Friday, 16 November 2007

So you passed! What next?

So you were successful and you managed to include your name in the reserve list. Furthermore, you have even been offered a place to work in the EU Institutions.

Do you just say Yes or do you your time to prepare a "plan"? It is evident that you need to evaluate all your options before relocating. In a way, you should make a cost/benefit analysis before replying to any offers.

Some of these considerations could be evaluated if you answer the following questions:

  • Do you know what is the cost of living in that country/city?
  • Do you want to relocate to that country/city?
  • Can your partner find a job in that country/city?
  • Is there a school for your kids in that country/city?
Happy to discuss further from your point-of-view.


Damien said...

Good point, Christos. And what an excellent book (both the French and English versions!).. Here are my thoughts:

What happens between the inclusion of a name in the reserve list, and getting offered a place to work in the EU Institutions? The system is shrouded in so much mystery. And given the unspoken quota system, is it any different now for laureates from EU-10+2?

If CVs and cover letters should be sent out proactively by laureates (instead of waiting for spontaneous interview invitations), where are the various HR departments' addresses located?

Relatedly, is EPSO's reminder about the "non-guarantee of actual employment" linked solely to laureates' lack of interest in (or possiblity of) employment with the EU institutions? In other words can some laureates, who are ready and willing and able, still be snubbed after over a year of so much hard work?

I look forward to your advice on this. And thanks for this wonderful blog!

New Life said...

Hi Christos,
Congratulations for the idea to make this blog and special thanks for your book! I had an oral examination in June and a friend of mine bought it for me from Brussels. I can honestly say that it really helped me and gave me ideas what to expect - the structure of the exam, the positive tone of answering that you recommend, and in general you made me ask myself other similar questions especially about motivation. What surprised me more was that I was really asked several of the questions mentioned by you:)

Several days ago the reserve list (including my name) was published in OJ - 5 months after I was notified about the results via my EPSO profile. So, it's no wonder that the issues Damien raises are of great interest also to me! I understand that the institutions invite candidates mainly considering their CV and experience, which is normal. But what happens with the laureates, who are less interesting for some reasons, or the ones who do not have experience at all (as previous experience was not required for this competition)?
I am a little bit confused now and don't know how to plan my life in the next months, year, or... I had interesting job offers in my country, which I declined because I beleive it is not loyal to promise certain commitment and then, 2-3-4 month after to say "Bye, that was it, actually I came here expecting the EU institutions to call me". On the other hand, it's been a year that I feel my current job is no longer a challenge for me and I need to develop in a certain way...

Anonymous said...

Dear Christos

I have been informed by Epso that the publication of the reserve list is not a precondition for the recruitment process to begin and that the classification in merit groups is only indicative and not binding, since recruitment is made based on the CVs and a potential (additional) interview woth the head of unit.

Is this is the usual procedure followed? Any suggestions on how to proceed of fill this "information deficit"?

PS Are there other laureates of the Greek translators' competition out there?

Thank you


The Author said...

Dear Y.,

The recruitment process could start as early as from the moment that the official letters are sent to laureats. The reserve list is published a little bit later.

The merit groups is an indication for the interested parties of how good a candidate performed at the time of the competition. To this extend, there are indicative and not binding.

After having pass the "oral examination", it is normal procedure that you will need to have a "job interview" with your future boss. This way you could also choose the place where you would like to work.

Congrats for your success.

Anonymous said...

dear Christos

thank you for your answer.

Regarding the place of work, I understand that the translation services are divided between Bruxells and Luxembourg. What would you advise? Bruxxels or Luxembourg? Can you comment on positive and negative points for each city/work environment?

thank you once again


Anonymous said...

To "new life" and other laureates...

You should under no circumstances pass up a good opportunity outside the institutions just because you are on a reserve list. Not everyone on a list get recruited (not even from the AD lists) and it may take years, so it would be silly to wait around. On top of that, building up your cv is the best way of increasing your chances to attract the attention of a Commission unit in need.

I'd also argue that there is no need to be too self-sacrificing when it comes to your new (maybe temporary) employer: a company can handle the loss/replacement of one person quite well, but for you to wait around in a job that you would have left were it not for the concours is just too much of a sacrifice.

The Author said...

Dear Y.,

Indeed the translation services are divided between Brussels and Luxembourg, but most probably you do not have the possibility to choose, since most linguistic division are located exclusively in one of the two place (and I believe the majority in Luxembourg).

Brussels v. Luxembourg. It is a tough choice that depends on your personal situation.

Brussels is bigger (population 1.000.000 v.100.000) that Luxembourg, i.e. so do the choice of good things like cinemas, or bad things like traffic jams.

Please note that the Brussels (=big) v. Luxembourg (=small) is also true vis-à-vis the choice of DG/services located in each city.

Rumors say that Luxembourg is considered good if you have a family with small children.

Anonymous said...

Dear Y,

congrats on your success. Here is a potential colleague-to-be! I also made it to the reserve list of AD/77/06 and I am now sitting on live coals regarding similar questions as Brussels vs. Luxembourg or proactive behaviour or not.

Anyway, the hard part is now behind us and whichever institution I have been reserved for (either in B. or in L.), I will surely say yes to the job offer!

Warm Regards,


Anonymous said...

Dear Maria,

congratulations on your success. Any news regarding our competition?
It is very frustrating to know you have successfully gone through such a demanding process and wondering when and where a job will be offered to you...

let's keep in contact


Anonymous said...

Dear Y,

no news during summer, which is of course reasonable. Anyway, let s see what happens from September onwards. I hope our effort won t get lost in waiting and waiting...

But let s be optimistic, even in 2 years we will still get invited!

Kalo ypoloipo kalokairi,


Anonymous said...

Dear Maria

any news regarding our reserve list? Have you checked your status on the EPSO profile?
I am, still "available"...

Kalo ipoloipo fthinopwro!


Anonymous said...

Me too, no flag, no anything!

I normally see things very optimistic but now I am losing my patience.

Good luck to both of us, I hope they won t make any staff reductions due to the financial recession...

Good luck,


Anonymous said...

Dear Maria

the crisis is making things worse, but in general they prefer to employ people as "agents contractuels/temporaires" than to hire permanent EU officials.

let's hope things will change in 2009...


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if it's normal procedure to wait over a month after the job interview and medical examination to get a job offer? I haven't heard one iota from the interviewing HoU (Commission).

The Author said...

Dear Anonymous,

One month is a very normal waiting time.

Anyway it will be the Commission human resources department that will have to send you the official offer, if any, first by email and subsequently by letter.

Of course you can always ask what is the status of your file to the interviewing HoU. At least this way you will verify that you were the selected candidate.

Alex said...

Dear Christos,

as a successful candidate of one of the last "old-style" competitions, I want to thank you for the info provided in the book - it's been very useful in preparing for the oral exam. It's always good to have a dependable road-map :)

Now I keep reading "horror-stories" of those who made it on the list, and nothing happened afterwards... Quite discouraging. How many of you that pro-actively sent applications managed to get an interview?

A nice summer to all!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately many institutions are filling their vacancies by "internal exams" why epso candidates are waiting for ever.

I know for example that at the Court of Justice in Luxembourg there will be an "internal exam" (it is also called internal corruption) this year (2011) and the deadline for application is in the middle of march.

The purpose of the "exam" is to give the temporary agents at the division "greffe" to be employed as permanent civil servants. Their contracs are coming to its end and after 6 years of employment it can not be prolonged.

What is the solution? "internal exam! 30 people will be employed.

I just feel sorry for EPSO candidates. They have to go through such a competitive exam and finally stay on the list.

actually it is easier to get to the EU institutions if you have a sister, brother, husband, wife or a very good friend there.

Regards and good luck from a civil servant who passed an EPSO exam.