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Interview: Tips & Advice

2016

"Be yourself. I have been fortunate enough to see the application process from both sides and that's the advice that stands out most. It's important to be authentic, and by that I mean being true to yourself. The application is straightforward: online CV and cover letter/competency questions, online assessment, competency-based interview and assessment centre. The assessment centre is well structured and my advice would be to plan your time effectively, especially during the written exercises."
Graduate, London
"The application process is very similar to that of other banks. The best thing to do is focus on your values and that of the bank. You want to emphasise who you are and what you stand for – this is what HSBC is really looking for."
Graduate, London
"I had to apply for an internship through an online application, psychometric testing, telephone interview and then an assessment centre. I was offered a graduate position after the eight-week long internship."
Graduate, London
"Be yourself and be honest. It's okay to not know the answer to something."
Graduate, Leeds
"Have examples to back up how you display the competencies that the company prides itself on."
Graduate, London
"Be yourself. Be well prepared and apply your actions and answers back to HSBC's core values."
Graduate, Various across UK
"Think logically and make sure you showcase your thoughts and opinions. Also, be inclusive of others, particularly towards those in the recruitment process who are shying away."
Graduate, Miami
"Review your professional, academic, and personal achievements using the STAR approach and also do a bit of research on current market and industry activity associated with the role that you are interested in."
Graduate, London

2015

"To prepare for the interview pick the top five key topics in the industry at the moment. Read around these topics and try to be able to link the key themes together/have an opinion. Thoroughly think through competency questions as I actually found this the hardest interview as they can ask for very specific answers."
Graduate, London
"Do your research about the company and have an understanding of what it is trying to do, where it is going. Be confident."
Graduate, London
"Be yourself! Don't see the other candidates as your 'competition', they should be treated as colleagues, especially in the team activity. Understand HSBC and its values - this is essential and you will need to demonstrate core competencies throughout the application process."
Graduate, New York
"Apply as soon as possible as HSBC is recruiting on a rolling basis. Make strategies and give your best in preparing for each stage."
Graduate, London
"Apply for an internship, it's the best way to enhance your application. Know the business well, understand the financial markets. Be prepared with usual examples of when you've shown leadership, dealt with a difficult situation, etc."
Graduate, London
"Develop views on what the world will be like in the medium and long term. Ask yourself: How will this affect the economy? Research the bank and what it is good at."
Graduate, London
"The application process consisted of an online application, online tests, a phone interview and an assessment centre. I believe the procedure is quite standard, candidates need to do more research and think more deeply about their choices for specific positions."
Graduate, London
"To apply for the graduate programme, there is first an online application, online tests, followed by a telephone interview and finally an assessment centre. Prepare for each stage of the application process. Practice the tests, telephone interviews and assessment centre activities. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel."
Graduate, London/Hong Kong
"Read up on HSBC, make sure you know about the history and values of HSBC. A good knowledge of recent market activity is also advisable as you don't want to be tripped up by a simple question you could have easily revised."
Entry level, London
"At this stage, academic intelligence is a given. To stand out individuals must shine with regards to their personality, principals and morals."
Graduate, London
"The application process consists of an online application followed by competency tests where if successful you are invited for a telephone interview and then an assessment centre. The best way to prepare is to be very aware of how the sector works and what does the specific role you are applying for involves, while also make sure you follow the developments in the sector and more widely. They do not expect you to know everything but they want to see that you have a good understanding and you are a fast learner."
Graduate, London

2014

"Keep up to date with financial news and do not be afraid to make your own opinions. The FT is not there for you to memorise, but to help you make your own conclusions."
Graduate, London
"My advice for candidates is to be honest and to not pretend to be anything they're not. Recruiters will be working with you for a good number of hours, and they need to know they will be happy to do that."
Graduate, London
"Fully understand the bank's values and figure out how your experiences are tailored towards these."
Graduate, London
"Dig beneath the surface and make sure you have a good understanding of the current broad-level themes in financial markets and the banking industry. You should be able to offer your own opinions and be prepared to justify them."
Graduate, London
"Read the news (Economic Times, BBC Business, FT, etc.) and try to link your experiences with the skills you gained in those experiences and try to relate them to the job role. In technology, team work is essential, especially given the global nature of the company. In addition, having worked in university societies will help preparing for the interview as participation in these shows you are interested in things outside the work environment."
Graduate, London
"Practice the numerical test: many candidates failed this at the assessment day. For interviews: think about how your experiences relate to competencies."
Graduate, London
"Preparation is crucial. Furthermore, tailor your answers to make them relevant to the current economic situation and the department that you are applying to, as well as HSBC as a whole. When reading high-profile global/financial/business news, ask yourself the question 'why would that be relevant to HSBC?' 'How would it affect the product-line that I'm applying to?'"
Graduate, London
"I would recommend paying attention to the company's values, as they are an important component of the hiring decisions. It is also important to be aware of the unique characteristics of the company and be able to explain how they have been a practical advantage to the company."
Graduate, London
Our 'Inside Buzz' reviews are the comments and views of recent graduate recruits, giving you a view of what it may be like to work for an organisation. Copyright of all TARGETjobs Inside Buzz material lies solely with GTI Media.
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