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EPSO/AD/310/15: Prepare for the EPSO Tests!

EPSO/AD/310/15: 40 new positions on the reserve list!
Are you interested in working for the European Union? Some new EPSO AD7 Positions have just opened up so take your chance now! Here we’ll detail the AD7 positions, the different steps of the application process and point you in the right direction for expert guidance.

What are these new positions?

In the EPSO AD7 bracket there are three different competitions of which you can only apply to one of them at a time. They are:

Curator: 20 positions
Museum educator: 15 positions
Conservator - conservation and collection manager: 5 positions

What you need to apply:

You need to have a complete mastery (C1) in any one of the 24 official EU languages and vantage or upper intermediate (B2) of English, French or German as your second language. As well as this you need at least 4 years’ completed university studies attested by a diploma in history, or a similar related field, followed by at least 6 years’ professional experience in a field related to the profile.

EPSO Application process

There are a number of different sections in the application process and they are outlined below. If you want more information on any of them see our EPSO section on the JTP website.

Online application form: Here you have to complete an exhaustive application form along with some EPSO competency questions. These are important for later on in the process as they are used to narrow down the pool of applicants. The selection criteria are detailed on the EPSO notice of competition. There are 12 criteria for Curators and Conservator positions and 11 for the Museum educator position. These include details such as having the relevant PhD and professional experience in the position you are applying for. For each question you are given a score out of four and only the highest scorers will be accepted to the next stage of the EPSO assessment centre.

EPSO Computer Based Tests

Whilst these can theoretically be administered at the EPSO assessment centre (if the threshold of applicants isn't reached) in practice this rarely happens so you will take them at a separate testing centre in one the many locations throughout Europe. You will take these tests in your first language.

The tests are as follows:
The pass mark for the EPSO numerical and abstract reasoning tests is combined and is 10/20. This theoretically means that if you score 10/10 in one of the tests you will have passed.

When taking these tests it is important to remember that you are up against stiff competition. In fact, whether your answers in the talent screener are good, bad, or ugly makes no difference here. Those answers will only be read if you are in the top 50-60 applicants. Therefore you have to make sure you are fully prepared for these tests in order to do yourself justice. Even if you had the skills before, as these are experienced positions it is highly unlikely that you have had to do anything like this for a long period of time. It is thus imperative that you practice the skills and methods needed to succeed in these tests. Try our EPSO simulation tests to refresh your memory and go into the testing centre with confidence.

EPSO Assessment Centre

If you have done well enough in the EPSO computer based tests and the EPSO talent screener you will be invited to Brussels to take part in the assessment centre. The different tasks and evaluations that you sit assess you using eight different competencies. These are outlined in the table below. For a detailed look at the EPSO competency framework, see our blog. You need to score at least 3/10 for each competency and overall you need 40/80 to be considered.

Case StudyGroup ExerciseGeneral competency-based interview
Analysis and problem-solving
Communicating
Delivering quality and results
Learning and development
Prioritising and organising
Resilience
Working with others
Leadership

As well as the above tasks you also have a specific competency-based interview. In general, the competencies tested here are those that have already been assessed in the general interview. Here though there is a very different slant where they want to know in a more exact fashion how you would use the skills in your job, how you would go about dealing with a specific problem. For more information on dealing with competency based interviews see the JTP website.

How can we help you?

Here at JobTestPrep we have many different practice EPSO simulation tests and drills that give you the understanding and necessary skill you need to perform well in the EPSO tests. We hope you have enjoyed this blog and look forward to helping you in the EPSO concours. Good Luck!

Prepare for the new EPSO AST 3 Competitions

New EPSO AST 3 Positions Available!
15 new EPSO AST 3 positions have been offered in the curator and conservation and collection management assistant roles in the EU. Learn about the EPSO selection process for these two competitions and get practice materials so you’ll be fully prepared.

What are the EPSO Jobs?

There are two different positions in this competition, both in the EPSO/AST/136/15 bracket. They are:

Assistant curator (AST 3): 10 positions 

In this position you will work with the administrator responsible for the development of museum exhibitions, notably for temporary and travelling exhibitions, updating the permanent exhibition, researching content and objects, enriching the museum collection and drafting related publications. 

Conservation and collection management assistant (AST 3): 5 positions

In this position you will assist with preserving the HEH collection and objects on loan, monitoring storage and exhibition environment as well as other related tasks.

What is the EPSO selection process?

There are three main sections of the EPSO selection process which we will expand on below:

EPSO Application Form: There are a number of different sections to this application form. Apart from the basic personal information you also have to complete a number of motivational questions and a talent screener. The questions on the motivational section include:
  • How is your education and experience relevant to this particular profile?
  • What specific contribution do you think you could make to the work of the European institutions and agencies?
  • Outline two of your main achievements. Describe what they are, the process you went through and their positive outcomes for you and for others.
You have a maximum of 2000 characters to complete your answers so they have to be to the point as well as show exactly why you are worthy of an EPSO job. As well as this you have to complete a talent screener which asks various questions on the job position itself. The questions focus on your skills and abilities performing such roles in the past and your relevant scholastic achievements. This is a very important section as it is scored. Only the top 50-60 applicants are invited to the EPSO assessment centre and if your score isn’t high enough in the EPSO talent screener you will not be invited.

EPSO Multiple Choice Computer Based Tests

There are three different tests in this section on your EPSO selection process. These tests are taken in your first language and will be administered in one the Prometric testing centres in any one of the European countries.

The tests are:

TestNumber of QuestionsPass mark
Verbal Reasoning20 in 35 mins10/20
Numerical Reasoning10 in 20 mins10/20
Abstract Reasoning10 in 10 mins10/20

When taking these tests it is important to remember that you are up against stiff competition. Scraping the pass mark will not guarantee you anything apart from a rejection. The best way to prepare yourself for these tests is taking EPSO simulation tests that give you the skills and knowledge needed to really do well. Try our EPSO simulation tests to gain the skills and confidence to go into the testing centre with confidence.

EPSO Assessment Centre

If you have been one of the highest scorers in the EPSO tests and talent screener you will be invited to attend the assessment centre in Brussels. There are four separate assessments during the day. Each of them assesses you on specific competencies detailed in the EPSO competency framework. For more information on the specific competencies that you are tested on for each of the exercises see the AD blog on the same competition. They activities you will face are:

Group exercise: You are given a brief that is approximately 15 pages long. You have 15 minutes to go through the information followed by a 50 minute discussion.

Case Study: As above you are given a brief that is about 15-20 pages in length. You have 90 minutes to compose a report on the subject and are given specific guidelines telling you how you should do so. For more information and to get expert guidance see our dedicated page.

General competency- based interview: This is a panel interview with two assessors. You are asked questions on specific competencies in a general way. For example, you will be asked about "Resilience": Tell me about a time when you showed resilience. Here you have to answer in a general way, not specific to the position you are applying for.

Specific competency- based interview: Similar to the previous interview this assesses you on the competencies. However here you have to give competency examples of situations directly relating to the job. As above, you should answer the questions in the STAR method as this showcases your skills in the most complete fashion.

How can I prepare for this EPSO Competition?

At JobTestPrep we have a plethora of different EPSO preparation packages for both the EPSO tests and assessment centre. Feel free to browse through our products. If you have any questions concerning this or any other EPSO competition please contact us and we will do our best to answer within 24 hours. Looking forward to having you on board!

The New Face of Assessment Tests: Revelian Theme Park Hero and Wasabi Waiter

Revelian's Theme Park Hero Games Based Assessment
Screenshot taken from https://youtu.be/fq9VI3MCtQM

The New Face of Assessment Tests

A growing trend in recruitment these days is gamification, or the gamification of recruitment. While this may sound complicated and boring, it’s actually easy and fun! Rather than using old fashioned interviews and assessment tests, companies are using online games to assess potential hires for the skills and competencies they’re looking for. This is a win-win situation as it allows those of us who normally freeze up in interviews and on tests to have a better shot at getting the job and cuts the recruitment process much shorter (which means quicker results for those eager to hear!).

Why Use Game Based Assessments?

Ordinarily, when you are applying for a job where assessments are used, tests are either sent to you to be sat at home or you sit the tests at an assessment centre. These can be challenging and nerve-wracking to say the least and many applicants complain that they feel aptitude tests are not a good indicator of their abilities.

Assessment companies have developed a solution to this issue with game based assessments. These veer away from the normal test format, presenting you with different games to play and solve, rather than those old multiple choice tests we’ve seen a thousand times. This takes away from the usual pressure and anxiety surrounding the assessments.

There’s also something in it for the employers, who are often unsatisfied with the results they receive from candidates’ assessments. Companies are often frustrated when applicants come through the recruitment process with flying colors but don’t meet expectations once they begin working (Bloomberg). Game based assessments match up results from applicants with results from good employees to see how well they fit the mold.

Revelian’s Theme Park Hero

Let’s look at an example of a traditional assessment company making strides with their new game. Revelian, formerly OneTest, is a large provider of cognitive ability tests in Australia and is used in the UK as well. Previously, Revelian used numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning tests to assess candidates’ skills in different areas relevant to the job. In the past year, Revelian has begun using a new type of “test”, a gamified recruitment assessment called Theme Park Hero.

How to Play

Revelian’s Theme Park Hero consists of four games or tasks which must be completed in your role as park manager. The water park designer features a puzzle with Tetris-like shapes which you have to fit into the allotted space, testing your spatial reasoning abilities. The Balloon Stall shows you a series of words and you need to name the colour the word is written in. The Blueprints section requires you to recreate an image which has been broken into squares. And Tricky Tokens is a test of your mental math skills.

Tired of preparing and retaking the same aptitude tests each time you apply for a job? The beauty of Theme Park Hero is that you only take the assessment once a year, which gives the companies an honest picture of your talents rather than allowing you to retake the test over and over, a phenomenon that can lead to receiving false positives. Instead of retesting each time, each candidate is registered and once they have received their results, that data can be sent on to other companies who are also using the same assessment.

If you are applying to Australian employers like AMP, the Australian Taxation Office, KPMG Australia and the Public Commission, Revelian Theme Park Hero is coming your way.

Serving Up an Assessment

Revelian is also the distributor for another up and coming game-based assessment in Australia called Wasabi Waiter created by Knack. Knack is an app that tracks data from games that you play on the app to see what “knacks” or talents you have that employers look for. Once you have a profile listing your “knacks”, you can apply for jobs through the app! Aside from Wasabi Waiter, the app includes Meta Maze and Balloon Brigade Blitz. Like Theme Park Hero, each of these games focuses on a specific skill set such as spatial reasoning, ability to focus and problem solving. Big companies like American Express, Nielsen and Kimberly Clark are already using games to evaluate applicants.

Wasabi Waiter - How to Play

Wasabi Waiter Game Based Assessment
Image from hbr.org
Wasabi Waiter places the player as a waiter in a busy sushi restaurant. Your job is to read the emotions of each customer who comes in (happy, sad, surprised, angry) and serve a plate of sushi based on your reading. As you get farther into the game, more and more customers come in and you have less and less time to serve each one. Once you have completed the game, Knack shows you a score of a number of competencies, such as strategic, fast learner and problem solver, just a few of your knacks.

Game based assessments like Revelian and Wasabi Waiter are making the assessment stage of job applications more enjoyable and productive for both applicants and employers. With games to play and puzzles to solve, the usual pressure melts away and you give employers a fuller picture of your abilities.

Are you facing a game based assessment like Theme Park Hero or Wasabi Warrior? Get advice from the JobTestPrep team by emailing us at info@jobtestprep.co.uk

EPSO Competency Framework: How to Prepare?

The EPSO Competency Framework - Prepare for your EPSO Tests
Are you thinking of applying for a job in the European Union and expect to take the EPSO test in 2015? Read on and learn about the EPSO competency framework so you’ll know how to approach the different tests.

Whether you expect to take the EPSO administrator or assistant level tests you need to go through many different tests and exercises. Each one of these EPSO tests measures you up against the EPSO competency framework. In fact, you have to demonstrate that you possess each and every one of them to have a chance of making it to the EPSO reserve list. Here we will go through these competencies and point out where they are assessed.

EPSO Competencies – Broken Down

There are eight competencies in the framework. They are:

Analysis and Problem Solving: Identify the critical facts in complex issues and develop creative and practical solutions. This competency is assessed through the case studye-tray and oral presentation. For example in the oral presentation you are given a brief that contains much information. You have to find the critical facts and craft creative and practical solution ideas.

Communicating: Communicate clearly and precisely both orally and in writing. During your case study, presentation and structured interview you must show that you have good communication skills. This means that you must be clear, to the point, and demonstrate that you have good communication skills. There is limited time for the EPSO tests and tasks and you have to use it well to ensure you cover all aspects of the task. This means that you have to be to the point without any extra waffle in your writing, presentation or speech.

Delivering Quality and Results: Take personal responsibility and initiative for delivering work to a high standard of quality within set procedures. In both the EPSO case study and the e-tray you have to demonstrate this competency.

Learning and Development: Develop and improve personal skills and knowledge of the organisation and its environment. During the group exercise and interviews you have to show that you can get on with the people you are working with. In the group exercise you should show your people skills with other “co-workers” and in the interview in your interaction with the assessors. You need to showcase your personal skills on an interpersonal level in order to do well regarding this competency.

Prioritising and Organising: Prioritise the most important tasks, work flexibly and organise own workload efficiently. Used in the assessment of your e-tray, group exercise and interview. This is particularly relevant in the EPSO e-tray as there is often more information than you can actually take in in the time given. You therefore need to demonstrate that you prioritise the important information, selecting the wheat from the chaff and organise it to form complete solutions to problems.

Resilience: Remain effective under a heavy workload, handle organisational frustrations positively and adapt to a changing work environment. This is used in the assessment of your group exercise, structured interview and oral presentation. Following your actual presentation there is a 10 minute question and answer session with the two assessors. They are looking for clear answers and your ability to hold your own in a discussion. If you feel that you have a good point even if they are trying to find holes in it you must show your resilience and stand up for your opinion. This is actually what they want. They want to hear fresh ideas and if you can demonstrate them without giving in to them you are showing true resilience.

Working with Others: Work cooperatively with others in teams and across organisational boundaries and respect differences between people. During your group exercise, e-tray, and structured interview you need to demonstrate this skill. Interestingly, your skills at working with others are measured both in person and with other people through different means. In a job you have many different types of interactions, with people on a higher level than you such as your boss and with people who work with you on a day to day basis. More than this, you communicate both via face to face communication and with email correspondence as well. Therefore the EPSO competency framework includes the assessment of these skills in all of the areas.

Leadership (for administrators only): Manage, develop and motivate people to achieve results.
Your leadership skills are assessed during the interview and group exercise. The assessors are looking for how well you can influence others and lead by example in a group setting or from proven past experience.

How can we help?

At JobTestPrep we can prepare you for your EPSO competition whether for the EPSO AD or AST levels. Whilst preparing thoroughly for each new assessment you can pay attention to the competencies that you are assessed on, so that they come naturally when it comes to the actual assessments. We hope you have enjoyed this discussion and it has given you a deeper understanding of the EPSO competencies.

If you have any questions regarding anything on EPSO, please let us know and we will try to get back to you within 24 hours.

EPSO AD competitions: EPSO/AD/304-307/15 for Lawyer-linguists: Court of Justice AD -7

EPSO/AD/304-307/15 for Lawyer-linguists: Court of Justice AD -7
Do you want to be a lawyer linguist in the EU? Find out about the recruitment process and prepare for the EPSO tests below.

52 new positions have been made available through the following EPSO competitions:

EPSO/AD/304/15 — BG (Bulgarian): 10
EPSO/AD/305/15 — ES (Spanish): 15
EPSO/AD/306/15 — FR (French): 15
EPSO/AD/307/15 — IT (Italian): 12

What do you need to apply?

In order to apply to any of the above competitions you must be a lawyer with the ability to translate legal/legislative texts into at least two other languages. Your second language (French) and third languages must be at the C1 level. This is defined as the ability to:
  • Understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning.
  • Express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
  • Use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
  • Produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
(The highest level is C2 which is defined as a mastery or proficiency.)

As there are only a small number of positions available for each competition, it is likely that you will be screened from the very outset. This means that if there are 20 times more applications than places you will face a further screening. (For example: There are 10 places available for the EPSO/AD/304/15 competition; 10 × 20 = 200. If there are more than 200 applications then there is a screening of your application form as well.)

Pre-Selection for EPSO AD 7 Competitions

If the number of applications exceeds the threshold you will be judged on the following selection criteria:
  • Professional experience in the field of legal translation.
  • Professional experience of drafting legal texts.
  • Professional legal experience acquired in a business environment.
  • Some kind of qualification in translation.
  • Knowledge of other European languages.

What EPSO Tests do I need to pass?

There are a number of different EPSO tests that you need to pass in order to get through this EPSO concours. There are two different sections to these tests. No more than 20 times the number of places will be asked to take stage one of these tests, e.g. for EPSO/AD/305/15 the maximum number of candidates taking these two tests is 15 × 20 = 300. For the second stage the maximum is 4.5 e.g. 15 × 4.5 = 68 candidates, which means that these tests are used as a way of removing a large proportion of applicants, and you will want to be at your best to ensure that you are not one of them.

Stage 1: EPSO Translation Test

There are two tests in this section; each one assesses your language skills. In the EPSO translation tests you have to translate a passage from your first language into your second and third languages. The time limit for each of these tests is 110 minutes. You have to score at least 50% (40/80) in each of the tests to have any chance of being invited to the next stage of the EPSO concours.

Stage 2: EPSO Assessment Stage

EPSO Verbal Reasoning test: Taken in your first language, this is a 20 question test to be taken in 35 minutes. The pass mark is 50%. Learn about the principles of this test on our verbal reasoning page.

EPSO Numerical Reasoning test: Also in your first language, this 10 question test gives you a time limit of 20 minutes. To learn more about this test and get preparation see our dedicated pages.

EPSO Abstract Reasoning Test: In this test you have to answer 10 questions in a 10 minute time frame. Learning how to answer these questions is tricky so see our dedicated pages for tips and tricks and get our EPSO training pack for complete preparation.

What are the EPSO Assessment Centre exercises?

There are three tests at the EPSO assessment centre and each of them is used to assess you against a specific competency. You need to score highly for each and every section of the test so make sure you are fully prepared:

Group Exercise: Assesses you on analysis and problem solving, delivering quality and results, learning and development, and prioritising and organising. Learn more about these EPSO assessment exercises here.

General EPSO interview and a separate competency-based interview: Assessing the following competencies:
  • Communicating
  • Resilience
  • Working with others
  • Leadership
Each of the competencies is marked out of 10. You need to score at least 3 for each one as well as score at least 40 out of 80 for the competencies. If you score highly enough on each of the competencies you will be offered a place on the reserve list. The deadline for these AD competitions is  23rd June 2015.

How can we help?

Preparing for each stage of the EPSO concours is challenging. At JobTestPrep we have many materials to ensure you go into your EPSO tests in the best possible way. We hope you have enjoyed this blog and look forward to helping you perform at your best with our EPSO training packs.