How to Prepare for HSBC Online Immersive Assessment and Job Simulation?
Last Updated on October 11, 2022
If working in the financial services industry is your ambition, then a role with HSBC may be what you are seeking.
There is a range of job options available within the group. You may want to become a teller, a technical specialist, or an actuarial manager. You may want to work in your home country or in one of the diverse locations where HSBC offers its services.
Sounds exciting? Yes, it is because HSBC is not just any local bank but has a global presence offering prospective employees a range of opportunities.
But like all good things, that comes with a price. The jobs are not easy to get. Even at the early application stage, you will be asked to do an online pre-employment assessment called the HSBC Immersive Assessment.
If the company is satisfied with your performance here, you will then be asked to do another assessment, the HSBC Job Simulation Assessment.
Acing these two assessments is essential if you are to progress further in your search for an HSBC job.
About The HSBC Assessments
HSBC assessments are provided by Capfinnity, a prestigious pre-employment test provider. They have developed the tests specifically for HSBC and are known to provide challenging assessments.
But you also have to take into account that large, global finance companies maintain their prestige by ensuring they employ people who are a good fit for a role with them.
Add to that the fact that finance companies attract a lot of applicants for any vacant position, and you can see you will have your work cut out for you both in terms of satisfying the company and in terms of showing them you rise above the competition for the jobs.
Essentially, HSBC wants the best of the best, and you have to prove yourself capable of reaching that level. And that calls for some serious preparation.
What Format Do the HSBC Tests Take?
The first test is the HSBC Online Immersive Assessment. You will be invited to do this test when your job application has been approved.
When you get through this, you will then be invited to do a Job Simulation Assessment. The assessments are carried out at HBSC’s assessment centres.
The Online Immersive Assessment
This is essentially a personality profiling test. Known as the HSBC Values Assessment, the test attempts to discover if you are a good fit for the role you have applied for with HSBC.
The test has 70-90 questions and will take about 30-45 minutes to complete. The test is administered by SHL and is untimed.
By looking at the following two sample questions, you will get a clearer idea of how the assessment actually works.
Note that in the samples, as in the real test, once you select an answer, you will get another opportunity to make another selection from the two remaining statements.
It is not advisable to dive straight in and select the first option that catches your eye. Your best course of action might be to mentally select the option that does not appear to be a good choice. Then study the remaining two statements. Select the most suitable of those for your first answer and then the other for your second choice.
HSBC Values Sample Question 1
Which statement describes you best?
- I enjoy managing a team
- I anticipate successful outcomes
- I like assisting individuals
Note: On the actual test, once you choose a statement, it will disappear, and you will need to choose the statement that best describes you from the remaining two.
Bear in mind what you have read above about HSBC’s core values as you attempt the above questions. If you are new to personality profiling, you may find it difficult to understand where precisely these questions are going.
Your answers will allow HSBC to compile a profile of your personality and then decide if you have the necessary qualities to carry out the role you have applied for.
Before undertaking the test, it is very important to have a clear idea of what your chosen role entails.
If, for example, the job is in management, the role will require different attributes to the ones required to work as part of a team.
An aspiring manager might choose the first option in the above question, “I enjoy managing a team.” A prospective manager may also like helping fellow workers, but their primary objective is to manage those workers.
If your chosen role requires you to work as part of a team, you might want to answer that you like assisting others. Working on the first sample question given above, let’s imagine you anticipate successful outcomes.
What does that say about you? For example, are you a positive thinker? When working on a project, do you feel that you and your co-workers can work together to overcome any difficulties that arise?
If your chosen role is working as a team member, then this might be the best answer for you.
Now try your hand at the following question:
HSBC Values Sample Question 2
Which statement describes you best?
- I love debating academic theories
- I adopt a future emphasis
- I am discreet about my accomplishments
The Job Simulation Assessment
The Job Simulation Assessment is conducted by Cappfinity. Like all pre-employment tests, it is checking how suited you are to the work required in your chosen role. Similarly, the assessments check if you exhibit the values the company puts so much emphasis on.
When doing the Job Simulation Exercise, it is important:
- To behave as if you were at work.
- To dress as you would for a day in the office! Some of the assessments will be carried out via video or may even be on-site.
- To get into the “at work” mindset. The assessment is a simulation or “mock-up” of everyday work situations.
The assessment consists of four micro exercises, which, when combined, elicit information about you more thoroughly than an interview might do.
Within the micro exercises, you can expect fifteen questions spanning four different types of questions:
- Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
- Personality testing
- Video interview questions
- Free text questions i.e. where you are allowed to give your opinion or expand on a previous answer.
The questions are all based on scenarios you might encounter when working for HSBC. The four micro exercises will contain one or more of these question types.
The Micro Exercises
What are they, and what are they looking for?
Exercise 1 – Video Set-Up
At face value, this might seem like a very simple test to ensure your video is working. You will be asked one practice question to test your device.
Theoretically, you aren’t graded on this exercise. However, when dealing with hiring managers in pre-employment tests, you are always being observed, and your suitability for a job is being assessed.
In the practice question, you may simply be asked why you want to work at HSBC.
Answer this question as carefully as you will answer questions in the following exercises.
Your answering and demeanour here will create a general impression of the type of person you are.
Exercise 2 SJT – Based on an article about a fictitious company
In the second exercise, you will be requested to start a research project.
You will be given an article via video about a fictitious event. The event will be presented in the form of a news article, and you will have two questions to answer.
This exercise is a form of SJT and allows the company to judge how you approach starting a research project. Once again, it is essential to bear the company’s core values in mind when dealing with the exercise.
Exercise 3 – Fictitious Company Analysis
In this exercise, a series of six questions will test your situational judgement skills and help build a profile of your personality.
You will be given details about a fictitious company. The details may be given in the form of a news article. You will have to work through the details and come to conclusions about the company.
HSBC will be in a position to assess your research and decision-making skills from your answers. They will also be able to judge if you can prioritise tasks when researching and if you are able to present your findings clearly and logically.
Exercise 4 – Further Analysis
The final exercise will see you working on the same fictitious company, but this time you will have to perform a deeper analysis of the company.
You will be asked to present the results of your analysis to likely investors. You will have six questions to answer via video interview and can expect some SJT-style questions and some free text-style questions.
As in the third exercise, your research abilities and your skills in prioritising tasks will come under scrutiny here.
As the details show, these exercises are not for the faint-hearted or the unprepared. But by using your sample papers as the foundation stone of your preparation, you will become familiar with the style of questioning.
You will also train yourself to bear the company’s values in mind as you approach each question.
How Do I Prepare for the Tests?
The three most important factors to focus on are:
- Getting information about the tests
- Learning about the format of the different tests
- And practice, practice, practice
However, all of these things can be difficult to do if you don’t have accurate information on the types of tests you have to do or access to materials to practice on.
A job test preparation company will be able to provide you with all of these. For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep.
With over thirty years of experience in preparing candidates for pre-employment testing, they will provide you with a test prep pack containing everything you need to ace the assessments. Your test prep pack comes with:
- Accurate Information About The Tests
- Sample test papers modelled on the real tests for you to practice on.
- A score-checking system for you to monitor your progress from test to test
- Helpful study guides and videos
- Detailed explanations of questions and answers
Using this system, you are guaranteed that no unpleasant surprises will meet you in the real tests.
To get an idea of the tests they give you, try your hand at a free sample (SJT) Situational Judgement Test here.
Learn All You Can About HSBC
As well as working with your test prep pack, you will also need to get as much information as you can about HSBC and the core values they expect all employees to have.
The tests will assess if you have those values and decide if you could be a good fit for the company:
- Succeeding Together – HSBC like their employees to have the ability to work together. A good team player has excellent communication skills and collaborates with colleagues in working to achieve a company aim.
- Responsibility Employees – Workers at the company are expected to take responsibility for their own actions and decision-making. This also includes being ready to acknowledge when they make mistakes.
- Getting it Done – HSBC likes its employees to be ambitious and willing to seize opportunities in the interest of getting a task done. That may even extend to being willing to take risks.
- Willing to Learn – Employees are encouraged to continue learning and developing their skills. The company especially likes employees who are not afraid of looking at a problem from a new angle and who do not shy away from taking new approaches.
Working through your sample papers, take the approach you will have to take in the real tests and bear the company’s core values in mind when you are doing exercises.
HSBC Assessment Centre Interviews
You may be asked to attend short interviews, of approximately thirty minutes each, throughout your day at the assessment centre.
The interviews largely focus on your knowledge and understanding of business. It is advisable in the run-up to the assessment day to keep on top of developments in the world of business.
For the business interview, in particular, keep an eye on the markets and especially any new developments at HSBC.
You can also expect to have a motivational interview. This interview is largely about you, the person. The interviewer may want to know why you have chosen to work at HSBC, but they may also want to know what you do to continue improving your skills. Remember, in this case, that the desire to keep learning is one of their core values.
Another question that may also cause you to remember the core skills is if you are asked if you ever helped someone achieve their goal. The phrase “Succeeding together” should spring to mind if asked this question.
You may also be asked to attend a final interview at the centre. This is a competency-based interview. The interviewer will be checking if you have the skills required for the role you are seeking.
If you have been told that interviews are going to be a feature of your day at the assessment centre, then some work on the core values will help your performance.
A trawl through your CV and past work or college experiences will help you find incidents that can be used as examples to support your experience and awareness of the core values.
For example, for the value referring to the desire to continue learning and improving, there may be something in your educational experience to show you appreciate the value of that statement.
Work through each of the statements and find examples that show you following that value.
When selecting your test prep pack, you will find that Job Test Prep have a pack specifically directed at the HSBC assessment day tests and interviews.
Doing Your Preparation For HSBC
As we have seen, HSBC pre-employment testing is challenging, so the earlier you begin preparing, the better. Preparation should begin before you undertake the Immersive Assessment, as doing well here will determine if you are to progress further along the recruitment chain.
When preparing, try the following pointers to ensure you are ready for everything the assessments will throw at you:
- Work to a timetable, ensuring you finish a day before your assessments. Especially for assessment days and video interviews, you do not want to turn up bleary-eyed from all-night study marathons.
- Take adequate breaks during preparation sessions. The ideal preparation period is 50 minutes, followed by 10-minute breaks.
- Exercise, sleep, nutrition and fresh air are all essential components of a good preparation routine.
Using your sample papers in every preparation session will:
- Ensure you are becoming familiar with the questioning style
- Give you the confidence of knowing what to expect in a very demanding recruitment process
- Train you to deal with the time limitations of the assessments
- Help you monitor your progress from test to test and identify areas that need more work
- Encourage you to dig more deeply into your experiences to find examples to support your answers.
Having done the work, you too can, in the words of HSBC, “Anticipate Successful Outcomes” in the assessments.
If you are preparing for the HSBC assessments, you will find all the resources you need to ace them here.
Written by Elizabeth O Mahony
With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.