Last Tuesday (1st February), the afternoon coffee ended on our trousers rather in our stomach, as EPSO announced changes. Which ones? Easy, as they acknowledge the long long backlog of some competitions (see the list below) they have decided to cut a big chunk of the Assessment test to make the process faster without harming your chances or passing it. Is that true? Will my chances remain the same? In principle yes, as the core of the evaluations (competences) remains, this time assessed through one single test rather than two tests, your chances should remain intact. Then what’s different? The margin of error. Now, you need to perform well or excellent in each one of the tests, no margin to make mistakes or obtain a low mark in one competence. Also bear in mind a reference for the uploading of the scanned documents (instead of bringing them in a USB) has been added.
Warning! as EPSO indicates, the information shared is intended for publication in the Official Journal (OJ) of the EU. It is made available in advance to information the candidates, but please make sure you check the text published in the DOUE to verify there are no differences (i.e we’ll check the final publication and update this post accordingly)
Can you be more specific about the changes? Sure! In this post, you will find the information for all the competitions affected by the change (by reference number order, just scroll down until you find the ones that interest you) and what is the new and how to tackle it. Also we have made an extra effort to make all this a bit more palatable and funny. You can pass the competitions with a smile!
- Administrators in policymaking and law-making in the field of health, food safety, auditing inspection and evaluation EPSO/AD/392/21
- Member States’ Structural Reforms and Experts in the Schengen acquis EPSO/AD/391/21
- Administrators in the field of Chemicals Policy EPSO/AD/390/21
- Administrators in the field of sustainable agriculture and rural development EPSO/AD/389/21 – AD6
- Lawyer-Linguist – (BG); (CS); (FR); (GA); (HU); (PL) EPSO/AD/383 to 388/21
- Administrators in the field of external relations EPSO/AD/382/20 (AD5 and AD7)
- Administrators in the field of European Law EPSO/AD/381/20
AST and AST/SC competitions
- Proofreaders/language editors – Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Gaelic, Italian, Portuguese – EPSO/AST/148/21
- Secretaries SC 1 and SC2 EPSO/AST-SC/10/20
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.-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
- Situation : 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), after the initial eligibility check, the numbers of those who passed to the Talent were 240, 245 and 190 respectively for 47, 30 and 30 spots (then up to 141,90 and 90 can be invited to the Assessment). At this moment the Talent Screener evaluation is ongoing.
- What to expect: This was one of the competitions less impacted by the changes. When the Assessment Centre comes, probably March or April, you will have to prepare the following: Case Study (of competences) and the Situational Competency base interview (SCBI) and Field test interview. The Written test in the field is gone and its points transferred to the Field test interview (now it counts 100 points). If you think we can help you with our trainings, you can check our next sessions or register for the next ones.
2.-Experts in technical support to Member States’ Structural Reforms EPSO/AD/391/21 – 1 Experts in the Schengen acquis EPSO/AD/391/21 – 2
- Situation: 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 (Spring of 2022 most likely).
- What to expect: When the Assessment Centre comes, you can forget about the Case Study . The General competency-based interview and Situational Competency base interview (SCBI) both remain and split the competences to evaluate them in one single round and the minimum mark per competence disappears, you only need to obtain 40 points or more in total. What remains the same is 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.
3.-Administrators in the field of Chemicals Policy EPSO/AD/390/21
- Situation: 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 of 2022. EPSO announced the delay of the Talent screener results without a clear hint of when the publication of the results, so the 135 candidates to be invited to the Assessment Centre will have to wait
- What to expect: When the Assessment Centre comes, you can forget about the Case Study . The General competency-based interview and Situational Competency base interview (SCBI) both remain and split the competences to evaluate them in one single round. The minimum mark per competence disappears, you only need to obtain 40 points or more in total. What remains the same is 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 sustainable agriculture and rural development EPSO/AD/389/21 – AD6
- Situation : So the CBT was done in summer but results took time to settle on the earth and germinate (bad joke). Then, the new year brought the results of the Talent Screener and 175 brave candidates were invited to the Assessment…and its first test will take place 8 of March
- What to expect: The Assessment Centre is coming in Spring just as we predicted and the winter is there to prepare ourselves. In this competition, Situational competency-based interview is gone with the wind, but Case study and General competency-based interviews remain, which are the two big classic test are ready to evaluate our competences. Besides, to assess your knowledge in the Field, you will face the interview and the written test in the filed. For all this test, we’ll offer further trainings , stay tuned on our next sessions .
5.-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)
- Situation : The brave candidates of this competition faced the CBT in summer, then in Autumn, almost winter, were called to to the Translation Test (up to 8 times the number of available spots). After its evaluation, those with the highest marks (4 times the number of spots) will be invited to the Assessment Centre.
- What to expect: 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. For that, the Situational competency-based interview is gone and the classics remain: General competency-based interview and the Oral presentation, where the minimum mark per competence disappears, you only need to obtain 40 points or more in total. 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.
6.-Administrators in the field of external relations EPSO/AD/382/20 (AD5 and AD7)
- Situation: 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 (yes, since September) and we expect to know who has passed to the Talent Screener evaluation phase one day.
- What to expect: After all the struggle, could it be EPSO accelerates and releases the results of the talent so the approximately 258 candidates ( AD5+AD7) invited to the assessment can receive their invitations before Easter? Fingers crossed. Meanwhile, Situational competency-based interview and the minimum mark per competence are gone, instead the Case study and the General competency-based interview remain and you will need to obtain 40 points or more in total in the competence part; For the Field related tests (Interview and written test) all remains the same, up to 50 points each. Don’t miss the opportunity! Of course, stay tuned for our next training sessions if you think we can help you with them. Another way of staying tuned is to join our telegram channel where we’ll alert you when the moment comes.
7.-Administrators in the field of European Law EPSO/AD/381/20
- Situation: 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!!! The results were published mid November and candidates got their invitation to the Assessment Centre at the begining of this year, but only two test were set, the role play remained uncertain.
- What to expect : Now, forget about the role plays, they are gone, the Oral presentation and General competency-based interview remain at the same time that the minimum mark per competence disappears, you only need to obtain 40 points or more. What is even more important, the Field Written test is still marked up to 100 points and set for the 11 of February. Get ready!! In case you have skipped the previous clarifications, let us say that If you think we can help you with our training, you can check or register for the next ones or join our Telegram channel where we’ll alert you when more are available.
AST and AST/SC competitions
1.-Proofreaders/language editors – EPSO/AST/148/21 – Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Gaelic, Italian, Portuguese
- Situation: It has been a while since candidates were informed that this competition was moving towards the Talent Screener evaluation. Results should be soon published.
- What to expect: Sooner than later the results of the Talent Screener should be published and the invitation to the Assessment Centre should arrive for 135 candidates. Stay alert and ready! Regarding the test, Case study is gone for good and you will face the General competency-based interview and the Situational competency-based interview where the minimum mark per competence disappears, you only need to obtain 35 (over 70) points to pass but better if you get more. Above them, the Field related tests (Proofreading and correcting a text) will set the real threshold. 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
- Situation: 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 were published , without further notice until the eligibility checks were performed
- What to expect: end of winter should be the right time to get the invitation for the Assessment Centre, remember that 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 (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 face only ONE role play test (yes, a new type of test but not such a big deal ;-)) and the Field-related interview, which, in addition to your knowledge of the field, this time will also assess some other competences (Resilience, Communication, Analysis and Problem Solving) at the same time. The positive thing about this Assessment Centre is still that you can focus all your strengths on 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.
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 consider several elements :
- 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!)
If you missed them- all of our 2021 posts in one list (from older to more recent)
- The CBT tests are back : EU law, Secretaries, External relations and more!
- Analizamos la convocatoria de Administradores AD6 en el ámbito de la agricultura- EPSO/AD/389/21
- Analizamos la convocatoria de Correctores de pruebas / verificadores lingüísticos EPSO/AST/148/21
- Analysis of the Administrators in the field of Chemicals Policy- EPSO/AD/390/21
- La Agencia Europea de Investiación (REA) saca ¡¡¡65 plazas!!!
- Análisis de la oposición de Administradores AD6 en el área de la política de sustancias y preparados químicos- EPSO/AD/390/21
- Análisis de la oposición para Inspectores Nucleares AST – EPSO/AST/149/21
- Análisis de la oposición de Administradores AD7 – Expertos/as en apoyo técnico a las reformas estructurales de los Estados miembros y expertos/as en el acervo de Schengen- EPSO/AD/391/21
- Análisis al anuncio de EPSO para AD5 generalistas
- Administrators (AD 7) in the Field of HEALTH & FOOD SAFETY – Profile policymaking and law-making in the field of food safety- EPSO/AD/392/21 – 2
- Administrators (AD 7) in the Field of HEALTH and FOOD SAFETY – Profile policymaking and law-making in the field of health- EPSO/AD/392/21 – 1
- Administrators AD7 in the Field of HEALTH & FOOD SAFETY – Profile in auditing, inspection and evaluation in the field of health and food safety- EPSO/AD/392/21 – 3
- The competitions are moving!! EU law, Secretaries, External relations and more!
- Analysis of the Administrators (AD 6) in the field of DATA PROTECTION -EPSO/AD/393/21
- Analizamos la convocatoria de Técnicos y asistentes EPSO/AST/150/21-ámbito 1-Técnicos audiovisuales y 2- Técnicos de construcción.
- Analizamos la convocatoria de Técnicos y asistentes EPSO/AST/150/21-ámbito 3 Técnicos de laboratorio y EPSO/AST-SC/11/21 asistentes de laboratorio
- Analysis of ANTI-FRAUD INVESTIGATORS (AD 7) AND ANTI-FRAUD EXPERTS (AD 9) competition-EPSO/AD/394/21
- Analysis of Administrators in digital forensics and in operational and strategic analysis competition-EPSO/AD/395/21
- Winter is coming!!! Well… Assessment Centres are coming (major update of all competitions)
- Guide to practice(for free) the translation test of the European Parliament Language Professional competitions
- Analysis of the Administrators in the field of maritime affairs and fisheries competition- EPSO/AD/397/21