How To Ace The EPSO Competency Based Interview (3 Videos) | EU Training

How To Ace The EPSO Competency Based Interview (3 Videos)

Three brand new videos have been added to our growing collection of helpful tips and tricks about the EPSO exams. Read on to find out more!

EPSO Assessment Centre Tips - Competency Based Interview: Motivation

Your motivation - Your inner drive

  • Why were you motivated to do something?
  • Motivation in the context of competencies

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EPSO Assessment Centre Tips - Competency Based Interview: The introduction

  • EPSO Assessment Centre - Structured Interview - Interview
  • What are you supposed to say
  • Establishing a good chemistry, a positive atmosphere

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EPSO Assessment Centre Tips - Competency Based Interview: Key moment

  • Key moment in the structured interview
  • Peak of the event
  • Finding the key moment in your story

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EPSO Assessment Centre: The power of “motivation”

Hi and welcome, my name is András Baneth, and I am a Senior Partner at Online EU Training. Today, I am going to speak about something that is so often overlooked by people preparing for the EPSO assessment centre and I see it from time to time in my coaching sessions: that is motivation.

Now, motivation is extremely important to talk about as part of the Assessment Centre and especially the Structured Interview… but not in a “classic” sense.

What I mean is when you are in a Structured Interview and the assessors ask you about certain competencies such as “Learning and Development”, you need to mention, and you need to speak about why were you motivated to learn about a specific subject. What was your inner drive to coach or train a coworker (if the question focuses on the development side), or in the framework of the “Working with others” competence?

Motivation is very important to mention when you speak about a conflict with a co-worker. You need to mention why were you motivated to resolve the conflict. Why were you so much committed to having a discussion with your superior (if the question focuses on conflict with the superior)?

So the point here is that your inner thinking, your inner drive, your inner motivation needs to be mentioned, needs to be detailed, even if the question itself may not specifically highlight it.

Motivation in this sense is very different from the classic job interview motivation where they may ask about your motivation to work for EU institutions. Now, this type of question is highly unlikely or even impossible in a Structured Interview setting… whereas for questions focusing on competencies you need to speak about “what's going on in your head” and “why were you committed to reaching a certain objective”.

Interested in learning more about the Assessment Centre? Check our webinar recording, tips & tricks articles and our classroom courses in Brussels!

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EPSO Competency Based Interview: The “key moment”

Today, I am going to speak about the EPSO Assessment Centre, more specifically the Structured Interview and even more specifically, something what I call “the key moment”.

What do I mean by the role of the “key moment” in the story or event that you recall as part of your answer in the Structured Interview? Well, in every story, in every event that you share with the assessor as part of your answer within “Learning and Development” or “Leadership” or “Resilience”, there will be a moment where the given competency or the given conflict or the key to the events can be highlighted.

For instance, as part of “Resilience”, the question may be “Could you recall an event when you had to undergo a lot of stress?” When you recall that specific event, when, for example you were working overtime, you had to finish a project on time and suddenly your computer broke down.

Now, in this simple event (or seemingly simple event), where is the key moment in here? Well, the minute or the second when you realized that your computer is malfunctioning and your work may be in danger. This is the central moment where you can highlight the key competency that the assessors are asking you about. Everything else can be built around this key moment and the entire story can be well wrapped around this “big event”.

The same thing can happen in “Learning and Development” if the question centers on you learning something out of your own initiative and you recall an event when you e.g. decided to learn to be a rescue diver, or you decided to learn basic Chinese, there will always be a key defining moment when you committed yourself to doing that, to performing and to reaching, achieving a certain goal. The entire story can be centered around this key moment and the competency can be very well demonstrated by focusing on that.

Interested in learning more about the Assessment Centre? Check our webinar recording, tips & tricks articles and our classroom courses in Brussels!

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EPSO Competency Based Interview: The Introduction

Today, I am going to speak about the EPSO Assessment Centre, more specifically the Structured Interview and even more specifically the introduction at the beginning of your interview.

Many people that I train or those who attend my coaching sessions ask me regularly: “What am I supposed to say in the introduction?” “Is it true that it is supposed to be two or three minutes? It seems quite long.”

The answer is quite simple: Keep it short. Keep it simple.

What I mean by this is even if you are supposed to have two to three minutes in the introduction, I suggest to keeping it at roughly one minute. You don't want to be interrupted in the middle of your introduction. You don't want to be cut by the assessors because they may be a bit behind schedule… because the main thing here is that it is not scored. It doesn't belong in the assessment matrix. They are not going to give you an evaluation based on your introduction.

However, it is very important that you establish good chemistry, a good atmosphere, and you really talk about something, talk about your background in a way that will trigger a positive atmosphere in the room with the assessors. So, what you say in that roughly one minute is even secondary to how you say it and how you wrap your message.

Nevertheless, regarding the content of your little exposé, you can certainly talk about your academic achievements. You can talk about some work experience if you have any and you can certainly mention your motivation or your interest in working for European institutions.

At the same time, you may do something that maybe less obvious but nevertheless useful. For instance, if you have the tendency to speak in a very low voice or you tend to speak extremely fast, you may highlight this already in the introduction… sort of pre-empting a negative assessment and say “that is the way I speak and I am trying to improve that”, so you already mention that even before the assessors may judge you negatively on your communication skills or the way you present certain information.

Interested in learning more about the Assessment Centre? Check our webinar recording, tips & tricks articles and our classroom courses in Brussels!