HSBC Online Assessments Preparation








Avia Author

Avia, Finance Sector Specialist at JobTestPrep.

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What are HSBC Assessment Tests?

HSBC Assessment tests structure varies in accordance with the type of position you are after:

  • Students and graduates will get situational judgment and cognitive tests created by Cappfinity, followed by a job simulation.
  • Experienced professionals will be requested to complete SHL's Apta values personality test, a variation of SHL's OPQ32 test. Either a ModernHire On-demand interview or a live interview might be followed.

Further down you will find the full overview of each test, alongside sample questions. 

HSBC Recruitment Process

Stage #

Students and Graduates

Experienced Professionals





Online immersive assessment

Apta values assessment

3 Job simulation Live/on-demand interview
4 Assessment day - optional Offer
5 Offer  

The HSBC application process is very similar for experienced and inexperienced candidates. However, there are some differentiations:

  • Test type - Apta values vs. Immersive.
  • A ModernHire on-demand interview or a live interview vs. a designated job simulation.
  •  Depending on the location and the job type, students and graduates may get an invitation to an assessment day, and experienced hires won't.


 Now, let's go through an overview and sample questions of each assessment.

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 which 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.


HSBC Apta Values Assessment Sample Question


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.


HSBC Online Immersive Assessment

The HSBC Online Assessment is a complex, multi-area test specifically tailored for HSBC by Cappfinity. The test is used to screen candidates for student, intern, and graduate positions, especially for the company’s Spring Insight program.

The HSBC Online Immersive Assessment contains 38 questions overall, 16 of which assess your cognitive abilities (math and verbal reasoning) and 22 are situational judgment questions and personality profiling questions, based on HSBC's four Core Values.

The test is composed of 5 sections:

Creating a New Team

Working with Others

Communicating Globally

Competing Commitments  Completing the Project Delivery


  • Sections 1-2 contain situational judgment questions.
  • Sections 3-4 contain a mix of Numerical, verbal and inductive reasoning, along with SJT questions.
  • The fifth section is a combination of situational judgment and personality tests.


Unlike the HSBC Apta Values test, this one contains some challenging Numerical questions. Here is an example of such a question:


HSBC Immersive Assessment Numerical Sample Question

Which of the following NGOs had the second-highest percentages increase in subscribers to updates from Month 2 to Month 3?

HSBC Online Assessment Sample Question
A. Green Zoo
B. Elephants Project
C. Repairing Ocean
D. Bats World
E. Horses House
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

To solve this question, you need to check which NGOs had a decrease in their no. of subscribers between months 2 and 3 and calculate that difference. Then, convert the difference into percentages. The second-highest number is the correct answer.

STEP 1: Check which NGOs had a decrease in their no. of subscribers between months 2 and 3.

You can see three of the NGOs had an increase in their subscribers’ number. Note that two NGOs, “Repairing Ocean” and “Horses House,” had a decrease in subscribers between months 2 and 3. Therefore there is no need to calculate the percentage increase for these NGOs.

HSBC Online Assessment Sample Question

STEP 2: Calculate that difference

You can calculate the percentage increase for the other NGOs using this method:


Then, multiplying that number by 100 to get the percentage number:

  • Green Zoo: (1650-1100)/1100=0.5 -> 0.5*100=50%
  • Elephants Project: (850-450)/450=0.888-> 0.888*100=88.8%
  • Bats World: (820-550)/550=0.49 -> 0.49*100=49%

The NGO “Green Zoo” had the second-highest percentage increase in subscribers, and thus, answer (A) is correct.


Cognitive questions on the HSBC Assessment include 5-6 information sources (texts, tables, graphs, etc.) and you are required to analyse the data therein (e.g., finding correlations between factors, calculating revenue, or interpreting the intention of a piece of text.)

Tests 3 and 4 (Communicating Globally and Competing Commitments) contain mostly cognitive questions.

The main challenge of these questions, which usually does not exist on other cognitive tests, is the need to integrate several data sources to come to the correct answer.


HSBC Immersive Assessment Situational Sample Question

You are currently working on an app project. The app features are being progressively enhanced during the development phase. You've discovered a new attribute that you think should be added, and you're giving a presentation to the rest of your team. While you're doing this, some of the team's more experienced members continue to interrupt you with questions and queries, while others opt out of the conversation during the meeting.

What do you do?

Please RANK the responses from 1-5 by, with 1 being what you would most likely do and 5 being what you would least likely do:

Note: On the actual test, the questions will be in a drag-and-drop format.

HSBC Online Values Assessment Sample Question
Show Answer and Explanation

The correct order is A, B, E, D, C.

A avoids engaging the interruptions in a fashion that still allows the primary messages to remain clear. Clear communication is the focus. (No 1)

B demonstrates a pragmatic and calm approach to the interruptions and to ensuring everyone gets to share their opinion. (No 2)

E involves moving efficiently through all the questions in a fashion likely to engage participants but may not be the clearest possible communication of the material. (No 3)

D involves recording questions in writing as an alternative to expressing them verbally and involves thinking outside of the box to engage team members. (No 4)

C involves ignoring the interrupters who are senior colleagues, which is likely to deteriorate the group dynamic even further and perhaps cause further reputation problems down the track. (No 5)


Situational judgment questions comprise subtests 1,2, and 5 (Creating a New Team, Working with Others, and Completing the Project Delivery, respectively). They assess you based on the four HSBC Core Values (read more about the Core Values below).

Note that some values assessment questions, mainly in subtest 5 (Completing the Project Delivery) are structured as personality profiling questions.

Personality profiling questions ask you to self-report your personal preferences and traits. In the HSBC Online Job Simulation Assessment, they appear as a two-sided scale, on which you can place your preference.

HSBC Job Simulation

HSBC job simulation conducted by Cappfinity, and combines situational judgment, personality profiling, and video interview questions simulating everyday scenarios of an HSBC employee.

The assessment contains 15 questions overall, divided between 4 micro exercises, revolve mostly around research and analysis.

Let’s take a brief overview of each exercise:


Micro Exercise #1 – Video Set-Up

  • Theme – An introduction to the video interview questions of the assessment, as well as checking that all the technical details are functioning properly.
  • Question Type – A video interview “practice” question. Why “practice”? we’ll get to that in the “How to Practise” section.
  • Number of Questions – 1
  • Assesses – General personal impression.


Micro Exercise #2 – SJT Based on an Article

  • Theme – You were requested to start a research project based on one fictitious event (e.g., G7 Summit).
  • Question Type – Video interview and situational judgment. The fictitious event is presented in the form of a news article./li>
  • Number of Questions – 2
  • Assesses – Approach to commencing a research project.


Micro Exercise #3 – Fictitious Company Analysis

  • Theme – You were requested to explore a fictitious company.
  • Question Type – Personality profiling and situational judgment. The fictitious event is presented in the form of a news article.
  • Number of Questions – 6
  • Assesses – Priorities of research and presentation, and general approach to research and decision-making.


Micro Exercise #4 – Further Analysis

  • Theme – You were requested to perform a deeper analysis of the fictitious company, and to present it to potential investors.
  • Question Type – Video interview, situational judgment, and free text.
  • Number of Questions – 6
  • Assesses – Research tactics and prioritization of tasks.

HSBC Core 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 risks.
  • 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.


Although the core values themselves are pretty simple and straightforward, showing HSBC that you follow them in a natural, unpretentious way, is much harder.

That is why it is crucial to prepare for the value assessment questions with the same effort and mindset you prepare for the cognitive ones.

The HSBC Assessment Centre Interview

If you were invited to an HSBC assessment centre, expect to go through a number of different interviews. Each one of these interviews lasts 30 minutes, and they are often spread out throughout the day. Below we will discuss the different types of interviews you may face at the assessment centre.

If instead, you were scheduled a final face to face interview, chances are likely it will be a competency-based interview. This type of interview assesses your skills against the HSBC values and the requirements of the job for which you are applying. Ahead of the interview, prepare by thinking up as many examples as you can for each required skill. Read up on HSBC and the area to which you are applying. Draft answers to common questions, and then rehearse answering them.

Business Interview

The content of this interview varies from scheme to scheme. To successfully pass this interview, you should be familiar with the current situation of the market in relation to your chosen subject. During the interview, you will be asked numerous questions on the market. You may get asked some brainteaser questions as well.

Some example HSBC business interview questions are:

  • What do you think about this latest development in the industry?
  • How would you respond if you were in a position of authority regarding this new directive?
  • What do you know about the qualification you will receive from the HSBC graduate scheme you have applied to?
  • Do you read the Financial Times? What is the headline of today’s paper?
  • How much does the QE2 weigh?
  • What is the total amount of numbers between 1 and 99?
  • What will the world be like in 2050, and what impact will this have on HSBC?
  • Tell me about HSBC’s initiatives.

Motivational Interview

This interview is solely based on you as a person. In other words, whereas the first interview assessed your business acumen, this interview is used to assess your motivation and skills for working with HSBC.

Some example HSBC motivational interview questions are:

  • What demotivates you?
  • What are you doing to improve yourself as a person?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with disappointment.
  • When have you helped someone else achieve a goal?
  • Do you like helping other people?

For this interview, it is very important to ensure that you have a story to back up your answers. This is best done using the STAR method: first talk about the situation, then the problem, and finally how you dealt with it.

Prepare With JobTestPrep

Putting in enough preparation time with the right materials can really make a difference in your performance. Choose the appropriate pack from the variety we offer and start practicing now. Good luck!


This article was written by Avia, JobTestPrep's expert for the HSBC assessment tests. Have a question? Feel free to contact me at:



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