RESOURCES

PROFILES

Administrators (AD5-AD8)

An administrator is a graduate with a generalist background and/or experience in public administration and policy. Your tasks will include: drafting policy analysis, implementing projects and programmes of work across Europe, coordinating work across departments and with external stakeholders, supporting decision-maker and managing human/financial resources. The policy sectors covered include administration, law, finance, economics, communications and science, translation and interpretation.

An administrator career ranges from grades AD5-AD16, with AD5 being the entry level grade for university graduates. Selection and recruitment may also be offered at higher grades AD6 or AD7 in more specialist roles. In this instance the applicant should be prepared to demonstrate several years’ relevant work experience.

Roles you can apply for at AD5-AD8 levels:

  • Administrators (AD – Generalists)
  • Administrators (AD – Specialists)
  • Lawyer-linguist (AD)
  • Translators (AD)
  • Interpreters (AD)

Administrators (AD9-AD12)

An administrator is a graduate with a generalist background and/or experience in public administration and policy. Your tasks will include: drafting policy analysis, implementing projects and programmes of work across Europe, coordinating work across departments and with external stakeholders, supporting decision-maker and managing human/financial resources. The policy sectors covered include administration, law, finance, economics, communications and science, translation and interpretation.

An administrator career ranges from grades AD5-AD16, with AD5 being the entry level grade for university graduates. Selection and recruitment may also be offered at higher grades AD6 or AD7 in more specialist roles. In this instance the applicant should be prepared to demonstrate several years’ relevant work experience.

At AD9-AD12 you can apply for a middle management position. Selection/recruitment at these grades requires previous management experience.

Administrators (AD13-AD16)

An administrator is a graduate with a generalist background and/or experience in public administration and policy. Your tasks will include: drafting policy analysis, implementing projects and programmes of work across Europe, coordinating work across departments and with external stakeholders, supporting decision-maker and managing human/financial resources. The policy sectors covered include administration, law, finance, economics, communications and science, translation and interpretation.

An administrator career ranges from grades AD5-AD16, with AD5 being the entry level grade for university graduates. Selection and recruitment may also be offered at higher grades AD6 or AD7 in more specialist roles. In this instance the applicant should be prepared to demonstrate several years’ relevant work experience.

At AD13-AD16 you can apply for a senior management position. Selection/recruitment at these grades requires previous management experience.

Assistant (AST) and secretary/clerk (AST-SC)

As an assistant you will typically be engaged in an executive or technical role in administration, finance, communication, research or policy development and implementation. An assistant career ranges from grades AST 1 to AST 11, with staff typically entering at grades AST 1 to AST 3.

As a secretary/clerk you will generally be involved in office management or administrative support at EU institutions.
A secretary or clerk career ranges from grade AST/SC 1 to AST/SC 6. New staff usually enter at grade AST/SC 1.

ADMINISTRATORS (AD5-AD8), ASSISTANTS & SECRETARIES

Application form of the EPSO profile

The application form is made up of four central questions:

  • Experience: how is your education and training relevant to this profile?
  • Interest: why did you decide to apply for European Institutions or agencies?
  • Your contribution to the EU: what specific contribution do you think you could make to the work of the EU?
  • Strengths: What are two of your main achievements?

Carmen can help you to:

  • Conceive and phrase your application to show assessors why you are the right person for the role.
  • Identify subjects of interest to the assessors and highlight key discussion points.
  • Demonstrate the role you want to play at the institution(s).
  • Understand and highlight your strengths, potential contribution, and the impact/relevance of past success.

Talent Screener (for specialist competitions only)

The Talent Screener assessment asks questions around your qualifications and experience which allow the selection board to rate your application against other candidates. You are expected to answer each question by describing only the main aspects of your education, training and professional experience in a maximum of 1,000 characters each.

The selection board will review your answers and candidates with the highest scores will be invited to the Assessment Centre. This process lays the groundwork for the next phase of the competition – providing relevant material that can be adjusted to the oral presentation and Q&A session during the specific competency interview.

Carmen can help you to:

  • Showcase your education, professional experience and expertise in order to gain the highest score possible.
  • Identify concrete real-life examples and present them in a way that reinforces your candidacy as a qualified field specialist.

 

 

Reasoning tests

Reasoning tests are a computer-based process that assess your abilities under time pressure. A minimum pass mark is required for some tests (this will be stated in the specific competition notice). Candidates with the highest scores will be invited to join the next stage of the competition.

You will be asked to demonstrate skills in:

  • Verbal reasoning (the ability to think logically and understand verbal information).
  • Numerical reasoning (the ability to think logically and understand numerical information).
  • Abstract reasoning (the ability to think logically and understand relationships between concepts free from linguistic, spatial or numerical elements).
  • Situational analysis (behaviour in hypothetical but realistic work-based scenarios which require decision making).

Assistants:

  • Professional skills: looks for accuracy, precision, attention to detail and the ability to work under time pressure!
  • Professional skills: assesses your ability to prioritise and organise a complex and demanding workload.

Carmen can help you to:

  • Organise your preparations and employ successful practice methods.
  • Improve your performance through direct supervision, tailored feedback and 1-1 support.

E-tray

This is a computer-based test using documents within a provided mailbox. It should be completed within a 50 minute time period.

You will be assessed against the following competencies:

  • Analysis and problem solving.
  • Delivering quality and results.
  • Prioritisation and organisational skills.
  • Working together.

Carmen can help you to:

  • Create strategies to read, organise and respond to the information provided in a timely and effective way.
  • Organise your ideas and structure content to support your presented answers.

Case study

This is a written exercise based on provided information around a given (EU-related) scenario. You have 90 minutes to present your response to the issues and challenges raised.

You will be assessed against the following competencies:

  • Situation analysis and problem solving.
  • Communication.
  • Delivering quality and results.
  • Prioritisation and organisational skills.
  • Knowledge of the main language.

Carmen can help you to:

  • Create strategies to read, organise and respond to provided information.
  • Organise your ideas and structure content to present a high-quality document within the given time frame.

 

Oral presentation

This exercise will take place remotely until further notice.

The oral presentation requires you to formulate, present and defend your point of view on a set of specific issues within a well defined context. Presentations will be delivered to your immediate superior (played by an assessor) and followed by a question and answer session.

Carmen can help you to:

  • Organise your ideas and structure content so that you can prepare and deliver a high-quality oral presentation.
  • Prepare for and address on-the-spot questions in a competent and professional manner.

Motivational interview

This exercise will take place remotely until further notice. 

During this interview you will be expected to answer two questions:

  • Why did you apply? (Question about the position).
  • Why are you a good candidate for the position? (Question about yourself).

Carmen can help you to:

  • Prepare answers that help your assessors understand and appreciate why you applied for this job.
  • Demonstrate how your education, professional experience and character traits fit the role specification.
  • Highlight your commitment to the EU project and European public service.

Structured interview (general competencies)

This exercise will take place remotely until further notice. 

This exercise is designed to gather relevant information on your general competencies in a formal and structured way. The interview will be conducted by at least two assessors.

You will be assessed against the following competencies:

  • Communication skills.
  • Delivering quality and results.
  • Learning and development.
  • Resilience.
  • Working together.
  • Leadership.

Carmen can help you to:

  • Read, organise and understand the definition of each competency according to the notice of competition.
  • Understand and organise the benefits of your experience and its application to this new professional context.
  • Structure your responses and deliver strong and persuasive answers to on-the-spot questions.
  • Refine and present the right professional image.

Situational Competency Based Interview (SCBI)

The Situational Competency Based Interview (SCBI) aims to assess general competencies by asking you how you would react in a specific situation based on a briefing sent 2-3 weeks in advance. During the online meeting with the interviewer you will play the role of replacing a colleague and you will assume responsibility for various tasks and situations.

Observed by one interviewer, you will be assessed against some general competencies stated in the notice of your competition.

Carmen can help you to:

  • Prepare for the competences assessed by the SCBI.
  • Organise, structure and present your ideas in a manner conducive to the given situation.
  • Showcase your strengths and learn how to address challenges in a constructive and professional manner.

EPSO: Competency Framework for AST / AD5-AD8

Analysis and problem solving

You show this ability if you can:

  • Deal with large amounts of information.
  • Identify critical facts in complex issues.
  • Develop creative and practical solutions.

Communication

You show this ability if you can:

  • Communicate clearly and precisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Engage with an audience.
  • Persuade, influence and negotiate with others.

Delivering quality and results

You show this ability if you can:

  • Take personal responsibility and initiative.
  • Deliver work to a high quality standard and within set procedures.
  • Effectively balance quality with deadlines.
  • Find pragmatic solutions to issues and challenges.

Learning and development

You show this ability if you can:

  • Develop personal skills and knowledge of the organisation and its environment.
  • Learn from mistakes.
  • Respond to feedback from colleagues.
  • Improve efficiency and efficacy at a personal and organisational level

Prioritising and organising

You show this ability if you can:

  • Prioritise tasks effectively.
  • Work flexibly and delegate appropriately.
  • Organise your workload efficiently.
  • Achieve results in difficult conditions

Resilience

You show this ability if you can:

  • Remain effective under a heavy workload.
  • Handle organisational frustrations positively.
  • Adapt to a changing work environment.
  • Stay calm under pressure.

Working with others

You show this ability if you can:

  • Work cooperatively in teams and across organisational boundaries.
  • Respect differences between people.
  • Support others.
  • Work together for a greater goal and common vision.

Leadership (only AD)

You show this ability if you can:

  • Provide ideas to find a common solution.
  • Support colleagues to express their ideas.
  • Inspire colleagues to participate in discussions in a non-assertive way.
  • Steer the conversation while letting everyone speak and be heard.

ADMINISTRATORS AD9-AD12

Assessment Centre (AD9-AD12)

Competency-based interviews
This is an active discussion between assessor and candidate that will explore your professional experience and response to a range of given situations.

Simulation exercises
There are two main types of simulation exercise:

  • Management exercise: This consists of two parts, an interactive session (oral exercise) with a member of your team (played by the assessor), followed by a written exercise (a short meeting report for your hierarchy).
  • Analysis and presentation exercise: This is an oral exercise in which you will be asked to formulate, present and defend your point of view on a set of specific issues within a well-defined context. Presentations will be delivered to your immediate superior (played by an assessor) and followed by a question and answer session.

Personality questionnaire
The personality questionnaire works to evaluate personal attributes and competencies across a range of different functions.

Abstract reasoning test
A non-verbal test to provide an objective assessment of your potential.

EPSO: Competency Framework for AD9-AD12

Information management

Integrating
Synthetically integrating and linking various data into a coherent and relevant whole, formulating alternatives, and transforming this synthesis and these alternatives into a valuable and correct conclusion.

Task management

Managing the organisation
Developing and setting up processes and structures across various fields of activities. Drawing up and managing budgets in a realistic and consistent way. Introducing and supervising changes, trying out new methods for improvement.

Steering
Efficiently assessing and managing time as well as material, human and financial resources, including regular follow-ups and corrective interventions in accordance with the objectives to be reached.

People management

Motivating
Acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of others, adjusting one’s own leadership style to them and entrusting the right people with the right responsibilities to optimise their performance.

Guiding people
Ensuring that everyone behaves appropriately by giving clear instructions, by monitoring results and taking corrective measures in accordance with the objectives and the available means.

Interpersonal management

Influencing
Reaching goals by making a good impression, getting others to accept ideas by using convincing arguments, creating win-win situations and responding efficiently to one’s interlocutors or audience.

Personal management

Coping
Responding calmly to frustrations, obstacles and opposition, controlling one’s emotions and responding to criticism in a constructive way, while keeping the objectives in mind.

ADMINISTRATORS AD13-AD16

Assessment Centre (AD13-AD16)

An appointment at the Assessment Centre can be expected to last eight hours (09:00-17:00), with group size varying from one to eight people. The day is divided into approximately 2 hours of solo work, 1 hr 15 minutes of group work, 2 hours of one-to-one assessment and 2 hrs 45 minutes of preparatory reflection and/or relaxation time.

Pre-assessment Centre activities

  • Personality questionnaire: This requires you to rank a series of multiple-choice questions to provide an accurate picture of your personality and managerial abilities.
  • Management experience overview questionnaire: You are required to describe selected experiences from previous management activities as well as expectations regarding your future professional development.

Assessment Centre activities

  • Written exercise: You will be given background information describing a situation that might occur as part of your senior management function. You will be asked to develop a solution and answer a series of questions in writing.
  • Individual assessment interview: The structured interview takes 1 hr and 15 minutes. All interviews follow the same format and are based on past professional experience.
  • Business briefing exercise: You will be given background information in the form of a project update. During the allotted preparation time, you will plan your approach for a briefing and Q&A session with a hierarchical superior.
  • Conceptual test: You must solve a series of conceptual problems through a computer-based application.
  • Group business case: After an individual preparation, you will sit together with other participants for a group discussion followed by self-reflection. All participants get the same set of information describing a business situation and the need for changes to be conducted. During the group discussion, the group will have to explain its understanding of the situation and the actions to be taken. If the number of participants does not allow for group discussion, a one-to-one role play ensuring consistency across the board of activities will be run.

Carmen can help you to:

  • Draft texts for the questionnaires and application forms.
  • Strategise the drafting of your briefing report in a high pressure environment.
  • Present organisational changes to your board under high pressure.
  • Use your own professional experience to illustrate your expertise in desired competency areas.
  • Interact with others in the best way possible.
  • Present your best characteristics during the whole assessment centre day.

EPSO: Competency Framework for AD13-AD16

Information management

Developing Vision
Developing a vision and mission with positive middle and long-term impact, based on the integration of ambiguous and incomplete information. Using this vision as input for a solid strategic plan.

Conceptualising
Conceptualising by thinking in global terms about systems and processes. Deriving concrete and practical solutions and workable recommendations and conclusions from abstract concepts.

Task management

Managing the organisation
Developing and setting up processes and structures across various fields of activities. Drawing up and managing budgets in a realistic and consistent way. Introducing and supervising changes, trying our new methods for improvement.

Organising
Translating the strategy or operational policies into measurable objectives. Assessing correctly possible future obstacles and taking precise action accordingly. Developing well organised plans, along logical stages and based on priorities. Deploying the required resources correctly.

Deciding 
Taking the right decisions based on (in)sufficient information, taking into account the pros and cons and the various possible options. Initiating goal-oriented actions based on an idea and aimed at achieving objectives. 

People management

Inspiring
Inspiring others in the long term based on the vision. Spreading and radiating the organisation’s vision and values. Acting as a role model to others by setting an example in the organisation.

Directing Teams
Directing (multidisciplinary) teams by guiding all members to the same objective and by co-ordinating the group activities. Indicating the direction in which to develop and steering people in that direction. Assessing competencies correctly and using people in the most effective way.

Building Teams
Building (multidisciplinary) teams by forging a solid team and creating team commitment. Dealing with conflicts in a constructive and decisive manner. Empowering team members by displaying an open attitude and consulting them on issues that matter.

Interpersonal management

Influencing
Convincing others of ideas and inciting them to act. Achieving a set goal by using conclusive arguments, accepting realistic compromises and creating a win-win situation. Reacting to the audience by adapting one’s communication style, by handling remarks and questions efficiently and by keeping the attention focused. 

Personal management

Achieving Objectives
Recognising opportunities and engaging in action at the right time in order to achieve results. Generating results y acting in a focused way and within the deadlines. Taking responsibility for one’s professional actions.