Winter is coming!!! Well… Assessment Centres are coming (major update of all competitions)

Dear all,

We found the way to the way to the Assessment!!!

The cold is coming but EPSO is warming up and speeding up all the competitions. As many of you are asking about what will happen in your competitions, particularly : what are the next steps? When will I be invited to the assessment? When should I start to prepare the assessment? How should I prepare? Then let’s try to answer to all of you with the latest information available and our prediction for the calendars of each competition. In this post, you will find the information for the following competitions (by reference number order, just scroll down until you find the ones that interest you):

AD-Administrators competitions

  1. Administrator in the field of Data protection EPSO/AD/393/21
  2. Administrators in policymaking and law-making in the field of health, food safety, auditing inspection and evaluation EPSO/AD/392/21
  3. Member States’ Structural Reforms and Experts in the Schengen acquis EPSO/AD/391/21
  4. Administrators in the field of Chemicals Policy EPSO/AD/390/21
  5. Administrators in the field of sustainable agriculture and rural development EPSO/AD/389/21 – AD6
  6. Lawyer-Linguist – (BG); (CS); (FR); (GA); (HU); (PL) EPSO/AD/383 to 388/21
  7. Administrators in the field of external relations EPSO/AD/382/20 (AD5 and AD7)
  8. Administrators in the field of European Law EPSO/AD/381/20

AST and AST/SC competitions

  1. Technicians and support workers- Technicians( AST3) EPSO/AST/150/21 In 3 fields and Laboratory support workers (AST-SC EPSO/AST-SC/11/21)
  2. Proofreaders/language editors – Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Gaelic, Italian, Portuguese – EPSO/AST/148/21
  3. Secretaries SC 1 and SC2 EPSO/AST-SC/10/20

Almost finalised Competitions

  1. Administrators in international cooperation and managing aid to non-EU countries EPSO/AD/380/19 – AD7 and AD7
  2. Nuclear inspectors EPSO/AST/149/21
How candidates see themselves when they get an invitation to the Assessment Centre.

WARNING – as we see too much drama around the competitions, we have made an extra effort to make all this a bit more palatable and funny. You can pass the competitions with a smile! (Still, note that the information is as accurate as EPSO competitions allow us to be).

When should I start to prepare the Assessment Centre?

This a recurring question and very relevant to prepare successfully for the Assessment Centre. Our answer is based on our experience and the experience of our successful candidates. We would advise you to begin the preparation for the Assessment Centre the moment you get an invitation for it. Assessment Centres (or at least the EPSO ones) are based on (or aim to measure your) competences and your expertise on a certain domain, they don’t require you to show knowledge, you will rather have to present to the board all that you can offer to the European institutions. To do so, you need practice above all.

What if I start to prepare as soon as I get a message saying that my competition is in the Talent Screener phase? Well, of course you can do it. However, you need to take several elements into consideration :

Your face when you get the invitation for the Assessment.
  • It can take months until the Talent Screener evaluations are over . EPSO doesn’t have a standard duration so you study without a clear horizon and you may run of stamina before the process really begins.
  • There are more candidates than spots in the Assessment Centre. Depending on the competition, the proportion of candidates who make it to the Talent Screener evaluation phase varies from 8 up to 12 times the number of openings. So it’s not easy. You can end up studying without being selected afterward. Is this a waste of time? NO! It can be reused in other EPSO competitions and other selection processes but it could also trigger some lose of hope in our chances to work in the EU. Lack of motivation is probably your worse enemy in this process.
  • Waiting time can be used to set up an action plan when you get the invitation for Assessment Centre. Because the moment you get the invitation, you have to run! Time and energy must be devoted to this goal. And don’t mind if EPSO is ruining your holidays because you have to prepare for the Assessment Centre. It is for your own good! (it happened to us too!)

What about my competition?

Let’s go competition by competition (from highest to lowest EPSO reference number). Please be aware that the following analysis is done based on the information published on the EPSO webpage and our experience as candidates (yes, we once were where you are now) and trainers.

1.- Administrator in the field of Data protection EPSO/AD/393/21

That’s all the info we got. EPSO is publishing some dates step by step
  • Status: At the moment we are writing this, no news from this competition, but the Computer-based field-related Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) test is expected before the year ends announced for the beginning of 2022, good! few more weeks to study with the risk of Christmas time in the middle (mind that!). Also, don’t forget to check your EPSO profile twice per week!. We did our full analysis of this competition here that we suggest to read, specially because the marking system is a bit different from what we are used to.
  • Next steps: Computer-based field-related Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) test from EPSO’s accredited centres or remotely.
  • What to prepare: obviously the field test. As regards the material you should study, we suggest to have a look at all the regulations and procedures on data protection quoted in the point «WHAT TASKS CAN I EXPECT TO PERFORM?» from the notice of competition and the Annex- I.

2.-Administrators in policymaking and law-making in the field of health EPSO/AD/392/21 – 1 food safety EPSO/AD/392/21 – 2 auditing inspection and evaluation in the field of health and food safety EPSO/AD/392/21 – 3

  • Status: Remember our analysis of this competition (profile 1, profile 2 and profile 3)? Well, not much has changed. In total, there has been 1454 applications (split in 710, 465 and 289 respectively on each profile). As for the spots available, there are 47, 30 and 30 respectively. So the wise EPSO decided to do the eligibility check first (CV screening) and then continue to the Talent Screener evaluation.
  • Next steps: CV screening and Talent Screener evaluations will take a while so we expect the Assessment Centre not sooner than the beginning of 2022, even later in Spring, considering there are other competitions a bit ahead of this one and will overlap in time.
  • What to prepare: When the Assessment Centre comes, you will have to prepare the following: Case Study , Situational Competency base interview (SCBI) and Field test (interview and written test). If you think we can help you with our trainings, you can check our next sessions or register for the next ones.

3.-Experts in technical support to Member States’ Structural Reforms EPSO/AD/391/21 – 1
Experts in the Schengen acquis EPSO/AD/391/21 – 2

  • Status: As you remember, the candidates applying for the Structural Reforms competition were far more than expected and the CBT was called upfront. Results were out at end of October and (again) candidates must be patient and wait for the results of the Talent Screener. After that, for those of you with the highest marks, around 135 for structural reforms and 75 for Schengen acquis will be invited to the Assessment Centre (end 2021 or most likely beginning of 2022).
  • Next Steps: drink some hot mild tea to relax, this will take a while. We don’t expect the results of the Talent Screener evaluations and the invitations to the Assessment Centre until Spring 2022 (if lucky by the end of winter 2022)
  • What to prepare: When the Assessment Centre comes, you will have to prepare the following: Case Study, General competency-based interview, Situational Competency base interview (SCBI) and then the Field test (interview and written test). If you think we can help you with our training, remember to check our next sessions or join our Telegram information channel where we’ll alert you when the moment comes.

4.-Administrators in the field of Chemicals Policy EPSO/AD/390/21

  • Status: It has been a long time since we did our analysis of this competition but it’s still valid. The eligibility checks were done and the Talent Screener evaluation results for 518 lucky candidates are expected in any moment of the coming days (early November).
  • Next Steps: EPSO usually prefers to execute the Assessment Centre in single blocks, without any holidays in the middle. Considering there are 135 candidates to be invited to the Assessment Centre, it will be difficult to get them through the oral test before Christmas. However, the written part could come before or right after Christmas time. Stay alert and ready!
  • What to prepare: Candidates will face the following tests: Case study; General competency-based interview; Situational competency-based interview and the Field-related ones (Interview and written test). Check our next training sessions if you think we can help you (we think we can).

5.-Administrators in the field of sustainable agriculture and rural development EPSO/AD/389/21 – AD6

We thought about putting a screenshot from the competition but you know that one too well so we found our Agri-croqueta funnier and more encouraging.
  • Status: So the CBT was done in summer but results took time to settle on the earth and germinate (bad joke). So first, candidates got the CBT results and then the eligibility checks were performed (whole analysis here). The last week of October candidates got their results for that and were informed about who made it to the Talent Screener evaluation phase.
  • Next Steps: Now EPSO has to evaluate more than 500 Talent Screeners, so this will take a while. We don’t count to see any results until February next year (at least), so your Assessment Centre invitations will blossom with the Spring lights.
  • What to do: Wait for the formal invitation to the Assessment Centre, then the hard work begins! Make some slots in your agenda for the time the Assessment Centre comes. You will have to prepare tests such as: Case study ; General competency-based interview; Situational competency-based interview and the Field related ones (the interview and the written test). And stay tuned to any news by joining our Telegram channel where we’ll alert you when the moment comes.

6.-LAWYER-LINGUISTS (AD 7) EPSO/AD/383/21 – Bulgarian (BG); EPSO/AD/384/21 – Czech (CS); EPSO/AD/385/21 – French (FR); EPSO/AD/386/21 – Irish (GA); EPSO/AD/387/21 – Hungarian (HU); EPSO/AD/388/21 – Polish (PL)

  • Status: The brave candidates of this competition faced the CBT in summer and now have been called to to the Translation Test (up to 8 times the number of available spots). It will take place in December and after its evaluation, those with the highest marks (4 times the number of spots) will be invited to the Assessment Centre.
  • Next Steps: The correction of this kind of test takes time, we don’t expect further news until end February or later, and the Assessment Centre for Spring.
  • What to do: Once the Assessment Centre becomes a reality, candidates will face: General competency-based interview; Situational competency-based interview and the not so common Oral presentation. As for the the Field related tests, there will be another Oral presentation and a summary in language 1 from the Language 3 without dictionary (that will be tough). Don’t forget to stay tuned for what will come next by joining our telegram channel where we’ll alert you when the moment comes.

7.-Administrators in the field of external relations EPSO/AD/382/20 (AD5 and AD7)

Yes! EPSO committed itself with an indicative date for the results, we hope this will be the good one.
  • Status: After a very long wait, candidates received their results by the end of September. But no further information was provided. EPSO is currently running the eligibility checks and we expect to know who has passed to the Talent Screener evaluation phase in the second half of November.
  • Next Steps: Still in the preliminary phases, the evaluation of the Talent Screeners will take a couple of months (at least), so we bet its results will be published at end of winter (end-feb/begining march) and the Assessment Centre will come in Spring.
  • What to do: Once the Assessment Centre becomes a reality, Candidates will face: Case study ; General competency-based interview; Situational competency-based interview and the Field related tests (Interview and written test). Stay tuned for our next training sessions if you think we can help you with our training. Another way of staying tuned is to join our telegram channel where we’ll alert you when the moment comes.

8.-Administrators in the field of European Law EPSO/AD/381/20

EU law results are in the balance. Hope it will be swing in your favour!
  • Status: It looks like yesterday when we shared our analysis and the sources to study EU law. Then, we spent summer struggling with the intermediate EU Law test (big applause for the 70 candidates who spent this summer with us and suffered our hard tests to prepare for this phase), and then came the long wait to get the results. Good news!!! Apparently, the results will be published in the coming weeks of November and then the invitation to the Assessment Centre will be sent.
  • Next Steps: We can expect this Assessment Centre to be the first of the year and begin in January (there is no time to do it before Christmas). So make sure you devote some time during the Christmas season to prepare all the tests. After that, there won’t be any time.
  • What to do: Right, after cheering for the new year, we can expect to face the following tests in the Assessment Centre: General competency-based interview; Role Play (yes, the new test); Oral Presentation and last but not least, well it’s even more important, the Field Written test. If you think we can help you with our training, you can check our next sessions or register for the next ones or join our Telegram channel where we’ll alert you when the moment comes.

AST and AST/SC competitions

1.-Technicians and support workers- Technicians( AST3) EPSO/AST/150/21 In 3 fields : Field 1: Audiovisual and conference technicians; Field 2: Building technicians; Field 3: Laboratory technicians and Laboratory support workers (AST-SC 1) EPSO/AST-SC/11/21

  • Status (updated after EPSO info release): At the moment we are writing this, the application period has just closed and no disclosure of the number of applications has just been released (389 candidates for 92 spots in Audiovisual, 663 for 114 spots in building, 378 for 20 in Laboratory spots and 176 for 15 spots on laboratory support) , and we know that EPSO will start with the Talent Screener evaluations, the computer-based MCQ tests (also known CBT for friends) will take place during the assessment. Full analysis here: 1st part, 2nd part.
  • Next steps: check your EPSO profile regularly. In the unlikely scenario of the CBT coming first, it could be done by December. The most likely scenario is that the first thing to come will be the CV/eligibility check and then the Talent Screener evaluation. If so, don’t expect your Assessment Centre until end of Spring 2022.
  • What to prepare: Good moment to briefly review your CBT notes and warm up a little, just in case, but don’t exhaust yourself practicing. Remember that the formula for success in the CBT is 3/4 of calm and 1/4 of practice.

2.-Proofreaders/language editors – EPSO/AST/148/21 – Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Gaelic, Italian, Portuguese

Do you recognize yourself?
  • Status: It has been a while since candidates were informed that this competition was moving towards the Talent Screener evaluation. Results should be soon published.
  • Next Step : EPSO usually prefers to execute the Assessment Centre in single blocks, without any holidays in the middle. Considering there will be135 candidates invited to the Assessment Centre, we see difficult to get them through the oral test before Christmas but the written part could come before or right after Christmas time. Stay alert and ready!
  • What to prepare: Candidates will face: Case study ; General competency-based interview; Situational competency-based interview and the Field related tests (Proofreading and correcting a text). Check our next training sessions if you think we can help you (we think we can).

3.-Secretaries EPSO/AST-SC/10/20 – SC 1 and SC2

  • Status: After a long summer struggling with the Word test, (Word-MS Office skills to be EPSO-precise) and a long waiting until some candidates left behind could take their exam (their Prometric centre was not available), the results are expected in the second half of November, fingers crossed for all of you.
  • Next step: If not done when they publish the results, they have to perform the eligibility check afterwards so the process will put us in the beginning of 2022 to get the invitations for the Assessment Centre.
  • What to prepare: If you pass the Word test and have a CV that matches the profile of this competition, your chances of being invited to the Assessment Centre are quite high (remember that the number of candidates who took the Word test was relatively low, nearly 2 times those who will be invited to the Assessment Centre). Then, when the Assessment Centre comes, you will have to prepare 2 role play tests (yes, a new type of test but not such a big deal ;-)) and the Field-related interview. The positive thing about this Assessment Centre is that you can focus all your strength in the preparation on only two types of tests. Of course, if you think we can help you with our training, you can check our next sessions or register for the next ones or join our Telegram channel where we’ll alert you when the moment comes.

Almost finalised

1.-Administrators in international cooperation and managing aid to non-EU countries EPSO/AD/380/19 – AD7 and AD7

Evidence of the last try to do the Case Study. We don’t post all the previous attempts or this will look like an never ending soap-opera.
  • Status: Your are right, this competition opened in December 2019. However, as international cooperation projects experts know, nobody said it would be easy or short. The COVID crisis made things quite difficult and this competition got stuck for many months. Then the Assessment Centre was organised on a test by test basis, instead of taking all the Assessment Centre tests in the same day, which took a big part of 2021. But the «best» came at the end: the Case study and the Field written test, put the candidates in a very difficult situation as the interface/platform of the exam didn’t work as expected (or at all) and many candidates have to repeat the exam now.
  • Next Steps: Only the case study is left for those candidates taking it again. We really hope this N-time will be the good one. Perhaps you will be lucky and get the results of this competition before the Christmas break (crossing our fingers for you!).
  • What to prepare: to wish all the best of luck (with the IT platform) to the candidates for their exam and for those who trusted us to help them with preparation of the test: Do it as you know! You have prepared hard for it and you are more than ready.

2.-Nuclear inspectors  EPSO/AST/149/21

Most likely status of the candidates in this competition, until the results are out.
  • Status: After a long struggle , this competition is about to end. Also, it is a good example of the evaluation procedure. Applications closed in April, and 440 brave candidates presented theirs. Around 80 didn’t fulfill the eligibility criteria, so 359 went to the Talent Screener phase, of which 118 were invited now to the Assessment Centre that took place this Autumn. As a souvenir, here some images of the process.
  • Next Steps: Wait, then stock some hot drinks, amusements and think of any other activity. If lucky, results will come by the end of this year, otherwise by the beginning of 2022.
  • What to prepare: Get ready for the Christmas holiday and get yourself a bottle of champagne. If you pass, open it to celebrate, if not, open it to close the long wait and boost your morale for next time. Your experience will be very valuable.

Life after the competition… Let’s end with a sweet story

Each of these croqUEtillas has a name and a story behind, we are very happy we helped them to join the reserve list and soon, become AD officials. We’ll be even happier when we can celebrate this properly

There is light at the end of the tunnel!! In the last months we got the results of three competitions, namely Specialists in legal research-Lawyers-EPSO/AD/365/19, to EPSO/AD/370/19, Administrators in the field of Audit EPSO/AD/372/19 – AD 5 and AD 7, and graduate Administrators (AD5 Generalist) EPSO/AD/373/19 AD5. Two dozens of former-candidates, now laurates, to join the reserve lists and become officers in the European Institutions. Despite the challenges, the long waiting periods, the uncertainty and the new SCBI, 24 people (our «croqUEtillas» as we fondly nicknamed them) are now in the reserve list and most of them are already or right in the process of becoming Officers of the European Institutions. They did their best and we helped them to perform at their maximum level, now this effort has its reward. In YaSemosEuropeos (YSE) we’ll remain at your service to help you with the EPSO challenge and sooner or later, to celebrate your success.

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