this is that up to a total of 3 times the openings will go to the Assessment Centre. We are talking about about 204 candidates (if our math is right..yes it is :-)!
- Phase 3 Assessment. Congrats! you are one of the 204 candidates with the highest marks in the Talent Screener and you have been invited to the Assessment Centre, the final round. In this round, you will also have to present all your papers in digital format (it used to be a USB memory stick before, now in the online Assessment Centre you will have to upload the pertinent papers before having the test), so prepare them in advance to avoid last minute rush.
- First we’ll have the CBT (computer-based test). We know, you thought you have escape it… keep dreaming. Still you don’t need much to pass it (like an ordinary CAST exam) and there is no need of having a high mark, only passing it is enough.
- Now talking about the other tests, the competition turns into a classic. In front of you two of the most classic test you may face : Case Study and Competence Based Interview. Between the two tests you can gather a total of 80 points, with the particularity that you need and overall 40/80 to pass but not minimum marks per competence.
- Anyway, although the more points we get in competences part, the better (we can help with that). Still, the key part is the field-related test, where you will have to demonstrate your knowledge, and above all, your relevant experience for this position. To do so, you will have the Interview in the Field (also structured but with clear focus on your work experience) up to 100 points in that test (we can help with that too).
When will EPSO contact me?
Many of you ask about when EPSO will tell you that you have passed to the next phase, or have been invited to the Assessment, or…. you read/heard rumors about the development of the competitions. Better to isolate yourself from that noise and focus on the real messages. EPSO commits itself (it’s in Annex III of the notice) to communicate with you after the Talent Screeners have been evaluated to inform you on the results and to invite you to the Assessment Centre. In the meantime, it can take weeks or months to receive any information, so keep calm. You can always contact EPSO too, as candidates you are entitled to do so but be careful, replies can be a bit cryptic or copy/paste from the notice.
What can I expect of this job? Is my degree valid?
Both are typical questions of the candidates, therefore we invite you to check Annex I and Annex II from the notice of competition. As you can see from the image, it sends you to Annex I to find all the details of your expected tasks to be performed once you are an administrator in the area of anti-fraud (OLAF counts on you!!!). Let’s us remind you an AD7 will join the institutions with a net salary above 6.000 € and this can be higher depending if you have family dependent on you and other conditions. If you enter as AD9 …. the next round of beers is on you?