Tuesday, 9 March 2010

EPSO Humour

Humour is one of the most important behaviours of the human mind and Laugther is it's better representation. Here is our first story, courtesy of the unknown EPSO candidate.


40 000 expected candidates from all around Europe, New York and Beijing will try to get 400 tickets to maybe enter in a madhouse called "EU Institutions".

During that 9 months journey, they will have to face: Depression, no social life, lack of self-esteem, computer breakdowns, weird correction criteria from an almighty panel of judges (oops, I meant the jury) and other real or surreal problems.

The competition is not open to MEPs, Commissioners and other senior staff (they will fail during the first steps anyway).

There are other things that you can do during these 9 months to get anequally painful final result.

So start to prepare yourself, because Europe needs you.

Nota Bene: You should pass on this story to all known victims of EPSO (European Pain and Suffering Organization). If you do no do so, you will be forced to suffer from EPSO oppression until you will retire, and this is currently not before completing your 67 year of age. A friend of mine did not forward this story and not only his pet died but his girlfriend become a contrantual agent in the EPSO.

:-) Smile makes people wonder why :-)


Kalina said...

haha, Eu insider humour :) and how true ;)
Glad to see you online again Christos, thought you stopped blogging..it's been such a long time since your last post

The Author said...

Kalina, Thanks for your remarks. The post actually come from a wanabee candidate that was really fed up with the system.

I will try to be a little bit more active in the future, but do not forget that this blog is to be seen as a joint effort of all candidates, laureats and colleagues. Everybody is welcome to blog along and/or to suggest posts.

Raluca said...

Dear Christos,
I have an AD5 oral exam coming up next month and Im now reading your book and trying to prepare. Your book is really helpful and Im glad I bought it! I have a couple of questions and I hope you'll be able to answer me:
-During the oral exam a few areas are tested- language skills, domain specific knowledge, eu knowledge, suitability to work in a multicultural environment, etc. What is the approximate weight of each of these areas in the marking process?
-What is the best way to handle career breaks during CV presentation at the oral exam? Sometimes the reasons for such career breaks can be personal, but on the other hand if not accounted for, could may be cause doubts. How to handle such situation??

The Author said...

Dear Raluca,

Thank youf ro your nice work vis-à-vis my book.

My personal assessment of the imporatnce of the difference areas are (in descenting order): domain specific knowledge, eu knowledge, language skills & suitability to work in a multicultural environment. Nevertheless, you must show competences and adapatability in all four areas. In example, knowing ten languages, but failing to work in a multi-cultural environment, sometimes is worst that being open to people sensitivities and speaking only two languages.

You should always explain the reason for career breaks (i.a. for women the most common is maternity leave). You should always say the truth, but be careful not to be naive in your answer.

All the best for the exam :-)

Raluca said...

Hi Christos,
Thank you very much for your reply.
I also thought the importance of the areas was in such order, but my question was more if, for example the domain specific knowlegde could account for 50% of the mark?
You also mention that one always say the truth (about career breaks)which I completely agree with, but be careful not to be naive in his answer. What do you mean not to be naive? Could you give me an example

The Author said...


I cannot give specific points, but it is logical to assume that more important areas will have a higher weight.

In the hypothetical example of a woman with a career break of, let's say, two years to raise a child:

Erroneous answers: I cannot disclose this information. You do not have the right to ask such personal questions.
Naive answers: I stayed at home for two years. I did nothing.
Good answers: I took unpaid leave from my work to raise my kid. I was raising the leader of tomorrow ;-)

Hope it's clear now.

Anonymous said...

dear Christos,
I have a question regarding the selection board and the oral exam (old style). In your book you mention that when there's a possible conflict of interest, that particular board member will not be present. I noticed that in some selection boards there's a person with the same nationality as those examined. The person is in the alternative board members. So for example, if the board member is romanian, would he normally be present when romanians are examined or only when for example bulgarians are examined? Is same nationality a conflict of interests (due to possible bias) or necessity (for example to examine main language, etc??)
Thank you in advance

The Author said...

Dear anonymous,

The typical conflict of interest that can be found in these situations is a member of jury being your direct supervisor.

Nationality is definitively NOT a conflict of interest :-)

Good luck with your exams

The Author said...

An interesting article concerning the so called "EU Myths" is available at http://www.withoutcommission.eu/2010/03/29/a-handful-of-eu-myths/