Working within a European institution

The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) look after the application and selection process for all the EU Institutions. Institutions recruit graduates as administrators with between 0 and 3 years work experience. There are 3 stages to the recruitment process:

  1. Preselection test (multiple choice test about your specialised field, verbal reasoning and knowledge of the EU)
  2. Written examinations
  3. Oral examinations

Successful candidates are placed on a reserve list and are appointed as vacancies arise.  Competition to get a job working within an EU Institution is very high so, it is important that students undertake a stage/internship with an Institution first.


  • Ongoing persistence, determination, and a focus on a career in the EU.
  • Ability to operate within bureaucracy.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Awareness of European current affairs, issues and developments.
  • Resilience, self motivation and language competency.


  • Prepare for competitions early; you will find practice tests at European Careers Sample Tests
  • Think long-term: what internships can prepare you for this? What courses or student societies? How can you improve your language skills? What policy area do you want to work in?
  • Once you are on the waiting list, network and lobby yourself.

Careers outside the EU Institutions

If you are looking for a job outside of the EU institutions then Euro Brussels provides information, vacancies and careers advice on other EU organisations. 

Other EU organisations

European governments, Chambers of Commerce, Political consultancies, Corporations, Trade and professional associations, Interest groups, Labour unions, Law firms, Media, Political parties,  MEPs offices

Top tips for getting a job in other EU organisations

  • Make sure you apply for jobs that are not advertised.
  • Be proactive.
  • Network.
  • Try to volunteer or do an internship within the organisation first. 
  • Expand your knowledge on European proceedings.
  • Join to European Society at the LSE.
  • Get work experience, preferably in Brussels or in a policy/politics related field in your home country.


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