Book contents

Administrators (AD) Edition 2020

What’s New for 2020…

  • NEW FEATURE. Abstract Reasoning warm-up exercise, showing step by step how to systematically solve typical questions, with time saving shortcuts and pitfalls to avoid
  • ALL-NEW Verbal Reasoning Test with 150 newly designed questions and answer explanations
  • Updated guidance specific to EPSO Administrator competitions on key topics such as timelines, chances of succeeding, scoring systems, how to focus your efforts, CAST selections, common errors candidates make and top tips to succeed
  • Our biggest Ultimate EU Test Book edition ever!

Who is this book for? Candidates for all EPSO AD5 to AD 9, Linguist, and AD Specialist exams as well as equivalent-level CAST exams.

What does it include? Detailed guide to EPSO Administrator-level competitions and comprehensive methodologies and practice tests for pre-selection exams.

All practice questions are designed for Administrator level and have full answer explanations so you can learn from your mistakes and improve your speed and accuracy.

  • How EPSO Administrator competitions work and the tests that are used
  • Methodologies, shortcuts and common mistakes and pitfalls in tackling the EPSO tests
  • 150 Administrator-level verbal reasoning practice questions
  • 165 Administrator-level numerical reasoning practice questions
  • 180 Administrator-level abstract reasoning practice questions
  • 30 situational judgement tests

Chapter 1. What Are Administrators and How Are They Selected?
Who the EU administrators are and how EPSO selects them: reasoning and competency tests, competition cycles, chances of succeeding by competition type, language rules.

Chapter 2. Administrator Competitions Step by Step.
Phases of the competitions in detail: tests taken at each stage, how they are scored, specialist tests, CAST permanent selections, reserve list and recruitment, top tips to succeed.

Chapter 3. Verbal, Numerical and Abstract Reasoning Tests in EPSO Administrator Exams
An overview of the psychometric (reasoning) tests used by EPSO and how they are measured.

Chapter 4. Succeeding in Verbal Reasoning Tests
How to take these tests – the hazards to avoid and the skills and techniques you need.

Chapter 5. Verbal Reasoning Test
150 all-new AD-level practice questions, with explanations showing which answer options are wrong, and why.

Chapter 6. Succeeding in Numerical Reasoning Tests
The essential mathematical operations you need to master and the mistakes you need to avoid, with worked examples.

Chapter 7. Numerical Reasoning Warm-Up Exercise
“Warm-up” exercise of 45 selected questions where you are given the answers straight away, designed to strengthen skills in order of magnitude, per capita/percentage calculations, speed, time and distance, equations, ratios and estimating.

Chapter 8. Numerical Reasoning Test
120 AD-level mixed-type practice questions, with detailed answers showing all the calculations required from start to finish, the commonly made errors and the shortcuts you can take.

Chapter 9. Succeeding in Abstract Reasoning Tests
Many are confused by abstract reasoning tests – this chapter shows how such tests are designed, the essential operations and key rules to master.

Chapter 10. Abstract Reasoning Warm-Up Exercise
Step by step guidance, through 20 individual worked examples, to how to solve abstract reasoning questions. The focus is on systematic elimination of incorrect answers to improve your accuracy and speed when working under pressure.

Chapter 11. Abstract Reasoning Test
160 AD-level practice questions, testing typical series, with answers explaining the rules applied so you can work backwards to see where you went wrong.

Chapter 12. Succeeding in Situational Judgement Tests
What they involve and how performance is measured against the EPSO competencies.

Chapter 13. Situational Judgement Test
30 workplace scenarios specific to the Administrators edition where you have to decide how to act – with answer explanations evaluating the options from most to least appropriate or effective.

Administrators (AD) Edition 2020

Assistants (AST) Edition 2020

Who is this book for? Candidates for all EPSO AST and AST-SC exams as well as equivalent-level CAST exams.

What does it include? Overview of EPSO competitions and comprehensive methodologies and practice tests for pre-selection exams.

All practice questions are designed for Assistant level and have full answer explanations so you can learn from your mistakes and improve your speed and accuracy.

What’s New for 2020…

  • NEW FEATURE. Abstract Reasoning warm-up exercise, specially designed for AST competitions, showing step by step how to systematically solve typical questions, with time saving shortcuts and pitfalls to avoid
  • NEW FEATURE. Numerical Reasoning warm-up exercise, specially created for the Assistants edition, explaining through worked examples how to tackle all the types of numerical reasoning questions, with a focus on identifying time-saving shortcuts.
  • FOR THE FIRST TIME, detailed guidance specific to EPSO Assistant competitions on key topics such as timelines, chances of succeeding, scoring systems, how to focus your efforts, CAST selections, common errors candidates make and top tips to succeed
  • Our biggest Assistants edition ever!

Chapter 1. What Are Assistants and How Are They Selected?
Who the Assistants are and how EPSO selects them: reasoning and competency tests, competition cycles, chances of succeeding by competition type, language rules.

Chapter 2. Assistant Competitions Step by Step
Phases of the competitions in detail: tests taken at each stage, how they are scored, specialist tests, CAST permanent selections, reserve list and recruitment, top tips to succeed.

Chapter 3. Verbal, Numerical and Abstract Reasoning Tests in EPSO Assistant Exams
An overview of the psychometric (reasoning) tests used by EPSO and how they are measured.

Chapter 4. Succeeding in Verbal Reasoning Tests
How to take these tests – the hazards to avoid and the skills and techniques you need.

Chapter 5. Verbal Reasoning Test
150 AST-level practice questions, with explanations showing which answer options are wrong, and why.

Chapter 6. Succeeding in Numerical Reasoning Tests
The essential mathematical operations you need to master, and the mistakes you need to avoid.

Chapter 7. Numerical Reasoning Warm-Up Exercise
45 questions where you are given the answers straight away, designed to strengthen skills in order of magnitude, per capita/percentage calculations, speed, time and distance, equations, ratios and estimating.

Chapter 8. Numerical Reasoning Test 120 AST-level practice questions with detailed answers showing all the calculations required from start to finish, the commonly made errors and the shortcuts you can take.

Chapter 9. Succeeding in Abstract Reasoning Tests
Many are confused by abstract reasoning tests – this chapter shows how such tests are designed, the essential operations and key rules to master.

Chapter 10. Abstract Reasoning Warm-Up Exercise
Step by step guide to solving 20 individual worked examples. The focus is on systematic elimination of incorrect answers to improve your accuracy and speed when working under pressure.

Chapter 11. Abstract Reasoning Test
110 AST-level practice questions, testing typical series, with answers explaining the rules applied so you can work backwards to see where you went wrong.

Chapter 12. Prioritising and Organising Test
69 questions testing your ability to choose the correct or the best option in realistic office scenarios where competing priorities, budgets, people resources and schedules are involved.

Assistants (AST) Edition 2020

Assessment Centre 2020

Who is this book for?
Candidates at all levels (AD or AST) preparing for the EPSO Assessment Centre. Note: Although designed specifically for the EPSO Assessment Centre this book also includes much of value to those facing other types of Assessment Centre.

What does it include?
Detailed coverage of the Assessment Centre exercises, the competencies they measure, how to prepare, and the mistakes to avoid. The 2020 edition includes extended coverage of the increasingly used Interview in the Field.

  • How the EPSO Assessment Centre works and a typical day
  • The competencies and how they are measured
  • Individual Chapters on the In-tray, the Case Study, General Competency Based Interview, the Oral Presentation, Group Exercise, Interview in the Field, and Motivational Interview
  • Sample practice exercises for all the test types
  • Detailed scoring guides for self-assessment of your own competencies
  • Competency passport, Reserve List and Recruitment
  • Preparation self-assessment can also be done online at no extra cost

Chapter 1. The EPSO Assessment Centre.
How the Assessment Centre works: overview of tests used for different profiles, how the assessors score the exercises, a typical day and practical information for candidates.

Chapter 2. The EPSO Competency Framework
Explains each of the EPSO general competencies in turn: Analysis and Problem Solving, Communicating, Delivering Quality and Results, Learning and Development, Prioritising and Organising, Resilience, Working with Others, Leadership. What anchors and indicators are and how they are used by EPSO.

Chapter 3. The In-tray (E-tray) Exercise
How this is conducted and scored, how to prepare, what to do and what to avoid.

Chapter 4. The Case Study
Organisation and scoring, competencies and indicators measured, how to tackle the essay, errors to avoid.

Chapter 5. The General Competency Based Interview
Competencies assessed, interview scenarios, how to prepare in advance and how to conduct yourself during the interview.

Chapter 6. The Oral Presentation
Competencies assessed, scenarios, techniques of presenting, dealing with questions, controlling your nerves.

Chapter 7. The Group Exercise
Organisation, phases and timing; roles and duties in the group, competencies measured, essential things to do and to avoid

Chapter 8. The Interview in the Field
Talent screener and sifting, methodology of the interview and types of questions, preparation. Content specially expanded for this edition.

Chapter 9. The Motivational Interview
A new test introduced for generalist competitions in 2019. What motivation means in the EU administration and how to prepare.

Chapter 10. Recruitment
Competency passport, reserve list and hiring, how to find a job.

Chapter 11. What If You’re Not on the Reserve List?
Considering your options.

ANNEXES
Annex 1. Competencies, Anchors and Indicators
Indicators for each of the EPSO competencies, in tables. This provides background data to allow you to carry out your own self-assessment and create your own competency passport using the free app linked to the book.
Annex 2. Sample In-tray Exercise
Annex 3. Sample Case Study
Annex 4. General Competency Based Interview Questions
Annex 5. Sample Oral Presentation
Annex 6. Sample Group Exercise
Annex 7. Sample Motivational Interview Questions
Annex 8. Sample Competency Passports
Annex 9. Frequently Asked Questions
Annex 10. Glossary

Assessment Centre 2020

EU Career Development Book

Who is this book for? All EU staff, whether permanent, temporary or contract, stagiaires, assistants and anyone planning an EU career.

What does it include? The competencies – or “soft skills” –sought by the EU institutions, what they are, and how to improve your own performance for career success.
Coach, trainer and former EU official Jan De Sutter draws on the best ideas and practice in current management thinking and applies them to the specific context of EU institutions, explaining how the various competencies fit into the EU system for staff selection, appraisal and promotion. Individual chapters explain what each competency is about, and its related “behavioural anchors”, moving on to insights and practical tips for self-improvement.

  • The central importance of competencies to your EU career
  • Understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how to self-improve
  • Individual chapters on Analysis and Problem Solving, Communicating, Delivering Quality and Results, Learning and Development, Prioritising and Organising, Resilience, Working with Others, and Leadership
  • Self-assessment worksheets for each competency
  • Self-assessment can also be done online for free with extra features including personal competency passport and priorities for action

Chapter 1. Upgrading Your Core Competencies
The EPSO competency framework and its relevance in selection, recruitment, appraisal and promotion. How to use the book’s self-assessment worksheets and the supporting free self-assessment app.

Chapter 2. Know Yourself to Understand Others
Personality types, different types of intelligence, and motivation.

Chapter 3. Analysis and Problem Solving
Systematic approaches to problem solving, teamwork, different types of thinking, implementation.

Chapter 4. Communicating
Oral communication, speaking in public; written communication, how to create good messages and documents; techniques for engaging your audience.

Chapter 5. Delivering Quality and Results
Defining quality; time and performance management, meeting and exceeding expectations.

Chapter 6. Learning and Development
Hard skills and soft skills, types of learning, learning and development in the EU context.

Chapter 7. Prioritising and Organising
Managing time, projects, critical paths, multitasking, planning tools.

Chapter 8. Resilience
Adapting to change, coping with stress, operating outside your comfort zone.

Chapter 9. Working with Others
Group dynamics, combing different personality types, handling meetings, being assertive.

Chapter 10. Leadership
Leaders versus managers, different leadership styles and theories, motivating others, delegating, receiving feedback.

ANNEXES

Annexes 1 to 10. Self-assessment Worksheets for each competency, competency passport and development plan. Note: These worksheets can also be done using the supporting free app, which will automatically generate a personal competency passport and priorities.

Annex 11. Glossary
Annex 12. Bibliography
Index

EU Career Development Book