If you are a big fan of CSI and an IT expert in digital forensics, this competition is for you. Even more, if you didn’t like CSI but still you are an IT expert in digital forensics, 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 begin with our analysis, remember, if you want to read about the competition in the field of EU expenditure and anti-corruption and in the field of customs and trade, tobacco and counterfeit goods, which was published the same day, go to the article where we explain every detail.
How many spots are available? When does the process begin?
A good number of spots are available, 40 spots in total, distributed in 2 fields with 20 spots for Digital forensics (field 1) and 20 more spots for Operational and strategic analysis (field 2). Please note that you can only apply to one single field. Be careful! the process began on the 7th October and it will be open for joining until 9 November NOON (let’s say 11.59 AM CET). Until then, you can 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 not longer an option), meet any obligations under national laws on military service, and meet the character requirements for the duties concerned
Specific criteria – languages
LANGUAGE 1: You can choose among the 24 official languages of the EU and you should have, minimum, 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 competence (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 it 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 field by field
Field 1: Digital forensics
Field 2: Operational and strategic analysis
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 described in the notice, so take a good look at the third column. In order to do so, our past webinar could help .
What are test I have to pass? and the competition phases?
Based on the notice of competition + our experience we split the process in 3 phases: 1) fill in the application, 2) Talent Screener evaluation 3) the Assessment Centre. Once you have passed the competition, you will have to decide how to celebrate it..
- Phase 1 Fill in the Application – You’ve got until 9 November (noon) to send your application and before that, fill it in with love and care. This is the first step of 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 two different profiles.
- (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 II of the notice of competition. The board of the competition is in charge of evaluating the answers. Keep in mind that all candidates in the same profile and field answer the same questions. In this way, the responses of all the candidates are structured in the same way, which allows the board to make an evaluation (as objective as such a type of test allows) of the compared merits of all the candidates. Remember to look at Annex II or the application form for all the details, and if you think we can be of help, our expected to do in the European Institutions and described in the notice, so take a good look at the third column. In order to do so, our past webinar could help where we focused on tips to fill in the Talent Screener for specialist competitions.
- PHASE 2 – Talent Screener evaluation. Here you can do nothing but wait. It is the task of the board to read your Talent Screener and rate it. We remind you 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. You should therefore include all relevant information in your answers, even if already mentioned in other sections of your application form. The questions are based on the selection criteria included in this notice (check the photo above). The best of all this is that up to 3 times the openings will go to the Assessment Centre. We are talking about about 120 candidates, 60 per field (if our math is right… yes it is :-)!
- Phase 3 – Assessment. Congrats! You are one of the 204 candidates with the highest marks in the Talent Screener and you have been invited to the Assessment Centre. 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 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).
- Now talking about the other tests, the competition turns classic. In front of you two of the most classic test you may face : Case Study and Competence Based Interview. Between the two tests you can gather a total of 80 points, with the particularity that you need and overall 40/80 to pass, but not minimum marks per competence.
- Anyway, although the more points we get in competences part the better (we can help with that), the key part is the field-related test where you will have to demonstrate your knowledge, and above all, your relevant experience for this position. To do so, you will have the Interview in the Field (also structured but with clear focus on your work experience) up to 100 points in that test. (we can help with that too)
When will EPSO contact me?
Many of you ask about when EPSO will tell you that you have passed to the next 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 III 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, so keep calm. You can always contact EPSO too, as candidates you are entitled to do so but be careful, replies can be a bit cryptic or copy/paste from the notice.
What can I expect of this job? Is my degree valid?
Both are typical questions of the candidates, therefore we invite you to check Annex I and Annex II from the notice of competition. As you can see from the image, it sends you to Annex I to find all the details of your expected tasks to be performed once you are an administrator in the area of anti-fraud (OLAF counts on you!!!). Let us remind you an AD7 will join the institutions with a net salary above 6.000 € and this can be higher depending if you have family dependent on you and other conditions.