HSBC Apta Values Assessment Guide and Practice [2022]
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Avia, Finance Sector Specialist at JobTestPrep.

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What Is the Apta HSBC Values Assessment?

The HSBC Values Assessment, sometimes referred to simply as the HSBC Online Assessment is a short personality profiling test taken by all candidates for experienced positions in HSBC.

The test is conducted by SHL and is based on their Apta measurement system (see more information on Apta below). It is an adaptation of the SHL OPQ32 Test, SHL’s most popular personality profiling test, although there are several differences.

The test contains 70-90 questions, depending on the position, and is aimed to assess how well your personality fits the requirements of the job and HSBC’s values in general.

Although the official assessment is defined as a 16-minute test, it is actually untimed, and practically takes around 30-45 minutes to complete.

Related links: UBS online assessment


The Apta HSBC Values Assessment Invitation

After you have passed the initial screening stage of HSBC you will receive a test invitation from the company by email. Once clicking the test link, you will be redirected to the testing site - TalentCentral.

Although the test invitation in TalentCentral reveals very little about the nature of the assessment, if you see this message, you will be taking the HSBC Values Assessment:

HSBC Online Test Invitation

HSBC Online Values Test Structure and Content

The HSBC Values Assessment is comprised of 70-90 questions, all of which follow this format:

Which statement describes you best?

I love debating academic theories

I adopt a future emphasis

I am discreet about my accomplishments

Further below we give a recommended solution for this question, as well as an additional one.

 

Each of the three statements is related to a different set of competencies measured by the Apta HSBC Values Assessment.

Once you choose a statement that describes you best, it will disappear and you will be requested to choose another statement that best describes you, of the remaining two.

The relevant competency for each statement will be scored based on your selection:

  • The first statement you choose gets a score of 2 – this is referred to as the ‘Most’ statement.
  • The second statement you choose gets a score of 1 – this is the ‘Neutral’ statement.
  • The remaining statement (which you do not choose) gets a score of 0 – this is the ‘Least’ statement.

Your candidate profile will be structured based on your score in all competencies.


The Main Challenge of the HSBC Values Assessment – Forced Choice

What makes this choosing process particularly challenging is that all three statements may be positive or negative, meaning that you HAVE to make both your strengths and weaknesses apparent.

This testing method is known as a Multidimensional Forced Choice (MFC) and is considered more resistant to faking.


HSBC Values Assessment Sample Questions

Below are several practice questions representing the questions you will be asked on the HSBC Values Assessment.

Take a moment to answer them, and then check out the solution to see our recommendation:

 

HSBC Values Sample Question #1

Which statement describes you best?

I love debating academic theories

I adopt a future emphasis

I am discreet about my accomplishments

 

Note: On the actual test, once you choose a statement, it will disappear, and you will need to choose the statement that best describes you from the remaining two.

Recommended Answer

The statements in this question relate to three different aspects of the Competency Framework:

  • I love debating academic theories – Creativity and Change
  • I adopt a future emphasis – Structure
  • I am discreet about my accomplishments – Dynamism

The best answer to this question (as often happens on the actual Values Assessment) varies depending on the position you are after.

Let's go over them one by one.

 

I love debating academic theories

The ability to conceptualise and debate abstract ideas is related to the Formulating Concepts and Strategies dimension of the Creativity and Change factor. This competency is important for any employee in a complex industry as the financial industry, but it is especially crucial for managers and team leads.

For team members, however, this ability is second in importance to tackling practical and functional problems.

Therefore, our recommendation in this statement is:

  • Management position – Most (first choice)
  • Team member position – Neutral (second choice)

 

I adopt a future emphasis

Future emphasis is a part of the Structure factor, and its Planning and Organising dimension. This involves clearly understanding the potential challenges, particularly the implications of upcoming developments for various aspects of the business.

As a manager, this competency is second in importance to the ability to formulate and discuss abstract ideas, which are required for large-scale decisions. For team members, however, this competency is more important.

Therefore, our recommendation in this statement is:

  • Management position – Neutral (second choice)
  • Team member position – Most (first choice)

 

I am discreet about my accomplishments

This statement relates to the Achieving Goals and Objectives dimension in the Dynamism factor. While it indicates modesty and hard-working nature, considered an advantage in personal relationships, it may not be considered necessarily good in the HSBC Values Assessment, for two main reasons:

  1. In order to progress in any company, it can be positive for achievements to be visible.
  2. Remember that marking this statement means that you DO NOT mark one of the two other statements. Of these three statements, this one is least relevant for a working environment.

Therefore, our recommendation in this statement is:

  • Both managers and team members – Least (do not choose)

 

HSBC Values Sample Question #2

Which statement describes you best?

I enjoy managing a team

I anticipate successful outcomes

I like assisting individuals

 

Note: On the actual test, once you choose a statement, it will disappear, and you will need to choose the statement that best describes you from the remaining two.

Recommended Answer

The statements in this question relate to three different aspects of the Competency Framework:

  • I enjoy managing a team – Influence
  • I anticipate positive outcomes – Emotion
  • I like assisting individuals – Empathy

As in sample question #1, the answer here also depends on your desired position.


I enjoy managing a team

Enjoying the opportunity to motivate and engage your teams and colleagues is demonstrating the Influence dimension in a positive way.

This is a highly important trait for managers to have, and for them, the most crucial out of the three given options. For team members, however, it is undesirable to aspire to be a leader right from the start, rather emphasize your ability to work in a team and follow instructions.

Therefore, our recommendation in this statement is:

  • Management position – Most (first choice)
  • Team member position – Least (not to choose)

 

I anticipate positive outcomes

This statement relates to an optimistic approach, which is a part of the Emotion factor.

Since they believe in themselves and their abilities, as well as the abilities of others they work with, positive thinkers feel confident that they can conquer whatever obstacles they encounter and forge the desired outcomes.

For team members, there may be no more important quality for contemporary businesses aiming to thrive in a challenging ever-changing corporate landscape.

For managers, however, this trait is second in importance to the main aspect of their work – managing employees.

Therefore, our recommendation in this statement is:

  • Management position – Neutral (second choice)
  • Team member position – Most (first choice)

 

I like assisting individuals

This statement is part of the Empathy factor, which is, generally speaking, one of the most important factors in the test.
However, you should always weigh it in comparison with the alternatives.

It is difficult to select between this statement and “I anticipate positive outcomes”. And yet, it would seem that your ability to care and assist your team members or employees (as a manager) will come after your practical job responsibilities, which are more important for your job success as a whole.

Therefore, our recommendation in this question is:

  • Management position – Least (do not choose)
  • Team member position – Neutral (second choice)

 

During the test, you will face 70-90 such questions. An algorithm will construct your personality profile for HSBC to determine whether your values and competencies are a good fit for the job you applied to. All that while making sure your profile is balanced and consistent.

Letting your personality shine through this process is a difficult task that requires careful attention and an understanding of the test.

 

Learn How to Answer the HSBC Values Assessment for YOUR Job

  1. Full-length practice test (100 questions) and guide - Following the structure and content of the HSBC Assessment.
  2. Learn in the process - Detailed answers and explanations to all questions.
  3. Personalised practice for YOUR job - Practice tests are tailored for the job - team members, managers, R&D, and more.

What Does the HSBC Values Assessment Measure?

 

The HSBC Apta Values Assessment measures your values, behavioral traits, and competencies, and how well they align with HSBC’s values and requirements for the particular position.

These are divided into 8 Great Competency Factors:

#1 – Influence

This competency relates to your ability to take initiative, leadership, and responsibility. It is highly important for team leads and managers.

 

#2 – Sociability

The Sociability competency shows how well you support and respect your coworkers, clients, and supervisors. This is also a highly important trait for managers and team leaders, but also for anyone who works in a team, especially in customer-oriented positions.

#3 – Empathy

This competency assesses your ability to communicate and connect effectively and professionally, as well as present your ideas in a persuasive manner. It is an important trait to have if you are applying to a marketing or social network-related position.

#4 – Analysis

The Analysis competency is highly important for analysts, researchers, and other data-driven positions, as well as technological ones. It revolves around your ability to define complex problems, execute research, and report results well.

 

#5 – Creativity and Change

The Creativity and Change competency assesses your strategic thinking, innovation, and creativity. It is therefore sought after in individuals exploring new territories such as business development and design.

 

#6 – Structure

With a focus on organisation skills and a systematic work process, this trait is crucial for administrators of all levels. This competency will assess your ability to plan and execute tasks while not deviating from pre-defined rules and standards.

 

#7 – Emotion

This competency assesses your ability to adapt and cope with change and pressure, as well as overcome obstacles and setbacks.

#8 – Dynamism

This competency measures your ‘results-driven’ nature and preference. It also assesses personal ambition and motivation, making it an important trait for salespersons, for instance.


What Is Apta?

Apta is a “measurement architecture” developed by SHL, one of the world's top providers of pre-employment tests. Apta is based on a set of competencies constructing a universal competency framework (UCF).

This framework is divided into 8 Great Competency Factors, including competencies such as Leading & Deciding, Supporting & Cooperating, etc.

In each Apta test (e.g. the HSBC Apta Values Assessment), an algorithm randomly selects a number of questions covering the particular competencies that are of interest to the employer, so different candidates may receive very different tests assessing the very same traits.


4 Tips for Practising and Passing the HSBC Values Assessment

In spite of being a very short and seemingly simple test, the Apta HSBC Values Assessment is a complex test that requires the piecing together of multiple factors to successfully pass.

Here are 4 tips to consider when preparing for this complicated test:

 

Tip#1 - Maintain a Consistent Profile

Make sure your answers align with one another. Don’t come off as a lone wolf in some statements and a team player in others.

This is a tricky thing to master, but with careful attention and a good understanding of the traits, it will become easier.

 

Tip #2 - Maintain a Balanced Profile

Although some traits are more important than others in your overall profile, it is undesirable to score very low in any particular trait/s.

It gives an impression of someone who may underperform in a certain area, and that is a kind of employee companies often do not tend to “take a risk with”.

 

Tip #3 - Analyse Your Job Ad

The job ad for your position contains an invaluable source of information as to the required traits and competencies for your position.

Before practicing, it is very wise to set some time to go over the ad, analyse the required competencies and assign them to the relevant competency dimensions. This will help you focus on the major traits for your desired job, as well as personalize your practice.

 

Tip #4 - Consider HSBC’s Values

Apart from the general success rules in the HSBC Apta Values Assessment, you should also take into account HSBC’s corporate values:

  • Succeeding together – trustworthy and supportive, able to communicate and collaborate with coworkers and clients.
  • Responsibility – committed to quality, takes accountability for results, always stands up for the right course of action.
  • Getting it done – results-driven, thorough and ambitious. Able to make decisions, rise to a challenge, and take some risk.
  • Diversity – inclusive to others and able to take a broader perspective and approach.

To get a broader perspective on HSBC’s values and what they mean, refer to their Values Page.

 

Gain Access to the MOST Comprehensive Preparation for the HSBC Values Assessment

  1. Questions based on the 8 competency factors - Influence, Empathy, Analysis, etc.
  2. Get your profile right - Personalised score reports making sure your profile is both balanced and consistent
  3. Understand how things work - Study guides to help you understand the backstage of the assessment.

Summary

The HSBC Apta Values Assessment is a challenging, complicated testing experience that requires careful preparation and fine-tuning to score high.

With around 80 randomly compiled questions that force you to show both your positive and negative traits, you have to be very clear as to what each statement measures and how to answer, depending on your particular job.

For practising full-length simulations of the HSBC Values Assessment by position, study guides, and solving recommendations, check out the HSBC Apta Values Assessment Preparation Pack.

 

 

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Hi, I'm Avia, JobTestPrep's expert for the HSBC Values Assessment. Have a question? Contact me at:

 

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