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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.