HSBC Numerical Reasoning Test

HSBC looks for employees with a high numerical ability. Applicants have to pass a numerical test before being offered a position.

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HSBC use the following tests in their selection process:

  • Capp Numerical Reasoning Test
  • Capp Verbal Reasoning Test
  • Capp Situational Judgement Test
  • Practice numerical reasoning test pack
  • Prepare for: HSBC numerical test
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About HSBC Numerical Reasoning Tests

As one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world, employment opportunities and places on HSBC’s graduate schemes are in high demand, which requires HSBC to have a thorough selection procedure. Psychometric testing is adopted from the beginning of the recruitment process, as a means of screening out candidates who lack the abilities necessary for a career in this area. Candidates are asked to complete verbal and numerical reasoning tests shortly after submitting an application, occasionally a situational judgement test is also required. This is typical of graduate level positions, although further tests may be required for higher level roles. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.

HSBC reasoning tests are provided by Capp. HSBC assess candidates based on their key values and seek candidates who are Open, Connected and Dependable.

Numerical reasoning tests are a fair and objective way for HSBC to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised numerical reasoning test, HSBC are able to quickly see which candidates are suitable for the role and which are not. This sort of information about candidates’ skills is difficult to glean from interviews and qualifications alone, so they use professional psychometric tests.

Often, HSBC will ask applicants to take a numerical test online, which you can take from home. When the numerical test is used early on in the application process like this you will have to achieve a minimum score before you progress to the next round (typically a score in the top 50% of applicants is required however this does vary role to role). Further along in the selection process you might be asked to attend an assessment centre or interview where you will be asked to sit a numerical test again. This is so HSBC can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.

HSBC Application Process Stages

Here is the typical process for your application to HSBC.

Stage 1

Application

Applications are made online and require candidates to provide their contact details, education and work experience. This is to ensure that the candidate meets the entry requirements for their selected role. The HSBC application does include uploading a copy of a CV, although it it requested that this does not include the candidates date of birth, as a means of remaining “age neutral”. There can be additional role specific questions depending on the position applied for, these will be multiple choice.

Stage 2

Testing

Upon successful completion of the application form, candidates will be sent a link to the required online psychometric tests; first verbal reasoning, followed by numerical reasoning. Depending on the type of role applied for, some candidates will also be asked to complete a situational judgement test

Stage 3

Telephone Interview

Successful candidates are then invited to complete a telephone interview, this is values based and will last approximately 45-60 minutes. It is recommended that candidates use the STAR approach when structuring their answers. Applicants should be mindful of their tone of voice, clarity and volume as these will factor largely in the impression given to the interviewer, especially as body language and eye contact will not be possible.

Stage 4

Face-to-Face Interview

The final stage of the HSBC selection process is a face-to-face interview. Sometimes, candidates will be required to bring a copy of their CV with them, but this will be made clear prior to the interview. It is recommended that applicants have a few prepared scenarios which they can use to discuss and demonstrate their strengths. The face-to-face interview is a good opportunity to learn more about the company and the role by asking sensible questions, this also displays enthusiasm. Successful candidates at this stage will be made an offer by HSBC.

Buy Practice Numerical Tests

Our numerical practice test pack is suitable for preparing for the HSBC numerical reasoning exercise.

Capp Numerical Test Pack (suitable for preparing for HSBC)

Prepare for all Capp numerical tests including the HSBC numerical test. Includes 4 practice tests covering Capp and Jobmi.

Excellent variety of practice tests ranging in difficulty levels. Really helped me feel prepared for, and pass, my actual online tests.

HSBC Numerical Reasoning Test Questions

Like most numerical tests, the one used by HSBC looks at your ability to interpret numerical and graphical data and answer questions which require numerical analysis of the data provided. The numerical test will be assessing your speed and accuracy. The answers are multiple choice and you should try to work quickly within the time limit, but also accurately. Negative marking is unlikely to be used but do not guess answers, as this will show up in your accuracy score. Sometimes you will find that you can make a best guess estimate by deducing that some of the answer options are incorrect. This approach to verbal tests will come with practice, and you will become familiar with the type of verbal tests used by companies such as HSBC.

Companies are using numerical reasoning test more and more in their application process that candidates must go through. Numerical reasoning tests are favoured when the role being recruited for requires interpretation and manipulation of numerical data on a regular basis. A person's score in a numerical reasoning test is a good indicator of their ability to work well with numbers. This is very important in finance, accounting and actuarial positions.

HSBC use numerical reasoning tests as part of their recruitment process to help them select the best candidates for a particular role.

So as a graduate or senior candidate applying for a job at HSBC you might feel like the numerical reasoning test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that HSBC are asking you to complete the numericall test as much for your own benefit as theirs; if you are not suitable for the role, a psychometric test will usually identify this. Research has shown that psychometric tests, such as those used by HSBC, are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.

The numerical operations required in standardised numerical tests are of a level which most applicants can achieve. The difficult aspect comes with carrying out the calculations quickly and accurately within the time limit. You will be allowed a calculator for your numerical test at HSBC, so make sure you know how to perform these basic operations. Percentage increases and decreases are the most common questions which catch out candidates. Here is a list of the most common operations you can expect in your numerical test:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Percentages (including percentage changes)
  • Ratios
  • Most questions in most numerical reasoning tests follow a standard format displaying numerical data, the question and answer options on screen. These can be arranged differently, but each test will stick to the same layout throughout. The numerical data may be a graph, table, chart or other visual form. The question text may contain extra information which adds to what's given in the table, this might also be necessary to answer the question correctly. Lastly, the answer options are almost always multiple choice. Multiple choice answers can vary, however. You may have 4 options to pick from, 5, maybe 10, or more. The more answer options to pick from, the slimmer the chances are that you can obtain the correct answer by guessing.

    Some publishers will have less subtle variations in their test from what's described here. Capp for example, will ask you to rank the answer options by a particular criteria. Sometimes, in TalentQ tests, the question may have more than one answer, and you will be told to select two, or possibly more answer options from those availble. Test types by different publishers are explained here in more detail. For more information, check out our numerical reasoning test guide.

    Answered questions

    Yes. HSBC use numerical reasoning tests to assess applicants in the recruitment process. The practice tests we provide have been designed to mimic the numerical reasoning test's style to create an environment similar to the real assessment. This provides you with confidence that the questions you practice with us now are an accurate reflection of the real assessment.

    The same difficulty as real tests. Generally real employer selection tests don't differ that much in terms of difficulty which is why they compare your score against norm groups. Our practice tests are pitched roughly at graduate level, but this means they are actually suitable for preparing for all levels of job: entry; apprentice; graduate; senior; director.

    Yes, and PC, and Linux and smartphone and Android and...everything. Our practice tests will run on all systems and they are responsive so they will work well on tablets and smartphones too!

    How many times can I take the tests?

    Unlimited. You can take our practice tests as many times as you like; there is no limit. But to be honest, after taking the same test a few times you start to remember the answers, so that’s why we have lots of tests.

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