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 Intercultural and Language Professional (AD5) competition and some ideas to practice(for free) the translation test.

Dear all,

Some of you asked for advice on the Parliament competitions and how to handle the translation test, and of course we couldn’t ignore those requests, so here we are ready to help you with some free resources. The competition we are talking about is the following INTERCULTURAL AND LANGUAGE PROFESSIONAL (AD5)- PE/272/TRAD

So you are willing to move to Luxembourg, and work as intercultural and language professionals. Wait, what the hell does a intercultural and language professional? Well, in a few words, a high specialized interpreter , in long see below

Now that we are on the good track, let’s clarify in which languages we are going to take the exams (adapted from the notice):

  • language 1: Bulgarian, French, Maltese, Slovak or Swedish. Any of them with perfect knowledge at mother-tongue level;
  • language 2:  English or French, thorough knowledge (minimum C1 level); If your language 1 is French then your language 2 must be English;
  • language 3: one of the 24 official languages of the EU -(minimum C1 level); NOT language 1, NOT language 2.

So you have more than 220 combinations to choose : BG-EN-ES ; BG-FR-IT; FR-EN-DE and so on….

ABOUT THE APPLICATION – What are the criteria to be a candidate?

The first thing that you should do is to read the application guide offered by the European Parliament, let’s assume you have read it but still are interested in reading our post :-). The criteria for being a candidate are :

  • In this competition, the usual general criteria apply: 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.
  • You are also required to hold a university degree of at least 3 years duration and the languages mentioned above. Better if it is a degree in relation with the tasks of the job.
  • YAY! You don’t need any professional experience, this is an AD5 and you can be a fresh graduate from university to participate in this competition. Nevertheless, any professional experience you have acquired exclusively by working in your language 1 in the area covered by this competition would be an advantage.

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 will need to upload the supporting documents required with the initial application

You’ve got until 25 August (17h) 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 (if any). Be careful! you will need to upload the supporting documents required with the initial application. Last but not least, remember the Talent evaluator is key … 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 EVALUATOR? Well, do you remember the talent screener from regular EPSO competitions? It’s the same. The Talent Screener/evaluator is a set of questions related to your academic and professional background that you must answer in your application, you can find the questions at the end of the notice of competition. A couple of things to remember:

  • The board of the competition is in charge of evaluating the answers
  • Keep in mind that all candidates, independently of the languages chosen, answer the same questions

This way, the responses of all the candidates are structured in comparable manner, 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 guide and the notice or the application form for all the details, and if you think we can be of help, check some of our past webinar where we focused on tips to fill in the Talent Screener for specialist competitions.

PHASE 2 – Test & Talent Screener evaluation.

First things first, all of you will face an initial test. You will be invited to take the pre-selection test in the form of a set of computer-based questionnaire of a maximum of 40 questions intended to assess your ability to identify information relating to the values of the European Union and the role of the European Parliament. According to the notice, you will be sent sample questions in good time prior to the date of the test to see what you have to pass and in the meantime, we can suggest you to study the European Parliament factsheets.

This are not the requirements for the latest videogame but to take the test relating to the values of the European Union and the role of the European Parliament.

If you are among the best candidates in the test, they will take up to 150 highest-scoring candidates per language, then the selection board will assess your answers in the talent evaluator and admit the 60 best candidates per language of the competition to the written tests. We remind you that the selection based on qualifications will be carried out using solely the information provided in this Talent evaluation 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 best of all this is, after the evaluations, only up to 5 times the openings will go to the final test.

Phase 3 – Final Test

Congrats! You are one of the candidates with the highest marks in the initial test and in the Talent evaluation and you have been invited to the final test.

Within this final phase, and we face 2 rounds. In the first round you will encounter 3 tests: Translation of a text connected with the legislative activities; Translation of a speech; Drafting test (see below for further detail)

Then, the 24 best out of 60 in the written part will go the oral test. It will consist in two interviews . First, typical field related interview for 45 minutes in languages 1 and 2 to assess your suitability to perform the duties outlined in the ‘Job description’ in a European institution, taking account of all the information contained in your application file (yes! they will use your application). After this a group discussion (if the exam is done in physical presence) or role-play (more aligned with online requirements) exercise in language 2 to enable the selection board to assess your adaptability, negotiating and decision-making skills and performance in a group. Once all this is done, you get a nice score and enter in the reserve list of this competition, congratulations!!!!!!

Wait… how can I pass all the tests you have mentioned above? Well, on the oral part of the competition, we can recommend you to check out our next training sessions for the Assessment Centre (for both Parliament and Commission competitions). If interested in more info, news and updates on EPSO competitions and our trainings to pass the them, you can join our Telegram channel and if just seeking some tips for the translation part, keep reading.

The Translation test – What is key?

Hard work. There are no shortcuts for this test. You need to master the vocabulary and writing style of the institution, particularly the Parliament (here a couple of examples: first example, second example-any of these reports). This means that you will have to master two levels of the language: formal or legal language and plain language, which should be understood by someone who doesn’t know anything about the EU (like this) .

Also, bear in mind that the tests will be held online and in principle all on the same day, so it’s good if you are ready to spend 240 min (+ breaks between exams) in front of your screen while working hard. Be sure you are in a good shape by them!

The tests

Three are the consecutive test will face

so, all the 3 tests (a,b,c) count equally and we can’t falter
  • Test A Translation of a text connected with the legislative activities of the European Parliament from language 2 into language 1
  • Test BTranslation of a speech or a notice intended for citizens from language 3 into language 1
  • Test Cdrafting of a clear-language text intended for citizens, in language 1, on the basis of a complex document in language 2. The objective of this test is to assess your knowledge of language 2 and your ability to identify essential ideas and summarise them in clear language in language 1..

Let’s go now test by test. We need to do well in all 3 of them, as only if we get the passing mark in test A will our test B will be reviewed, and so happens for B with C. The 20 candidates who obtain the highest number of points in the written tests (A+B+C) will be invited to the oral tests, provided that they have achieved the pass mark in all of the written tests (i.e. you can’t pass with 19/40 in one test -below passing mark even if you got a 40/40 in the other two tests, but you can pass with 20/40 in each test if 60 points is among the 20 highest scores), which are:

(a)     Translation of a text connected with the legislative activities of the European Parliament from language 2 into language 1 . Time: 90 minutes for a text with a maximum of 450 words

A recommendation would be to practice with the Reform of the European Ombudsman’s Statute, you can divide it in two parts (it’s longer than 450 words) and you have it in Spanish ; French ;Italian ; German . Another example available in the 24 official languages are the Factsheets of the European Parliament as they cover a wide list of subjects and allow you to practice with some legal & policy terms. This test just implies translation, so any document from the institutions officially translated to our language 2 can help us as practice.

(b)     Translation of a speech or a notice intended for citizens from language 3 into language 1 . Time: 90 minutes for a text with a maximum of 450-500 words

Now it’s time for speeches or similar documents presenting a less technical language than in the previous test. Here any official speech of the President of the Parliament could work to practice. If your language 3 is French or Italian, you can use European Parliament’s president site to practice. Moreover, of course, we can’t forget about the State of the Union 2021 (which you have it in the 24 official languages), or any SOTEU speech from previous years (here for instance 2020 and 2018). Finally, the documents about the Political priorities of the Commission or other similar documents can also help you practice for test B.

(c)    Drafting test: drafting of a clear-language text intended for citizens, in language 1, on the basis of a complex document in language 2. Maximum time allowed: 60 minutes

Consider it as a token for good luck

The objective of this test is to assess your knowledge of language 2 and your ability to identify essential ideas and summarise them in clear language in language 1, so this is a tricky one, you need a complex document to practice. But what is considered to be a complex document? Something technical or on a subject not often seen in the media. For example, we propose the following report “The Use of SLAPPs to Silence Journalists, NGOs and Civil Society” from the European Parliament think tank. You can divide it into two parts, (the first from page 12 to 31 and the second from page 33 to 51), summarize each part, and then check your summary with the executive summary in ES, IT,FR , DE. Still, it is good if you can use even a more plain English when doing the summary. Another option would be the press release about any policy or political proposal, like this one for projects to decarbonise the economy

Imagine yourself there

That is it for now! All the best to all the candidates who will be reading this post and also to those who just came here just out of curiosity. We really hope it will be useful for you.

If you liked this post or considered it useful, don’t forget to click on «like». If interested in more info, news and updates on EPSO competitions and our trainings to pass the them, you can  join our Telegram channel or check or register for our next training sessions for the Assessment Centre (for both Parliament and Commission competitions).

How much will my salary be? (bonus question)

As they indicate right at the beginning of the notice, recruitment will be at grade AD 5, first step, for which the basic salary is EUR 5.130,98 per month. This salary is subject to Community tax and to the other deductions provided for by the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union. It is exempt from national tax. The step at which the successful candidates are recruited may be adjusted in accordance with their professional experience. Moreover, in certain circumstances allowances will be paid in addition to the basic salary.

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 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

Guide to practice(for free) the translation test of the European Parliament Language Professional competitions

Dear all,

Some of you asked for advice on the Parliament competitions and how to handle the translation test, and of course we couldn’t ignore those request, so here we are ready to help you with some free resources. The competitions we are talking about are the following:

Yes, the competitions are for this one

Both competitions will take place at the same time and will be evaluated with the same type of tests, so let’s give you some tips to pass them with honors. Before we continue, we should remember the languages in which we are taking the exams (adapted from the notice):

  • language 1: English;
  • language 2:  one of the 24 official languages of the EU; NOT English;
  • language 3: one of the 24 official languages of the EU; NOT English, NOT language 2. .

What is key?

Hard work. There are no shortcuts for this test. You need to master the vocabulary and writing style of the institution, particularly the Parliament (here a couple of examples: first example, second example-any of these reports). This means that you will have to master two levels of the language: formal or legal language and plain language, which should be understood by someone who doesn’t know anything about the EU (like this) .

Also, to bear in mind that the tests will be held online and in principle all on the same day, so it’s good if you are ready to spend 240 min in front of your screen while working hard. Be sure you are in a good shape by them!

The test

Three are the consecutive test will face

so, all the 3 tests (a,b,c) count equally and we can’t falter
  • Test A – Translation of a text connected with the legislative activities of the European Parliament from language 2 into language 1 (English)
  • Test B -Translation of a speech or a notice intended for citizens from language 3 into language 1 (English)
  • Test C – Adaptation of a text into clear language: on the basis of a complex document written in language 2, draft a new text, in language 1 (English), which reflects the content of the original but in a style and register that make the gist of the text clear to citizens.

Let’s go now test by test. We need to do well in all 3 of them, as only if we get the passing mark in test A will our test B will be reviewed, and so happens for B with C. The 20 candidates who obtain the highest number of points in the written tests (A+B+C) will be invited to the oral tests, provided they have achieved the pass mark in all of the written tests (ie you can’t pass with 19/40 in one test -below passing mark even if you got a 40/40 in the other two test, but you can pass with 20/40 in each test if 60 points is among the 20 highest scores), which are:

(a)     Translation of a text connected with the legislative activities of the European Parliament from language 2 into language 1 (English). Time  90 minutes for a text with a maximum of 450 words

A nice proposal would be to practice with the Reform of the European Ombudsman’s Statute, you can divide it in two parts (it’s longer than 450 words) and you have it in Spanish ; French ;Italian ; German . Another example available in the 24 official languages are the Factsheets of the European Parliament as they cover a wide list of subjects and allow you to practice with some legal & policy terms. This test just implies translation, so any document from the institutions officially translated to our language 2 can help us as practice.

(b)     Translation of a speech or a notice intended for citizens from language 3 into language 1 (English). Time  90 minutes for a text with a maximum of 450 words

Now it’s time for speeches, or similar documents presenting a less technical language than in the previous test. Here any official speech of the President of the Parliament could work. If your language 3 is French or Italian, you can use European Parliament’s president site to practice. Moreover, of course, we can’t forget about the State of the Union 2021 (which you have it in the 24 official languages), or any SOTEU speech from previous years (here for instance 2020 and 2018). Finally, the documents about the Political priorities of the Commission or other similar documents can also help you practice for test B.

(c)     Adaptation of a text into clear language: on the basis of a complex document written in language 2, draft a new text, in language 1 (English), which reflects the content of the original but in a style and register that make the gist of the text clear to citizens. Maximum time allowed: 60 minutes

Consider it as a token for good luck

This is a tricky one, you need a complex document to practice. But what is considered to be a complex document? Something technical or on a subject not often seen in the media. For example, we propose the following report “The Use of SLAPPs to Silence Journalists, NGOs and Civil Society” from the European Parliament think tank. You can divide it into two parts, (the first from page 12 to 31 and the second from page 33 to 51), summarize each part, and then check your summary with the executive summary in ES, IT,FR , DE. Still, it is good if you can use even a more plain English when doing the summary. Another option would be the press release about any policy or political proposal, like this one for projects to decarbonise the economy

That is it for now! All the best to all the candidates who will be reading this post and also to those who just came here just out of curiosity. We really hope it will be useful for you.

If you liked this post or considered it useful, don’t forget to click on «like». If interested in more info, news and updates on EPSO competitions and our trainings to pass the them, you can  join our Telegram channel or check or register for our next trainig sessions for the Assessment Centre (for both Parliament and Commission competitions).

Analysis of Administrators in digital forensics and in operational and strategic analysis competition-EPSO/AD/395/21

Dear all,

Become a CSI of the IT investigation

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

Bear in mind it will take time to fill in all the information that reflects the experience required

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.
Some practice, some effort and a some guidance and it will be done 😉
  • 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?

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 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.

Can you help me?

Let share some useful links for this competition and any other. In the mean time don’t forget our training for Assessment and our past webinars .

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

Analysis of ANTI-FRAUD INVESTIGATORS (AD 7) AND ANTI-FRAUD EXPERTS (AD 9) competition-EPSO/AD/394/21

Dear all,

Not the same working in OLAF than working with OLAF

What a season we are having! Instead of tree leaves falling, we have plenty of competitions blossoming. Rare flowers in form of competitions for specialist appear in front of our eyes, full with colors and small details to take into account if we want to apply. So after the competition for Technicians in audiovisual, building or laboratory, we got a new competition aimed for specialist and experts in two areas of Anti-fraud investigation : In the field of EU expenditure and anti-corruption and in the field of customs and trade, tobacco and counterfeit goods.

How many spots are available? When does it begin?

A good number of spots are available, in total 68 spots, distributed in 2 fields and 2 grades but you can only apply to one single grade and 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 fulfill and validate your application. Approximately you have been given one month +2 days , that’s more than enough but don’t fell sleep.

Plenty of options to chose

What are the criteria to be a candidate?

General criteria: 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

You will be able to use your languages in the above task

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 (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 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 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

Let’s go field by field

Field 1: Anti-fraud investigations and operations in the field of EU expenditure and anti-corruption

If you go for AD9, don’t forget to explain the 3 years of professional experience in managing complex investigation

Field 2: Anti-fraud investigations and operations in the field of customs and trade, tobacco and counterfeit goods

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. 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) 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 9 November (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 a lot of candidates, but 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? 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 II or the application form for all the details, and if you think we can be of help, ouexpected 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.
Remember that successful candidates will be mainly recruited by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
  • 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 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). 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 a total of 3 times the openings will go to the Assessment Centre. We are talking about about 204 candidates (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, 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 last minute rush.
  • First we’ll have the CBT (computer-based test). We know, you thought you have escape it… keep dreaming. Still you don’t need much to pass it (like an ordinary CAST exam) and there is no need of having a high mark, only passing it is enough.
  • Now talking about the other tests, the competition turns into a classic. In front of you two of the most classic test you may face : Case Study and 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 😉
  • Anyway, although 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).

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, 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 III 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.

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’s 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. If you enter as AD9 …. the next round of beers is on you?

Can you help me?

Let share some useful links for this competition and any other. In the mean time don’t forget our training for Assessment and our past webinars .

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