category / Latest News, Uncategorized

On-Going Now: The Competition for EPSO’s Administrators in the Field of Audit Has Begun!

The time has finally arrived for this year’s round of competition for EPSO’s Administrators in the Field of Audit (EPSO/AD/357/18).

So if you applied for this competition—be it your first time or not, then allow us to give you an overview of the entire process:

About the Competition:

  • The application for this competition opened last March 22, 2018.
  • The deadline for applications happened a month later on April 24, 2018.
  • The total number of successful candidates sought is 80.

Application Procedure

As you have experienced already, the application procedure is where you were asked to fill in your application form solely in the second language you have chosen.

Upon the completion of this form, you were asked to confirm your eligibility and provide further information relevant to the competition. You also selected your language 1 from any of the 24 official EU languages ad well as your language 2, which is either English or French.

Soon after, you validate your application form and declare that you have met all the conditions.

 

What does an Administrator in the Field of Audit do?

Now for a refresher, let us talk about what this competition is for by identifying the task of an Administrator in the Field of Audit.

The competition for EPSO’s Administrators in the Field of Audit (EPSO/AD/357/18) is for a general role. Here, the administrators are the ones to support decision-makers in fulfilling the mission of their institution or body.

For the auditing aspect, the auditors of the EU institutions are in charge of conducting the following audits:

  • Financial
  • Performance
  • Internal

Additionally, they also provide assurance and advisory services in all operational fields of the EU.

 

How to Qualify for the Competition (Eligibility)

Before you can apply, you must first meet all of the following general and specific requirements that will deem you eligible for the competition. They are the following:

  • A citizen of a Member State of the EU
  • Knowledgeable of at least 2 official EU languages as executed through:
    • Speaking
    • Writing
    • Reading
    • Listening
  • Holder of a diploma attesting at least 3 years of completed university studies
  • Someone who holds the character requirements for the duties pursued in this career

 

What are the Tests and Competencies for this Competition?

After you have validated your application form in your language 2, you will then be invited to sit a series of Computer-Based Multiple Choice Question tests in one of EPSO’s accredited centres.

You will have to undergo the following types of test:

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Situational Judgment

Once you passed the Computer-based MCQ tests, you will then take an e-tray exercise held in your language 2 at any one of EPSO’s accredited centres. You will also have to undergo a competency-based interview.

These tests and interview will tackle the following competencies:

  • Analysis and Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Delivering quality and results
  • Learning and development
  • Prioritising and organizing
  • Resilience
  • Working with others
  • Leadership

 

New to EPSO?

Is it your first-time applying to an EPSO competition? Well, here are some resources that can help you explore and understand the process. Plus, we also have some tips for you:

 

Some Reminders:

As you begin your EPSO competition journey, it helps to go through the notice of competition for more complete information. You should keep yourself in the know with all the processes as well as their requirements.

Ultimately, it is very important that you go in prepared. So train yourself and practice by studying and taking some demo tests.

category / Uncategorized

Promo Offer – Epso E-Tray AD Tests

We are happy to announce our Back to Work PROMO for EPSO E-Tray AD Tests – 49 EUR for 2 E-Tray tests instead of 68 Eur. Offer ends 6th Sept. Those of you that have already ordered the test at standard price must not worry – we offer the second test at 50% discount. What you have to do in both cases is to order the test at full price and then we will refund the difference in the shortest delays.

What do the ETray tests include?

Etray AD #1 – 13 emails – 16 situations – 48 questions to rate – all questions include detailed explanations

Etray AD #2 – 16 emails – 17 situations – 51 questions to rate – all questions include detailed explanations

Who should order these Epso E-Tray tests?

All candidates that have passed the epso preselection phase of the competitions EPSO/AD/301/15 AD 5 generalists and EPSO/AD/301/15 AD5 auditors and are invited to sit the EPSO intermediate test which consists of an E-Tray simulation are advised to try our E-Tray tests.

For more info and tips on how to approach this type of exam, we recommend you to read our epso e-tray exam guide.

Sign up for our offer!

 

category / Default, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

EPSO E-Tray Exam Guide

A guide to the EPSO E-Tray Exam

Are you interested to work in one of the European Union institutions? The EPSO is the perfect way to start! The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) handles endorsement to any European Union institution. With about 60,000 – 70,000 applications per year, how does one succeed?

He or she must definitely be able to pass the EPSO exams. For the Administrators and Assistants cycle, one of the exams that you will need to pass to succeed is the EPSO E-tray examination.

What is an EPSO E-tray exam?

An EPSO E-tray exam is a business inbox simulation activity that allows an applicant to experience the usual tasks and challenges in a position within the EU Institutions. The applicant has to take the test in his second language – English, French, or German – via a computer in which he has to answer a set of questions. The type of test, as well as the number of questions, will be dependent on the information released by the Notice of Competition published in the official Journal of the European Union, as well as the EPSO website.

This notice includes details on the criteria for selection, the job profile as well as the description, the slots for the reserve list, qualification and experience requirements, and the test format for each of the stages in the selection process.

Usually, the EPSO E-tray exam focuses on 4 out of 8 EPSO key competencies – analysis and problem solving, delivering quality and results, prioritising and organising and working with others.

Before you begin the test, you will be given a specific time to read the instructions as you can see below. Make sure to read everything carefully.The documentation that you will need to find relevant background information will be in a mailbox. You have to click on a box for your answer of choice using the mouse. You can click on another box if you decided to change your answer any time.

EPSO E-Tray

 

You need to rank the 3 options available for each question on the scale indicated in the question:

  • – – totally agree
  • – disagree
  • -+ neutral
  • + agree
  • ++ totally agree

Each ranking symbol can only be selected once per question, which means that every complete answer must have the combination of the 3 different symbols.  Your answers show not only what ranking you assign to each individual option, but also your order of preference among the 3 options. In short, answers will only be recorded if you are able to rank all 3 options.

There are between 15 to 20 questions with 3 options each to be accomplished in 50 minutes. You will be guided with your remaining time on top of the screen during the whole period. Treat each question independent from the rest. Do not take into account one question with another. The navigation through the mailbox and navigation between the questions should be treated separately. The question in front of you is not necessarily linked to the email that is visible on the screen at that time.  A question can be related either to several emails or just one.

There could be from 10 to 15 emails for you to process. To be able to navigate through the mailbox displayed at the top half of the screen, click on the email titles at the left. Remember to only use the ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ buttons at the bottom of the screen to navigate between the questions at the bottom half of the screen.

What does an EPSO E-tray exam measure?

The EPSO E-tray exam is the best tool to determine how the selected candidates work – their style and approach. It also enables the assessor to determine if they are able to show their skills in analytics, communication, written, and delegation as well as their business acumen.

The exam also defines their competencies (only 4 out of the 8 competencies will be tested but you will also have to be familiar with the ones remaining):

(1) Analysis and problem solving,

(2) Communicating,
(3) Delivering quality and results,

(4) Learning and development,

(5) Prioritizing and organizing,

(6) Resilience,

(7) Working with others,

(8) Leadership.

The EPSO AST/SC competitions for secretaries will not test “Working with Other” competency and will only test 3 competencies.

What happens in an EPSO E-tray exam?

Candidates competing for a permanent position need to undergo three stages –admission, intermediate test and Assessment Centre.  In the admission stage (a.k.a. epso pre-selection) candidates are tested in the skills in verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning through computer-based testing (CBT).  From there, they move to the assessment of their skills in situational judgment using their secondary language with scenario-based activities. The top scorers go to the second stage – the EPSO E-tray – with the prerequisite that their profile meet the requirements.

The assessment stage consists of four tests. In the first test, candidates will need to respond to a case study in relevant fields. In the second test,  the candidates will take group exercise test, third test is the epso oral presentation, and the last is the epso comptency based interview. This test has to be taken in Brussels or Luxembourg.  The highest performers will be included in the reserved list from where the EU institutions recruit.

How is Epso E-Tray exam scored?

Epso E-tray answers are scored based on the competencies and measured through specific tasks.  For each competency a maximum of 10 points can be obtained.

 

How to prepare for EPSO E-Tray?

Every year, only 1,500-2,000 applicants are chosen and recruited to be part of the different EU institutions.  What should an aspiring candidate do to be part of the fortunate ones?  Here are a few tips to help you ace the E-tray test.

 

  • Preparation. Prepare yourself – mind, heart, and body. The exam requires a particular mindset to continuously open your mind to learning. You may have to sacrifice a bit of time for you to focus and learn as much as you can ahead of time. You also need to keep your body healthy in order to be awake and alert during your reviews and practice tests.

 

  • Research. Know which key skills you need to prioritize and which are of less priority. This will allow you to focus on significant tasks and identify situations that you need to be familiar with. The roles presented during Epso E-Tray are generic. You could be a Policy Officer for Nuclear science so you do not need in-depth knowledge is the field, but the better you understand the key skills tested and recognize them during the exam, the better prepared you are to answer all the e-tray questions.

 

  • Learn. Every day is a new opportunity to learn. Grasp the methodologies to identify the patterns, know the basics, and apply the shortcuts. You should not miss any relevant material and information. Gather strategies on how to successfully solve the required tasks of each competency. These will help you to answer the tests easier and perform better.

 

  • Intensive training is necessary for you to apply all the preparations and learning you gathered prior to your actual exam. Epsotraining offers several materials accessible for you to simulate what happens in an Epso E-tray exam. This will allow you to be more comfortable in the exam environment especially with the clicking of your answers on the screen. As you practice in answering simulation exams, you also need to practice to use your time wisely. Time management is a major factor in this exam.

 

  • Persistence. Your eyes should always be on the goal. Never let it slip. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted. No excuses. Be determined. Focus on what you want to achieve.  If you are focused enough, you’ll be able to handle the pressure with calmness and grace to follow instructions and to answer at your best.

 

Every candidate who wants to succeed and be an official of any EU institution should always look for an opportunity to learn and improve himself. Now is the time, and all we need to do is to take the first step. Practicing our EPSO E-tray tests is a good way to start!

category / Uncategorized

EPSO Competency-Based Interview – The Ultimate Guide

After successfully completing all your pre-selection tests, you will now attend the Assessment Center in Brussels or Luxembourg for one day. The tests at the Assessment Center include a case study, an oral presentation, a group exercise and the Epso competency based interview (structured interview).

These kind of competency based interviews are based on the concept that our past behavior and experience is the best indicator of our future performance.

This article will help you ace the structured interview without a hitch.

EPSO Assessment Center Structured Interview

The four tests you will take in the Assessment Centre are designed to test the following competencies:

  • Communicating
  • Prioritising and organising
  • Analysis and problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Delivering quality and results
  • Learning and development
  • Resilience
  • Leadership (AD profile)

In the EPSO competency-based interview you will be tested for several competencies out of the ones mentioned above depending on the competition and profile you have applied for. Usually, the tested competencies during this interview are Resilience, Working with Others, Leadership (AD profiles) and Learning & Development. The candidates are quizzed by two assessors for 40 minutes. They will ask you specific questions that help them determine your competencies. The questions are structured so that the assessors gets to understand the real you. Before each question, you will be told what competency is being tested.

EPSO Competency-Based Interview Questions

The interview is conducted in the second language that the candidate chooses. The assessor will tell you the competency being tested before asking the question. You should then come up with the best response backed by examples that demonstrate that you possess the relevant skills.

Examples of EPSO competency-based interview questions:

  • Testing your resilience: tell us about a major crisis that you have had to handle
  • Testing delivery of quality and results: tell us of a project that you worked on but did not achieve the expected results
  • Testing working in a team: have ever worked in a team where members did not get along well with each other?

Tips for Succeeding In EPSO Competency-Based Interview

The best responses are those that:

  • Paint a Situation with a vivid background in a way that the assessor gets all the important events
  • Describe the Specific Tasks that you handled while clearly describing the problems that arose.
  • Outline The Steps And Actions Taken to solve the problem and deal with the challenges
  • Clearly Define The Results achieved

During the Epso Competency-based interview your response ought to be short; delivered in under two minutes. It is very important that you don’t get lost in little details – you just need to focus on your personal contribution to the situation that you are describing. Try to include your views, emotions and motivation. Your assessors want to understand your background and see whether you possess sufficient levels of the competencies being tested.

Some other important considerations include:

  1. Sharpen Your Skills– carefully research each competency you are likely to be tested in the Epso competency-based interview and find the relevant experiences that apply to you. You must also know what is required in each category. Ensure you rehearse your skills until you feel you are ready.
  2. Sell Yourself– to be hired, your employer needs to see the reward in having you onboard. Therefore be sure to market yourself.
  3. Be Focused– show that you are focused and motivated but do not overthink. Be very specific when answering the questions. One way to stay focused is to listen carefully. Most people tend to believe that the quicker you answer, the better impression they will leave. NO, the more you listen and reflect on the question, the better the answer will be hence the better the impression you create.
  4. Keep Assessors Interested– the assessors will sniff out pretense so avoid being over-dramatic. Nevertheless, you have to keep your Epso competency-based interview Assessors’ interest by keeping them entertained not with deception but bring “life” to who you are and what you can offer to the EU Office.
  5. Set a New Standard– Be different in your approach. Try not to fake it but rather to raise the bar. Dress for success, think and speak with confidence. Don’t enter with anxiety because being anxious will cause you to fail at your opportunity. One trick to get over nervous breakdowns is to take your mind to places you are most comfortable and happy and also keep in your mind that the Assessors are normal people just like you.

All you should remember is that you are just having a conversation to test your skills. So relax, respond appropriately and generally raise the bar and success will be yours.