HSBC is a British multinational bank with global reach.
HSBC currently employs over 85,000 people worldwide to support the operations and growth of the business. As a result, the recruitment process is competitive and candidates will be put through their paces in a rigorous process including interviews and aptitude tests, and ending with the HSBC assessment center.
Whether you’re applying for a role in banking or HR, and for an internship or a full-time job, you’ll be asked to take part in the assessment center (sometimes known as ‘Super Day’), so it’s good to know what to expect and how to best prepare.
Why does HSBC use assessment centers?
The assessment center is your last chance to impress and show HSBC’s hiring managers why you’re the best person for the role.
While previously you’ll have been assessed individually through your resume, aptitude test results and interviews, the assessment center gives employers a chance to see how you work as part of a team, and what role you tend to naturally play in larger groups of people.
The exercises on the day look particularly at presentation skills, teamwork, active listening and general behavior and conduct.
As much as it’s a chance for employers to get to know you, it’s also an opportunity for you to learn more about the team and the role, and ask any final questions you might have.
What skills is HSBC looking for?
Whether you’re applying for an internship or a full-time role, there are certain key skills and qualities HSBC will be looking for, which link back to their organizational values:
We value difference
We succeed together
We take responsibility
We get it done
Therefore, HSBC employees need to show evidence of soft skills including strong interpersonal skills, accountability, teamwork and hard work.
Then there will be skills that are more closely related to the position you’re applying for. This could be numerical reasoning, logical thinking or financial reasoning.
Before attending the assessment center, it’s really important you’re clear on the key skills the HSBC employers will be looking for so you can be sure you’re demonstrating the personal strengths you possess that marry with what they’re looking for.
HSBC assessment center format
The HSBC assessment center is a chance for senior managers at HSBC to assess people in person, and put you through your paces in a variety of different skill areas.
Exercises may vary depending on the role, but typically include the following:
HSBC case study
This is a written exercise that requires you to read through a case study detailing a particular problem or challenge, before preparing a response.
You won’t have long to do the exercise, so you’ll need to read quickly while noting down key bits of information.
When writing your response, make sure you write as legibly as you can and ensure you have time to check your spelling and grammar. Keep an eye on the clock as you’ll be assessed on your ability to complete the task on time.
HSBC group exercise
This exercise primarily looks at teamwork. There’s a fine balance to be found between making sure your ideas are shared and your voice is heard, while not taking over or failing to listen to other members of the team. And this is precisely what the HSBC hiring managers will be looking for.
A few things that might help are: thinking carefully about your points before vocalizing them, building on other people’s arguments, asking probing questions, and sharing your ideas with confidence and as articulately as possible.
HSBC presentation exercise
For this exercise, you’ll be given a case study on which you’ll need to prepare a presentation according to a set criteria.
Presenting skills are crucial in many roles, and this part of the assessment center is an opportunity for hiring managers to assess your confidence, competency and how comfortable you are sharing your ideas and answering questions on a particular subject.
The key competencies you’re being examined on are: communication, the depth of your work, how well you’ve solved the problem, and the planning and organization skills present in your response to brief.
HSBC strengths-based interview(s)
And finally, you’ll also be interviewed again to give the HSBC hiring managers a chance to ask any final questions and ensure they have everything they need to know before making any decisions.
This interview usually focuses on your motivations for applying and your reasons for wanting to work for HSBC. Questions therefore could include things like: ‘Why HSBC?’ and ‘How will your past experience help you do the job?’.
You should also come prepared with a few of your own questions in case there’s time to ask them at the end.
Tips for passing the HSBC assessment center
1. Present yourself well
That means everything from turning up on time, to ensuring you’re smartly dressed and ready to get stuck into the day’s activities. First impressions really do count, so try to be friendly and professional with everyone you meet, including your fellow applicants.
Preparation is really important if you want to get the most out of the assessment center.
It’s a good idea to read up on HSBC, the role you’re applying for and the wider goals and objectives of the business. You’ll want to ensure you have your own questions prepared should there be time to ask them at the end of your interview.
It also helps to familiarize yourself with each section of the assessment center so you know what you’ll be doing, and the competencies you’ll be assessed against.
3. Be a team player
This involves not speaking over the other attendees, really listening to other people’s ideas and opinions, and asking thoughtful questions where appropriate. It also means being polite and friendly to everyone you meet on the day, whether they’re assessing you or not.
4. Show your enthusiasm
Employers want to be met with people who want to work for them.
Being enthusiastic doesn’t have to mean being over the top. Those who express genuine interest and passion for HSBC through being engaged, asking thoughtful questions and being able to answer why they want to work there will be remembered for all the right reasons.
5. Confidence is key
If you’ve made it to the assessment center, you’ve made it further than most so have confidence in your abilities and your place there.
Of course, these things can be nerve-wracking but try and boost your self-esteem by reflecting on the qualities that make you right for the role, and ensuring they’re evident to the assessors.