preparation for the assessment centre for linguists | EU Training

Hello, I applied for the position of linguistic assistant and I wanted to check the preparation this website offers for the assessment centre which is the next stage. 

When I go to the linguist category in products, I don't see anything about the assessment centre. 

Am I supposed to prepare on the exercices, e-tray and case study, indicated for the assistants?

Best regards, 

 

Hi,

David @ EU Training Tue, 04/03/2018 - 17:08

Hi,

According to the Notice of Competition there will be no intermediate phase for the Linguistic Assistant competition, so we do not offer any E-Trays for this profile.

Our case study are generic and serve as a useful preparation tool for any EPSO competition. Currently we have 8 English and 2 French case studies available in our database and they all have different topics. They are available under this link.

We also offer classroom trainings and master classes for simulating the other components of the assessment centre, you can find more information about these services here.

Hope this helps.

David

Hi, 

frynivrettou@yahoo.com Fri, 05/04/2018 - 10:51

Hi, 

is there anyone who sat the MCQ for linguistic assistants? I was just informed I passed, so I guess I just wait now to see if they call me for the assessment phase. I would also like to add that the Language Comprehension tests offered in the site seemed to me much easier than the actual test. The difficulty level and the length of the exam test were quite different.

Best regards

Hi, 

BorySD Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:51

Hi, 

I passed too. I was also suprised by the Language Compréhension test and found it to be more difficult than I expected. 

Best regards, 

 

Hello everyone

mpapamar18_116472 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:07

Hello everyone

I was disappointed with my results because as it turns out the verbal and language tests didn't go as I had expected.

Nevertheless, they gave me a notice that I got the pass mark. But I don't know whether I wiil be called for the next phas eor not. How many days after the announcement of the results are we supposed to get notified? And in case we didn't actually make it to the second phase, will we get a notification also informing us that we didn't make it and that we are in the reserve list?

It would help me a lot if someone had an answer to these questions .

Thank you all

Good luck to all

All the best

Maria 

I'm glad you agree about the

frynivrettou@yahoo.com Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:31

I'm glad you agree about the test because I was really surprised when I saw it. Do you, by any chance, know when to expect news ?

I did a little research and

BorySD Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:47

I did a little research and apparently we will be told approximately two weeks after the communication of the QCM results. I only found that information in the forum conversations so I don't know how reliable it is. 

I have been trying to find

mpapamar18_116472 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:54

I have been trying to find what a possible pass mark in order to pass to the next phase is. I guess that the highest score is 52 out of the 52. But how many points less can allow you to go to the second phase? I didn t expect to lose so many points in verbal and language. I got really disappointed. Honestly I find it pretty impossible to make it to the next phase. But his to try and keep my moral high I thought to ask if you know anything more.

once more I wish the best to all

bed regards

 

I have been trying to find

mpapamar18_116472 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:56

I have been trying to find what a possible pass mark in order to pass to the next phase is. I guess that the highest score is 52 out of the 52. But how many points less can allow you to go to the second phase? I didn t expect to lose so many points in verbal and language. I got really disappointed. Honestly I find it pretty impossible to make it to the next phase. But his to try and keep my moral high I thought to ask if you know anything more.

once more I wish the best to all

bed regards

 

The highest score is 52 out

BorySD Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:34

The highest score is 52 out of 52. But nobody knows, I think, what is the pass mark yet.We all will find out hopefully in the next few weeks.

Also I don't know if the pass is the same for all Linguistic assistant profiles. 

It seems to me that it can vary a little bit depending on the level of the candidates and the number of available positions. 

Good luck to everyone!

Best regards

Hi all,

Earl-Gray Fri, 05/04/2018 - 21:47

Hi all,

I'm a Linguistic Assistant laureate and given the lack of information regarding this position I'll try my best to answer your questions.

'Am I supposed to prepare on the exercices, e-tray and case study, indicated for the assistants?' -- Hard training, easy combat. Your best bet is to use any and all resources in preparation for the case study. There's no e-tray.

'Do you, by any chance, know when to expect news?' -- In my experience, the timeline went like this: end of June - MCQ, end of Sept. - MCQ results, beginning of Oct. - admission to AC, end of Oct. - invitation to AC & case study (two separate dates), mid-March next year - competition results

'How many days after the announcement of the results are we supposed to get notified?' -- Approximately 3 weeks (to be exact, 20 days in my case)

'will we get a notification also informing us that we didn't make it and that we are in the reserve list?' -- As far as I know, you'll get notified either way.

'how many points less can allow you to go to the second phase?' -- As BorySD indicated, that's hard to tell as it all depends on the number of positions and the quality of candidates. Whether you make it or don't, you shouldn't worry about the points. They won't matter either way.

Ask away if there's anything else you'd like to know.

xoxo

Hello Earl Grey,

magikradar_115593 Thu, 05/17/2018 - 21:44

Hello Earl Grey,

 

As another one who is hoping to get to the next phase, after getting 50 pts on the MCQ, I was wondering if you can shed light on the editing test - in what language did you have to sit it, what type of 'formatting'and language errors are we to expect? I found it impossible to find ANY specific information about this test and also was wondering what Word version is used ...

So, I would really appreciate anything you might share on the editing test.

Thanks much in advance,

Maggie

Hi Maggie,

Earl-Gray Fri, 05/18/2018 - 22:02

Hi Maggie,

First of all, congratulations on the high score. I hope you'll get invited to the AC. I'll keep my fingers crossed. :)

As far as the editing test is concerned, keep in mind that I sat it in November 2016. From what I remember:

- The editing test took place first thing in the morning prior to the assessment interview,

- The test took 1 hour and required us to compare a source text with a translation and remove any mistakes (such as wrong table formatting, double spacing, page header/footer errors, hidden characters, discrepancies in meaning, spelling mistakes etc.),

- My source language was English, the text was a 2-3 pages long excerpt of a legal document (both the source and the target text were provided digitally), and the Word version was either 2013 or 2016.

What I would recommend you to do is download the EC style guide in your target language, read it cover to cover, and highlight anything you might find interesting or new. It proved to be an invaluable source of tips I used on the day of the test.

Ask away if there's anything else you want to know.

xoxo

Thank you so so much for your

magikradar_115593 Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:15

Thank you so so much for your quick and super valuable reply, I got started working on your suggestions right away :)

Hopefully with the invitation to the assessment centre, EPSO will also provide more specific info.  Or else I might have to write you again :)

Wish you all the best in your career too, 

Maggie.

 

No worries, I'm glad I was of

Earl-Gray Mon, 05/21/2018 - 21:17

No worries, I'm glad I was of any help. I wouldn't rely on epso publishing any further information, they tend to be quite taciturn. Contrary to what is says on the website, they didn't provide any sample materials. The only reference in the invitation letter was that the AC would consist of:

competency-based interview: in your second language (as indicated above);

field-specific test (editing test): in your first language (as indicated above).

The letter then requested us to choose a keyboard layout via a linked questionnaire and listed the documents we had to hand over on the day of the AC.

So by all means, feel free to ask. Or not. It's up to you. :)

xoxo

Hi

limusina3_122080 Fri, 03/08/2019 - 07:07

Hi
After being laureate congrats for that how did you get a final job post?
Thanks

Hi

limusina3_122080 Fri, 03/08/2019 - 15:13

Hi
After being laureate congrats for that how did you get a final job post?
Thanks

Hi there,

Earl-Gray Sun, 03/10/2019 - 19:29

Hi there,

I didn't and I haven't yet - please refer to the rest of the forum thread for the full story.

Cheers!

xoxo

Hi, 

frynivrettou@yahoo.com Sun, 05/06/2018 - 22:47

Hi, 

the truth is that there is no way ro predict the pass mark, it totally depends on the number of applicants, whether they are native speakers or not and their level. I wasn't able to find any further information online but I imagine that if you applied for the English positions, as I did, the level of the competition must be very high. Keep in mind that there were 328 candidates according to the information on the epso site, and only 16-24 will pass to the next phase since there are 8 available positions, so I'm not so optimistic about the assessement phase although I did well. 

Hope I helped, good luck to everyone 

Thank you so much for your

frynivrettou@yahoo.com Mon, 05/07/2018 - 09:31

Thank you so much for your information Earl-Gray, very helpful. 

Good morning to everyone

mpapamar18_116472 Mon, 05/07/2018 - 13:34

Good morning to everyone

Thank you Earl -Gray for your information. If I understood correctly we will get notified in our epso account whether we are invited to the second phase or not. 

I thought that I will get a notification in my epso account only in case that my results in the MCQ tests have managed to offer me the opportunity to be invited to the second phase. 

It is good that we get notified one way or the other. 

I hope that we all have the best opportunities for a prosperous career either in one European instituition or another field. The truth is that in case you decide to sit for an epso competition and you experience the MCQ tests you have a kind of anxiety till the procedure is over. No matter how many tests one may have, every test has it sown anxiety. Not to mention the hope for a nice result. Anyway, I try to believe that life life knows better, So that I don't get disappointed when results are not what I expected. 

I have searched the internet to see older publications of the European Journal to see what the threshold of past examinatios was, but I haven't been lucky to find any. When you are conquered by anxiety you feel that time actually crawls itself. The only thing that I found was that Language Assesment was not part of older examinations . Only Verbal, numerical and abstract consisted the MCQ tests in older linguists' competitions. 

It was a bit strnage the day I sat the exam because I ran into people who told me that this was their 4th time they sat the competition and I was petrified at the level of difficulty. After having lived the experience myself, I have come to the conclusion that it is also part of luck because the right answer was so ambiguous (especially in verbal or language) that it felt like nightmare to me. 

I agree with you Frynivrettou, that since the vacancies were so few, the competition of the competitive candidates gets higher. It may be that only those who made it to reaching a 47 out of the 52  minimum may have the chance to be invited to the 2nd phase. 

I feel nice to be able to share my thoughts with you all because it helps me deal with my disappointment and anxiety. 

Once more I wish everyone the best result for his/her prosperous future. 

Best Regrds, 

M.

Yes, the notification letter

Earl-Gray Tue, 05/15/2018 - 21:09

Yes, the notification letter will begin either with "I am pleased" or "I regret to".

Hello, good to see this

Mary J. Mon, 05/14/2018 - 13:12

Hello, good to see this thread here. I also sat the exam and obtained a pass mark, particularly I made a 43/52. Not sure whether this would be good enough for me to get to the next phase. Earl-Gray, can you please let me know what was you pass mark in the exam just to have an approximate idea? What language did you sat?
Thanks a lot and good luck! I am also available to further discuss about this via email, if anyone is interested.
Have a good day!
M.J.

My passmark was 50 out of 52.

Earl-Gray Tue, 05/15/2018 - 21:11

My passmark was 50 out of 52.

xoxo

Wow, this is great!

Mary J. Wed, 05/16/2018 - 22:18

Wow, this is great! Congratulations!! Seeing however the high mark, I doubt that my results will be enough fo passing to the next stage.

Thanks a lot!

Hello Earl-grey,

claudia_wiese_111649 Sun, 07/15/2018 - 22:18

Hello Earl-grey,

thank you for the information about the assessment centre. Very useful. I would like to know a few more things if you don't mind :)

What questions were asked in the interview? Are they very general or also specific to the tasks and skills of an linguistic assistant? What kind of job did you do so far? I haven't worked as linguistic assistant yet, but have experience in writing in my mother tongue and with translation software and therefore I guess was invited to the assessment centre.

And in the editing test, did you also have to check whether the translation is correct and change whole sentences?

Thanks a lot.

Hi Claudia,

Earl-Gray Mon, 07/16/2018 - 16:15

Hi Claudia,

The questions were more or less idnetical to the sample questions found in the book, i.e. general questions revealing the candidate's character and behaviour patterns. Of course they also asked specific questions to clarify a point when needed.

I guess the same thing applies to both the questions asked and the candidate's experiece - it's much easier to train for skills than for competencies. So the purpose of the AC is not as much about what you've been doing so far but how. How did you deal with the issue at hand and what was your rationale behind your actions? The in-field experience is only an indicator that the candidate is more likely to enjoy doing the work specified by the position. I wouldn't worry too much about your experience. Instead focus on finding suitable examples to prove your competencies regardless of the field.

Broadly speaking, formatting the document and checking for numbering inconsistencies is part of "checking whether the translation is correct", it's just at a different level than checking for lexicological inconsistencies. If I remember correctly, there were one or two instances of changing the word order. But no, whole sentences didn't have to be rephrased.

xoxo

Thank you so much for all

claudia_wiese_111649 Tue, 08/28/2018 - 23:02

Thank you so much for all your help.

Could you also tell me how long the interview was? Was it also one hour? I see that less competences are checked in the linguistic interview than in other assessment centres and wondered whether they will ask more questions per competence or will make a shorter interview.

Thanks,

Claudia

Hi Claudia,

Earl-Gray Wed, 08/29/2018 - 21:49

Hi Claudia,

I hope you had a wonderful summer. :)

The AC took place some 20 months ago and I'm sorry if I wouldn't be able to be specific enough. I just checked the schedule they gave us first thing in the morning and the interviews took place in 30 minute increments in several rooms simultaneously.

You're right, only 4 competencies are checked against (Communicating, Learning and Development, Resiliency, Working with Others). The questions follow an arc from general ("Could you give us an example of...") to specific ("How did you..."). And your aswers should follow a similar "story arc" to maintain consistency and comprehension (I guess the advice comes from the book). What you should do is describe the initial problem/situation, the action you took and the outcome that hopefully lead to an improvement. That way you make sure you won't gloss over any crucial facts.

Unless you're forced to, the last thing you want to do is to improvise or lose ground. That's why for each competency I'd recommend writing down 2 situations that best describe your experience and commiting those examples to memory (or better yet come up with an aswer to each question listed in the book). So that when they ask you to "Give us an example of how you dealt with an issue within a team", you won't falter and will actually be able to react flawlessly (Communicating). You see, the interviewers will have to write down your answers in an objective way and you'll need to stay calm (Resiliency) and not get distracted the moment they start jotting things down.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask.

xoxo

Dear Earl-Grey,

claudia_wiese_111649 Tue, 09/11/2018 - 19:47

Dear Earl-Grey,

Thank you so much. I worked a lot and already feel quite well prepared. On Monday is the big day.

Do you actually still remember how many pages you had to review during the editing test? Was it about 2 A4 or more or less?

Thanks a lot.

Hi Claudia,

Earl-Gray Wed, 09/12/2018 - 18:51

Hi Claudia,

It's kinda hard to assess the number of pages when the interface shows the text in a new pop-up window and you can open only one window at a time. But given that I spent the first 10 minutes of the test reading through the documents and note-taking, I'd say it was more than 2 A4 pages.

That, however, shouldn't bother you - just skim through the documents, read for gist and try forming a narrative in your head as you keep gathering the information. Some documents are intentionally put in as filler text, so don't waste precious time reading each and every word. Focus on the beginning and end of the paragraphs, those couple of sentences should give away if the document is worth returning to or not.

I wish you much luck on Monday and should you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

xoxo

Thank you. But I actually

claudia_wiese_111649 Wed, 09/12/2018 - 19:16

Thank you. But I actually meant the editing test where you have to compare a translation with the source text and correct the mistakes.

My case study is done. It was harder than expected, about 18 documents... But I wrote something that looked kind of complete.

Sorry, I got sidetracked. We

Earl-Gray Wed, 09/12/2018 - 20:33

Sorry, I got sidetracked. We had the editing + AC first and the case study only a week later. I assumed that's the regular schedule.

To get to the point, the source text was approximately 1.5 standard pages long so you had to work steadily to edit all the errors on time. They're going to instruct everyone to open the documents side by side (split-screen) but I found it to be much more helpful to use alt + tab to switch between windows. That way the two documents overlay for a split second and you can see more easily the differences in styling (missing header, pagination, table row, etc.). Needless to say, if you're used to a different mode of work, stick to that.

xoxo

Dear Earl-Gray,

claudia_wiese_111649 Thu, 12/13/2018 - 22:40

Dear Earl-Gray,

Thank you so much for all the help and information. I passed the assessment centre and I am now on the reserve list :)

Did you actually get a job yet? If yes, how long did it take until someone contacted you? Or did you search by yourself for jobs?

Maybe we see each other soon ;)

Best, C.

Hi Claudia,

Earl-Gray Fri, 12/14/2018 - 21:05

Hi Claudia,

Congrats on becoming a laureate! A huge step in the right direction, huh? :)

As of today, I've been on the reserve list for 18 months (and counting). So far, there's been only one vacancy in my language combo and from what I've seen on the vacancy list other languages haven't been doing any better either. Except maybe for Irish and Slovene or Croatian.

To be honest, it's quite a frustrating and passive situation. There's nowhere to "search for jobs", no email addresses to send your resume to. All you can do is wait and hope that one day your position appears on the list in your account. Although those from the other side of the fence say that the institutions don't draw up reserve lists for nothing, I have yet to see.

I'm sorry that I can't be of any further help here.

Let's keep each other posted in case there's any news.

I hope to see you around, too.

xoxo

Dear Earl-grey,

C. wieschen Wed, 03/06/2019 - 07:29

Dear Earl-grey,

sorry for not answering earlier.

I also don't see any position from the Parliament and Council in my EPSO account :(. However, there is a lot for assistants from the Commission. Isn't the quota on your reserve list lifted already? I understood that after about 6 months the quota gets removed and you can also apply for jobs in the Commission, thus any AST1 vacancy that fits (it does not need to be for linguistic assistant). Maybe send an email to Europe Direct and ask about this.

Best,

Claudia

Hey Claudia,

Earl-Gray Sun, 03/10/2019 - 19:26

Hey Claudia,

It's nice hearing back from you!

Yeah, vacancies published by the Parliament or Council are quite rare.

The thing is, having the freedom to choose from any vacancy after the quota is lifted is just a make believe in my opinion. Unless the candidate has substantial project management, IT infrastructure or finance/accounting experience (which the majority of the vacancies require), no one's going to hire a linguist specialist. Equally no one with such experience would take part in a linguistic competition in the first place. And if I'm not mistaken, the institutions aren't very keen on cannibalising on one anothers' lists regardless of the fact that the quota's been lifted.

I tried writing to EPSO as well as getting in touch with an acquaintance working for the Commission. Both attempts resulted in a general advice of me writing to the DG in question directly in order to let them know I was available. So that's that...

I guess it's a wait and see situation at the moment, and quite frustrating at that.

To sign off on a positive note, there've been a couple of vacancies for linguistic assistants in the past weeks which might be a good sign. Once I applied to the one I'm eligible to, I'll let you know what the outcome was.

Keep it up,

xoxo

Oh that is indeed very

C. wieschen Mon, 03/11/2019 - 22:05

Oh that is indeed very frustrating. But they are right about writing to the DGs! I know that many vacancies are only published on the intranet - for people already working as an official - and not for the reserve list. If they know you in advance, they might consider opening a vacancy notice to your reserve list, so that you can apply.

Furthermore I saw now a vancancy for linguistic assistant in the Commission (just not my language), and DGT in the Commission has sometimes other assistant posts, more administrative but still in the language department. So that should fit.

Do you know when your list was made available to the Commission? Was it after 6 months? I am curious, because I assume the same will happen to my list.

Best,
C.

Hi there,

Earl-Gray Sat, 03/16/2019 - 09:05

Hi there,

Yes, you're totally right. One should keep on trying.

Unfortunately, I don't have any details on the availability of my reserve list. All I know is that the results appeared in my account in March this time around and the reserve list was officially published in the journal in May (even though I'm pretty sure that it wasn't until June that they actually made the journal available on the website).

Fingers crossed,

xoxo