EU Competences Workshop – Conclusions


Some weeks ago, before the Christmas Holidays break, we celebrated an event that we called “Professional opportunities in the EU”, in which we were speaking about the different ways to be involved in the European working bubble thanks to the multiple options available for everyone, since traineeships and temporary work as a contractual agents, until exams to become a public servant in the European Institutions, Agencies and Bodies.

In this way, we dedicated time to explain how EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office) works, what kind of formal requirements and questions the candidates will find in those access exams and, of course, we share different useful tips about how to pass them successfully. It was an intensive and long session in which we offer to our followers some real exercises with the aim to teach them how to deal with the pressure and the problems that normally appear during the selection processes. But do not worry If you missed it, you can read our summary by clicking in the post we create for you here!

Nevertheless, continuing with this cycle of European Information meetings, this time in Smokinya Foundation we decided to bring you something a bit different, much more interactive and useful not only in the EU professional environment, but also for the most of international organizations, companies and enterprises; a specific workshop about “EU Competences and Situational Judgement”.

But let’s start by the beginning. What are we referring to with “professional competences”? As you know, everybody owns different skills, which can be classified in two separate groups. On the one hand, “Hard Skills”, or the knowledge that you got because you studied it formally (courses, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees…), and on the other hand, “Soft Skills”, regarding those abilities that you have because of practise or because you simply were born with them (self confidence, active listening, writing…). Likewise, the addition of both groups of skills is what it is commonly named “Profesional Competences”, or that combination of abilities that every people have and use everywhere while working.

And why is this so important? Well, because despite the never ending list of possible competences that exist, there are some of them, eight in particular, which are always present in the mind of those companies, enterprises and international organizations (including first of all our European Union) that we mentioned previously, thorugh similar selection processes in the form of exams, tests or interviews. So, as you will have guessed, it is more than advisable to be aware of them, know them and work on them in order to increase substantially your chances of achieving your desired job.

Thus, during the last Smokinya Club’s session we were talking step by step and one by one, about “Analysis and problem solving”, “Communication”, “Priority Setting and Organization”, “Teamwork”, “Learning and Development”, “Resilience”, “Quality and Results” and “Leadership”, like the keys that could open to you the gates of the professional succeed. Something specially relevant now that the soft skills are so demanded in the labour market, being mandatory to understand what these competences really mean for the employers and how they expect to implement them in your daily working routine.

Anyway, if you were not able to come to our workshop do not care about it, we can summarize in the following idea; what every employer is looking for in their candidates, particularly talking about EPSO and the EU opportunities, are practical and resolutive people willing to be creative to fix a problem when it is needed, able to organise their tasks and to accomplish the established goals efficiently while following the rules and protocols, despite a big pressure. People capable of working in a multicultural team overcoming the differences, taking the lead and the initiative to go ahead with the proposed goals.

Someone, in definitive, curious and motivated to learn as much as possible about themselves and about the surrounding working environment with the aim of growing not only as a professional, but also as a person. All this at the same time that you keep moving forward facing the obstacles that for sure, will appear in your path.

It can not seem easy, either clear, we know it! But do not be afraid of it, the employers wil not ask you directly about these professional competences. So, how they verify that you are the adequate candidate for the job? Thanks to certain kind of exercises, always present in the European public exams (as we explained in the previous meeting), called “Situational Judgement”.

According to this, the candidates have to resolve different exercises in which the employers simulate real working situations, asking them to react, to give an answer in order to struggle with a conflictive or uncomfortable decision related to the daily life in the organization, department, or company mentioned. For these reasons, and since the boom of this competences in selection processes, in Smokinya Foundation we worked hard to bring to our dear guests some real exercises that we explained and resolved all together. And we have to say the result was so rewarding as entertaining!

Of course, this type of exercises requires to think carefully about what competence among the eight ones the employers are expecting to see in your answers (yes, in plural, because you have to choose two of four possible options, indicating which are the most and the less effective ones). Something that can seem complicated at the beginning, especially considering that you have a very limited time to choose the correct options.

However, nothing is impossible! Nobody is born knowing everything, and as usual, the only thing that you will need to pass this selection process exams are patience, practice and… yes, more practice (here you can find some official free EU simulation test for training, including the rest parts of the exam). So do not give up, remember that victory is reserved for those who persevere!

So now that you have found out what the European Union can offer you, and how to deal with this common selection processes, what are you waiting for? Take the step, the professional opportunities are out there!

Finally, we only want to remind you that if you found interesting the topic, you should not forget to keep an eye on our social media. We are already preparing a next EU workshop for the following month that you cannot miss. In addition, if you have questions or just want to know more about these EU workshops, please feel free to write us to, we will be glad to support you.

We see you in our next Smokinya Club gathering, as usual, every Thursday at 6:00 p.m at Ul. Beethoven 12, 4000 Tsentar, Plovdiv. Do not miss it!

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an
endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be
held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. //
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EU Competences Workshop – Conclusions