What Is HSBC?
The Hong Kong Shanghai Business Corporation, or HSBC, is one of the world’s leading international banking and financial organizations with opportunities spanning throughout four different continents. HSBC is headquartered in London but opened in Hong Kong in 1865 to facilitate trade between Europe and Asia. They currently have opportunities in markets such as:
- Retail Banking and Wealth Management
- Global Banking and Markets
- Technology, Operations, and Services
- Global Functions
- Global Private Banking
- Commercial Banking
And these are just in broad terms. HSBC’s range has been successful in part to their emphasis on diversity and strong values within their offices. They operate as a meritocracy, which allows the diligent and creative to thrive. To cultivate and enhance the performance of their employees, HSBC offers a variety of benefits to aid their personal and professional growth. The benefits an employee receives depends on their position and location, but the main elements of the benefits package typically include:
- Fixed Pay
- Annual Leave
- Share Plans
- Insurance and Savings
- Discretionary Pay Awards (based on performance)
- Health and Personal Development
What Is HSBC’s Hiring Process?
If you are interested in applying to HSBC, preparation is key. Their process is extensive with about three rounds of recruitment to ensure that both the employee and the company are the right fit for one another.
The first step of HSBC’s screening process is akin to most companies. An application and a Curriculum Vitae, or CV, need to be submitted. These will cover the basics of work experience, education, qualifications and achievements. Following a review of the documents, HSBC will commence the interview process.
After the initial screening, this multi-step process can be broken down into three sections:
- Online Assessments
- Telephone Interview
- Face-to-Face Interview
While succeeding in each portion of the process is important, HSBC emphasizes the online assessments.
What Are HSBC’s Online Tests?
Online assessments, also known as aptitude tests, are HSBC’s best tool for evaluating the skills, strengths and ethics of the applicants. These assessments are to be completed within a specified number of days but take your time. The bundle of assessments is subject to vary based on the role you’re seeking and the location; however, the following assessments are common for the majority of candidates.
- Situational Judgement Test
HSBC’s Situational Judgement Test, or SJT, offers the company insight into your emotional intelligence. The SJT screens your abilities to actively communicate, resolve misunderstandings, and work in and with teams. The format provides you with a hypothetical situation you may encounter in the workplace or with a customer, followed by a handful of answer choices. Sometimes you are asked to choose the best answer, or you are asked to rank them from best to worst responses. For example, you are assigned a big project and a colleague asks to work on it with you, what do you do? Those who have completed the SJT before often describe the question and answers as ‘too obvious’ which, in turn, trips them up. A good way to combat this issue is to proceed through the SJT with caution; pay careful attention to what you are asked and keep the values of HSBC in mind.
- The Behavioral Test
Parallel to the SJT, HSBC’s behavioral test examines the roots of your morals and ethics. However, rather than asking how you would act in a certain situation, it questions why you act that way. Another difference between the SJT and the behavioral test lies in their format. In order to unearth what governs your decision making, HSBC’s behavioral test specifies that you supply a written response instead of having you choose from a list of answers. An example question may ask you to describe how you handle an irate customer. Your response could either be an instance in the past in which you managed the situation successfully or how you might go about it should you face such a situation in the future.
- Verbal Reasoning Test
HSBC’s verbal reasoning test is administered to analyze your reasoning skills and the depth of your ability to comprehend information. The format typically contains a passage of information succeeded by a series of statements in which you rank true, false, or cannot say. Prior knowledge of the subjects in the passage is not needed. HSBC is evaluating your capacity to weed out which choices are relevant and truthful to the supplied material. The verbal reasoning test is conducted within a fixed amount of time, but don’t rush; read the content carefully, the answers are riddled throughout the passage!
- Numerical Reasoning Test
HSBC’s numerical reasoning test explores your aptitude in areas such as graphical interpretation, crunching numbers, and basic mathematical functions. Whether you possess a background in mathematics or business, the numerical reasoning test is one that should be practiced. The format is multiple choice with a time limit of one minute per question. HSBC is seeking an applicant that scores in the top 50%, but do not guess at the right answers because this negatively affects your accuracy score.
- Logical Reasoning Test
HSBC’s logical reasoning test is entirely unique in comparison to the other online assessments. Your proficiency in identifying patterns is at par with a series of shapes and objects. Strength and knowledge of the following forms of reasoning are a dominant skill during this portion of assessments: Deductive Reasoning – top-down logic which takes a general premise to find a specific conclusion. Inductive Reasoning – bottom-up logic which takes a specific premise to find a general conclusion. Abstract Reasoning – observations seeking a plausible conclusion.
Students and Graduates at HSBC
Students and graduates seeking employment at HSBC follow slightly different guidelines than their more conditioned counterparts. If you fall into the category of student or graduate, your HSBC interview process will look more like this:
HSBC’s application form includes a list of short questions regarding your eligibility for the role. In addition to eligibility requirements, HSBC will provide a number of questions concerning equal opportunity and some questions ensuring adherence to the local country’s requirements.
Immersive Online Assessment and Job Simulation
HSBC’s immersive online assessments and job simulation are nearly identical to the online assessments given to the more seasoned candidates.
- Immersive Online Assessment
HSBC utilizes this assessment to examine your ability to analyze written and numerical data, as well as how you handle a variety of common workplace situations. This assessment offers you a little more insight into HSBC and is broken down into four categories: situational strengths, verbal reasoning, critical reasoning, and numerical reasoning.
- Job Simulation
The job simulation is the second stage of the online assessments should you be successful during the initial round. The format provides you with fictitious information and then asks you to analyze numerical data and supply written answers. The content of the job simulation is dependent on the specific area you have applied to.
Assessment Centre/Super Day
Your invitation to the Assessment Centre or “Super Day” is determined by the position you have applied to. During Super Day, you will meet with key members of relevant business areas who will conduct face-to-face strength-based interviews and administer a handful of assessment exercises that examine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for HSBC. You will most likely be asked why you have applied to work at HSBC, so while you prepare for the assessments, keep this question and a thoughtful answer in mind. In addition to this question, think of past experiences you have had in which you exhibited strong leadership and communication skills. Providing good examples will greatly distinguish you from the other candidates.
The second round of the recruitment process is the HSBC phone interview, which can last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. The telephone interview is focused on how well your values align with those at HSBC. The interviewer will ask you to provide scenarios from your own experience that exhibit traits of dependability, open-mindedness, and connectedness to customers, colleagues and communities. Your answers can stem from your professional or personal life. Additionally, they will inquire about your motivations for working at HSBC and what you could bring to their company.
The final stage of HSBC’s hiring process is their face-to-face interview. People who have interviewed with HSBC before usually have positive things to say about HSBC’s face-to-face interview whether they receive an offer or not. The setting is relaxed, but remain professional, formal, and confident. The in-person interview is somewhat similar to the telephone interview, but the interviewer will most likely ask questions such as:
- Name a time you dealt with change
- When have you gone above and beyond for a customer?
- What is your greatest weakness? Your greatest strength?
It is customary that they ask you what you know about HSBC, so do a little background research to highlight your interest in the company.
How to Prepare for HSBC’s Assessments?
As a general tip, you should really practice. Don’t blow an amazing opportunity because you didn’t want to spend a few hours studying. There are plenty of tools for you to utilize that will aid you in your preparation for these online assessments. In terms of HSBC’s assessments that concentrate on morals and personality; keep their values in mind! This is a company whose universe is centered around three key traits: dependable, open, connected. If you come across a question on the assessment subtly probing at one of these characteristics, it’s your time to shine. Impress HSBC with an anecdote where you’re the hero, or you could go the daring route and demonstrate a time where you failed but handled it like a champ. Either way, be aware of the expectations and responsibilities that accompany the role you are applying for and be sure to enhance these qualities during your assessments.
Although an extensive recruitment process, as exploring your capabilities and knowledge harbor a seemingly daunting challenge, it can all be easily triumphed with the right amount of practice and focus. This can be achieved by taking similar tests online to get a head start and gain some familiarity with the format and content. You should also spend a sizeable amount of time reviewing HSBC’s values and compare them to your experiences; you will be asked for such example’s multiple times throughout their interview process. An opportunity to work for one of the largest multinational banks is worth putting forth effort and consideration, even if it means brushing up on your math!