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Top tips for the application process from HSBC graduate recruiters

The recruitment process at HSBC involves an application form, an online immersive assessment, a job simulator and an assessment centre (currently virtual due to Covid-19). Six members of HSBC’s graduate recruitment team gave us their top tips for making every stage of your application a success.

1. Listen

‘The most important thing to do is listen! Always listen and answer what has been asked of you, not what you hoped would have been asked of you.' Mark Hucklebridge, Graduate & Early Careers Recruiter

Whatever graduate role you have at HSBC, good communication skills (written and oral) will be vital. You will be building connections all the time – with colleagues at every level and with clients, within your own country and across boundaries. During the selection process, read and listen to instructions carefully, and, make sure you are answering only what is being asked of you.

2. Give yourself time

‘Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer to repeat the question or take time to think before you answer.’ Charlotte Leer, Selection and Attraction Manager

The HSBC selection process is designed to allow you to demonstrate your strengths; taking a few moments before you respond to a question, to get your thoughts in order, is absolutely fine.

3. Do your research

‘Research companies thoroughly before you apply for any of their programmes to ensure they are the right choice for you and to avoid potential disappointment and unpleasant surprises.’ Gabor Toth, Graduate Recruiter

You can only apply to one of the many graduate programmes at HSBC, per year – it’s important to find out as much as possible about all of them so you apply to the one that is right for you. Start with the graduate programme descriptions on HSBC’s website.

4. Ask questions

‘Come prepared with thoughtful questions – research the company and identify what else you need to know ahead of your interview.’ Josephine Frangiskou, Graduate Recruiter

HSBC interviewers want you to ask questions – they want to know what you want to know! Asking good questions about the organisation and graduate programme shows that you are curious, forward thinking and motivated – all traits employers value. Just make sure you’re not asking for an answer that could be found easily on HSBC’s website!

5. Be real

‘Be genuine, be friendly and show your character. We want to see the real you and what you can bring to HSBC.’ Raj Jheeta, Graduate Coordinator

HSBC’s culture is founded in the values that have led them to become one of the largest companies in the world. Open, dependable and connected; their success is down to their people embodying their values, and the Bank truly believes that everyone should be empowered to bring their true selves to work. So be yourself – there’s no ‘typical’ employee at HSBC. And if you’re being yourself, you’ll behave more naturally during the recruitment process. The online immersive assessment is designed to help you find out more about HSBC and whether you have the right strengths, values, numerical and critical reasoning ability needed for the role, so the more genuine your answers, the more confident you can be in the results. The assessment centre will include a series of virtual exercises and face-to-face interviews – another opportunity to show HSBC who you are! Being friendly and genuine is key here too; HSBC cares about individuals; showing respect to others and being supportive of them are highly valued.

6. Be positive

'Be positive and try not to focus on little mistakes you may make in the application process (we are all human!). Positivity shines through and makes you stand out from a crowd.’ John Taylor, Operations Manager

Resilience is a vital skill for any graduate career; it’s the ability to face setbacks and obstacles without allowing them to dominate. If you can be positive when encountering a problem, you are more likely to be able to find coping strategies to manage it. HSBC is looking for candidates who can exercise judgement and common sense, and empower others to do so. During the recruitment process, accept that small mistakes are going to happen, and move on from them.

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