Advertise here
City scape

The skills HSBC's commercial banking division wants graduates to have

Focus specifically on building a good understanding of your role, the business division and the markets in which HSBC commercial banking operates.

The skills HSBC's commercial banking division wants graduates to have

HSBC graduate recruitment manager, Sophie Biney, told TARGETjobs Finance that there are two key skills applicants have to demonstrate to be among the few that get through the recruitment process.

HSBC required graduate skill 1: commercial awareness

The broader definition of commercial awareness for graduate roles in the financial services sector can be found here. But Sophie says commercial awareness within the commercial banking division of HSBC means:

  • being aware of what’s going on in the local, regional, national and European economy
  • understanding how changes in these different economies affect HSBC’s customers
  • knowing who HSBC’s customers are – from the shopkeeper to the large multinational
  • seeing things from the customer’s perspective – where do they want to be? What do they want to achieve? What markets do they operate in?
  • being able to establish if now is the best time for the customer to go ahead with that business decision
  • knowing who HSBC’s competitors are

You won’t be expected to be some kind of guru on HSBC’s business ahead of the telephone and face-to-face interviews or the assessment centre; but find out as much as you can to ensure you’re well equipped. It will be noticed and make a difference. Focus specifically on building a good understanding of your role, the business division and the markets in which HSBC commercial banking operates.

Tip: research role, division and market to improve your commercial awareness

Read up on the graduate programme and division you’re interested in by spending time on HSBC’s graduate recruitment section and the commercial banking section under ‘About Us’. Then visit its news and insights section, which will give you a good idea of what HSBC is doing. Use the available information to think about wider issues that may affect HSBC’s activities and decision making.

For example, in the newsroom there is a press release about strong growth for HSBC Germany in the first half of 2016. What are the implications for the German economy and for borrowing, growth and exports of a low or zero percentage interest rate?

HSBC required graduate skill 2: analytical ability

Your analytical skills will be put to the test at the assessment centre during a group exercise that will simulate a banking scenario. Sophie says: ‘You’ll have to come to a decision using the conflicting information provided. Assessors will be judging your ability to consider your options, weigh up the information and make a choice that’s right for the customer and the bank. You’ll have to be able to explain why you made that decision.’

Sophie says that on the job you’ll have to consider the factors and ask the questions below before coming to a conclusion. Ask yourself:

  • Who are the stakeholders, ie those with a strong interest in the scenario?
  • Who are the people who will have an opinion on it?
  • What are the desired outcomes for all stakeholders and HSBC?
  • Who can influence the outcome?
  • What are the risks? Who or what might block progress? How can I mitigate potential negative consequences and get them on my side?
  • Who do I need to double check with?

To answer these questions you’ll need to put in this groundwork:

  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes so you can understand the situation from their perspective.
  • Weigh up your options by thinking about the implications of each decision.
  • Consider what could affect the situation, such as budget or department priorities.
  • Liaise with colleagues to make sure you make the right decision.
Our 'How to get hired' articles are written by TARGETjobs editors and writers with job candidates in mind, helping you research and understand employers. Copyright of all material written by TARGETjobs lies solely with GTI Media.
Advertise here
Top