Analysis of Assistants (AST 3) in the fields: 1. Operational security, 2. Technical security and 3. Occupational health and safety, a.k.a EPSO/AST/155/22 competition

Dear all,

Christmas is almost here but before we can enjoy that special time of the year EPSO brings its last competition before the long pause (until May 2023). On the bright side, EPSO has released a new competition offering 101 new positions in 3 different profiles Operational security, Technical security and Occupational health and safety. EPSO aims to close the year with style and offering new opportunities to all of you. Today, we’ll answer the following questions in our analysis of this competition: how many spots are available, languages used in the competition, criteria to be an eligible candidate, the different phases of the competition, as well as our estimated calendar of the competition.

How many spots are available? When does the process begin?

A good number of spots are available, 101 spots in total!!!, distributed in 3 fields. The bad news are that you can only apply to one single field. Be careful! The process began on the 17 November and it will be open for joining until 20 December 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 +2 days , that’s more than enough but don’t fall asleep.

if you don’t believe us about the number of spots, just check the notice and do the math

What are the criteria to be a candidate?

The general criteria, as usual: Enjoy full rights as a citizen of a Member State of the EU (of the 27 Member States, sorry, UK is no longer an option), meet any obligations under national laws on military service, and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned.

Specific criteria – languages

Same thing than in the paragraphs but visible in one look. Also you have a similar table in pag 8 of the notice of competition ;-).

I.-LANGUAGE of the APPLICATION: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU and you should have, at least, the ability to write your application in that language. Ok, but the question is, in which language should I draft my application? should I do it English? French? Or my native language if it is none of the previous? You have the right to do it in your EU official (one of the 24) language but nobody guarantees someone from the board will be able to read it and, in such case, they would have to translate it. If so, will all the details of your application be properly captured by the translation? If you are uncertain of the answer, better to use a common use language in the institutions, such as English or French. Besides, the check of the CVs for eligibility criteria will be faster if there is a high number of applications in those languages (English and French). For Spanish and Italian speakers, the chances of having someone who can read them are high so the risk of using them is rather mitigated, for other languages, our answer is that you should verify the chances of having fluent readers of your language in the board of evaluators.

Also on languages, bear in mind that, as a candidate (= after you formally submitted your application) of this competition, EPSO will communicate with you (via the EPSO account or by email) in one of the languages that you have declared to have knowledge of at level B2 or higher in the ‘Ability to read’ section in the application. But if you want to complain about an error in the computer-based multiple-choice questions (MCQs) or do a requests for review you have to submit the requests or complaints in English or French. For other questions is any of the 24 official languages (again, the more spoken the language is, the faster they can deal with your communication)

II.-LANGUAGE of the Reasoning test (CBT) or Language 1: You can choose among 24 official languages of the EU (and different from language 2) and you should have, minimum, a C1 level. For your mother tongue, you should qualify yourself as C2 and be CAREFUL! Do not say you have a level below C1 for any language skill (listening, reading, oral communication, written communication…), otherwise you will be disqualified automatically. The computer-based tests or CBT (verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning) will be taken in that language.

III.-LANGUAGE of the ASSESSMENT CENTRE (or langugage 2) : ENGLISH or FRENCH (sorry, you can’t choose others, duty calls and EPSO explains it long and clear why in the notice). Here we need a B2 level minimum of English/French (no need to have a degree to justify it, the tests in the Assessment Centre will be done in this language and if you can work through them, then you will qualify as having the level required). Remember, when describing your level of English/French in the application, not to put any item (written, oral level, or any other) below B2 level. Of course, this language 2 can’t be the same as language 1.

Specific conditions – Work experience and studies or how to be an elegible candidate?

Let’s proceed profile by profile as each one has its own particularities, but before that…

Be careful! In the part «professional experience in the field or relevant» 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 twice (please check our table below): first in point 3.3 Specific conditions (do you need more hints?) and later in Annex I – Typical duties, so take a good look at the columns of our tables, explain your experience and keep calm! If you find this task difficult, perhaps one of our past webinars (click to see the recording) can be key to help you fill in your application.

Field 1 – Operational Security

First thing you need to check is the following table

This time, EPSO has prepared a nice table clearly statingthe criteria of what you need to apply

Let’s clarify, ‘a year’ of post-secondary education shall mean a minimum of nine months of effective education or training. Check on page 18 (annex II) onwards to see the corresponding post-secondary degrees by Member State. Also for secondary education you can check the table. Worst case scenario, you don’t have any degree of any type in the areas requested, you will need 6 years of relevant working experience. Knowing this, you can know how many years of working experience (relevant) you need to be eligible.

How to make my experience relevant?

This time it is up to you and to explain it clearly that you have experience in TWO or MORE areas described in the notice (see photo below on the left), by describing your experience on two or more of the areas listed within one of your credited work experience (we insist) and for it, also by using the key words of the task described as a requirement (annex I duties – also copied below on the right). Remember you will have to provide evidence (it must be uploaded before the assessment phase, not now) of all those experiences described (Check annex III point 1 b) to see what it’s accepted to prove it).

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 test allows) of the compared merits of all the candidates and see how many years of relevant experience they got. If you think we can be of help, check one of our past webinar (Also this can help especially with the areas of professional experience to be covered in the CV) where we focused on tips to fill in the CV experience and the Talent Screener for past specialist competitions.

Ahhhh!! Last but not least, for this competition, you need a valid security clearance or you will have to through the process to obtain one. And provide proof of successful fiream training or undergo a test for it. (check the notice for full detail)

Field 2 — Technical Security

You need to satisfy one of the following ((i) to (vi) options

Let’s repeat it, ‘a year’ of post-secondary education shall mean a minimum of nine months of effective education or training. Check on page 18 (annex II) onwards to see the corresponding post-secondary degrees by Member State. The table is contains info for secondary education too. Worst case scenario, you don’t have any degree of any type in the areas requested, you will need 7 years of relevant experience.

In your professional experience you need to explain clearly that you have experience in TWO or MORE areas described in the notice (see photo below on the left), by describing your experience on two or more of the areas listed (we insist) with the key words or actions covered in the list of duties (annex I duties – also copied below on the right). Remember that you will have to provide evidence (it must be uploaded before the assessment phase, not now) of all those experiences described (Check annex III point 1 b) to see what it’s accepted to prove it). Watch this video where we explain the mechanism of professional experience in a previous competition

Field 3 – Occupational Health and Safety

Same table as in the previous 2 profiles BUT…

They have added one condition – specialist training – How do I get that? Specialist training referred to in point 3.3.3.(a) (image above) will be taken into account if it amounts to at least 136 hours of cumulated training and is directly related to field 3. For example: prevention advisor or designated worker in either safety, ergonomics or psychosocial risks; radiation protection or safety coordinator, etc. For the purpose of this point, one day shall be equivalent to eight hours of training. So if you got a training that indicates it lasted 17 or more days, it means it had 136 hours or more so it will be valid.

Here the academic part becomes more specific, as the notice describes (point 3.3.3(b). picture below) which diplomas are considerer relevant. So if you have a diploma in one of the points (i) to (ix) below, you need max 3 years of experience. If you have a post secondary diploma in any other area different to those points (i) to (ix) below, you will need 5 years. Finally, in case you only completed secondary education, you will need 6 years.

In your professional experience you need to explain clearly that you have experience in TWO or MORE areas described in the notice (see photo below on the left), by describing your experience on two or more of the areas listed (we insist) with the key words or actions covered in the list of duties (annex I duties – also copied below on the right). Remember you will have to provide evidence (it must be uploaded before the assessment phase, not now) of all those experiences described (Check annex III point 1 b) to see what it’s accepted to prove it). Watch this video where we explain the mechanism of professional experience in a previous competition.

What are the tests that I have to pass? And the competition phases?

Based on the notice of competition + our experience, we split the process in 4 phases: 1) fill in the application, 2) CBT 3) elegibility checking 4) the Assessment Centre. The celebration after you have passed the competition is up to you. Before we continue, short advice, join our Telegram channel YSE to be updated in all the steps of this competition, also on EU-vacancies, our trainings and useful infos.

Phase 1 – Fill in the Application

You’ve got until 20 December (noon) to send your application and before that, fill it in with love and care. This is the first step of the process, and the moment to differentiate yourself from the other candidates and all their experience in relation with the six different profiles. So, keep it focused : Work experience + Academic records – these will be used to confirm your eligibility (= whether you have as many years of working experience in the relevant duties as required) so you need to explain your work experience according to the items described in the notice (central and right side column on the tables below).

Phase 2 – CBT – The reasoning test

For this competition, you can expect the reasoning test next year, January 2023- Yes, right after ending the period of application, usually about couple of weeks later, you can expect the time to book your computer-based tests (CBT) test will open but this time overlaps with Christmas, so expect all this to happen after the holidays, most likely the second week of January, then you will take the test either from home (most likely scenario after what has happened in the previous competitions) or from Prometric centers. This time the CBT’s bring an old concept within.

Pay attention, evil…we mean…the trap is in the details

You will have the usual distribution 20 verbal, 10 numerical and 10 abstract reasoning questions. To pass, you don’t need anything great!! right??? BUT, yes now it comes to the big BUT only those candidates who obtain one of the highest scores in the whole test will have their application checked for eligibility until they got positively checked 3 candidates per position and they will be invited to the assessment.

Phase 3 – Eligibility check

Here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read first your CV to see if you have all the years of working experience required. It doesn’t matter if you have 20 or 6 years, once you have passed the threshold of having enough experience you go to the assessment. We remind you that the selection based on compliance with the eligibility conditions will be carried out only for those candidates who pass the CBT and by decreasing order in their overall result. You should therefore include all the relevant information in your application form. The best of all this is, after the evaluations, the number of candidates who will go to the Assessment Centre will be only up to 3 times the amount of openings. We are talking approximately 300 candidates in total and you are one of them because you have written a great application  🏆.

Phase 4 – Assessment Centre

Congrats! You are one of the candidates with the highest marks in the CBT, you have the required experience and you have been invited to the Assessment Centre. We have reached the final round, in which we will also have to present all our documents related to education and professional experience in digital format (they need to be uploaded into a platform before doing the Assessment Centre tests), so prepare them in advance to avoid a last minute rush with the bureaucracy.

Now talking about the other tests, the competition turns into a classic. You will have to face the following tests: Case Study and Situational Competency-Based Interview. Here you have 7 competences to be assessed (in AD competitions there are eight). Between the two tests you can gather a total of 70 points, with the particularity that you need an overall 35/70 to pass, but no minimum marks per competence. Don’t get over confident, do fine on these two and you will be fine for this part although the more points we get the better (we can help with that).

Some practice, some effort and a some guidance and it will be done 😉
When you see your name on the reserve list

Anyway, the key part is the field-related test where you will have to show your knowledge on the field, explaining, in detail, your relevant experience for this position. The Interview in the Field is also somehow structured but as it has a clear focus on your work experience, is much more interesting and rewarding, you can get up to 100 points in that test (we can help on that too), approx. 60% of all the available points.

Final Step – After a long process and passing the Assessment Centre, EPSO will check the validity of all your records and professional experiences (comparing them to the input of your application). For these, they will use the documents uploaded at the beginning of phase 4 – right before your first test of the Assessment Centre. So, keep your documents ready for upload once you have passed the eligibility check!!! Once you get the final OK for this part, you will see your name on the reserve list and ready to find a job as officer of the European institutions.

What is the timing of the competition? When will EPSO contact me?

All the situations under which EPSO will write you in your profile, not by email, although sometimes we may get a warning message.

The expected calendar for this competition is the following: after the closure date for the submission of the applications, end-december, you will have the opportunity to book your CBT slot, most likely mid-november, then taking the CBT end January or begining of February. After that, they will run the eligibility checks in Winter/early Spring, and then the Assessment will come end-Spring onwards. So get ready to confront the CBT very soon and the Assessment Centre in Spring 2023!!

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 Centre, or…. you read/heard rumors about the development of the competitions somewhere. Better to isolate yourself from that noise and focus on the real messages. EPSO commits itself (it’s in Annex III of the notice of competition) to communicate with you after the applications 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 or being notified that we have passed to the next phase of the competition, so keep calm. If you are feeling desperate for the lack of news, 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.

How much will my salary be?

Table of the amounts of basic monthly salaries for each grade and step in function groups AD and AST referred to in Article 66 of the Staff Regulations, applicable from 1 July 2021

One of the most typical questions of the candidates is the salary that you will get. An AST3 (step 2) will join the institutions with a salary starting at 4.500 € and this can be higher depending if you have dependent family members and other conditions. To that amount, you will have to add 16% extra of expatriation allowance 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 the same amount, 4.000 € 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. And if you are worried about life in expensive countries the basic remuneration is supplemented by an allowance linked to the living conditions prevailing at the place of employment, so don’t worry too much.

Can you help me?

Let share some useful links for this competition and any other.

List of useful resources

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings (English and Spanish) :
    1. CBT (in Spanish)
    2. Assessment sessions – for all the Assessment test (Theory in English or Spanish. Practice can be done in EN,FR,ES)
    3. Application review (EN/ES/FR/IT/DE)
    4. CAST Sessions -have you been invited to a job interview? Do you want to improve your chances of being selected in a CAST process?

Analysis of Administrators (AD6) in the fields of energy ; climate and environment a.k.a EPSO/AD/401/22 competition

Dear all,

Here we go again! fully loaded of (green) energy, EPSO has launched another AD6 competition in 3 (different?) topics : Energy, Climate and Environment with more than 150 spots (155 to be accurate). Probably they couldn’t have chosen a better moment to do so, nowadays, these are THE TOPICS. Even if tragic events such as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia comes to an end and some stability is back in our lives, climate change and the need to protect the environment will still be there, also the need to tackle these issues by saving energy and using green re-sources. Therefore today’s competition is a competition for the future, are you ready to meet the challenge?

How many spots are available? When does the process begin?

if you don’t believe us about the number of spots, just check the notice and do the math

A good number of spots are available, distributed in 3 fields : 54 for Energy, 49 for Climate and 52 for Environment, so 155 spots in total!!!, The bad news are that you can only apply to one single field, if you have doubts about where you fit best, check the questions in the Talent Screener of each profile. Be careful! The process began on 20 October and it will be open for joining until 22 November 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 +2 days , that’s more than enough so charge your environmentally friendly batteries and go for it! If you want some hints on what to next, keep reading.

What are the criteria to be a candidate?

The general criteria, as usual: Enjoy full rights as a citizen of a Member State of the EU (of the 27 Member States, sorry, UK is no longer an option), meet any obligations under national laws on military service, and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned.

Specific criteria – languages

Same thing than in the paragraphs but visible in one look. Also you have a similar table in pag 8 of the notice of competition ;-).

I.-LANGUAGE of the APPLICATION: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU and you should have, at least, the ability to write your application in that language. Ok, but the question is, in which language should I draft my application? Should I do it English? French? Or my native language if it is none of the previous? You have the right to do it in your EU official (one of the 24) language but nobody guarantees that someone from the board will be able to read it and, in such case, they would have to translate it. If so, will all the details of your application be properly captured by the translation? If you are uncertain of the answer, better to use a common use language in the institutions, such as English or French. Besides, the check of the CVs for eligibility criteria will be faster if there is a high number of applications in those languages (English and French). For Spanish and Italian speakers, the chances of having someone who can read them are high so the risk of using translation tools is rather mitigated, while for other languages, our answer is that you should verify the chances of having fluent readers of your language in the board of evaluator. BUT also you have to take into account the….

II.-LANGUAGE of the TALENT SCREENER: this time you can’t choose. It must be ENGLISH. So that another good reason to do all your application (CV+Talent Screener) in English, so you can guarantee homogeneity and avoid potential mistakes of mixing languages. But this is only our opinion, at the end, you choose the languages within the possibilities offered by the notice of competition.

Also on languages, bear in mind that, as a candidate (= after you formally submitted your application) of this competition, EPSO will communicate with you (via the EPSO account or by email) in one of the languages that you have declared to have knowledge of at level B2 or higher in the ‘Ability to read’ section in the application. But if you want to complain about an error in the computer-based multiple-choice questions (MCQs) or do a requests for review you have to submit the requests or complaints in English or French. For other questions is any of the 24 official languages (again, the more spoken the language is, the faster they can deal with your communication)

III.-LANGUAGE of the Reasoning test (CBT): You can choose among 24 23 official languages of the EU, all except ENGLISH and you should have, minimum, a C1 level. For your mother tongue, you should qualify yourself as C2 and be CAREFUL! Do not say you have a level below C1 for any language skill (listening, reading, oral communication, written communication…), otherwise you will be disqualified automatically. The computer-based tests or CBT (verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning) will be taken in that language.

IV.-LANGUAGE of the ASSESSMENT CENTRE: ENGLISH or ENGLISH (sorry, you can’t choose, duty calls and EPSO explains it long and clear why in the notice). Here we need a B2 level minimum of English (no need to have a degree to justify it, the tests in the Assessment Centre will be done in this language and if you can work through them, then you will qualify as having the level required). Remember, when describing your level of English in the application, not to put any item (written, oral level, or any other) below B2 level.

Specific conditions – Work experience and studies

Let’s proceed by grouping all the criteria in each field, in an orderly manner so the criteria are more visible to all of you, especially the years of relevant working experience, which depends on your university degree.

Be aware! In the part «professional experience in the field or relevant» 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 twice (please check our table above): first in point 3.3 Specific conditions (do you need more hints?) and later in Annex I – Typical duties, so take a good look at the columns of our tables, explain your experience and keep calm! If you find this task difficult, perhaps our next webinar on this competition that will take place on 24 October can be key to help you fill in your application.

What are the tests that I have to pass? And the competition phases?

Based on the notice of competition + our experience, we split the process in 5 phases: 1) fill in the application, 2) eligibility checking 3) Talent Screener 4) CBT and 5) the Assessment Centre. The celebration after you have passed the competition is up to you. Before we continue, remember you can join our Telegram channel YSE to be updated in all the steps of this competition, vacancies, our trainings and useful infos.

Phase 1 – Fill in the Application and the Talent Screener

You’ve got until 22 November (noon) to send your application and before that, fill it in with love and care. This is the first step of the process, and the moment to differentiate yourself from the other candidates and all their experience in relation with the different profiles. So, keep it focused : Work experience + Academic records/University Degree – these will be used to confirm your eligibility (= whether you have as many years of working experience in the relevant duties as required) so you need to explain your work experience according to the items described in the notice (central and right side column on the tables above,…yes those, so check them again).

… (Wait! we are still in phase 1 and I have two relevant questions) 

How can I prove my experience is relevant? This time it is up to you and to explain it clearly, by using the key words of the task described as a requirement. Remember you will have to provide evidence of all those experiences described (Check annex III point 1 b) to see what it’s accepted to prove it).

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 next webinar on this competition that will take place on 24 October 18:30 (or watch one of our previous ones here the recording).

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 test allows) of the compared merits of all the candidates.

Phase 2 – Eligibility check

Here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read first your CV to see if you have all the years of working experience required. It doesn’t matter if you have 20 or 6 years, once you have passed the threshold of having enough experience you go to the assessment. We remind you that the selection based on compliance with the eligibility conditions will be carried for all the candidates. You should therefore include all the relevant information in your application form (we insist).

Phase 3 – Talen 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 have been invited to the Assessment Centre… yet)Talent Screener evaluation will begin then using solely the information provided in this Talent Screener section (in English), they don’t cross reference with the rest of your application or Google to look for more information about you. 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, after the evaluations (eligibility and talent and several months of wait), the number of candidates who will go to the Assessment Centre will be only up to 3 times the amount of openings. We are talking approximately 450 candidates in total and you are one of them because you have written a great application 🏆.

Phase 4 – CBT – The reasoning tests

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), not so terrible as it looks, as 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.

Pay attention, you still need to pass this one, although not a big deal

Phase 4 – Assessment Centre.

Now talking about the other tests, the competition turns into a classic. You will have to face the following tests: Case Study and Situational Competency-Based Interview. Here you have 8 competences to be assessed. Between the two tests you can gather a total of 80 points, with the particularity that you need an overall 40/80 to pass, but no minimum marks per competence. Don’t get over confident, do fine on these two and you will be fine for this part although the more points we get the better (we can help with that).

Some practice, some effort and a some guidance and it will be done 😉
When you see your name on the reserve list

Anyway, the key part is the field-related test where you will have to demonstrate your know how on the field, explaining, in detail, your relevant experience for this position. The Interview in the Field is also somehow structured but as it has a clear focus on your work experience, is much more interesting and rewarding, you can get up to 100 points in that test (we can help on that too), approx. 60% of all the available points.

Final Step – After a long process and passing the Assessment Centre, EPSO will check the validity of all your records and professional experiences (comparing them to the input of your application). For these, they will use the documents uploaded at the beginning of phase 4 – right before your first test of the Assessment Centre. So, keep your documents ready for upload once you have passed the eligibility check!!! Once you get the final OK for this part, you will see your name on the reserve list and ready to find a job as officer of the European institutions.

What is the timing of the competition? When will EPSO contact me?

All the situations under which EPSO will write you in your profile, not by email, although sometimes we may get a warning message.

The expected calendar for this competition is the following: after the closure date for the submission of the applications, second half of November, you will have the opportunity wait for a long time (winter is coming!) until they have done the eligibility check and the evaluation of the Talent Screener. Do not expect they will finish with the Talent before April 2023. Then you will have to take the CBT by May and the Assessment May-July 2023. After that, they will run the verification of your background documents (Summer time) and publish the reserve list by Autumn 2023. We are living light-speed times!

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 Centre, or…. you read/heard rumors about the development of the competitions somewhere. Better to isolate yourself from that noise and focus on the real messages. EPSO commits itself (it’s in Annex III of the notice of competition) to communicate with you after the applications 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 or being notified that we have passed to the next phase of the competition, so keep calm. If you are feeling desperate for the lack of news, 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.

How much will my salary be?

Table of the amounts of basic monthly salaries for each grade and step in function groups AD and AST referred to in Article 66 of the Staff Regulations, applicable from 1 July 2021

One of the most typical questions of the candidates is the salary that you will get. An AD6 (step 2) will join the institutions with a salary starting at 6.000 € and this can be higher depending if you have dependent family members and other conditions. To that amount, you will have to add 16% extra of expatriation allowance 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 the same amount, 6.000 € 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. And if you are worried about life in expensive countries the basic remuneration is supplemented by an allowance linked to the living conditions prevailing at the place of employment, so don’t worry too much.

Can you help me?

Let share some useful links for this competition, our trainings and more.

List of useful resources

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings (English and Spanish) :
    1. CBT (in Spanish)
    2. Assessment sessions – for all the Assessment test (Theory in English or Spanish. Practice can be done in EN,FR,ES)
    3. Application review (EN/ES/FR/IT/DE)
    4. CAST Sessions -have you been invited to a job interview? Do you want to improve your chances of being selected in a CAST process?

Análisis de la oposición de Assistentes (AST 3) en 6 ámbitos: 1. Gestión financiera; 2. Contabilidad y tesorería; 3. Contratación pública; 4. Diseño gráfico; 5. Redes sociales; 6. Webmaster y todo dicho en corto oposición EPSO/AST/154/22 .

Queridos todos,

El otoño está aquí y las hojas de los árboles van cayendo e igualmente lo hacen las vacantes y las oportunidades para trabajar en la institución europea. EPSO ha publicado una nueva oposición que nos ofrece 492 nuevos puestos (casi 500 si eres de los que prefiere números redondos) para una amplia gama de perfiles, desde expertos en gestión financiera y contabilidad hasta expertos en medios de comunicación ( redes sociales, webmaster, diseño gráfico) terminado por expertos en contratación pública y licitaciones. Las instituciones europeas necesitan cada vez más perfiles técnicos altamente especializados, el mundo está cambiando y tú puedes formar parte de ese cambio. Si buscas la versión en inglés de este artículo, pincha aquí

¿Cuántas plazas hay? ¿Hasta cuando puedo presentar la candidatura?

Tenemos un buen número de plazas disponibles ¡¡¡492 plazas en total!!!, distribuidas en 6 ámbitos. Las malas noticias son que sólo puedes presentarte a un ámbito de los seis, así que eligelo con tiento y criterio. El proceso arrancó el 22 de septiembre y cerrará el día 25 de octubre (AL MEDIODIA) Hasta entonces , puedes completar y validar tu candidatura. En total nos han dado un mes y un par de días, asi que nada de dormirse en los laureles.

Si no te crees el númer ode plazas, tan sólo verificalo en la convocatoria de la oposición y haz la suma.

¿Cuáles son los criterios para ser candidato?

Los criterios generales, como de costumbre: Gozar de plenos derechos como ciudadano de uno de los veintisiete Estados miembros de la UE (el Reino Unido ya no es una opción), cumplir las obligaciones derivadas de la legislación nacional en materia de servicio militar y cumplir los requisitos de carácter para las funciones de que se trate.

Criterios específicos – Los idiomas

I.-IDIOMA de la SOLICITUD: Puedes elegir entre las 24 lenguas oficiales de la UE y, como mínimo, deberías tener la capacidad para redactar la candidatura en esa lengua. OK, jajaja muy divertido, pero la pregunta es ¿En qué lengua debo redactar mi solicitud? ¿Debería hacerlo el inglés? ¿francés o en mi lengua materna? Tienes derecho a hacerlo en tu lengua oficial, pero nadie garantiza que alguien del tribunal de la oposición pueda leerlo y, en tal caso, tengan que traducirlo. En ese caso, la siguiente pregunta es ¿sobrevivirán todos los detalles de mi solicitud a la traducción? Si no lo tienes por seguro, plantéate lo siguiente ¿no será mejor utilizar una lengua de uso común en las instituciones, así controlo lo que pongo? Y es ahí entrarán el inglés y el francés. Además, la verificación de los criterios de admisibilidad de los CV será proporcionalmente más rápida al número de solicitudes en esas lenguas (inglés y francés). En el caso de los hablantes españoles e italianos, las posibilidades de que alguien pueda leerlos (aún sin ser nativos) son elevadas, por lo que el riesgo de utilizarlos está bastante mitigado; para otras lenguas, nuestra respuesta es que pienses antes cuales son las posibilidades de tener lectores fluidos de tu lengua en el tribunal de la oposición.

Lo mismo que hemos dicho antes pero ordenado por EPSO. Puedes verlo en la página 8 de la convocatoria 😉

Siguiendo con el tema de los idiomas , ten en cuenta que, como candidato oficial (= después de haber presentado oficialmente su candidatura) de esta oposición, la EPSO se comunicará (a través de la cuenta EPSO o por correo electrónico) contigo en una de las lenguas que hayas declarado tener conocimientos de nivel B2 o superior en la sección «Capacidad de lectura» del formulario de candidatura. Sin embargo, si lo que quieres es denunciar un error en las preguntas de opciones múltiples por ordenador (el CBT) o solicitar una revisión de alguna de los resultados, tienes que presentar las solicitudes o reclamaciones en inglés o francés. Para otras preguntas, cualquiera de las 24 lenguas oficiales (de nuevo, cuanto más hablada sea la lengua, más rápido podrán tratar su comunicación)

II.-IDIOMA de los test psicotécnicos (CBT): Para los clásicos test de razonamiento verbal, razonamiento numérico y razonamiento abstracto, puede elegir entre 24 23 lenguas oficiales de la UE, todas excepto INGLÉS, y debe tener, como mínimo, un nivel C1. Si es tu lengua materna, deberías calificarte como C2 y tener mucho cuidado. No digas que tienes un nivel inferior a C1 para ninguna competencia lingüística (escucha, lectura, comunicación oral, comunicación escrita, etc.), so pena de ser descalificado automáticamente. Las pruebas por ordenador o CBT (razonamiento verbal, numérico y abstracto) se realizarán en esa lengua declarada como lengua 1 (insistimos por si no quedó claro). Y si necesitas apoyo con estos test, puedes unirte a uno de nuestros cursos de CBT (pronto empieza el siguiente) .

III.-IDIOMA del Assessment: INGLÉS o INGLÉS (lo sentimos, estos son lentejas y no puedes elegir, el deber obliga y la EPSO explica las razones de esta elección claramente en la convocatoria). Aquí necesitaremos un nivel B2 mínimo de inglés (no es necesario tener un diploma o título para justificarlo, las pruebas en el Centro de Evaluación se realizarán en esta lengua y si puede trabajar/examinarte con ella, se considerará que tiene el nivel requerido). Recuerda que, al describir su nivel de inglés en la solicitud, no coloques ningún elemento (tú nivel de escrito, oral o lectura) por debajo del nivel B2.

Condiciones específicas – Experiencia profesional y estudios

Vamos poco a poco, agrupando el perfil 1 y 2 y luego hablaremos de los perfiles del 3 al 6, así los criterios de lo que nos piden, serán más visibles para todos.

¡Cuidadín! Para explicar la parte «experiencia profesional en el ámbito», como en este caso, significa que, al describir su experiencia profesional en la solicitud (CV — experiencia laboral), los candidatos deben identificar claramente las experiencias y actividades iguales o similares a las que se espera que realicen en las instituciones europeas y descritas en el anuncio dos veces (consulte nuestro cuadro): en primer lugar, en el punto 3.3 Condiciones específicas (¿necesita más explicaciones?) y más tarde en el anexo I — Funciones atípicas, por lo que mira bien las columnas de nuestros cuadros, explique su experiencia y no desespere. Si considera que esta tarea es difícil, quizás nuestro próximo seminario web (martes 11 octubre 19 h CET) webinar( click para ver el video) sobre esta oposición pueda ser clave para darte ideas de cómo afrontar la oposición.

Las pruebas a superar y las distintas fases de la oposición

Tomando como referencia la convocatoria de oposición + nuestra experiencia, el proceso lo hemos dividido en 4 fases: 1) rellenar la solicitud, 2) CBT 3) verificación de la admisibilidad 4) el Centro de Evaluación. Por último, el fiestorro una vez superada la oposición queda a tu discreción. Antes de arrancar, si quieres que vayamos informando de avances en esta oposición, vacantes y cosillas de utilidad, unete a nuestro canal de Telegram YSE

Fase 1 – Rellenar la candidatura

Tenemos hasta el 25 de octubre (mediodía) para enviar la solicitud y, antes, toca rellenarla con amor y cuidado. Este es el primer paso del proceso y el momento de diferenciarse de los demás candidatos y de toda su experiencia en relación con los seis perfiles diferentes. Así pues, mantente centrado en explicar bien tu Experiencia laboral + cualificaciones pues estos se utilizarán para confirmar tu admisibilidad (= tienes tantos años de experiencia laboral en las funciones pertinentes como sea necesario). Esto significa que debemos explicar nuestra experiencia laboral con arreglo a los puntos descritos en la convocatoria (columnas central y derecha del cuadro que viene a continuación – están inglés porque asumimos que la mayoría de los candidatos usaréis esa lengua para la candidatura, sino aquí está la convocatoria en español).

Ámbito 1 -Gestión Financiera & Ámbito 2 – Contabilidad y tesorería

Ámbito 3 – Contratación Pública & Ámbito 4 Diseño Gráfico y producción de contenidos visuales & 5 Medios digitales y redes sociales & 6.- webmaster (administradores de sitios web) (haz click en las flechas laterales para ir cambiando de tabla)

… (¡para el carro! Estamos todavía en la fase 1) ¿Cómo puedo demostrar que mi experiencia es pertinente? Esta vez te toca explicarlo claramente utilizando las palabras clave de las tareas descrita como requisito (insistimos). Recuerda que tendrás que aportar evidencias (papeles que la prueben) de todas las experiencias descritas en tu candidatura (consulta el anexo III, punto 1, letra b para ver que papeles se aceptan para justificarlas).

De este modo, las respuestas de todos los candidatos estarán estructuradas de la misma manera, lo que permite al tribunal de la oposición realizar una evaluación (tan objetiva como lo permite el proceso) de los méritos de todos los candidatos. Si crees que podemos ayudarte, echa un vistazo a nuestro anterior webinar, en el que nos centramos en los consejos para rellenar la candidatura y el Talent Screener de oposiciones especializadas. PERO, si está buscando una visión totalmente aplicada a esta oposición, vente a nuestro próximo seminario web (martes 11 octubre 19 h CET) a ver el webinar que hicimos( click para ver el video).

Fase 2- CBT — La prueba de razonamiento

Justo después de finalizar el período de inscripción, unas dos semanas más tarde, podemos esperar esperar que se abra el tiempo para reservar la prueba por ordenador (CBT) y que se realicen la prueba desde casa o desde los centros Prometric durante la segunda quincena de noviembre y principios de diciembre. Y aquí llega la sorpresa, esta vez los CBT aportan una sorpresa oculta.

Para el ámbito 1 — Gestión financiera & ámbito 2 — Contabilidad y tesorería, tendrás 15 preguntas en el razonamiento numérico (5 más de lo habitual), mientras que en el razonamiento verbal sólo 15 (5 menos de lo habitual). Para superarlo necesitarás 8 de cada 15 puntos en el numérico y 12 de 25 de la puntuación combinada de BUT verbal y abstracta, pero ahora viene gran PERO, sólo los candidatos que obtengan una de las puntuaciones más altas en la prueba de razonamiento numérico serán sometidos a una comprobación de su admisibilidad, ya que esta verificación se hará por orden de nota hasta completar 3 veces el número de vacantes disponibles (y siempre que también tengamos el mínimo de 12 sobre 25 para verbal + abstracto). Recuerda que si necesitas apoyo con estos test, puedes unirte a uno de nuestros cursos de CBT (pronto empieza el siguiente)

Presta atención, el diablo se esconde en los detalles

Y si vamos al ámbito 3 — Contratación pública — ámbito 4 — Diseño gráfico y producción de contenidos visuales- ámbito 5 — Medios sociales y digitales, ámbito 6 — Webmaster, la imagen cambiará un poco. Volvemos a la distribución clásica de 20 preguntas verbales, 10 numéricas y 10 abstractas. Para superarlo, necesitarás 10 de 20 verbales y 10 de 20 de la puntuación combinada de numérico y abstracto, sí ahora el gran PERO. También en estos ámbitos o perfiles, las verificaciones de cumplir con los criterios de admisibilidad se harán por orden decreciente de puntuación en el razonamiento verbal (y siempre que tengamos el mínimo de 10 sobre 20 para numérico + abstracto) hasta completar el cupo de 3 candidatos por plaza ofertada ( Permítenos que insistamos, que luego sólo os acordáis de la croqUEta de YSE cuando quedan 2 días para el examen , aquí el enlace para informarte y/o unirte a nuestro próximo curso de CBT )

La distribucion de preguntas y puntos de siempre con la salvedad que tenemos que sacar un buen resultado en verbal.

Fase 3 — Verificación de la admisibilidad

Aquí no puede hacer nada más que esperar. Corresponde al Tribunal de la oposición leer tu candidatura para ver si tiene todos los años de experiencia laboral requeridos(y los estudios correspondientes). No importa si tiene 20 o 6 años, una vez que haya superado el umbral de experiencia suficiente para pasar a la evaluación. Te recordamos que la selección basada en el cumplimiento de las condiciones de admisión solo se llevará a cabo para los candidatos que superen el CBT y por orden decreciente en su resultado numérico (perfil 1 y 2) o verbal (perfiles 3-4-5-6) (por si no quisiste leer la fase 2). Por lo tanto, debe incluir toda la información pertinente en tu formulario de candidatura. Lo mejor es, tras las evaluaciones, solo 3 veces las aperturas se dirigirán al Centro de Evaluación. Hablamos de un total aproximado de 1500 candidatos y estamos seguro que tú serás uno de ellos porque habrás escrito una gran candidatura 🏆 después de asistir a nuestro webinar.

Fase 4 — Centro de evaluación.

¡Enhorabuena! Eres uno de los candidatos que has obtenido las mejores puntuaciones en el CBT, cuentas con la experiencia requerida y por tanto has sido invitado al Centro de Evaluación. Hemos llegado a la ronda final, en la que también tendremos que presentar todos nuestros documentos relacionados con la educación y la experiencia profesional en formato digital (deberán cargarse en una plataforma antes de realizar las pruebas del Centro de Evaluación), por lo que los prepararemos con antelación para evitar una carreras de última hora con la burocracia.

Hablando de las pruebas a las que nos vamos a enfrentar, la oposición pasa a ser clásica. Los candidatos deberán someterse a lo siguiente: Estudio de casos y entrevista basada en competencias situacionales: aquí tienen 7 competencias que deben evaluarse (en las oposiciones AD hay ocho). Entre las dos pruebas, puede reunir un total de 70 puntos, con la particularidad que necesita y, en total, 35/70 para aprobar, pero no las puntuaciones mínimas por competencia, no confían en estas dos pruebas, pero sí lo harás por esta parte, aunque cuantos más puntos obtengamos mejor (con estas pruebas, llegado el momento, también podemos ayudar).

Algo de práctica , un poco de esfuerzo y algo de guía y tenemos la receta perfecta para aprobar.
When you see your name on the reserve list

En cualquier caso, la parte clave es la prueba relacionada con el campo (field related interview), en la que tendrá que demostrar sus conocimientos técnicos sobre el terreno, explicando detalladamente su experiencia pertinente para este puesto. La entrevista en el campo también está de alguna manera estructurada, pero, puesto que se centra claramente en su experiencia laboral, es mucho más interesante y gratificante, puede obtener hasta 100 puntos en esa prueba (también podemos ayudar con esta), aproximadamente el 60 % de todos los puntos disponibles.

Paso final: tras un largo proceso y tras superar el Centro de Evaluación, la EPSO comprobará la validez de todos sus expedientes y experiencias profesionales (comparándolos con las aportaciones de su candidatura). Para ello, utilizarán los documentos cargados al comienzo de la fase 4, justo antes de la primera prueba del Centro de Evaluación. Así pues, mantente listo para cargar los documentos una vez que hayas superado el control de admisibilidad. Una vez que obtenga el OK final para esta parte y tras una espera (larga o corta dependerá de tu paciencia), verás tu nombre en la lista de reserva y estarás listo para encontrar un puesto de funcionario de las instituciones europeas.

¿Cuál es el calendario de la convocatoria? ¿Cúando me va a contactar EPSO?

All the situations under which EPSO will write you in your profile, not by email, although sometimes we may get a warning message.

El calendario previsto para esta competición es el siguiente: después de la fecha de cierre para la presentación de las solicitudes y realizar el test psicotécnicio ( CBT), se llevarán a cabo los controles de elegibilidad en otoño y luego el Talent Screener durante el invierno. ¡Así que prepárate para enfrentarte al CBT este otoño y al Centro de Evaluación en la primavera de 2023!

¿Cuándo se pondrá en contacto conmigo la EPSO? Muchos nos preguntain cuándo os dirá EPSO que habeis pasado a la siguiente fase, o si habéis sido invitados al assessment tras pasar la evaluación de los años de experiencia, o… habeis leído o escuchado rumores sobre el desarrollo de los concursos (el primo de la prima del primo de la…. ha dicho que…). Es mejor aislarse de ese ruido y centrarse en los mensajes reales, EPSO se compromete (en el anexo II del anuncio) a comunicarse con todos los candidatos después de que hayan pasado la fase de elegiblidad e igualmente después del Talent Screener para informar de los resultados e invitarte al Assessment. Mientras tanto, puede llevar semanas o meses recibir cualquier información, así que mantén la calma. En caso de duda, puedes ponerte en contacto con EPSO también, ya que los candidatos teneis derecho a hacerlo, pero ten cuidado, las respuestas pueden ser un poco crípticas o un simple copiar/pegar de la notificación, no esperes grandes aclaraciones.

¿Cuánto voy a ganar?

Table of the amounts of basic monthly salaries for each grade and step in function groups AD and AST referred to in Article 66 of the Staff Regulations, applicable from 1 July 2021

Una de las preguntas más típicas de los candidatos. Un AST3 (paso 2) se incorporará a las instituciones con un salario de salida superior a 4,000 EUR y esto puede ser mayor dependiendo de si tienes familia dependiente de ti y otras condiciones. A eso tendrás que sumar un 16 % extra de tasa de expatriación y restar el coste de los impuestos (pagas impuestos a la Comisión Europea), seguro de salud y pensión, todos ellos proporcionales a tu salario, así entre lo que entra y sale, espera alrededor de la misma cantidad, 4,000 EUR, en salario neto. Por cierto, nos referimos al step 2 ya que cualquiera que entra nuevo en las instituciones no puede entrar por encima de ese «step», ese nivel se adquiere si demuestras que tienes al menos 3 años de experiencia profesional, lo que en esta oposición, es obvio. Y si te preocupa la vida en países caros, la remuneración básica se complementa con una asignación vinculada a las condiciones de vida que prevalecen en el lugar de trabajo, así que no es para tanto 

¿Podéis ayudarme?

Van unos enlaces de interés

List of useful resources

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings (English and Spanish) :
    1. CBT (in Spanish)
    2. Assessment sessions – for all the Assessment test (Theory in English or Spanish. Practice can be done in EN,FR,ES)
    3. Application review (EN/ES/FR/IT/DE)
    4. CAST Sessions -have you been invited to a job interview? Do you want to improve your chances of being selected in a CAST process?

Analysis of Assistants (AST 3) in 6 the fields: 1. Financial management; 2. Accounting; 3. Public procurement; 4. Graphic design; 5. Social media; 6. Webmaster, a.k.a EPSO/AST/154/22 competition

Dear all,

We are now at that time of the year when tree leaves are falling… and so are the vacancies and opportunities to work in the European Institutions! EPSO has released a new competition offering 492 new positions (almost 500 if you prefer round numbers) to a wide range of profiles from experts in financial management, accounting and public procurement to media experts (social, web, graphic design). The European Institutions need more and more highly specialized technical profiles, the world is changing and you can be a part of that change. Spanish version of this post available here.

How many spots are available? When does the process begin?

A good number of spots are available, 492 spots in total!!!, distributed in 6 fields. The bad news are that you can only apply to one single field. Be careful! The process began on the 22 September and it will be open for joining until 25 October 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 +2 days , that’s more than enough but don’t fall asleep.

if you don’t believe us about the number of spots, just check the notice and do the math

What are the criteria to be a candidate?

The general criteria, as usual: Enjoy full rights as a citizen of a Member State of the EU (of the 27 Member States, sorry, UK is no longer an option), meet any obligations under national laws on military service, and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned.

Specific criteria – languages

Same thing than in the paragraphs but visible in one look. Also you have a similar table in pag 8 of the notice of competition ;-).

I.-LANGUAGE of the APPLICATION: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU and you should have, at least, the ability to write your application in that language. Ok, but the question is, in which language should I draft my application? should I do it English? French? Or my native language if it is none of the previous? You have the right to do it in your EU official (one of the 24) language but nobody guarantees someone from the board will be able to read it and, in such case, they would have to translate it. If so, will all the details of your application be properly captured by the translation? If you are uncertain of the answer, better to use a common use language in the institutions, such as English or French. Besides, the check of the CVs for eligibility criteria will be faster if there is a high number of applications in those languages (English and French). For Spanish and Italian speakers, the chances of having someone who can read them are high so the risk of using them is rather mitigated, for other languages, our answer is that you should verify the chances of having fluent readers of your language in the board of evaluators.

Also on languages, bear in mind that, as a candidate (= after you formally submitted your application) of this competition, EPSO will communicate with you (via the EPSO account or by email) in one of the languages that you have declared to have knowledge of at level B2 or higher in the ‘Ability to read’ section in the application. But if you want to complain about an error in the computer-based multiple-choice questions (MCQs) or do a requests for review you have to submit the requests or complaints in English or French. For other questions is any of the 24 official languages (again, the more spoken the language is, the faster they can deal with your communication)

II.-LANGUAGE of the Reasoning test (CBT): You can choose among 24 23 official languages of the EU, all except ENGLISH and you should have, minimum, a C1 level. For your mother tongue, you should qualify yourself as C2 and be CAREFUL! Do not say you have a level below C1 for any language skill (listening, reading, oral communication, written communication…), otherwise you will be disqualified automatically. The computer-based tests or CBT (verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning) will be taken in that language.

III.-LANGUAGE of the ASSESSMENT CENTRE: ENGLISH or ENGLISH (sorry, you can’t choose, duty calls and EPSO explains it long and clear why in the notice). Here we need a B2 level minimum of English (no need to have a degree to justify it, the tests in the Assessment Centre will be done in this language and if you can work through them, then you will qualify as having the level required). Remember, when describing your level of English in the application, not to put any item (written, oral level, or any other) below B2 level.

Specific conditions – Work experience and studies

Let’s proceed by grouping fields, we will first deal with field 1 and 2 and then with profiles from 3 to 6. in an orderly manner so the criteria are more visible to all you.

Be aware! In the part «professional experience in the field or relevant» 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 twice (please check our table below): first in point 3.3 Specific conditions (do you need more hints?) and later in Annex I – Typical duties, so take a good look at the columns of our tables, explain your experience and keep calm! If you find this task difficult, perhaps our next webinar on this competition that will take place on 11 October webinar( click to see the recording) can be key to help you fill in your application.

What are the tests that I have to pass? And the competition phases?

Based on the notice of competition + our experience, we split the process in 4 phases: 1) fill in the application, 2) CBT 3) elegibility checking 4) the Assessment Centre. The celebration after you have passed the competition is up to you. Before we continue, remember you can join our Telegram channel YSE to be updated in all the steps of this competition, vacancies, our trainings and useful infos.

Phase 1 – Fill in the Application

You’ve got until 25 October (noon) to send your application and before that, fill it in with love and care. This is the first step of the process, and the moment to differentiate yourself from the other candidates and all their experience in relation with the six different profiles. So, keep it focused : Work experience + Academic records – these will be used to confirm your eligibility (= whether you have as many years of working experience in the relevant duties as required) so you need to explain your work experience according to the items described in the notice (central and right side column on the tables below).

Field 1 – Financial management & Field 2 – Accounting and treasury

Field 3 – Public procurement & Field 4 – Graphic design and visual content production & Field 5 – Social and digital media & Field 6 -Webmaster (click on the side arrows to change the table)

… (Wait! we are still in phase 1) How can I prove my experience is relevant? This time is up to you and to explain it clearly, by using the key words of the task described as a requirement. Remember you will have to provide evidence of all those experiences described (Check annex III point 1 b) to see what it’s accepted to prove it).

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 test allows) of the compared merits of all the candidates. If you think we can be of help, check our past webinar where we focused on tips to fill in the Talent Screener for past specialist competitions. BUT if you are looking for a fresh view on this competition, check our next webinar on the subject on 11 October. webinar( click to see the recording)

Phase 2 – CBT – The reasoning test

Right after ending the period of application, about couple of weeks later, you can expect the time to book your computer-based tests (CBT) test will open, then you will take the test either from home or from Prometric centers during the second half of November and early December. This time the CBT’s bring a hidden surprise.

For Field 1 -Financial management & Field 2 – Accounting and treasury, you will have 15 questions in the numerical reasoning (5 more than usual), while in the verbal only 15 (5 less than usual). To pass, you will need 8 out of 15 in numerical and 12 out of 25 from the combined score of verbal and abstract. BUT, yes now it comes the big BUT, only those candidates who obtain one of the highest scores in the numerical reasoning test will have their application checked for eligibility (and minimum 12 out of 25 for verbal + abstract) by order of results and until they have as many candidates as 3 times the number of spots offered. So it doesn’t matter if you have 10 , 20 or 30 years of relevant working experience, you need a high result in the numerical reasoning.

Pay attention, evil…we mean…the numerical is in the details

And if we go for Field 3 – Public procurement & Field 4 – Graphic design and visual content production & Field 5 – Social and digital media & Field 6 – Webmaster, the picture changes a bit. You will have the usual distribution 20 verbal, 10 numerical and 10 abstract reasoning questions. To pass, you will need 10 out of 20 in verbal and 10 out of 20 from the combined score of numerical and abstract reasoning. BUT, yes now it comes the big BUT for these ones too, only those candidates who obtain one of the highest scores in the verbal reasoning test will have their application checked for eligibility (and also the minimum 10 out of 25 for numerical + abstract).

Almost business as usual but still highest mark in verbal is needed

Phase 3 – Eligibility check

Here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read first your CV to see if you have all the years of working experience required. It doesn’t matter if you have 20 or 6 years, once you have passed the threshold of having enough experience you go to the assessment. We remind you that the selection based on compliance with the eligibility conditions will be carried out only for those candidates who pass the CBT and by decreasing order in their result of numerical (profile 1 and 2) or verbal (profiles 3-4-5-6) . You should therefore include all the relevant information in your application form. The best of all this is, after the evaluations, the number of candidates who will go to the Assessment Centre will be only up to 3 times the amount of openings. We are talking approximately 1500 candidates in total and you are one of them because you have written a great application 🏆.

Phase 4 – Assessment Centre.

Congrats! You are one of the candidates with the highest marks in the CBT, you have the required experience and you have been invited to the Assessment Centre. We have reached the final round, in which we will also have to present all our documents related to education and professional experience in digital format (they need to be uploaded into a platform before doing the Assessment Centre tests), so prepare them in advance to avoid a last minute rush with the bureaucracy.

Now talking about the other tests, the competition turns into a classic. You will have to face the following tests: Case Study and Situational Competency-Based Interview. Here you have 7 competences to be assessed (in AD competitions there are eight). Between the two tests you can gather a total of 70 points, with the particularity that you need an overall 35/70 to pass, but no minimum marks per competence. Don’t get over confident, do fine on these two and you will be fine for this part although the more points we get the better (we can help with that).

Some practice, some effort and a some guidance and it will be done 😉
When you see your name on the reserve list

Anyway, the key part is the field-related test where you will have to demonstrate your know how on the field, explaining, in detail, your relevant experience for this position. The Interview in the Field is also somehow structured but as it has a clear focus on your work experience, is much more interesting and rewarding, you can get up to 100 points in that test (we can help on that too), approx. 60% of all the available points.

Final Step – After a long process and passing the Assessment Centre, EPSO will check the validity of all your records and professional experiences (comparing them to the input of your application). For these, they will use the documents uploaded at the beginning of phase 4 – right before your first test of the Assessment Centre. So, keep your documents ready for upload once you have passed the eligibility check!!! Once you get the final OK for this part, you will see your name on the reserve list and ready to find a job as officer of the European institutions.

What is the timing of the competition? When will EPSO contact me?

All the situations under which EPSO will write you in your profile, not by email, although sometimes we may get a warning message.

The expected calendar for this competition is the following: after the closure date for the submission of the applications, mid-November you will have the opportunity to book your CBT slot, then taking the CBT end November, early December. After that, they will run the eligibility checks in Winter, and then the Assessment will come in mid-Spring onwards. So get ready to confront the CBT very soon and the Assessment Centre in Spring 2023!!

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 Centre, or…. you read/heard rumors about the development of the competitions somewhere. Better to isolate yourself from that noise and focus on the real messages. EPSO commits itself (it’s in Annex III of the notice of competition) to communicate with you after the applications 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 or being notified that we have passed to the next phase of the competition, so keep calm. If you are feeling desperate for the lack of news, 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.

How much will my salary be?

Table of the amounts of basic monthly salaries for each grade and step in function groups AD and AST referred to in Article 66 of the Staff Regulations, applicable from 1 July 2021

One of the most typical questions of the candidates is the salary that you will get. An AST3 (step 2) will join the institutions with a salary starting at 4.500 € and this can be higher depending if you have dependent family members and other conditions. To that amount, you will have to add 16% extra of expatriation allowance 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 the same amount, 4.000 € 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. And if you are worried about life in expensive countries the basic remuneration is supplemented by an allowance linked to the living conditions prevailing at the place of employment, so don’t worry too much.

Can you help me?

Let share some useful links for this competition and any other.

List of useful resources

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings (English and Spanish) :
    1. CBT (in Spanish)
    2. Assessment sessions – for all the Assessment test (Theory in English or Spanish. Practice can be done in EN,FR,ES)
    3. Application review (EN/ES/FR/IT/DE)
    4. CAST Sessions -have you been invited to a job interview? Do you want to improve your chances of being selected in a CAST process?

Analysis of Head of administration (AST-4) in EU Delegations EPSO/AST/153/22

Dear all,

It looks like yesterday when the last competition for Heads of Administration in EU Delegations took place… wait, it was 2018/19!! In fact the results were published in October 2019. Apparently there is still a need for brave people willing to face the challenge of working around the globe and alternating those places periodically with Brussels… to do what? Well, that is clearly explained in the image below:

[si buscas la versión en español – click aquí]

Pay attention to the security clearance, if you are a Russian spy, it might be a problem to get one

And yes! We know you count on an earlier post analysing this competition but let’s be honest, everybody was on holidays (even us). Now is the time when you are preparing your application, so we are just in time with this post… and one extra announcement: We have already released our Youtube video explaining the TALENT SCREENER.

How many spots are available? When does it begin?

A good number of spots are available (40 spots in total, same as in the previous competition) and you will have more than 2 months to apply. Be careful! The process will be open until 27 September NOON (let’s say 11.59 AM CET). Until then, you can fill in and validate your application. Approximately, you have been given more than two months, but as we said before, now that you are back from the holidays is when have probably started to fill in your application, so as of now you have 3 weeks ahead (if you are reading this around the time of publication), 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, and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned.

Specific criteria – languages

Here you have the language mix for this competition.

LANGUAGE 1: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU and you should have, minimum, a C1 level. 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 take place in this language 1 and also we can fill in our application (except the Talent Screener) in this language.

LANGUAGE 2: ENGLISH or FRENCH (and must be different from language 1). Here we need a B2 level minimum (no need for 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) cannot be the same. Even if you try, the application form will alert you. The communication with EPSO can take place in one of the languages you have declared in your application form at B2 level or higher.

preparing great cocktails doesn’t count as relevant professional experience in the field …yet

Specific conditions – Work experience and studies

Be aware! To explain the part «relevant professional experience » 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 – DUTIES). 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

What are the competition phases? What are the test I have to pass?

Based on the notice of competition + our experience we split the process in 5 phases : 1) Fill in the application, 2) CBT- computer based test, 3) Eligibility check, 4) The Talent evaluation, 5) the Assessment Centre and the party at the end is optional.

  • Phase 1 – Fill in the Application – You’ve got until 27 September (noon) to send your application and before that, to fill it in with love and care. This is the first step of the 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 profile.
  • (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. Like this, 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 – CBT Once you submit your application, the first challenge that you will have to face is the CBT (computer-based test). We know, you thought you had escaped it (most competitions have it at the end now, but not the case for this one)… So, keep dreaming. Still, you don’t need a high mark to pass the CBT, only 20 points out of 40 are enough to pass it.
  • PHASE 3 – Eligibility. Here you can do nothing but wait until you pass the CBT, and it will take long until you know the outcome, several months at least. It is now up for the board to read your CV and check whether you have enough years of relevant experience (6 years minimum or 9 depending on your academic records) and can therefore be deemed eligible. This will be done solely based on your application (CV part) that you filled in in language 1.
  • PHASE 4 – Talent Screener evaluation. Once you have been deemed eligible (by December/January hopefully) and all candidates have been evaluated, you and all the candidates will get an email letting you know whether you made it to the Talent Screener (BUT it doesn’t mean that you are in the assessment yet). The Talent screener evaluation will be conducted using only the information you provided within the Talent Screener section (in language 2), they don’t cross reference with the rest of your application or Google. You should therefore include all the 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 (see picture above), we spoke about this in phase 1. 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 120 candidates in total (if our math is right… yes it is :-)!
  • PHASE 5 – Assessment Centre. Congrats! You are one of the hundred and twenty 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.
  • Now talking about the tests that you will have to face at the Assessment Centre, the competition turns into a classic. You will need to sit the Case Study and the Situational Competence Based Interview (SCBI). Between these two tests you can gather a total of 70 points, with the particularity that you need a combined overall 35/70 to pass but no minimum marks per competence. It means that you should avoid doing a bad Case Study or SCBI in general, but you have some margin to fail some of the specific questions within each test.
Some practice, some effort and a some guidance and it will be done 😉
  • The more points we get in the 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 a clear focus on your work experience), a test wherte you can get up to 100 points (we can help with that too).

Once you are done with the Assessment Centre, EPSO will check your documents, starting from those who got the highest score and until they got 40 candidates. Then, after 2 or a few more months waiting for it, you will get the results the final list with those chosen to go to the Olympus of the reserve list (and from the Olympus to any other part in the world, remember the Olympus is in Greece and there not EU delegations there, only in non-EU countries).

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?

Table of the amounts of basic monthly salaries for each grade and step in function groups AD and AST referred to in Article 66 of the Staff Regulations, applicable from 1 January 2022, in red the salary for AST4

One of the most typical questions of the candidates is the salary that you will get. An AST3 (step 2) will join the institutions with a salary starting at 4.500 € and this can be higher depending if you have family dependent on you and other conditions. To that you will have to add 16% extra of expatriation allowance 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 the same amount, 4.500 € 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. And if you are worried about life in expensive countries the basic remuneration is supplemented by an allowance linked to the living conditions prevailing at the place of employment, so don’t worry too much.

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 a Head of Administration in an EU Delegation. If you are to lazy to check there, click on the images below:

When will EPSO contact me? timing of the competition?

All the situations under which EPSO will write you in your profile, not by email, although sometimes we may get a warning message.

The expected calendar for this competition is the following: after the closure date for the submission of the applications and the CBT, they will run the eligibility checks in Autumn, and then the Talent Screener during the Winter. So get ready to confront the CBT this Autumn and 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

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings
  5. YSE – youtube
  6. YSE – Telegram (info on vacancies, competitions and trainings)

Análisis de la oposición Jefes de Administración (AST-4) en delegaciones de la UE EPSO/AST/153/22

Hola a todos,

Parece que ayer cuando tuvo lugar el último concurso para Heado de Administración en la delegación de la UE… espere, era ¡2018/19! aunque arrancó en 2018, los resultados se publicaron en octubre de 2019. Pues bueno, aparentemente todavía hay necesidad de personas valientes dispuestas a enfrentar el desafío de trabajar en todo el mundo y alternarlo periódicamente con Bruselas (eso si que es de personas valientes)…vale..pero…¿para hacer qué? te damos una pista en la imagen a continuación [if you are looking for the English version of this article – click here]

Presta atención a la autorización de seguridad, si eres es un espía ruso, podría ser un problema conseguir una.

Y ¡sí! sabemos que contabas con un post analalizando la oposición un poco antes, pero seamos honestos, todo el mundo estaba de vacaciones (incluso nosotros) y es ahora cuando está preparando su aplicación, así que estamos justo a tiempo para que y con un anuncio adicional : Ya tenemos nuestro video explicando el TALENT.

¿Cuántas plazas hay? ¿Hasta cuando puedo presentar la candidatura?

En esta oposición un buen número de plazas están disponibles (40 puestos en total, igual que en la anterior convocatoria) y con tiempo de sobra para rellenar la candidatura. ¡Ten cuidado! El proceso estará abierto hasta el 27 de septiembre NOON (digamos 11.59 AM CET). Hasta entonces, puede rellenar y validar tu candidatura. Aproximadamente, te han dado más de dos meses (se publico a mediados de julio), pero como dijimos antes, ahora estás de vuelta de vacaciones y es cuando comienzas, así que tienes 3 semanas por delante (si estás leyendo esto por primera vez), más que suficiente pero no te duermas en los laureles o el cocotero, que es lo mismo.

¿Cuáles son los criterios para ser candidato?

Los criterios generales, como de costumbre: Gozar de plenos derechos como ciudadano de uno de los veintisiete Estados miembros de la UE (el Reino Unido ya no es una opción), cumplir las obligaciones derivadas de la legislación nacional en materia de servicio militar y cumplir los requisitos de carácter para las funciones de que se trate.

Specific criteria – languages

Aqui va el mix de lenguas en el que serán las pruebas y en las que tienes que rellenar la candidatura (lengua 1) y el talent (lengua 2) – ojito con eso.

LENGUA 1: Puede elegir entre las 24 lenguas oficiales de la UE y debe tener, como mínimo, C1. Si eres un hablante nativo, debe calificarlo como C2 y ¡Cuidadín! no pongas ningún elemento del nivel de idioma más bajo de C1 (de lo contrario, te descalican de forma automática). Las pruebas CBT (razonamiento verbal, numérico y abstracto) se realizarán en LENGUA 1 y también podemos rellenar nuestra solicitud (excepto el Talent Screener) en este idionma.

LENGUA 2: Inglés o francés (y debe ser diferente de la lengua 1). Aquí necesitamos un nivel mínimo B2 (sin necesidad de tener un título para justificarlo, el centro de evaluación/assessment será en este idioma y si puedes superar las pruebas de selección, entonces tienes el nivel requerido). Recuerda no poner ningún elemento (escrito, oral o cualquier otro) por debajo del nivel B2 en tu candidatura.

Recordatorio: la lengua 1 y la lengua 2 (inglés o francés) no pueden ser los mismos. Incluso si lo intentas, el formulario de solicitud te avisará. En el lado positivo, la comunicación con EPSO puede tener lugar en una de las lenguas que haya declarado en su formulario de solicitud a nivel B2 o superior.

Aviso, la habilidad de preparar caipirinha no cuenta como experiencia profesional relevante para el puesto…aún.

Condiciones específicas – Trabajo y estudiso necesarios

¡Atención! a tener en cuenta para explicar la parte de «experiencia profesional relevante» . En este caso, significa que al describir su experiencia profesional en la solicitud (CV- experiencia laboral), debes identificar claramente las experiencias y actividades iguales o similares a las que se espera que realices en las instituciones europeas y descritas en la convocatoria (anexo I — DUTIES/TAREAS). Y no te desesperes, si te resulta difícil identificarlo, nuestro webinar gratuito (aquí la grabación) sobre este concurso puede ser clave para darte algunos consejos útiles al respecto.

¿Cuales son las fases de la oposición? ¿Qué pruebas tendré que superar?

En base a la convocatoria de la oposición y sumado a nuestra experiencia, vamos a dividir el proceso en 5 fases: 1) completar la solicitud, 2) CBT- test psicotécnicos 3) Verificación de Elegibilidad/requisios 4) La evaluación del «Talent Screener»5) el Centro de Evaluación y fiesta por aproba al final es puramente opcional (invitarnos resulta aconsejable).

  • Fase 1 — Rellena la solicitud — Tienes hasta el 27 de septiembre (mediodía) para enviar tu solicitud y antes de eso, dale amor y cuidado. Este es el primer paso de una oposición y la forma de diferenciarse de los demás candidatos y toda su experiencia (honestamente, no creemos que EPSO espere miles de candidatos, sino unos pocos cientos con currículums buenos y largos) en relación con el perfil..
  • (espera que todavía estamos en la fase 1) ¿Qué es un TALENT SCREENER? Fáci, es es una lista de preguntas relacionadas con tu formación académica y profesional , a las cuales debe responder en tu solicitud. Puedes encontrar las preguntas en el anexo II de la convocatoria de oposición. El tribunal de la oposición se encarga de evaluar las respuestas. Ten en cuenta que todos los candidatos en el mismo perfil y campo responden a las mismas preguntas. De esta manera, las respuestas de todos los candidatos se estructuran de la misma manera, lo que permite al tribunal realizar una evaluación (de forma tan objetiva como es posible) de los méritos de todos los candidatos de forma comparable. Recuerde mirar el anexo IV o el formulario de solicitud para todos los detalles, y si crees que podemos ser de ayuda, echale un vistazo a nuestro seminario web gratuito (aquí la grabación).
  • Fase 2 -CBT o Test psicotécnicos — Una vez enviado a tiempo su solicitud, el primer desafío al que nos tendremos que enfrentar es el CBT (prueba basada en ordenador por sus siglas en inglés). Lo sabemos, pensaste que te habías escapado (ultimamente la mayoría de las oposiciones tienen este prueba al final, pero no aquí) finalmente se tendrá que hacer al principio del proceso. Aún así, no necesita mucho para aprobarlo (como un examen CAST ordinario) no hay necesidad de tener una puntuación alta, solo 20 puntos de 40 son suficientes para aprobarlo. (si necesitas apoyo al respecto, puedes venir a nuestro curso de CBT)
Más fácil de lo que pueda paracer
  • Fase 3 — Elegibilidad. Aquí no puede hacer nada más que esperar después de pasar los test (CBT), toca armarse de paciencia hasta que sepa el resultado, lo cual serán al menos varios meses. Ahora es tarea del tribunal leer tu CV y comprobar que tiene suficientes años de experiencia relevante (6 años mínimo o 9 dependiendo de tus estudios) para ser candidato/a elegible. Esto se hará únicamente en función de su solicitud (parte CV) que habías rellenado en lengua 1.
  • Fase 4 — Evaluación de Talent Screener. Una vez que haya sido considerado elegible (con suerte, antes de diciembre/januario) y todos los candidatos hayan sido evaluados, usted y todos los candidatos recibirán un correo electrónico informando sobre esto y que avanzan al Talent Screener (pero no significa que aún estén en la evaluación). La evaluación del evaluador de talentos comenzará a utilizar únicamente la información proporcionada en esta sección de Talent Screener (en el idioma 2), no se cruzan con el resto de su aplicación o Google. Por lo tanto, debe incluir toda la información pertinente en sus respuestas, incluso si ya se ha mencionado en otras secciones de su formulario de solicitud. Las preguntas se publican en el anexo IV de su anuncio de oposición (véase la imagen anterior) sobre este tema en la fase 1. Lo mejor de todo es que hasta un total de 3 veces las aperturas se destinarán al Centro de Evaluación. Estamos hablando de unos 120 candidatos en total (si nuestras matemáticas tienen razón… sí lo es:-)!
  • Fase 5 — Centro de Evaluación/Assessment . ¡Felicidades! eres uno de los ciento veinte candidatos con las puntuaciones más altas en el Talent Screener y has sido invitado/a al Centro de Evaluación (Assessment para los amigos), la ronda final. Además de las pruebas, en esta fáse te toca presentar toda la documentación que pruebe tu experiencia profesional y académica, Tendrás que presentarlo en formato digital (antes era una memoria USB, ahora en el Centro de Evaluación online tendrás que subir los documentos pertinentes a tu perfil de candidato, antes de la primera prueba), así que prepáralos con antelación para evitar ir con prisas en el último minuto.
  • Ahora hablando de las otras pruebas de tu assessment, vamos hablar de los grandes clásicos. Frente a ti dos de las pruebas más típicas a las que te puedes enfrentar: El estudio de caso y entrevista situacional sobre competencias (SCBI para los amigos). Entre las dos pruebas se puede reunir un total de 70 puntos, con la particularidad de que se necesita un total combinado de 35/70 para superar, pero no las puntuaciones mínimas por competencia. Significa que no puedes hacer, en general, un mal caso o SCBI, pero tienes margen para fallar algunas de las preguntas
Some practice, some effort and a some guidance and it will be done 😉
  • Cuantos más puntos obtengamos en parte en competencias, mejor (podemos ayudar con eso). Sin embargo, la parte clave es la prueba relacionada con el campo de especialidad, donde tendrás que demostrar tus conocimientos y, sobre todo, su experiencia relevante para este puesto. Para ello, tendrás que superar la Entrevista en el Campo (también estructurada pero con un enfoque claro en su experiencia laboral) donde podrás obtener hasta 100 puntos (también podemos ayudar con eso ).

Una vez finalizada la evaluación, la EPSO revisará sus documentos, comenzando por aquellos que obtuvieron la puntuación más alta y hasta que tengan 40 candidatos verificados con éxito. Luego, después de 2 o unos meses más de espera, obtendrás los resultados de la lista final con los elegidos para ir al Olimpo de la lista de reserva (y desde el Olimpo a cualquier otra parte del mundo, recuerde que el Olimpo está en Grecia y no hay delegaciones de la UE allí, solo en países no pertenecientes a la UE)

Ahora vamos con 3 de sus preguntas más típicas: Salario, expectativas de trabajo y cuándo se pondrá en contacto con usted la EPSO (tiempo del concurso).

¿Cuánto voy a cobrar?

Tabla con los sueldos base mensuales para cada grado y escalón en los grupos de funciones AD y AST a que se refiere el artículo 66 del Estatuto, aplicable a partir del 1 de enero de 2022, en rojo el sueldo de AST4.

Una de las preguntas más típicas de los candidatos. Un AST3 (paso 2) se incorporará a las instituciones con un salario de salida superior a 4,500 EUR y esto puede ser mayor dependiendo de si tienes familia dependiente de ti y otras condiciones. A eso tendrás que sumar un 16 % extra de tasa de expatriación y restar el coste de los impuestos (pagas impuestos a la Comisión Europea), seguro de salud y pensión, todos ellos proporcionales a tu salario, así entre lo que entra y sale, espera alrededor de la misma cantidad, 4,500 EUR, en salario neto. Por cierto, nos referimos al step 2 ya que cualquiera que entra nuevo en las instituciones no puede entrar por encima de ese «step», ese nivel se adquiere si demuestras que tienes al menos 3 años de experiencia profesional, lo que en esta oposición, es obvio. Y si te preocupa la vida en países caros, la remuneración básica se complementa con una asignación vinculada a las condiciones de vida que prevalecen en el lugar de trabajo, así que no es para tanto 😉

¿Qué puedo esperar de mi trabajo?

Te invitamos a consultar el anexo I de la convocatoria de la oposición. Como puedes ver ahi se detalle las principales tareas previstas en el puesto, una vez que sea jefe de administración en una delegación de la UE. Si te entra la pereza de mirarlo en la convocatoria, haz clic en la imagen a continuación:

¿Cuándo me contactará EPSO? ¿Cómo irá mi oposición?

En la convocatoria figuran todas las situaciones en las que EPSO te escribirá en tu perfil, no por correo electrónico, aunque a veces podemos recibir un mensaje de advertencia.

El calendario previsto para esta competición es el siguiente: después de la fecha de cierre para la presentación de las solicitudes y realizar el test psicotécnicio ( CBT), se llevarán a cabo los controles de elegibilidad en otoño y luego el Talent Screener durante el invierno. ¡Así que prepárate para enfrentarte al CBT este otoño y al Centro de Evaluación en la primavera de 2023!

¿Cuándo se pondrá en contacto conmigo la EPSO? Muchos nos preguntain cuándo os dirá EPSO que habeis pasado a la siguiente fase, o si habéis sido invitados al assessment tras pasar la evaluación de los años de experiencia, o… habeis leído o escuchado rumores sobre el desarrollo de los concursos (el primo de la prima del primo de la…. ha dicho que…). Es mejor aislarse de ese ruido y centrarse en los mensajes reales, EPSO se compromete (en el anexo II del anuncio) a comunicarse con todos los candidatos después de que hayan pasado la fase de elegiblidad e igualmente después del Talent Screener para informar de los resultados e invitarte al Assessment. Mientras tanto, puede tomar semanas o meses recibir cualquier información, así que mantén la calma. En caso de duda, puedes ponerte en contacto con EPSO también, ya que los candidatos teneis derecho a hacerlo, pero ten cuidado, las respuestas pueden ser un poco crípticas o un simple copiar/pegar de la notificación, no esperes grandes aclaraciones.

¿Podéis ayudarme desde YSE?

¡Claro! Vamos a compartir algunos enlaces útiles para esta oposición y cualquier otra. Primero podemos ayudarte con la aplicación (aquí más información). Tampoco olvides nuestra formaciones para el Assessment Centre y nuestro seminario web sobre este concurso .

Recursos de utilidad

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. El Assesment centre
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings
  5. YSE – youtube
  6. YSE – Telegram (info de vacantes, cursos, oposiciones, etc.)

Analysis of Administrators (AD 7) and experts (AD 9) in the fields of defence industry and space EPSO/AD/400/22

Dear all,

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.

Plenty of options to chose but you have to select only one!!

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

Here you have the language mix for this competition. Unfortunately, Klingon doesn’t count for Space experts.

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

This comes from the notice of competition, we just rearranged it for your convenience 😉 (click to enlarge)

Field 2: Space industry

If you go for AD9, don’t forget to explain your experiencie in negotation and coordination actitivities (click to enlarge)

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 :-)!
yes, we said 300 and let us guess, if you are one of the, you won’t surrender or retreat at that stage,right?
  • 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.
No news from this EPSO-front, our old CBT as usual.
  • 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.
Some practice, some effort and a some guidance and it will be done 😉
  • 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?

Table of the amounts of basic monthly salaries for each grade and step in function groups AD and AST referred to in Article 66 of the Staff Regulations, applicable from 1 January 2022

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?

All the situations under which EPSO will write you in your profile, not by email, although sometimes we may get a warning message.

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

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings
  5. YSE – youtube
  6. YSE – Telegram (info on vacancies, competitions and trainings)

Analysis of Assistants (AST 4) in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) EPSO/AST/151/22 competition

Dear all,

This competitions is calling for you IT expert

If you believe a public administration can leave paper behind, and become a reference on IT and offer cutting-edge IT opportunities for hard workers professionals with sound careers, this competition is for you. Even more, if you think you can help a charismatic and sometimes awkward administration to be on the top of the digitalization, this competition is still for you. The European Institutions need more and more highly specialized technical profiles, the world is changing and you can be a part of that change. If you are looking for our analysis on the AD7-8 competition, find it here.

How many spots are available? When does the process begin?

A good number of spots are available, 205 spots in total!!!, distributed in 4 fields. The bad news are that you can only apply to one single field. Be careful! The process began on the 17 February and it will be open for joining until 22 Mars 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 +2 days , that’s more than enough but don’t fall asleep.

205 post of AST 4 waiting for you, what are you waiting?

What are the criteria to be a candidate?

The general criteria, as usual: Enjoy full rights as a citizen of a Member State of the EU (UK is no longer an option), meet any obligations under national laws on military service, and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned.

Specific criteria – languages

Same thing than in the paragraphs of the left but visible in one look. Also you have a similar table in pag5 of the notice of competition.

LANGUAGE 1: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU and you should have, minimum, a C1 level. If you are a native speaker, you should qualify yourself as C2 and be CAREFUL! Do not say you have a level below C1 for any language skill (listening, reading, oral communication, written communication…), otherwise you will be disqualified automatically. The computer-based tests or CBT (verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning) will be taken in 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 long and clear why). Here we need a B2 level minimum (no need to have a degree to justify it, the tests in the Assessment Centre will be done in this language and if you can work through them, then you will qualify as having 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 cannot be the same. Even if you try, the application form will alert you. On the bright side, communication with EPSO can take place in any of the languages you have declared in your application form at B2 level or higher.

Specific conditions – Work experience and studies

Let’s go one by one and in a re-orderly manner so the criteria are more visible to all you.

Be aware! To explain the part «professional experience in the field» or «ICT» as 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, 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 webinar on this competition can be key to give you tips on the talent screener

Field 1: ICT infrastructures, cloud, networks and middleware:

Don’t forget to check the notice of competition for the full detail on the duties

Field 2: Digital workplace, office automation and mobile computing

Don’t forget to check the notice of competition for the full detail on the duties

Field 3: Development/configuration, testing, operation and maintenance of IT applications and off-the-shelf solutions; Data management, data analytics and artificial intelligence

Don’t forget to check the notice of competition for the full detail on the duties

Field 4 : Design, development/configuration, testing, operation and maintenance of IT applications and off-the-shelf solutions; Data management, data analytics and artificial intelligence

Don’t forget to check the notice of competition for the full detail on the duties

What are the 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) Talent Screener evaluation 3) the Assessment Centre. The celebration after you have passed the competition is up to you.

  • Phase 1 Fill in the Application – You’ve got until 22 March (noon) to send your application and before that, fill it in with love and care. This is the first step of the process, and the moment to differentiate yourself from the other candidates and all their experience (honestly, we don’t think EPSO expects a lot of candidates, but rather a few good ones with long CVs) in relation with the five different profiles. There are two clear pillars in your application
    • Work experience + Academic records – these will be used to confirm your eligibility = you have as many years of working experience in the relevant duties as required
    • Talent Screener – reply to the questions in the form within the application…yes! the competition begins here!! (see in the gallery below the list of questions per field)
  • …(Wait! we are still in phase 1) What is a TALENT SCREENER? The Talent Screener is a set of questions (see images above) related to your academic and professional background that you must answer in your application, you can find the questions on the Annex IV of the notice of competition. A couple of things to remember:
    • 1) The board of the competition is in charge of evaluating the answers
    • 2) 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, check our past webinar where we focused on tips to fill in the Talent Screener for specialist competitions. BUT if you are looking for a fresh view on your competition, check our webinar on the Administrators and the Assistants-ICT Talent Screener.

  • PHASE 2 – Eligibility & Talent Screener evaluation. Here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read first your CV to see if you have all the years of working experience required and then, in a next step, read your Talent Screener and rate it. We remind you that 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) WITHOUT cross-checking with the rest of your application. [Yes, this was mentioned in Phase I but just in case you skipped that part]. You should therefore include all relevant information in your answers, even if already mentioned in other sections of your application form. The best of all this is, after the evaluations, only up to 3 times the openings will go to the Assessment Centre. We are talking about about 1050 candidates in total and you are one of them because you have written a great application 🏆.
  • Phase 3 – Assessment Centre. Congrats! You are one of the candidates with the highest marks in the Talent Screener and you have been invited to the Assessment Centre. We have reached the final round, in which we will also have to present all our documents related to education and professional experience in digital format (they need to be uploaded into a platform before doing the Assessment Centre tests), so prepare them in advance to avoid a last minute rush.

First, we’ll have the computer-based tests (CBT). We know, you though you have escape it… keep dreaming. Still, there is no need to get a high mark, only passing it is enough (like it is the case for CAST exams).

Easy one, just an overall of 20 points to pass it.
  • Now talking about the other tests, the competition turns classic. You will have to face the following tests: Case Study and Competence-Based Interview. Between the two tests you can gather a total of 70 points, with the particularity that you need and overall 35/80 to pass, but not minimum marks per competence. Also pay attention, here you have 7 competences to be assessed, in AD competitions there are eight.
Some practice, some effort and a some guidance and it will be done 😉
When you see your name on the reserve list
  • Anyway, although the more points we get in competences part the better (we can help with that), 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 on that).
  • Final Step – after a long process and passing the Assessment Centre, EPSO will check the validity of all your records and professional experiences (comparing them to the input of your application). For these, they will use the documents uploaded at the beginning of phase 3 – right before your first test of the Assessment Centre. So, keep your documents ready for upload once you have passed the Talent Screener!!! Once you get the final OK for this part, you will see your name on the reserve list and ready to find a job as officer of the European institutions.

When will EPSO contact me?

All the situations under which EPSO will write you in your profile, not by email, although sometimes we may get a warning message.

Many of you ask about when EPSO will tell you that you have passed to the next phased, or have been invited to the Assessment Centre, or…. you read/heard rumors about the development of the competitions somewhere. Better to isolate yourself from that noise and focus on the real messages. EPSO commits itself (it’s in Annex II of the notice of competition) 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 or being notified that we have passed to the next phase of the competition, so keep calm. If you are feeling desperate for the lack of news, 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?

Table of the amounts of basic monthly salaries for each grade and step in function groups AD and AST referred to in Article 66 of the Staff Regulations, applicable from 1 July 2021

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 images above, go to Annex I of the notice to find all the details of your expected tasks to be performed once you are an administrator in the area of ICT (The Commission counts on you!!!). And last but not least, let us remind you an AST4 (step 2) will join the institutions with a net salary above 4.200 € and this can be higher depending if you have family dependent on you and other conditions.

Can you help me?

Let share some useful links for this competition and any other.

List of useful resources

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings (English and Spanish) :
    1. CBT (in Spanish)
    2. Assessment sessions – for all the Assessment test (Theory in English or Spanish. Practice can be done in EN,FR,ES)
    3. Application review (EN/ES/FR/IT/DE)
    4. CAST Sessions -have you been invited to a job interview? Do you want to improve your chances of being selected in a CAST process?

Analysis of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Experts (AD 7/AD 8) EPSO/AD/398/22 competition

Dear all,

If you believe a public administration can leave paper behind and become a reference on IT, offering cutting-edge IT opportunities for professionals with sound careers, this competition is for you. Even more, if you think you can help a charismatic and sometimes awkward administration to be on the top of digitalization, this competition is still for you. The European Institutions need more and more highly specialized technical profiles, the world is changing and you can be a part of that change. Before we continue, if you are looking for our analysis on the AST-4 competition, find it here.

How many spots are available? When does the process begin?

A good number of spots are available, 350 spots in total!!!, distributed in 5 fields. The bad news are that you can only apply for one single field. Be careful! The process began on the 17 February and it will be open for joining until 22 March 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 +2 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 a Member State of the EU (UK is no longer an option), meet any obligations under national laws on military service, and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned.

Specific criteria – languages

Same thing than in the paragraphs of the left but visible in one look. Also you have a similar table in page 5 of the notice.

LANGUAGE 1: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU and you should have, minimum, a C1 level. If you are a native speaker, you should qualify yourself as C2 and be CAREFUL! Do not say you have a level below C1 for any language skill (listening, reading, oral communication, written communication…), otherwise you will be disqualified automatically. The computer-based tests or CBT (verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning) will be taken in Language 1, and we can also 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 long and clear why). Here we need a B2 level minimum (no need to have a degree to justify it, the tests in the Assessment Centre will be done in this language and if you can work through them, then you will qualify as having 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 cannot be the same. Even if you try, the application form will alert you. On the bright side, communication with EPSO can take place in any of the languages you have declared in your application form at B2 level or higher.

Specific conditions – Work experience and studies

Let’s go one by one and in an orderly manner so the criteria are more visible to all you.

Be aware! To explain the part «professional experience in the field (ICT)» 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, 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 webinar on this competition can be key to give you tips on the talent screener.

Field 1: ICT infrastructures, cloud, networks and middleware

Field 2: Digital workplace, office automation and mobile computing

Field 3: IT and data governance, programme/portfolio and project management, project management office (PMO), business and enterprise architecture

Field 4 : Design, development/configuration, testing, operation and maintenance of IT applications and off-the-shelf solutions; Data management, data analytics and artificial intelligence

Field 5: ICT security

What are the tests that I have to pass? And what are the competition phases?

Based on the notice of competition + our experience we split the process in 3 phases: 1) fill in the application, 2) Talent Screener evaluation 3) the Assessment Centre. The celebration after you have passed the competition is up to you.

  • Phase 1 Fill in the Application – You’ve got until 22 March (noon) to send your application and before that, fill it in with love and care. This is the first step of the process, and the moment to differentiate yourself from the other candidates and all their experience (honestly, we don’t think EPSO expects a lot of candidates, but rather a few good ones with long CVs) in relation with the five different profiles. There are two clear pillars in your application
    • Work experience + Academic records – these will be used to confirm your eligibility = you have as many years of working experience in the relevant duties as required
    • Talent Screener – reply to the questions in the form within the application… yes! the competition begins here!! (see in the gallery below the list of questions per field)
  • … (Wait! we are still in phase 1) What is a TALENT SCREENER? The Talent Screener is a set of questions related to your academic and professional background that you must answer in your application, you can find the questions on the Annex IV of the notice of competition. A couple of things to remember:
    • 1) The board of the competition is in charge of evaluating the answers
    • 2) 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, check our past webinar where we focused on tips to fill in the Talent Screener for specialist competitions. BUT if you are looking for a fresh view on your competition, check our webinar on the Administrators and the Assistants-ICT talent.

  • PHASE 2 – Eligibility & Talent Screener evaluation. Here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read first your CV to see if you have all the years of working experience required and then, in a next step, read your Talent Screener and rate it. We remind you that 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) WITHOUT cross-checking with the rest of your application. [Yes, this was mentioned in Phase I but just in case you skipped that part]. You should therefore include all relevant information in your answers, even if already mentioned in other sections of your application form. The best of all this is, after the evaluations, only up to 3 times the openings will go to the Assessment Centre. We are talking about about 1050 candidates in total and you are one of them because you have written a great application 🏆.
  • Phase 3 – Assessment. Congrats! You are one of the candidates with the highest marks in the Talent Screener and you have been invited to the Assessment Centre. We have reached the final round, in which we will also have to present all our documents related to education and professional experience in digital format (they need to be uploaded into a platform before doing the Assessment Centre tests), so prepare them in advance to avoid a last minute rush.

First, we’ll have the computer-based tests (CBT). We know, you though you had escaped it… keep dreaming. Still, there is no need to get a high mark, only passing it is enough (like it is the case for CAST exams).

Easy one, just an overall of 20 points to pass it.
  • Now talking about the other tests, the competition turns classic. You will have to pass the following tests: 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.
Some practice, some effort and a some guidance and it will be done 😉
When you see your name on the reserve list
  • Anyway, although the more points we get in competences part the better (we can help with that), 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 test too).
  • Final Step – after a long process and passing the Assessment Centre, EPSO will check the validity of all your records and professional experiences (comparing them to the input of your application). For these, they will use the documents uploaded at the beginning of phase 3 -right before your first test of the Assessment Centre. So, keep your documents ready for upload once you have passed the Talent Screener!!! Once you get the final OK for this part, you will see your name on the reserve list and ready to find a job as a permanent officer at the European institutions.

When will EPSO contact me?

All the situations under which EPSO will write you in your profile, not by email, although sometimes we may get a warning message.

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 Centre, or…. you read/heard rumors about the development of the competitions somewhere. Better to isolate yourself from that noise and focus on the real messages. EPSO commits itself (it’s in Annex II of the notice of competition) 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 or being notified that we have passed to the next phase of the competition, so keep calm. If you are feeling desperate for the lack of news, 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? How much will my salary be?

Table of the amounts of basic monthly salaries for each grade and step in function groups AD and AST referred to in Article 66 of the Staff Regulations, applicable from 1 July 2021

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 images above, go to Annex I of the notice to find all the details of your expected tasks to be performed once you are an administrator in the area of ICT (The Commission counts on you!!!). And last but not least, let us remind you 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.

Can you help me?

Let share some useful links for this competition and any other.

List of useful resources

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings (English and Spanish) :
    1. CBT (in Spanish)
    2. Assessment sessions – for all the Assessment test (Theory in English or Spanish. Practice can be done in EN,FR,ES)
    3. Application review (EN/ES/FR/IT/DE)
    4. CAST Sessions -have you been invited to a job interview? Do you want to improve your chances of being selected in a CAST process?

Analysis of the Administrators in the field of maritime affairs and fisheries competition- EPSO/AD/397/21

Dear all,

Ready to catch a slippery vacancy? All on board!!

They say the ocean is full of fish, probably is true and also of micro plastics but If something is also true is the fact the the new competition for maritime affairs and fisheries comes bursting of vacancies, in total 86 spots for future AD6 officers of the European Commission. This is the last competition of 2021 and you have until 11 January at noon to send your application (by EPSO portal, don’t throw it at the see in a bottle).

This competition comes at the same time other competitions, such the ones for Administrators in the field of sustainable agriculture , EU law, Secretaries and External Relations are reaching their climax…we meant.. their assessment centre. Anyway, if something thrilling and exciting is coming is our analysis of the competition, composed of fresh and finest catches .

How many spots? When does it begin?

Believe it or not, having the index at the beginning of the notice of competition is most unusual. Annex III and IV are worth reading

A good number of spots are available in total 86 spots, There is for all!!! be careful, the process has begun the 9 December and it will be open for joining until 11 January 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 +2 days , that’s more than enough but don’t fell sleep or party too much during the Christmas break.

What are criteria to be a candidate?

The classic(or general): 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

Voilà! a short summary of the languages thing. Be careful not to mix them.

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 (INCLUDING the ‘Talent Screener’ section) in this language. Yes! first time the talent is done in language 1.

LANGUAGE 2: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU (Yes, we said 24, it’s not a typo) provided the language 2 is different than language 1. Here we need a B2 level minimum (no need of having a degree to justify it, the assessment 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.

In case you didn’t believe us , check with your own eyes than language 1 and 2 can NOT be the same

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

These are the typical (and long) duties for an officer in the area of fisheries (annex I of the notice). Good to know they don’t ask you to know how to cook the fish
  • Option 1 : LONGER ACADEMIC BACKGROUND+PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE – you’ll need a university degree (of minimum 4 years length attested by a diploma (they don’t say in what) , followed by at least 3 years’ professional experience directly related to the duties as indicated in Annex I.
  • Option 2 : SHORTER ACADEMIC BACKGROUND+PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE – this time with a 3 years degree attested by a diploma followed by at least 4 years’ professional experience directly related to the duties as indicated in Annex I.

REMEMBER! To explain the part «professional experience directly related to the duties» 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, check our photo too). In order to do so, our past webinar could help or check our youtube channel where we’ll publish a video talking about it.

What are the test I have to pass? and the competition phases?

Based on the notice + our experience we split the process in 5 phases : 1) fill in the application, 2) Eligibility check and talent screener , 3) The CBT test, 4) the assesment. 5) Check of supporting documents.

  • Phase 1 – You got until 11 January (noon) to send your application and before that, complete all its pages with love and care. This is the first step of a competition and the way to differentiate you from many other, perhaps hundreds, of candidates and also it gives you the green light from phase 2 to phase 3.
There you have the questions. No need to have a crystal boll to know them, just the notice of competition
  • (wait we are still in phase 1) What is a TALENT SCREENER? This is a list of questions according to the selection criteria that you must answer in your application, these questions are on the Annex II of the call . The board of the competition is in charge of evaluating the answers. Keep in mind that all candidates 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 type of test allows) of the compared merits of all the candidates. To sum up, the points that will assessed in the talent (look annex III for full detail or the application form), you really need to have real experience dealing with policy in the areas of fisheries and similar.
  • Phase 2 – The eligibility check involves verifying compliance with the eligibility conditions. For that part, EPSO have made some changes in the form (see photos) to make easier the assessment of the professional experience length and use it to create a ranking of candidates, from the most experiences to the less one.
  • If you pass the eligibility, you’ll get a communication informing you that you are in the Talent screener evaluation. Again, here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read your talent 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 the Talent Screener section (in language 1). You should therefore include all relevant information in your Talent Screener answers, even if already mentioned in other sections of your application form. The questions are based on the selection criteria included in this notice (see above). Our past webinar could help on this step , also check our youtube channel where we’ll publish a video talking about this competition in particular.
the list of question, piece of (fish)cake to answer them.
  • Phase 3 Reasoning tests: The wait is over and you are one of the candidates who pass, up to a total of 3 times the places, we are talking about 255 candidates. The first test will be the classic CBT (computer based test) This includes our classic verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning, remember, for your mental peace, you only need to get a 10 out 20 in verbal or 10 points with numerical+abstract. This phase will be passed by all those who exceed the minimum score, so relax and don’t get too nervous, this is easier than it looks, trust yourself!

About verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning won’t talk here too much (you can visit our blog and also you can find here our resources and trainings .

  • Phase 4 Assessment. We have reached the final test, in addition to having to present all our papers in digital format, the famous USB memory stick from the past, now the «Link supporting documents» button in your EPSO profile to upload the pertinent papers before your assessment, so prepare them in advance). And from the test perspective, the things get peculiar, VERY peculiar. While the test are the old ones : Case study and Competency based interview , we see that each competence will be assessed with one test only (for AD’s usually was 2 test) and you don’t need minimum mark per competence (usually 3 or 4 out of 10) but an overall of 40 out of 80. This shouldn’t change much , if any, make things more accessible from the competence part.
  • The key part is the field-related test where you will have to demonstrate your applied 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; yes, we insist on this). You can obtain up to 100 points in that test. (we can help with that too) so prepare it well!
Do you see? simple case study and competency-based interview, then the field related and ready!!! It’s easier than it looks, trust us, we know it 😉
  • Phase 5 Check of supporting documents. With the results in hand, just to avoid a waste of time checking those candidates who didn’t make it, EPSO will verify your papers and give you the final OK to put you in the reserve list. The validity of that list is 1-1.5 years and you will have to find your place in the Institutions (mostly DG MARE) , in any case, don’t panic, list are renovated yearly until they run out of available candidates. EU/EPSO budget can’t afford to waste money not taking you onboard after the resources spent in your evaluation.

What can I expect of this job? Is my degree valid?

Both are typical questions of all the candidates, therefore we invite you to check Annex I and Annex III from the notice of competition. In Annex I (image at the beginning of this post) you can find the expected tasks to be performed once you are an administrator in the area of fisheries policy (you won’t be caught by surprise). Also we remind you an AD6 will join the institutions with a net salary above 5.000 € and this can be higher depending if you have family dependent on you and other conditions.

In the Annex II we have a fantastic list of degrees and academic titles with the corresponding competition level we can candidate, also order by country, so you can check if your degree is enough and the right one to apply for this competition.

Can you help me?

Yes, we can!! (this sounds familiar , isn’t it?). First be attentive to our youtube channel where we’ll post a video explaining some main points of the application (send your questions to our email yasemoseuropeos@gmail.com if you want to cover a particular aspect in it, you have until the 26th) . Then, if this is not enough, we can offer our service of application review . Of course, we can’t forget our CBT trainings in Spanish and our preparation of the Assessment centre where the practice can be done in English, Spanish, French or Italian.

List of useful resources

  1. El CBT o los test psicotécnicos (ES)
  2. The Assesment centre (EN)
  3. 10 free resources (EN/ES).
  4. YSE trainings