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What Is the Bloomberg Plum Assessment?

The Bloomberg Plum Assessment, also called 'Plum Discovery Survey' and 'Bloomberg Aptitude test', is an AI-based aptitude test that evaluates a diverse range of essential qualities relevant to the position you are pursuing, focusing on your "soft skills" – problem-solving abilities, work-related behaviour, and social intelligence. 

The Bloomberg assessment is divided into four sections:

  • Priorities and preferences
  • Problem-solving
  • "You” descriptor
  • Social Interaction

The test has no time limit and takes about 25 minutes to complete.

After completing the test, you will receive a personalized Plum profile that reveals your top three talents, work styles and work preferences.

Let’s go over each of the Bloomberg Plum Assessment sections!

Bloomberg Plum Assessment Section #1 – Priorities and Preferences

This section of the test assesses your work-related priorities and preferences.

You will be presented with sets of three statements, from which you will need to choose one statement that is most like you and one that is least like you.

This section includes 20 statements.

Let’s see how it looks –

Which statement describes you best?

I love debating academic theories

I adopt a future emphasis

I am discreet about my accomplishments

View Answer & Explanation

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 conceptualize 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 such 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 you DO NOT mark one of the 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)

Tip: Some statements may perfectly reflect who you are, and others may not. So, you have to choose between good and bad options that may not match your personality or way of thinking perfectly. To best reflect your personality, it's essential to become acquainted with these questions and practice prioritizing your potential answers.

Improve your personality answers and learn how to prioritize your possible answers with our Bloomberg Plum Assessment PrepPack™, which includes study guides and practices for six different possible positions to cover everything you need!

Bloomberg Plum Assessment Section Section #2 –Problem-Solving

This section of the test assesses your problem-solving abilities.

You will be presented with a sequence of shapes and figures with one missing piece. You will need to identify the ruling pattern and determine which is the next in the series.

This section includes 5 questions.

Let’s see an example question –

Bloomber Plum Assessment Practice Question #2

What is the next grid in the sequence?

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

There are two patterns of change in this set:

The diagonal from the upper-left corner to the bottom-right corner loses two squares every step, starting from the centre and moving towards the corners. Therefore, there should be no black squares in this diagonal in the next step.

The diagonal from the upper-right corner to the bottom-left corner gains two black squares every step, also starting from the centre and moving towards the corners. Therefore, there should be 6 black squares in this diagonal in the next grid.

The correct answer is C

Take notice that on the actual test, this part is divided into two parts: Problem-Solving 1 & 2.

Tip: Once you've identified the pattern, apply the rule to the given elements in the series. Ensure that it correctly predicts the next element in the series based on the pattern you've deduced.

Bloomberg Plum Assessment Section #3 – “You” Descriptor

This section of the test assesses your personality traits and how you define yourself.

You will be presented with a list of characteristics and descriptions. You will need to choose 3 descriptions that are most like you and three that are least like you.

This section includes 5 questions.

Let’s take a look –

Mark the three adjectives that are most like you, and the three that are least like you.

Most Like Me Adjectives Least Like Me

Tip: Think about the context in which these characteristics are relevant. Some traits might apply more to your personal life, while others are more applicable in professional or social situations.

The lists here won't always have adjectives that perfectly describe you. Our PrePack includes study guides and position-oriented practice questions that will make you get used to these questions, and picking adjectives that match your preferences will be easier.

Bloomberg Plum Assessment Section #3 – “You” Descriptor

This section of the test assesses your work-related behaviour and tendencies.

You will be presented with several workplace scenarios followed by numerous possible responses, known as a Situational Judgment Test (SJT). You will need to choose the response that is the most effective to handle the situation and the one that is the least effective.

This section includes 7 questions.

Let's look at a sample question –

You have been in your role at the company for two years, working with several small clients. You were recently assigned a big project and were very excited about this new opportunity. This morning, you were scheduled to sit with the client and your manager to go over your recommendations for the client. Halfway through the meeting, your manager intervenes during your presentation. She apologizes to the client and asks you to step outside the conference room. Once you are alone, your manager expresses her dissatisfaction with the meeting, saying the client does not seem happy with your conclusions and suggests that, perhaps, you failed to gather appropriate and sufficient evidence to support your conclusions.

What would you do in this situation?
Please rank the responses below on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being what you are most likely to do and 5 being what you are least likely to do.


You accept your manager's criticism, even though you don't agree with it. You return to the meeting and continue as planned, asking your manager to offer her comments at the end of your presentation.


You decide not to make an issue of it for the time being and return to the meeting to continue as planned. You ask your manager to discuss the subject with you after the meeting.


You are concerned about the manager's disapproval of your work. After the meeting, you write her an e-mail apologizing for your lack of experience and promise to go over the data and refine your conclusions.


You feel your manager has embarrassed you in front of the client. You ask her to refrain from making further comments during the rest of the meeting and later write her an e-mail explaining what you think you did in the meeting and why it was appropriate.


You feel you have disappointed your manager and ask to be excused from the rest of the meeting. You do not want to damage the company's reputation and feel your manager is better equipped to handle the rest of the meeting.

Click here to view the solution

Primary competencies: Resilience/Determination

Secondary competencies: Working under management; Social intelligence, Openness to criticism

The correct ranking is: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Explanation: The scenario portrays an uncomfortable situation in which your manager criticizes you during a presentation and you are expected to (a) accept the criticism and (b) handle any negative emotions that may arise, so you can continue with your obligations towards your client.

Let's consider each response separately:

Response #1: You accept your manager's criticism, rather than become defensive and reject it. You exhibit a high level of self-control by continuing your presentation, while incorporating your manager's viewpoint during the meeting with the client. This is an excellent response.

Response #2: You don't allow your negative emotions to overshadow your judgment and continue with your presentation, despite the negative comments you have received from your manager. You do not incorporate your manager's viewpoint during the meeting with the client, but you make up for this by setting a later date to deal with the criticism more comprehensively.

Response #3: This response indicates you are overwhelmed by feelings of self-blame and anxiety over your manager's opinion of you. Although you promise to go over the data and refine your conclusion, you do not seek your manager's input during the meeting, and you fail to set a future time to discuss and deal with the criticism more comprehensively. This is not a preferred response.

Response #4: You are acting defensively in response to your manager's criticism. This reaction portrays an emotionally unstable employee who has a hard time dealing with frustration. You do not seem open to accepting a different opinion than your own as you insist on presenting your own viewpoint in a later meeting with the manager. This is a negative response.

Response #5: This is by far the worst possible response as you are so distressed by your manager's criticism you cannot return to the meeting and finish your obligations. Therefore, this response indicates a low level of emotional stability.

Responses one and two are positive responses, as in both, you prove your ability to accept criticism and demonstrate self-control by continuing your presentation. Response one is slightly better due to the fact that you deal with the criticism immediately, rather than putting it off.

Responses three, four, and five are negative responses, as you do not respond to the criticism positively. Response three is better than responses four and five, as even though you are overwhelmed by the criticism, you still agree to accept it, and you continue presenting to the client. Response Five is the worst response, as you have taken the criticism so negatively that you are too emotionally unstable to perform your job.

Tip: In some situations, the correct answers might seem obvious. However, they actually depend on the specific position and the company culture you have applied to. When choosing your answer, consider your job description and its requirements.

Our Bloomberg Plum Assessment PrePack includes an SJT guide that provides detailed explanations on best responding to each scenario and demonstrating your work-related behaviours and skills.

Bloomberg Recruitment Process

The recruitment process at Bloomberg may differ between the position and programme you applied for, but typically it includes the following steps:

  1. Online application: Submit your resume and cover letter via the Bloomberg site.
  2. Pre-recorded video interview:  Answer questions about your skills and experience in a one-way video interview.
  3. Online assessment test: Take the Plum Discovery Survey designed to assess your cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and fit for the role.
  4. Phone interview: Talk to a recruiter about your background and interests.
  5. Assessment day: Complete a series of technical tests and interviews with engineers and other team members.
  6. On-site interview: Meet with team leaders and other team members to discuss your skills and fit for the role.

The Bloomberg Plum Assessment Invitation

If you pass the previous recruitment process steps, you will receive an invitation from Bloomberg to take the Bloomberg Aptitude Test.

Once you receive the invitation, you must complete the assessment within 72 hours.

When you click on the test link, you will be directed to the Plum testing site, where you need to register using the same email address you used for your application.

Here is a preview of what the process will look like:

Bloomberg Plum Invitation

Your Bloomberg Plum Assessment Profile

After completing your Bloomberg Plum Assessment, you will receive a personalized profile. The profile is divided into three sections –

  • Your top three talents out of the 10 Plum Talents.
  • Your preferable working environment and work style.
  • Questions you should ask yourself and your interviewer when applying to a new position.

The profile provides valuable self-insights that can enhance your understanding of the motivations and drives necessary for thriving in your position and workplace. 

Bloomberg Plum Profile

What Does the Bloomberg Plum Assessment Measure?

The Bloomberg aptitude test measures your natural abilities according to the 10 Talents:

  • Adaptation – the ability to adjust to changes while preserving a positive demeanour.
  • Communication – the ability to effectively express ideas and identify and understand other people’s opinions.
  • Conflict Resolution – the ability to unite people to reconcile differences and resolve conflicts.
  • Decision Making – the ability to assess information and make a high-quality knowledge-based decision.
  • Embracing Diversity – the ability to understand other people's points of view and effectively manage different types of people and needs.
  • Execution – the ability to set goals, oversee progression, take initiatives to improve the process, and reach the desired result.
  • Innovation – the ability to initiate new ideas and creative solutions to solve problems.
  • Managing Others  – the ability to lead a group of people and to motivate them toward common goals.
  • Persuasion – the ability to convince people to go in your direction, suggestion, idea, or initiative.
  • Teamwork – the ability to cooperate and work efficiently with other people.


What is the Bloomberg Plum assessment?

The Bloomberg Plum assessment, also called Plum Discovery Survey, is a pre-employment aptitude test used to evaluate candidates’ problem-solving ability, personality, and work-related tendencies.

How long is the Bloomberg Plum assessment?

The Bloomberg Plum assessment has no time limit and takes about 25 minutes to complete.  

How to pass the Bloomberg Plum assessment?

The best way to ensure you get a high score in the Bloomberg Plum assessment is to practice as much as possible, familiarise yourself with the test’s structure, and learn how to best address each type of question according to the position you are applying for.

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