3,2,1…..lift-off! The final countdown is over and after a long wait, the EPSO/AD/400/22 competition is taking off, so dear candidates take your helmets, get ready your intellectual weapons and launch yourself to the cosmic adventure for a position as an Administrator (Ad 7) or Expert (Ad 9) In The Fields Of Defence Industry And Space (link to the formal notice of competition).
If you are an expert in one or several of the wide range of fields related to space (Air and space law, economics, International relations of space organisations, Earth observation etc.) or defence (technology, law, procurements, etc.) (check the image for full detail), this is your competition. The Directorate General for Defence industry and Space (DG DEFIS for friends) is looking for 100 new (but veteran) recruits to join their ranks. So get the Neil Armstrong or the Napoleon Bonaparte in you and prepare your application.
How many spots are available? When does it begin?
A good number of spots are available (100 spots in total!!!), distributed in 2 fields split in 2 grades respectively. The bad news are that you can only apply for one single field and grade. Be careful! The process began on the 16 June and it will be open until 19 July NOON (let’s say 11.59 AM CET). Until then, you can fill in and validate your application. Approximately, you have been given one month +3 days, that’s more than enough but don’t fall asleep.
What are the criteria to be a candidate?
The general criteria, as usual: Enjoy full rights as a citizen of one of the 27 Member States of the EU (UK is no longer an option), meet any obligations under national laws on military service (quite a paradox if you go for the field o experts in defence and you haven’t done it yet), and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned.
Specific criteria – languages
LANGUAGE 1: You can choose among the 23 official languages of the EU, yes 23 because ENGLISH is not an option this time for language 1 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 ENGLISH or ENGLISH, duty calls for it and EPSO explained long and clear why in the notice). 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 (English) 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
Be aware! To explain the part «professional experience in the field » in this case, 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 described in the notice (annex I), so take a good look at the fourth column (relevant duties) of our tables. And don’t despair, if you find this task difficult, our free webinar (here the recording). on this competition can be key to give you some useful tips for the talent (also you can check our latest one on youtube)
Now let’s go field by field
Field 1: Defense industry
Field 2: Space industry
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.
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 19 July (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 thousands of candidates, but a few hundreds with good and 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 IV or the application form for all the details, and if you think we can be of help, come to our our free webinar (here the recording – click on like if you found it useful). If not convenient, take a look to our past webinar on a Talent Screener.
- PHASE 2 – Eligibility . Here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read first your CV and check you have enough years of relevant experience (6 years minimum for AD7 or 10 for AD9) therefore deemed eligible. This will be done solely based on your application (CV part) that you filled in in language 1. Note that if the Selection Board considers that a candidate for AD 9 grade does not meet the eligibility requirements for that grade, it can reassign the candidate’s application to grade AD 7 in the same field provided the candidate : a) meets the eligibility requirements for grade AD 7 and b) the candidate concerned gave consent in the application form for reassignment to grade AD 7 (so click the dam box in your application!!!).
- PHASE 3 – Talent Screener evaluation. Once you have been deemed eligible and all candidates have been evaluated, you and all the candidates will get an email informing on this and that you advance to the Talent Screener (BUT it doesn’t mean that you are not in the assessment yet). Talent screener evaluation will begin then using solely the information provided in this Talent Screener section (in language 2), they don’t cross reference with the rest of your application or Google. You should therefore include all relevant information in your answers, even if already mentioned in other sections of your application form. The questions are published in annex IV of your notice of competition. 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 300 candidates in total (if our math is right… yes it is :-)!
- Phase 4 – Assessment Centre. Congrats! you are one of the three hundred 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 rushing in the last minute. 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 Situational 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.
- 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).
Now lets go with 3 of your most typical questions : Salary, work expectations and when EPSO will contact you (timing of the competition).
How much will my salary be?
One of the most typical questions of the candidates. An AD7 (step 2) 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. For an AD9 (step 2) it will be 8.761 €. To that you will have to add 16% extra of expatriation rate and subtract the cost of the taxes (you pay taxes to the European Commission), health insurance and pension, all them proportional to your salary, so expect around 6.000 € for AD7 and 8.000€ for AD9 in net salary.
By the way, we refer to step 2 as any first entrant in the institutions can’t join above that step, it means you have at least 3 years of professional experience, what in this competition, is obvious.
What can I expect of this job?
We invite you to check the Annex 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 Defence or Space in DG DEFIS. IF you are to lazy to check there, click on the images below
When will EPSO contact me? timing of the competition?
The expected calendar for this competition is the following: after the closure date for the submission of the applications, they will run the eligibility checks in Autumn, and then the Talent Screener during the winter. So get ready to confront the Assessment Centre in Spring 2023!!
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 II 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.
Can you help me?
Let share some useful links for this competition and any other. First we can help you with the application (here more info). Also don’t forget our training for Assessment and our next webinar on this competition (use this form to get an invitation) .
List of useful resources
- El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
- The Assesment centre (EN)
- 10 free resources (EN/ES).
- YSE trainings
- YSE – youtube
- YSE – Telegram (info on vacancies, competitions and trainings)