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EPSO Group Exercise Tips and Tricks

Preparing for a new EPSO job opportunity is one of those life-events that can be incredibly exciting and completely nerve-racking at the same time. And, when the Epso Assessment Centre company introduces another step into the interviewing process, such as the EPSO group exercise, knowing exactly what to do can make the difference between snatching your dream job and having to look elsewhere. No worries though, we are here to show you exactly how to do brilliantly!

What is the EPSO Group exercise?

The EPSO group exercise also known as a role play exercise are added to the Assessment Centre process to help EPSO gain a better understanding of who you are and how your work ethic would fit into the organization’s profile. They assess abilities such as Analysis and Problem solving, Learning and development, Prioritising and Organising, Resilience, Working with Others and Leadership. This exercise will be held with several candidates participating in a scenario.

What to know beforehand

In order to showcase your brilliant self, before taking part in the EPSO Group exercise you should know that the scenarios will correspond to the professional role you are being interviewed for. So, if you have experience at a similar position, it is likely that you would have encountered a situation like that before. Remember that the interviewers won’t expect anything unusual or alien of you – all they need to know is how you would normally react if you were to find yourself in a tricky situation.

Stay calm and positive

This is certainly easier said than done, but it is a role play essential. Feeling jittery and nervous is natural when your character and abilities are being tested, but remember that nerves can only sabotage your performance. In order to stay calm, try applying quick breathing techniques before the exercise and during preparation. Equal breathing, for instance, is a reliable option. Smiling, employing a positive tone of voice and a positive body language can also go a long way. Even if you don’t do as well as another candidate, if you have been upbeat and inviting, chances are the interviewers will be left with a favorable impression of you.

How to do an excellent job

Although EPSO has its own set of scenarios for the group exercise there are certain general rules you can apply in order to go through the experience successfully. Follow the advice below and you will likely pass your role play exercise with flying colors!

  • Read meticulously

Before starting the EPSO group exercise you will be given a short scenario to read. It usually includes your role within one of the European Institutions, a situation you need to deal with and a time frame. Make sure you read and assess every word very carefully, so as to not miss any important details.

  • Decide what you’d like to achieve

Are you a Head of Unit who has to deal with a hot EU topic? Do you work as part of a team that has to tackle a time-sensitive project? Think about your role and what you would strive to achieve if you experienced this situation in real life.  Being goal-oriented always makes a great impression!

  • Devise a plan

You will have time to prepare before the exercise begins, so use it wisely and devise an action plan. It is crucial to be flexible, as you don’t know how the other participants may act, so you need to change your behavior accordingly.

  • Practice

The clichéd phrase “Practice makes perfect” is actually applicable here – the more you practice the less nervous you will feel during the exercise.

  • Ask open-ended questions

More often than not, essential information is omitted from the brief you are given. That is why one of your tasks is to clarify the situation. You can do that by asking open-ended questions such as: “please tell me more about…” “could you please elaborate on…” “please describe…”

  • Act natural

Keep in mind that your goal is to portray your actions in the fictional scenario as realistically as possible. So, try to jump into character as soon as you see the other participants. Concentrate on the role, rather than on feelings of discomfort or awkwardness. Act as natural, open and positive as you would in real life and chances are you will really impress the interviewers!