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Third Secretary & Development Specialist Campaign 2020

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 269 ✭✭Aleece2020


    chrishic wrote: »
    I was around 7 in the DSO, just got the invite to third secretary there too.

    Best of luck to all waiting!

    Good to know that it’s moving already. Much faster than expected.


  • Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭Itchyfeet89


    Annoyed as I did really well in numerical. I still passed but 700 overall so annoyed that numerical didn't count in the end


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭completedit


    Annoyed as I did really well in numerical. I still passed but 700 overall so annoyed that numerical didn't count in the end

    Assuming you were born 89 also. Be interested in knowing the average age of those going for the role. Like I really would like to pursue the Third Sec career but wondering if age will count against me as I push into my 30's. Similarly, I did well on numerical, but I wouldn't have expected to. Prior to the tests, I was happy with the method of counting just the verbal and SJ.


  • Registered Users Posts: 446 ✭✭delricyo


    Assuming you were born 89 also. Be interested in knowing the average age of those going for the role. Like I really would like to pursue the Third Sec career but wondering if age will count against me as I push into my 30's.

    Age should never really be a factor - either officially or unofficially. The days of AO/TS getting requited in their early 20s are probably over - as the civil service are looking for some experience as well as the qualifications.
    I was applying for lots of AO jobs well into my 30s and I found my experience was of benefit


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭completedit


    Brilliant. I might see if I can get an internship with the commission or whatever and have the Third Sec as a medium-term goal.

    Passing the aptitude tests has given me some confidence. I failed one for a really great programme with the EU back in January and I would gauge that the TC aptitude tests were slightly harder.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,641 Mod ✭✭✭✭Daisies


    Assuming you were born 89 also. Be interested in knowing the average age of those going for the role. Like I really would like to pursue the Third Sec career but wondering if age will count against me as I push into my 30's. Similarly, I did well on numerical, but I wouldn't have expected to. Prior to the tests, I was happy with the method of counting just the verbal and SJ.

    The age range for the last intake of 3rd Secs varied from mid 20s to early 40s so I wouldn't worry too much.


  • Registered Users Posts: 63 ✭✭blithe


    Just got invited to the video interviews for TS this weekend too. Have never done an online video interview like this before either so it'll be interesting!


  • Registered Users Posts: 21 emhds


    Brilliant. I might see if I can get an internship with the commission or whatever and have the Third Sec as a medium-term goal.

    Passing the aptitude tests has given me some confidence. I failed one for a really great programme with the EU back in January and I would gauge that the TC aptitude tests were slightly harder.

    Commission Bluebook is a really good program, and if you're successful in your role you can, with a bit of luck, be invited to become a Junior Professional.

    And by EU program, do you mean the EPSO exams? Generally the passing rate for those tests is <1%. Only 5 Irish people passed them last year. Usually those who pass say that they do hours of practice exams for months before sitting them, so definitely do take that into consideration going forward! Also, the Irish government offers citizens a license for training packs, just so you know! (I didn't and wrote into them saying we should start doing it. Got a reply telling me they already did, and that I had just failed to tick a box when applying - felt very silly indeed!)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭completedit


    emhds wrote: »
    Commission Bluebook is a really good program, and if you're successful in your role you can, with a bit of luck, be invited to become a Junior Professional.

    And by EU program, do you mean the EPSO exams? Generally the passing rate for those tests is <1%. Only 5 Irish people passed them last year. Usually those who pass say that they do hours of practice exams for months before sitting them, so definitely do take that into consideration going forward! Also, the Irish government offers citizens a license for training packs, just so you know! (I didn't and wrote into them saying we should start doing it. Got a reply telling me they already did, and that I had just failed to tick a box when applying - felt very silly indeed!)

    Hey,

    Nice information.

    The programme was an overseas development officer. I don't even think it was an internship but with Covid it's gone from my memory. But, from what I remember, I don't think I'd have even been working in Brussels or Strasbourg.

    Do you mean the abstract reasoning, Verbal and Numerical reasoning EPSO exams? Are they really that tough? I went for the test in the IFSC and got knocked out in the preliminary round - I scored 13 in the Verbal, and 5 in both the logical and abstract reasoning. I seem to remember 10 being a pass. I did very little prep. The DFA emailed me with some links that I actually linked to earlier in this thread for some prep material.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,641 Mod ✭✭✭✭Daisies


    Called for the next round in the DSO comp. Any idea what OOM they have called forward in the DSO section?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21 emhds


    Hey,

    Nice information.

    The programme was an overseas development officer. I don't even think it was an internship but with Covid it's gone from my memory. But, from what I remember, I don't think I'd have even been working in Brussels or Strasbourg.

    Do you mean the abstract reasoning, Verbal and Numerical reasoning EPSO exams? I got. Knocked out in the prelimary round - I scored 13 in the Verbal, and 5 in both the logical and abstract reasoning. I seem to remember 10 being a pass. I did very little prep. The DFA emailed me with some links, that I actually linked to earlier in this thread for some prep material.

    Yes those ones! I saw the links you posted, but they actually will provide you with a license to eutraining.eu with some practice exams once you've been called to sit the exams. You need to give them a scan of your passport etc. when doing so. They're notoriously difficult to pass. In my masters degree, there was an entire course people could take (for actual credits) just on the EPSO exams.


  • Registered Users Posts: 44 PeachL00pies


    Daisies wrote: »
    Called for the next round in the DSO comp. Any idea what OOM they have called forward in the DSO section?

    I was 79 on the OoM and haven't been called...


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭completedit


    emhds wrote: »
    Yes those ones! I saw the links you posted, but they actually will provide you with a license to eutraining.eu with some practice exams once you've been called to sit the exams. You need to give them a scan of your passport etc. when doing so. They're notoriously difficult to pass. In my masters degree, there was an entire course people could take (for actual credits) just on the EPSO exams.[/quote

    That's really interesting. Thanks for this information and sense of perspective.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 R2020C


    Thanks so much for your help! Don’t think I’ve been placed high enough to get called for the interview but finding the whole process weirdly fascinating 🀣


  • Registered Users Posts: 44 PeachL00pies


    emhds wrote: »
    Yes those ones! I saw the links you posted, but they actually will provide you with a license to eutraining.eu with some practice exams once you've been called to sit the exams. You need to give them a scan of your passport etc. when doing so. They're notoriously difficult to pass. In my masters degree, there was an entire course people could take (for actual credits) just on the EPSO exams.[/quote

    That's really interesting. Thanks for this information and sense of perspective.

    Keep an eye on the shorter term vacancies which arise for graduates in both DFA and the Missions abroad. A lot of contracts are 1-2 years with most people in those positions treated as temporary Third Secs. You get a lot of experience and responsibility.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Paladin_


    Brilliant. I might see if I can get an internship with the commission or whatever and have the Third Sec as a medium-term goal.

    Passing the aptitude tests has given me some confidence. I failed one for a really great programme with the EU back in January and I would gauge that the TC aptitude tests were slightly harder.

    If you're interested in EU traineeships, you should also look outside the big three (Commission, Council, Parliament). Those are great on a CV but a lot of the individual agencies and EEAS delegations also take on trainees and they're usually not as competitive and sometimes the work is more substantive.

    Altho obviously still apply to the big three too. EP is open at the moment I think - I did one before and it was a big boost in getting more experience down the line, including with DFA.

    Also keep an eye out for Graduate Policy Officer and Policy Advisor roles with the Department (usually PMUNs Geneva + New York, London, Perm Rep in Brussels, and the Irish missions to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and the OSCE in Vienna, and a few others). Usually advertised directly on their own webpages and not on the DFA main page. They're another great way of getting a big boost in experience and credibility early on (contracts range from 11 months to two years). Also JPIs with Irish Aid and UNV.

    London embassy is actually looking for a GPO until 5pm today.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21 emhds


    Paladin_ wrote: »
    If you're interested in EU traineeships, you should also look outside the big three (Commission, Council, Parliament). Those are great on a CV but a lot of the individual agencies and EEAS delegations also take on trainees and they're usually not as competitive and sometimes the work is more substantive.

    Altho obviously still apply to the big three too. EP is open at the moment I think - I did one before and it was a big boost in getting more experience down the line, including with DFA.

    Also keep an eye out for Graduate Policy Officer and Policy Advisor roles with the Department (usually PMUNs Geneva + New York, London, Perm Rep in Brussels, and the Irish missions to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and the OSCE in Vienna, and a few others). Usually advertised directly on their own webpages and not on the DFA main page. They're another great way of getting a big boost in experience and credibility early on (contracts range from 11 months to two years). Also JPIs with Irish Aid and UNV.

    London embassy is actually looking for a GPO until 5pm today.


    Second all of this advice! Also consider emailing MEPs individually, they often take in interns as trainee parliamentary assistants.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 Ramnavk2


    Any indication as to what level on the OOM they've invited to the video interviews for TS?


  • Registered Users Posts: 279 ✭✭HartsHat


    How often do the roles come up?

    Depends on a number of factors.

    In the last 12 years something like this:

    2007
    2013
    2015
    2017
    2018
    2020

    So as you can see it is dependent on the economy and needs of the diplomatic stream.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28 PurpleRainx


    Hi All. I’ve received two video interviews invites-one for DS and the other for TS. Are these really two separate interviews? Seems strange as the first stage applied to both DS and TS.

    Also -we only have until Tuesday to do! Not much time. That’s my weekend plans of doing nothing gone but still!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 279 ✭✭HartsHat


    Hi All. I’ve received two video interviews invites-one for DS and the other for TS. Are these really two separate interviews? Seems strange as the first stage applied to both DS and TS.

    Also -we only have until Tuesday to do! Not much time. That’s my weekend plans of doing nothing gone but still!

    They're two separate streams and therefore will have different examiners, different questions, and different answers. They're different jobs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 R2020C


    Hi All. I’ve received two video interviews invites-one for DS and the other for TS. Are these really two separate interviews? Seems strange as the first stage applied to both DS and TS.

    Also -we only have until Tuesday to do! Not much time. That’s my weekend plans of doing nothing gone but still!

    Good luck! Do you mind me asking what your OOM rough range was for TS? If you don’t want to say that’s completely fine! (I know it’s none of my business) :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 21 emhds


    Does anyone have any idea of where on the OOM you need to be to have a realistic chance at getting the job? Like say you pass the interview stages, speak a few languages and have the right qualifications/experience. Where would be a realistic place to be starting from in order to make it on the panel if they’re recruiting 30-40 in the end?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,641 Mod ✭✭✭✭Daisies


    Hi All. I’ve received two video interviews invites-one for DS and the other for TS. Are these really two separate interviews? Seems strange as the first stage applied to both DS and TS.

    Also -we only have until Tuesday to do! Not much time. That’s my weekend plans of doing nothing gone but still!

    I got called for interview for the DSO comp (didn't apply for TS) and looking at the questions you need to answer, they are quite development focussed. I would imagine the TS ones are more foreign policy orientated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10 augustgetaway


    The questions for TS are definitely something else, mostly to do with management, delivering results and adaptability and I truly thought they’d be more to do with foreign policy, international relations, etc.

    I guess I’m in for a long weekend of trying to twist my experience in retail & university to fit those questions!


  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Pseudonymised


    The questions for TS are definitely something else, mostly to do with management, delivering results and adaptability and I truly thought they’d be more to do with foreign policy, international relations, etc.

    I guess I’m in for a long weekend of trying to twist my experience in retail & university to fit those questions!


    I've not been invited to the interview yet, but hoping will be at some stage! Did they send on the questions that will be asked or competencies?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10 augustgetaway


    I've not been invited to the interview yet, but hoping will be at some stage! Did they send on the questions that will be asked or competencies?

    Best of luck!

    Yep, they sent on the exact questions which is great!


  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Pseudonymised


    Best of luck!

    Yep, they sent on the exact questions which is great!

    Ah that's brilliant, at least takes away the stress of the unknown! Good luck with it :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 44 PeachL00pies


    They called up to 206 for Third Sec and up to 72 for DSO.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,641 Mod ✭✭✭✭Daisies


    They called up to 206 for Third Sec and up to 72 for DSO.

    Did PAS tell you that? I wonder how high they will go.


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