HSBC is the second largest banking corporation in the world with offices in more than 80 countries. This makes it an ideal place to start your career, and where better than in the Global Head Office in London or in HSBC high street bank branches across the UK.
Competition is high for each and every job with HSBC, from internships and graduate programmes to experienced hires. Thus, it is important that you prepare in advance in order to reach your potential and get accepted by HSBC.
HSBC’s recruitment process is similar for its various positions, from Head Office roles to Customer Service staff in an HSBC bank branch. Applying to HSBC entails four stages for most positions:
A fifth stage - the assessment centre - is added to the recruitment process for graduate schemes and internships.
HSBC has three core values it looks for in each and every potential employee:
It is important that you demonstrate these values in every assessment throughout the recruitment process.
The first step of the application process is the online application form. Here, you will be given the opportunity to upload your CV and enter in your relevant details, including work experience and qualifications. Every application form contains a set of role-specific multiple-choice questions for you to rate how your skills and experience relate to the role for which you are applying.
In addition, many positions require you to answer a series of competency questions relating to the job for which you are applying. These questions have a 250 word limit, and you must answer them fully and completely to advance to the next stage of the HSBC recruitment process. When you answer these questions, it is important to incorporate HSBC's values in your answers. Plan out each answer carefully, and don’t copy and paste from one application to another.
Once you have completed the HSBC application form successfully, you will be sent a link inviting you to complete one or more online assessment tests. These tests are provided by CEB’s SHL Talent Measurement. The number, type, and level of tests you will need to take depends on the role for which you are applying. Below we will focus on the different tests applicants for HSBC graduate schemes, graduate jobs, and internships may be asked to take. If you are applying for another position, please contact us and we will recommend the relevant preparation materials.
The application process for almost every position requires taking an HSBC numerical reasoning test. The ability to understand and use numerical information is a crucial part of the job at HSBC. On the test, you are presented with different numerical data items in the form of graphs and tables. After careful analysis of the figures, you need to answer multiple choice questions relating to the data. You need to be able to work out the answers and to do so quickly in order to get a good score. Practising these tests isn't merely a good idea but is completely necessary to beat the pressure of the timed test. You can find hundreds of CEB’s SHL-style practice questions with answers and solving tips in our HSBC preparation pack.
For some roles you will be asked to take the HSBC verbal reasoning test, also provided by CEB’s SHL. This test is designed to assess how well you use written information. You will be presented with a paragraph of text and a statement based on that text. You need to come to a conclusion as to whether this statement is true, false, or impossible to say based on the text presented. Taking practice tests will help you manage your time better on this test as well as answer more questions correctly.
Another online assessment test HSBC may invite you to take is their logical reasoning test, also referred to as the HSBC inductive reasoning test. This is a non-verbal test developed by CEB’s SHL to assess your abstract reasoning skills. On this test, you are presented with a series of shapes following some pattern. Your task is to identify this pattern and choose the next shape in the sequence from a list of options. You can learn more about these tests and how to identify patterns with our HSBC aptitude tests pack.
Many candidates across the schemes are invited to take a personality test. The purpose of the SHL personality test is to assess how well you fit with HSBC’s values. Ahead of taking your personality test, you should review the HSBC values and the job description for your specific role. Taking practice personality tests is also useful as it will help you learn how to portray yourself in the best possible way. Preparation materials for the personality test can also be found in our online HSBC practice pack.
For some roles you will be asked to take the HSBC Situational Judgement Test (SJT) at this stage. For other positions, this test comes after the telephone interview. On this assessment, you are presented with a number of different work-based scenarios and a series of potential responses to those situations. You must choose the responses you find most and least effective. You are expected to be able to respond to situations in the way that best fits HSBC's values. Learning how this test works and what is the best way to answer the questions can help you pass the test and move on to the next stages of the recruitment process.
You can gain experience and insights into this type of test with our HSBC Situational Judgement Test practice pack.
In rare cases, you may be required to take an Excel test provided by CEB’s SHL.
If you are successful during the online testing stage, your next assessment is the HSBC telephone interview. This interview is scheduled to last between 45 minutes and one hour. The HSBC phone interview is mainly competency-based and focuses on assessing you against the key competencies mentioned above. You will be asked about your background and then the interview will move onto the competency questions.
The interviewers are looking for you to give examples from your previous experience to back up your answers. Thus, ahead of the interview, review your CV and prepare a list of examples that can be used to demonstrate your skills against the competencies HSBC is looking for.
The great reputation of HSBC’s internship and graduate programmes amongst students and graduates allows HSBC to be extremely selective in its recruitment process. Many of the people applying for HSBC are eliminated early in the process, with only few arriving at the final stages. However, putting some time and effort into your preparation can help you pass them and get the desired invitation to the assessment centre or final interview.
JobTestPrep is the only company to offer you a complete preparation pack for HSBC’s online assessment tests and telephone interview. The pack includes online practice tests and study aids covering the phone interview and all the assessment tests: numerical, verbal, logical/inductive, SJT, and personality.
Get information on the next stages of the HSBC application process, including tips on how to succeed at the HSBC assessment centre and face-to-face interview.
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