We have started experimenting with videos of all kinds, so below you can check a short, 15-second creative we did on EPSO exams and preparation. Like it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments!
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The winner of our latest caption contest plays on the fact that after enough preparation for the EPSO abstract reasoning test, shapes and objects in the physical world, from french fries to traffic lights, all start to seem like building blocks in a test.
Have you ever wanted to see through all the fog surrounding EPSO's selection procedures?
Online EU Training is here to help you with that. Our new infographics will tell you everything you need to know about getting a job within the EU - in less than 3 minutes!
Now that webcast is behind us, is there any specific issue you would like to have answered on our website?
· Is it necessary to have any kind of second language certificate?
No certification is necessary and language never has to be proven in an EPSO exam by documents, only by practically demonstrating your knowledge via e.g. verbal reasoning or the assessment centre.
· Are the AD7 tests significantly more difficult than the AD5s?
No, they are more likely the exact same level as the AD5, the difference is in the required work experience to qualify for AD7.
Read on for further questions and answers!
Some of our users who recently purchases our Situational Judgement (SJT) simulation tests expressed some concern about the sudden and unannounced change in the number of test questions included in the packages. We indeed made some changes to much better reflect the real EPSO SJT tests and we probably could have better explained the need for this change. I am taking the opportunity now to do just that.
Some EPSO exam candidates might have heard the name of 2010 Administrator (AD) exam applicant, Dimitrios Pachtitis. Mr. Pachtitis is the candidate who successfully challenged EPSO’s pre-selection method by highlighting the "mis-allocation of competences
In a somewhat startling about-turn, I have decided for the time being not to pursue secretarial jobs, having made it to the AST1 reserve list. Believe me, this has been a very difficult decision to make, but it feels like the right one for, at least for now. As much as I desperately want a job in the European Commission, so this is pretty heartbreaking, I have realised that to start in such a junior position would not make sense professionally, financially or...
So, I’m on the EPSO reserve list. Now what? In theory, I have a year in which to get a job in the EU institutions, otherwise I have to start all over again!
Having come this far, I’m not about to sit around and wait to see if I get ‘flagged’. Instead, I decided to consult...
For the whole of July, I had been gingerly logging in to my EPSO account every single day, waiting for the little red flag to say that I had ‘1 new email’. Well, the end of July came and went, with no sign of the assessment centre results. Just as I was about to start harassing the EPSO team and inundating their inbox with emails of complaint, I logged in to my account on Monday early August and there it was! (click to read more!)
The EPSO Assessment Centre - (Part 2).
The day began with the candidates being taken into a large meeting room, where the EPSO representative sat down with us to explain what was going to happen and give us our individual schedules. There would be four parts to the assessment, as outlined in the invitation letter... (click to read the full post!)
As a fun experiment, based on EPSO's Ongoing Exams page, we have created a beautiful word cloud with Worlde.net to see what the European Personnel Selection Office is mostly focusing on - in their words at least. Here it goes!
As you can see, the most important and commonly used words include: candidates, EPSO, Assessment,Invitation, Tests...
Following the CBT tests for the AST1 competition, I was extremely surprised and happy to receive a letter in my EPSO account inviting me to attend the assessment centre. However, when I looked at the date, my heart sank as I realised that I was not going to be available.
At that time I was extremely busy and the original assessment centre date coincided with one of my marking deadlines, so there was no possible way I could go. Fearing the worst (that it would just be ‘tough luck’), I emailed the EPSO candidate contact service...
Having decided a year ago to make a commitment to getting a job in the European Commission, I realised I had some serious work to do if I was going to be ready for the EPSO Competitions this year.
I started researching everything I could about the various stages of the process, and what competitions I would be eligible to apply for. For 2010-11, my options were Administrator (AD5-7) in the field of European Public Administration and Assistant in the secretarial field (AST1), so I applied...
EU job seekers are often wondering where is it better to live, Luxembourg or Belgium, given the choice?
We are in no position to decide on such a crucial matter, but here is a list of dilemmas you will face if you need to choose between these two eminent countries.
It's a cliché to say that technology is changing our world. But two linguistic innovations from Google may change the way European diversity can live on while bringing Europeans closer to each other.
The question until now was: if we want a democratic EU with 23 official languages, how can that work without compromising on efficiency? Look at the European patent: an issue unresolved for 40 years because European leaders could not agree which 3 or 5 languages will be the 'dominant' ones to translate all patents into - so a political stand-off followed.
Now, thanks to technology, Google offered to translate for free all European Patent Office filings via ...
2010 has been an eventful year at Arboreus Online EU Training:
(click to read on & see our promise to you for 2011)
The way most European institutions communicate and the mindset of the interactive web 2.0 communications is in utter contradiction. There is a compelling story to tell, but most EU institutions should learn how to say it.
True, the European Parliament is still much better than other EU bodies such as the Council of Ministers in understanding how online communications work: they have set up their own TV channel, regularly host live chat events, and try to speak the citizens' language, even if there is still a lot of room for improvement. EPSO, the recruitment office, has also been a rare exception within the Commission, but...
(Click to see the comparison chart of bureacratic vs. web 2.0 cultures!)
EPSO's recruitment reform from March 2010 has been a huge success. It has lowered the barrier to entry for many potential candidates by eliminating the much hated EU knowledge tests (think of "How many times has Viviane Reding been a European Commissioner until now?") and thus opening the door for some 37,000 applicants for the Administrator exams this spring.
But this new system has a huge inherent danger: many of the new recruits will know very little about how the EU institutions operate when they start working in them...
When was the last time you actually used a pen? We may be total geeks at Arboreus, but a few days ago when we had our executive meeting and looked for a pen, we realised that since we moved to our new office in the summer, we used a pen only once: to sign a contract with a bank some three months ago. Isn't that strange?!
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How likely you are to pass an EU competition?
In the age of Google and Facebook, being findable has become the most important asset you can have.
Websites are optimised to show up as the 1st hit in Google when specific words are searched. But what about your CV when those searching for an EU expert, a Greek translator, a consultant with experience in the European Parliament, type in those magic words into LinkedIn, a recruitment database, or EPSO's e-laureates list? Adding the right words into your profile description can make or break a job interview invitation.
The Maslow pyramid, or the hierarchy of needs, is a well known concept of the basic and higher-level needs of human beings. Did you know that the same exists for Internet users?
This week we have undergone one of the toughest days in the life of Online EU Tests (or rather our new brand, Online EU Training). Moving servers, upgrading to a new site, migrating data and fine-tuning a new system cuts into level 1 and 2 needs: internet was working for our users, but many times you could not connect, got interrupted or the system slowed down.
In the new EPSO recruitment system, it is even more clear that the EU wants to find people whose goal is to work for a cause, an issue that is larger than themselves. Meaning: don't come just for the money.
So I wonder if EU salaries were, say, 40-50% lower (thus similar to Belgian private sector wage levels), would people still be interested in working for European institutions?
We know the surveys that gauge candidates' motivation why they wish to become EU officials, and "salary" usually only appears in the 2nd or 3rd place. H...
...when opportunity meets preparedness.
Are you prepared enough for your EPSO exam so you can make the most of an unexpectedly straight-forward numercial reasoning question set?
Are you prepared for the job interview so when asked about showcasing your abilities, you can present the printout of the website where you had published an article a few months earlier?
Are you knowledgable about the EU so when a MEP you have been chasing for a traineeship interview passes by you in a Brussels restaurant, you can rise to the opportunity to ...
EPSO certainly wishes to attract a large pool of candidates for its contract agent (CAST) exams, but the way information is presented seems quite inefficient. Here are some pain points I suggest improving:
'Call for Expression of Interest’ : would an average candidate know whether this is a simple indication of interest or an actual application for a selection exam? Would be worth clarifying what each term means already on the main page in one bullet point so that prospective applicants can have a quick overview
CAST or cast: the expre...
Seth has written a great piece on Six things about deadlines. Though he essentially talks about business, it is worth considering for EPSO job applicants and EU affairs professionals, too.
Enough to look at his chart: when a deadline is announced, the eager ones rush and get it done right away. EPSO candidates sign up, create a profile, validate their applications and presto, it's done! Late risers, on the other hand, risk having a server slowdown, missing the last bus home from work to finalise their application two hours before the clos...
The EU Civil Service Tribunal recently handed down its decision in the Pachtitis v. European Commission case - brought by an unsuccessful candidate in a previous EPSO pre-selection. Although details are not yet clear, the decision may have far-reaching consequences with regards to how EPSO organises it selection procedures and may even force EPSO to offer a second chance to candidates who were not pre-selected in the recent AD competition.
- Pre-Selection is part of the competition
- EPSO is not competent to make sele...
Where are the people who understand what "online communication" or "digital tools" mean in Brussels? It seems that EU institutions and the majority of lobby organisations are stuck with Web 1.0, or let's be generous, Web 1.1.
Is the situation really that bad? After all, EU institutions do use Facebook and Eutube, Commissioners have blogs and the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) even uses Twitter from time to time and most public and private lobby bodies are present on the internet. A Brussels consultancy has released a Blog...
What’s common in a Lamborghini driver, a sensational tabloid headline, a spam email and a job interview candidate wearing a provocative dress?
It’s the message they convey: craving attention but lacking content.
Those who buy these cars, write these headlines, send these emails and put this outfit do manage to fool certain audiences. But times are changing and people are realising that depth cannot be exchanged for loudness.
A Mini is more attractive these days because it conveys a message of cuteness; a nice play-on-words ...
Has the BP oil spill reached Europe? Is the oil already covering EU institutions' websites? Here is an amazingly smart public affairs environmental campaign where you can check how the oil would affect the virtual world and make your voice heard in the real world!
(Disclaimer: the above screenshot was created with the www.instantoilspill.com website to raise awareness of their resourceful campaign. No harm is made or intended for any public website whatsoever.)
If you are aiming to get an EU affairs job in Brussels, you must act by the classic job market rules: you shall convince an employer that only you have the specialist knowledge they are seeking. This requires horizontal (generalist) and vertical (specialist) knowledge. Neither of the two is enough these days, so we decided to share some great ideas in the coming months on how to get an EU affairs job.
Let's see the first crucial element: find your niche.
What is a niche? It refers to a special segment of EU issues or a specialty that m...
We asked our Facebook fans why they are interested in getting an EU job and an amazing 39 answers were given. Here are the reasons why European job seekers are looking to work for the European Union in Brussels (only first names are shown for privacy) - a fascinating read!
I'M REALLY INTERESTED TO GET AN EU JOB BECAUSE...
1. " ... the salaries and benefits are excellent while the competences required and the content of the job are unclear, and there is plenty of unemployment in other sectors!" (Sophia)
2. "... no one in the EU in...
When EPSO announced its new selection procedures, it was welcomed by many with enthusiasm. Lowering the barrier to entry while selecting more suitable candidates via the Assessment Center by removing EU knowledge tests was a big relief for most people. But recruitment is not limited to EPSO: consider the (s)election of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), the European Commission President and other senior politicians. Maybe a change of procedures is the answer to the EU's problems?