EPSO Economists AD6 - Information Webcast

If you weren't able to join the live event - no worries! The full recording of the 2023 AD6 EPSO Economists Exam Info Webcast is free to view right here. 



If you haven't yet, make sure to join the EPSO Economist Exams Facebook group. This is a great way to get in touch with fellow candidates, form study groups, ask questions and get access to useful resources for your EPSO prep.






Transcript Quick Links




INTRO - Introduction, greetings and sound check

Presenter: Andras Baneth (EU Training co-founder, author of Europe’s best-selling prep book The Ultimate EU Test Book, Co-author of The Ultimate EU Test Book - Assessment Centre edition and Former EU Official)

We’re here to discuss an extremely exciting opportunity which is the new AD6 Economist Competition. The reason why it's so unique is because it's the first in the line of hopefully many new exams under the reformed, updated and more streamlined EPSO selection process. 

If you bear with us, we will cover a lot of ground. We're going walk through the entire process of how this competition works and I'll try to give a bit of context about how this compares to the previous way EPSO ran its competitions. This is a brand-new way of selecting candidates and selecting future EU officials. It’s not that radically different, but I'm going to point out what the differences are as well as the parallels.



You probably know that I belong to the EU training team; I'm one of the two co-founders of the company. I’d also like to announce that the new 2023 edition of The Ultimate EU Test Book just came out a couple weeks ago.

In case you are new to EU Training, we are a company that offers EPSO candidates and those who are interested in EU careers everything needed to succeed. We have a huge community of users, clie nts and customers from the over 15 years that we've been in business. We have lots of webinars and followers or members in different facebook communities and a huge question database that we are constantly updating, making sure it corresponds to the expectations of the EPSO competitions and exams, especially the new ones.

Very recently we uploaded a huge batch of economist practice questions, segmented according to the three different profiles that this particular competition makes available. So, as we go along with the different sub-profiles that are available, I want to highlight that we have a huge number of practice tests, multiple choice tests specifically, in those particular fields.



Let’s look at the new selection process; what does it look like, what has changed, what has not changed and where do we suggest you focus your attention and preparation?  
The new system is streamlined and fairly straightforward. There are a couple of basic steps that you will need to go through.

  1. The first step is to submit an application
  2. After you have filled out the necessary information on your EPSO profile, you are requested to upload documentation that proves you have the required credentials you claim to have. That will sit in your digital profile where EPSO and the selection board can view it.
  3. At one point you will be invited to sit tests. I assume some of you will wonder when you can reasonably expect those tests to take place. The deadline is roughly in a month’s time. The question is, when are the tests going to take place. Our guess is that August is going to be a fairly quiet season; probably no exams are going to be run at that time. So, chances are that from the end of August, or perhaps the last week August, the exam invitations and booking period etc. will happen. 

In the spirit of speeding up the process, they're probably not going to wait very long, especially since the exams themselves are going to be remotely proctored. This means you will not need to go to any exam center. Instead, you will be requested to do the test on your own laptop or PC and take the test remotely. 

Essentially there are three kinds of tests:

  1. The abstract, verbal and numerical reasoning test (a computer-based test for reasoning skills) 
  2. The field related MCQ test (meaning multiple choice questions). As the name suggests, these are multiple choice, computer-based, closed questions. There are different answer options offered and you need to pick the one you think is accurate.
  3.  The EPSO Case Study, which, unlike the multiple-choice questions, is a quite open-ended and little more nuanced exercise where you need to draft a memo, summary, briefing or similar kind of document based on background information that you will be given. You will then need to present that as your best written input in response to a certain action or assignment. 

These are the tests. There's nothing else in the process or within the selection procedure. You may have noticed that there's no oral test, oral exam, interview or assessment center any longer. At that point, if you have succeeded in passing all these different tests with good scores – I’ll come back to what the limits and thresholds are – you will presumably be placed on the reserve list.

  1. First, however, there is an eligibility check to make sure that all the documents and formal declarations that you've made match the requirements of the role.
  2. If that is the case, that's when the reserve list is drawn up and that's when you become recruitable. At that point you are called a laureate, not a candidate. You have secured a place on the reserve list which is necessary but still insufficient for you to get an EU job. The reason I say insufficient is because you still need to be invited to a specific job interview. 

This is the recruitment phase; being on the reserve list makes someone eligible to be invited to specific job interviews, to fill a vacancy and to be hired. So, there is this extra step of being invited to interview for a specific job, as has always been the case. There might also be another requirement at that point; you may be requested to do another exercise, but that is entirely up to the recruiting directorate general, unit or institution to decide how they wish to select the specific laureates. That's a very small but certainly important part at the very end of the process.

Let's walk through the different stages and see where the pitfalls and difficulties are so you can be as well prepared as possible. 



Why is the economist competition a special opportunity? What makes it unique? What are the broader ideas surrounding it? I’m going to answer these questions, look at the steps I’ve briefly outlined in more detail and give you advice on how to be successful in this particular competition. 


Let's start with how many positions are available on the reserve list. It’s important to highlight that we’re not talking about specific job vacancies; we don't know exactly how many specific job vacancies there are going to be. Certainly, the number of places on the reserve list are closely correlated with the anticipated needs of the institutions after six months, or broadly speaking, when that competition is finished. But we're talking now about how many places there are on the reserve list per se. 

As you certainly know, and it's been communicated by EPSO itself and in the official Journal (which is the only official source of information), these are the number of places available for the three Economics profiles:

  1. Macroeconomics/microeconomics | 300 
  2. Financial Economics | 348 
  3. Industrial Economics | 302 

This is an extremely significant number of places on the reserve list, so that is rather unique compared to earlier competitions. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, there is certainly a great need from all the EU institutions to hire economists. That is unchallenged and undebatable because there's a great demand for these roles. Secondly, the size of the reserve list itself has been slightly increased. That is a bit of a tricky situation – and I want to be completely honest with you about that – but going on the information we have from EPSO, that sadly means that not everyone from the reserve list will be hired. Only a certain percentage are going to eventually be hired. There are estimates whether that percentage is 40%, 50% or 60%, but we cannot say for sure.  

That also means you need to go through the process and do everything you can to be placed on the reserve list, but your work is not entirely done at that stage; you still need to be sure that you're going to be invited to a specific job interview and then eventually be hired. We also have certain courses for that. I did a webinar some time ago that's called “How to get a job from the reserve list” and there are different tips and resources that you can rely on. 

But how do you actually get on the reserve list in the first place? This is the process that I'm going to run you through today.



This seems like a technical matter, but it is certainly of great concern, especially to those who are within the EU institutions in one way or another because they are temporary agents or contract agents, or they are already in Luxembourg or Brussels. So, Luxembourg or Brussels are the two places of work. There could be some exceptional cases in which case you may be required to work at an EU representation or EU delegation outside of the EU, but that is not the main rule. At the moment of you being hired, it’s basically going to be either Brussels or Luxembourg, depending on which EU institution or which director general within a given EU institution you're going to be employed at. 

Which institution will hire you?

Officially there are 9 EU institutions and that includes the European Parliament, the Council, the European Court of Auditors all the way to the Data Protection Supervisor’s Office and European Ombudsman's office–which are relatively small institutions but from a legal sense they can also hire you. But the main ones are really the ones on the screen and, legally speaking, any and all of these institutions can pick candidates (or at that point laureates) from the reserve list, usually subject them to an interview and then make a hiring decision.

What are you going to do?

You're probably going to be doing substantive work as an economist. We have three different profiles, so there are differences in what exactly those profiles entail. Depending on whether you work at DG (Directorate General for competition at the European Commission) it's going to be rather different from you perhaps working on taxation and fiscal matters at the Commission or working on another aspect of economics at the European Court of Auditors. So, there’s quite a bit of a difference in these roles. The duties are listed in the annex of the notice of competition where you’ll find a quite accurate and broad description of the kind of duties that will be requested of you when you get one of these jobs. 

One very important take away from this is not so much what you are going to be doing once you're hired, but the sort of topics and policy areas, the kind of knowledge you need to revise when preparing for the competition itself. The duties given in the profile description gives a fairly good idea of what the European Personnel Selection Office, and the selection board, have in mind and the kind of knowledge they will be testing in the field-related MCQ. That should inform you about what you need to revise or learn when you are preparing for the competition. Beyond the actual job description, it's a helpful resource for you to know what will be expected of you during the exam itself.

We have listed a few examples which are by no means comprehensive and certainly you will want to look up the notice of competition to see exactly what will be expected of you. For example, for:

  1. Micro and macroeconomics: analysis of the economic impact and performance of the EU budget and its programmes.  
  2. Financial economics: drafting analytical policy and legal documents for internal and external use, including decisions to be adopted by the European institutions
  3. Industrial economics: applying economic analysis to competition cases (merger, antitrust and state aid).

For more details you can easily look up the information, and you can easily find what you need in the various publications we have online.



Let’s look at the practical side of the selection procedure and what you need exactly to be aware of to maximize your chances. 

First of all, you need to make sure that you're eligible. That is really a must when it comes to the whole procedure, given the expected number of applicants is probably going to be in the thousands. At every step you want to be sure that there are no errors; that you didn't click the wrong button or forgot to fill in the right form. It's very easy to be disqualified for one reason or another, given the sheer number of candidates.

  • You firstly need to have EU citizenship of one of the 27 EU member states.
  • Secondly, you need to have completed any military requirements if that's compulsory in your country of citizenship (be mindful of the requirements if you are a permanent resident).
  • And thirdly, you need to meet the good character requirement that the job requires. This means not having a criminal record or any other kind of transgression against you.

These are the formal and very basic criteria that is common to all competitions.

What languages do you need to know? Essentially, it's one of the EU's 24 official languages and English. That's broadly speaking the rule, but we're going to take a closer look at that in a moment. 

You also need to have the right qualifications and work experience to make you eligible for this particular competition and eventually the jobs that they can lead to. 


Firstly, let's look at the languages. The language rules are somewhat tricky, and those of you who've been following EPSO competitions and EU careers would know that this is a legal minefield, partly because of the sensitivities surrounding languages. There have been many court cases over the years where some competitions were even canceled because the language requirements were not legally sound. 

So, if you read the notice of competition for this particular exam, you will note that there are a lot of explanations as to why English is chosen for certain tests in this competition but not other languages (e.g. French, German, Italian, Spanish) and to make sure this is legally watertight and is not going to be challenged in court. 

Two official EU languages are required, so basically a thorough knowledge of one of the 24 languages of the EU – quite easy if you were born and or lived in the EU. Some languages are not among these official languages even though they are widely spoken, for example Russian or Luxembourgish. But languages like Gaelic Irish or Maltese (are accepted) as long as they are one of the official 24 languages. 

And then you have English. A “good command” is stipulated but what does that really mean? Certain tests will need to be taken in English, as we will see in a moment, so good writing skills in English and good comprehension of English, especially when it comes to the field related test, is required.  


What degrees, diplomas etc. do you need to have? It might look a little complicated at first glance, but it is actually pretty straightforward if you look at the details. There are two scenarios. 

Scenario A is that you have a three-year degree. Officially, it's a three-year program, let's put it that way. For one reason or another perhaps you didn't complete it in three years, but it’s a three-year program. Essentially that is a BA degree. This is followed by four years of relevant work experience: 3 + 4.

Scenario B is the exact reverse, where you have a four-year program or four years of studies followed by three years of relevant work experience. It has to be relevant–I want to be accurate by saying work experience or professional experience, which is a little broader. There are lots of explanations of words. For example, is a traineeship or paid traineeship part of that, or what about compulsory practice or a compulsory internship that is part of a study program–how does that play into this time frame? They have certain indicators of time–when is the clock actually ticking for the purposes of this particular professional experience? That is something you need to look at if your situation is not entirely clear. 

Let’s say you went into employment right after obtaining your degree and you worked at least four years in a highly relevant (for the purposes of the competition) position – this is a very clear situation. But I know from experience that many candidates have really diverse experiences, and they may have spent time working as a freelancer, then became employed, then became a teaching assistant; so there's quite a mix of experiences that may or may not play into this particular time frame.

Going back to the other requirements that you need: you have the formal citizenship, the good character requirements, the linguistic requirement that is one of the 24 languages plus English and then you have the work experience which is 3+4 or 4+3. It's pretty straightforward and quite manageable. There certainly could be room for different takes on your degree or on your work experience, so we have put up (on the slide) a couple of examples based broadly on the guidelines and the requirements in the notice of competition. For the sake of reference, you see that the field of study for economics is pretty clear in that it qualifies you for an economist competition. The experience could be from a consulting firm or Think Tank or similar.

And then you can see that other studies will also qualify you. Mathematics, for instance, which is not strictly speaking economics, but studies like statistics, business studies, finance or accounting are all relevant. The word economics may not appear in the title of your degree, but in more substantive terms, it's highly relevant so will qualify you for these positions. 

For field three economic statistics, it’s a very similar concept in that you should make sure that your field of study in substantive terms corresponds to the duties of that particular field.




Q: EPSO mentioned it will publish a list of sources for preparing the field-related MCQ but they did not. Do you think they will publish these sources, what can we expect?

A: I think this is based on perhaps a misunderstanding. What EPSO communicated so far is that for the EU knowledge questions, they will publish the sources from which you can prepare. EU questions are not part of this particular competition, and they are not going to be part of the so-called specialist competitions. EU knowledge is only part of the so-called generalist competitions, which are planned for later this year and yet to be confirmed, in November or December.

For this particular field related to economics, micro, macro, financial and industrial questions, EPSO have never said that they will publish the sources from which you can prepare. We are actually currently trying to collect a couple of good sources from our experts and from our broader network, recommendations on textbooks, ebooks, videos etc. but we are not EPSO. We're an independent company. We give you guidance and hints or pointers as to which sources you might want to use, but EPSO is probably not going to communicate anything in their official capacity regarding which resources you can use to prepare for this exam.

Q: Is it correct that the EPSO notice indicates that a diploma or degree in economics is necessary? So, if my degree is different but I studied economics, would that be acceptable? 
A: I believe I just answered that question. You don't necessarily have to have a degree in economics per se, it’s more about what you studied and not just the title of the degree. So, how does the content of what you studied correspond to the requirements of the various profiles or the profile that you're applying to. 

By the way, I'm not sure we have a slide on that, but you can only apply for one of the three profiles. You need to choose from these three and while you are broadly speaking economists, you probably want to do some probability calculations regarding that. So, how many people are likely going to apply for one field or another and compare that to the number on the reserve list. That may help your chances of success or at least the ratio between applicants and those on the reserve list. The main point is you can only choose one of the three and once the deadline has passed, you cannot change your mind and say that you’re actually an industrial economist rather than an economist, for example.

Q: Will econometrics be tested?
A: I suppose so. If it's an integral part of the knowledge in a certain domain in one or all three roles, then surely it will be tested. We have our experts, but I am not an economist myself, so I don't really know whether that particular area or body of knowledge is going to be tested. But if that is broadly a requirement for the knowledge that they are testing, I'm 100% sure that our expert will have foreseen that. So, you will see that reflected in the multiple-choice questions that we have made available. 

Q: In the absence of a Talent Screener, does a person with three years of experience have the same points as one with twenty?
A: For those of you who may not know, there used to be a certain selection or screening tool called the Talent Screener. This was part of a specialist exam like the one we're talking about right now. The Talent Screener was basically a list of sometimes broad, sometimes quite pointed questions for which you needed to provide information from your professional background. For example, do you have five years of experience working on such and such domain, if so, list those experiences. And then you would list those and provide information and background. I'm not going to go into any further detail because this is not part of the new system any longer; there is no more Talent Screener. 

So, to answer this particular question, yes. Your specific background profile and work experience is only relevant to the extent that it qualifies you to meet the formal criteria. Beyond that, if you have five years or twenty years of experience, that is not going to play into the selection procedure. The selection procedure is kind of a self-contained system where you need to meet those criteria and once you do that, then you're good. Having five years of experience versus twenty might have an impact after the reserve list has been established.  At the point when you are actually called in for a job interview, that's when a potential employer (the head of unit in any of the institutions or any of the DG's) might say that they need someone with a lot of experience. But that is at the point of recruitment or possible recruitment, it's not part of the selection procedure.


A few words about salaries. We have a very handy and recently completely updated calculator on our website on www.eutraining.eu that you might want to play around with to see what factors play into your salary e.g. whether you're married or not, have kids or not, whether you need to relocate or not, and many other elements. It's only an indication and is by no means official, but it was certainly modeled on the official salary calculators.


To emphasize, it's not just about the salary; there is also very comprehensive health insurance that you are given as a future EU official and access to European schools in the language of the parents if you have kids. If it's a multilingual household, there are different rules that apply, but that is certainly available. 


To illustrate some of the factors that play into the salary calculation, we fed those into our own system and the result is actually a pretty good: €7900 net salary. This is a very attractive salary in Brussels for this kind of position. And although important, this is not the only important factor. There's also the idea of working for an international institution and working on European projects, integration and issues that will have great impact on European policies and European matters. 



Let's focus step by step on what you need to do and how you need to optimize your performance to land yourself on the reserve list. 


Firstly, the application process is pretty straightforward.

  • Submit your application in one of EU’s 24 official languages. You have the freedom to pick any language and I'd like to emphasize this includes English. You'll see in a second why that's actually important.
  • Then you upload the supporting documents to your EPSO account: the degrees and those proving work experience should be ready in the system.
  • And make sure to apply before 27th of July. Do not leave that to the last moment because the servers may crash, you might miss your flight, the dog might get sick. Anything can happen, so do not leave that to the last moment and be sure you hand in your finalized application a couple of days before.

Also, decide which of the three fields you qualify for, which of the three fields you prefer and the one that is close to both your head and your heart. Once you've done that, you need to have uploaded all the supporting documents by the 28th of September. The reason for this, I suspect, is partially because many job certificates or perhaps even degrees (or whatever it is you need to get hold of) may not be available so fast or may not be available during the summer, so they have given you this deadline of 28th September. That gives you a couple of months to have those documents uploaded into the system. 


Let's look at the core the essence of the competition itself and what tests will you need to pass to qualify. Everything is online and remotely proctored–so remotely assisted and supervised–and it's all done in the same day. This means you sit down in front of a computer. This might be a computer at your workplace or one that you got hold of. Incidentally, in this place where I’m situated in Brussels, we actually have a beautiful studio with fast internet and all the necessary tools. So, if ever you need a space or a silent corner for the exam, or you don't have a computer where you have admin rights so you can install the program and app for any reason (e.g. because it's a corporate laptop), then you can get in contact with us and we’ll rent out our space for the EPSO exam. This ensures the best environment.  

Going back to the actual the competition, you can take the exam from anywhere around the world, making sure that you meet certain criteria with the computer, the space and that there's no external help available to you. That makes the system pretty flexible and probably speeds up the whole process. That's the main goal there.

The computer-based test: the so-called CBT computer-based test (it's not cognitive behavioral therapy!) are computer-based tests. The abbreviation is often used to describe these kinds of so-called psychometric tests that you need to complete. It must be taken in any of the EU 24 official languages except for English. That is the point that we had to internally figure out; the question was, can the application be done in English and the answer is yes. You can apply in any of the 24 EU languages be that Bulgarian, Greek, Portuguese or Latvian. 

But the so-called abstract, verbal, numerical reasoning tests, the CBT computer-based tests, need to be taken in one of the 24 official languages except for English. That's a strange thing, a novelty. I don't think there has been such a rule or requirement before, but that's the idea.

A very quick run through on how these tests work; those of you who have taken tests before will know it all too well while others may be new to this.

Verbal reasoning: 20 questions in 35 minutes. That's a typical ratio that EPSO has typically applied. You will have a verbal reasoning text passage where you need to find the correct answer. There are lots of ways they will try to confuse you with e.g., possibility versus fact or by using generalizations or other tricks, but there's only one correct answer.

Numerical reasoning: 10 questions in 20 minutes, so two minutes for each question. It is not a lot, but it should be enough if you are well practiced, and you know what to look for. What does it look like? Typically, there's a data table and you need to do certain calculations, mathematical algebra operations, data interpretation, reasoning, deduction, perhaps estimation to find the correct answer.

Abstract reasoning. Most people do not like abstract reasoning but broadly speaking economists, I suspect, would be more comfortable with abstract reasoning. But the problem is not so much the difficulty of these particular tests, the challenge is the timing: 10 minutes for 10 questions. That's a minute per question. We have webinars, live events, tutoring and we are preparing a brand-new video explanation for numerical and abstract reasoning tests; more about that when it actually comes out in a couple of weeks. We're providing a lot of tools and resources for you to learn the methodology linked to the abstract, verbal, numerical reasoning tests, so be sure that you are efficient and effective in your preparation. In the abstract reasoning test, you have cryptic charts and different drawings or images and you need to find the next one in the sequence.

The scoring in these abstract, verbal, numerical reasoning (CBT) tests consists of either a pass or fail; there's no ranking among the candidates. You only need to “pass” but the trick, for numerical reasoning, is that you need to have 60% correct, so six out of 10. The pass mark is NOT 50%. 

For the verbal and abstract ones, interestingly, there’s a combined pass mark. So, the abstract mark could be far lower and the verbal one higher or the other way around; the point is that out of the total of 30 points that you could theoretically achieve, you need to obtain at least 15. It is not extremely difficult, but it's not something you want to fail. To emphasize the point, there is no ranking. I want to say that again because compared to earlier competitions or different ones, that was typically the rule. Here it's ultimately a pass/fail score. 

What about the field-related multiple choice? This depends on whether your profile or field is 1,2 or 3 (in this particular competition, there are three options that you have to choose from). There is a multiple-choice quiz to test your field-related knowledge and you have 40 minutes to pass that with 30 questions, meaning 30 points in total. The pass mark is 15 out of 30, but it really doesn't matter because there's a ranking. So, candidates will be ranked according to the score that they get in this particular exam. Given the sheer number of candidates, it doesn't matter whether the pass mark is 15 or 10 or 20, because you will probably need to have 24, 25 or similar out of 30 to qualify for the next stage in this competition, or at least to stay in the competition. 

You need to have a pass/fail for the abstract, verbal, numerical. Then there is the field-related by ranking (by the way this is in English, as opposed to the abstract, verbal, numerical). It's multiple choice and not open-ended; it's not an interview. It's really clicking the ABCD options on a computer. Your ranking will determine if you get to the next stage. Technically speaking, you will need to sit for the case study as well, so it’s part of the package. But whether or not your case study is actually going to be evaluated, whether you get a score or not, will depend on how you perform in this particular test. Again, you need to sit all three main building blocks during the exam date, but this refers to the actual scoring because EPSO and the selection board ultimately don't want to score case studies for those who rank very low in the field-related multiple-choice quiz.

What about the case study? (49:33)

The case study duration is not known and has not been communicated. Perhaps there is still thinking inside the selection board as to what exactly the timing is going to be, so as soon as we know that for sure, we're going to let you know. We're guessing it could be 60 or 90 minutes; those are the typical time frames. Perhaps two hours, but that sounds a little excessive. Essentially, these are the options for a case study that have typically been the best practice. 

The scoring is from zero to 10, so it's a very low range. I was personally quite surprised to see that because it has a big impact on the outcome. But for one reason or another, that's what they chose. There's a pass mark of five out of 10 and based on the notice of competition and this is not ranked. Whoever passes the case study will eventually get on the reserve list. This element is a little bit of an unknown, so we probably will be hearing more communication about this and we'll make sure that we spread that information to you.

The case study has to be written in English, so your written English needs to be good. There's no ChatGPT plug-in for you. You really need to sit there and type and make sure that the formatting, the arguments, the structure, the vocabulary, all those building blocks are in place. If I'm not mistaken, we scheduled a new case study webinar for the 31st of August that I'll be doing that with my colleague Josiana. So, we already have resources for that; we have the case study simulation on EU training, but we're doing a brand new one and hopefully by then we’ll have even more information to share. Although, even if we only know what we know right now, there are a lot of good tips to be shared on how to write a good briefing or good case study. This has a pass/fail scoring as well and it is not ranked either. Basically, the only ranked exercise is the multiple-choice test in the field. That's the only one where your performance matters relative to others; in the abstract, verbal, numerical reasoning and the case study, it's pass/fail.



It’s a very stream-lined approach on the whole. Just to finish off, we have a couple of very broad and somewhat generic tips that we always share.


Practice! And make sure you practice the stuff that you feel you are weakest at. And don’t have that overconfidence in certain parts where you might presume that you, for example, don’t need to practice numerical reasoning because you’re good at mathematics. Do at leaset a little bit of practice, be sure you are prepared and familiar with the types of questions you’ll meet in the exam. Also, don’t leave it for the last minute; get into the mental mindset so you can be focused on the exam day. 

As to how you practice, I often compare this to sports preparation. How you schedule that is up to you but be sure that it's on a regular basis. There's methodology involved so you can practice for all the components and that will make it easier to perform at your best in the exam. And persistence is also key. Don’t give up! Organize a study group; even if ultimately, they are competitors, that momentum of the group will push you to prepare. Do lots of simulations so you are familiar with the interface and how it all works in practice. By the way, there is a facebook community specifically for this competition if you are on facebook. 




To finish off, I’ll answer some more questions:

A: For the relevant experience and supporting documents, what if we cannot contact our previous employer anymore, because the contract did not contain a detailed description of duties.
A: I think if it's a case that they went out of business or similar, perhaps a declaration in good faith where you describe that situation, or perhaps provide a former extract from the company registry. Anything that proves your claim can help, even if it’s a salary slip or bank transfer. You don't need to disclose amounts, but that verifies that you collected salary from that particular company.

Q: Do we know the validity of the reserve list? Will it be published at the end of the competition?
A: Typically, in the past it was one year. A reserve list would be valid for a year or until another competition in the same field was published. We don't really know whether there's going to be an economist competition in a year or not, so you can reasonably assume it's going to be valid at least for one year and possibly longer. As soon as you're on a reserve list, then you can do everything you can to actually secure a job.

Q: If I had my own consultancy company working for clients, how do I prove the content of the experience? 
A: I probably should have started the entire webinar with the disclaimer that I give you the best information I can, but I'm by no means the official spokesperson or official representative of any EU institution, EPSO or the selection board. Based on that, I think that if it's your own company and you have clients, you want to list that and maybe get one of your clients to make a declaration to say that so and so consultancy has worked for us for this time period and that they dealt with the following matters. Be prepared that you may get such requests from the selection board anyway and then you may need to get in touch with that client. So, whatever you put there, try to include whatever proof points you can or at least certain indirect evidence, even if it's a tax authority extract or similar.

Q: Are the questions for the field-related multiple choice going to be theoretical, academic or can we expect some applied exercises or problems or aspects of EU economic policies?
A: Our understanding is that it's not going to be applied in this way, like problems. For example, in numerical reasoning, setting up some formula and asking candidates to calculate the unemployment rate based on the following details. So, in that sense it's going to be theoretical, I mean highly practical of course, where they might ask about certain formulas, concepts, notions or policy issues framed in the EU context. It could be related to the euro, to country specific recommendations or linked to certain processes in the context of the budgetary procedure, depending on which field you are in. For example, for field 3, industrial economics, there could be questions broadly linked to competition policy or similar.

Q: In the application form: motivation/contribution to EU, there is a question: in which role could you best contribute? Which roles are we talking about? Can you give some examples? A: Perhaps fairly high-level categories come to mind: analysts, policy analysts or perhaps someone who is more proactively advising the policymakers on which way to go. So, maybe it's the joint Research Center where it's much more research driven and feeding into the broader thinking on certain political matters, or to say you’re interested in shaping the state aid policy in the EU by providing macroeconomic analysis on this and that field. I don't think you need to put too much thought into that but certainly be honest and make declarations that you truly believe in. But it doesn't really have any practical impact. It might be viewed at some the point in the recruitment process when they wonder what this person said about their motivation and how they approach it. It doesn't truly impact the selection process. 



If you have further questions, please get in touch.

We are monitoring this competition very closely especially since it's relatively new. We're going to be communicating findings from the EU side on the new system to you in the tips and tricks article or follow up emails so we're trying to be helpful and contribute to your success. The real effort needs to be done by you, however, so take it seriously! There's going to be lots of candidates, probably thousands, so it's going to be a fierce competition!