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 SHL CEB. HSBC assess candidates based on their key values and seek candidates who are Open, Connected and Dependable.
The HSBC Process
The HSBC selection process is made of four stages:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
*Some positions also require candidates to complete a situational judgement test, so be sure to take a look at our SJT pack if this applies to you.
HSBC Verbal Test
In these tests candidates are provided with a passage of written information and asked to analyse and draw logical inferences from that written information. The questions will be multiple choice with the answer options being: true; false; cannot say. The key here is to answer the questions based on purely the information contained within the passage (ignore any prior knowledge you may have). Think literally and go only on what you have been told in the passage.
HSBC Numerical Test
In these tests numerical data is provided to a candidate, usually in the form of graphs, tables, statistics and financial data. To answer these questions, candidates must analyse this data and make a logical conclusion from it, allowing them to select the correct answer. Typical numerical skills which are tested include addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, ratios, fractions and percentages.
HSBC Situational Judgement Test
Situational judgement tests (SJT) describe fictional scenarios and provide a selection of potential actions. Throughout different sections of the test, candidates are instructed either to select the course of action they are most or least likely to adopt, the most or least effective option, to rank the options in order of effectiveness and to rate responses in terms of effectiveness and counter-productivity.