Prepare for HSBC's Phone Interview & Online Assessment Tests: Numerical, Verbal, Logical, Situational Judgement & Personality

Are you applying for a position at HSBC, such as the graduate scheme, internship, or any other position?

For every position at HSBC you need to go through an exhaustive recruitment process. Prepare for each assessment in the process with the tips and resources offered on this page.
 
 
 
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HSBC Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

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HSBC Online Assessment Tests Preparation

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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 Recruitment Process

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 Values

HSBC has three core values it looks for in each and every potential employee:
  • Open – honest and straight-talking; treat others with respect and fairness; collaborate efficiently in a team.
  • Connected– build relationships with customers, colleagues and contemporaries; empathise with others, and act with their best interests at heart.
  • Dependable – committed to quality in everything that you do; take accountability for your results; stand up for the right course of action at all times.
It is important that you demonstrate these values in every assessment throughout the recruitment process.

HSBC Application Form

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 the HSBC values in your answers. Plan out each answer carefully, and don’t copy and paste from one application to another.

Example application form questions include:

  • Please describe your motivations for working with HSBC and in this business area. Outline the key skills you possess that make you a suitable candidate. In your answer we are looking for clear evidence of motivation.
  • Describe a situation when you actively challenged someone about a decision or action you felt was wrong for the team’s wider success.
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HSBC Online Assessment Tests

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.

Numerical Test

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.

Verbal Reasoning Test

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. Prepare for your HSBC verbal reasoning test here >>>

Logical Reasoning Test

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. Learn more about these tests and how to identify patterns with our tailored HSBC aptitude tests pack.

Personality Test

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.

Situational Judgement Test

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. 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. You can learn more about this test and prepare for it here.

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HSBC Telephone Interview

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.

Examples of HSBC telephone interview questions:

  • Why did you apply for the HSBC graduate scheme?
  • Tell me about a time when you showed your leadership skills.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a tight deadline.
  • Tell me about a time when you dealt with a conflict.
To help you learn how to successfully pass HSBC’s telephone interview, we have included a detailed interview guide in our practice pack.

Prepare for Your Online Assessment Tests and Phone Interview

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.
Getting through the online assessment tests and phone interview is not an easy task. 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.



For 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 click here.

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HSBC, CEB, SHL and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website. Our materials are designed to help you prepare for the types of assessments you will encounter, but they are not identical to them.


JobTestPrep also has preparation materials for the Assessment Centre of the following companies...

Barclays Assessment Centre
Deutsche Bank Assessment Centre
Credit Suisse Bank Assessment Centre






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