Application hints and tips

What to expect when you apply

Our recruitment process

HSBC’s application procedures vary according to the role you are seeking and the location where you are hoping to work. They will typically include the stages outlined below, depending on whether you are applying for a general role or a student and graduate role.

General application details

Candidates for roles at HSBC will usually be taken through a number of steps, from submitting their CV and completing online assessments to telephone and face-to-face interviews.

We aim for an inclusive work environment where everyone can reach their full potential. If you require any adjustments to our recruitment process please let us know. Examples of such adjustments might include supplying materials in large print or Braille or providing assistance to attend our assessment centres.

Your CV is an important part of your application to HSBC and is your first opportunity to demonstrate your qualities and achievements. It also enables us to consider you if another suitable role comes up in the future. In addition to your CV we may ask you to complete an application form.

Begin your CV with a brief summary of your skills, accomplishments and career goals. Follow this with your employment history and work experience, starting with your most recent role. Include full details of your employers, dates of employment, job titles and responsibilities. Make sure you give examples of your skills and achievements, relating these to the role for which you are applying where possible.

Next, give details of the university, college or school you attended, your qualifications and grades and any work-related courses taken. Start with the most recent and work backwards, using bullet points or a table. Finally, mention any hobbies or interests that have a particular relevance to the role for which you are applying. Ensure your contact details are up to date and that the CV is no more than two pages long.

Once you have successfully completed your application, we may send you a link to a website containing some online assessments. These are designed to identify whether you have the skills required for the role and to assess your suitability for working at HSBC. The number and type of assessments will depend on the role for which you are applying.

You can take the assessments at any time within a fixed number of days, as specified in the email. You should complete some of the practice questions supplied before you begin, and start the assessments only when you are sure you can give them your undivided attention.

We conduct interviews in order to assess your compatibility with HSBC’s values, as well as your general skills and motivation for applying. It is also your opportunity to make sure the interviewer knows that you are enthusiastic about working at HSBC. If you are successful in the interview, we will contact you afterwards and let you know the next steps.

HSBC uses several methods to conduct interviews with candidates, which range from video interviewing technology through to over the telephone or in-person meetings. Regardless of the method of interview, we will ask you about specific occasions when you have demonstrated a particular ability. It is important that you identify and know your strengths and be prepared to give examples of when you have demonstrated relevant skills. Focus on your role in these situations and the outcomes. These examples don’t have to be drawn from work. For each example, explain the situation you faced; the specific task required; the action that you took; and the result of this action.

On Demand video interviews

HSBC has engaged with a video interviewing technology partner called Modern Hire which has On Demand interviewing capabilities. On Demand video interviews are being used for some roles instead of telephone interviews.

On Demand interviews contain questions that are pre-set for you to answer via video which do not require an interviewer either on the phone or face to face to listen to your responses live. It allows you to conduct the interview at a time that suits you.

Read more about how to prepare and successfully complete the On Demand video interview.

Live video, telephone and In-person interviews

We may conduct an interview via live video, telephone or in-person which will last approximately 30-60 minutes depending on the role.

If you are invited to conduct your interview via a live video, read more about how to prepare and successfully connect to the live video interview.

If you need adjustments prior to or during the interview, or don’t understand a question that is asked, please let the interviewer know.

Student and graduate application details

Student and graduate application details (duration 3:06) Watch the video to learn about the application process and ensure you are as prepared as possible when applying for one of our global internships or graduate programmes.

Our internship and global graduate programmes develop the most talented students and graduates to achieve their fullest potential at HSBC. We need forward-thinking, driven and perceptive students and graduates who are open to different ideas and cultures, and who enjoy being part of a team. Our Global Success Framework helps us to identify and recruit the best candidates in each country and the process may vary slightly by country to meet any cultural or legal requirements.

If you’re applying for an entry-level position in the country where you live or the Global Graduate Programme, please check with the local recruitment team for information on the recruitment and selection process.

We encourage people from all backgrounds to apply and aim for an inclusive work environment where everyone can reach their full potential so we’ve created a process to give all candidates the opportunity to excel.

If you require any adjustments in our recruitment process, please let us know by contacting your local recruitment team.

Our process is fully virtual to support inclusivity and sustainability and there will be lots of opportunities to showcase your strengths and skills, learn more about HSBC as well as meet our recruiters and business assessors in a virtual environment.

At every stage of the recruitment process you’ll be invited to our Candidate Hub. This gives you access to a variety of supportive materials relevant to your stage in the process.

To help you further prepare for our assessments you can also sign-up to HSBC’s Practice Zone which gives you access to multiple practice tests, interview guidance and a HSBC work simulation to support you further with your application.

You’ll receive a feedback report after the Online Immersive Assessment and Virtual Experience Day stage in the process to help you learn more about your top strengths and areas for development.

The first stage of the process is to complete our application form and any local application requirements. The application form asks some short questions about your eligibility to apply for the role. It doesn’t matter what or where you studied but you will need to meet the eligibility requirements to be considered. You’ll also be asked to complete some questions to help us report on and monitor equal opportunities, any local country requirements will be followed. This information won’t be visible to anyone throughout the recruitment process or afterwards and is treated in confidence. You can choose not to share this information if you’d prefer.

Once you’ve completed this, if you’re eligible, you’ll receive an email with information about the next steps in the process.

If you’re eligible to move forward, you’ll be invited to complete an online assessment, this may be one or two stages depending on which market you are applying to.

Our assessments are designed to give you an insight into the life of graduates working at HSBC to help you better understand our values and culture. They also allow you to understand more about the specific business area you’ve applied to.

During the assessments you’ll be presented with example work scenarios and will need to respond in different formats including multiple choice, written and video responses to help us assess your behavioural and cognitive skills to ensure they are a good match for the programme you’ve applied to.

We suggest that you take a look at the Practice Zone to help familiarize yourself with these type of written and numerical assessments so you know what to expect.

Once you’ve completed the online assessment stage(s), we’ll contact you to let you know whether you have made it through to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Depending on the Global Graduate Programme or Internship that you have applied for, you may be invited to take part in a half-day Virtual Experience Day or Assessment Centre.

You’ll be assessed by key members of the relevant business area in virtual face-to-face Strengths-based interview(s) and a series of assessment exercises. All of these exercises and interview(s) are founded within the Strengths-based methodology and have been designed to encourage you to demonstrate your potential and suitability for HSBC.

To support your preparation for the final stage assessment we recommend that you consider why you’ve applied to work at HSBC, but also think about the situations where you truly excel and the achievements you’re proud of.

If you’re successful at the Virtual Experience Day / Assessment Centre, we’ll contact you and let you know what happens next.

If you’ve applied to a vacancy on one of our graduate or intern programmes, you can find contact details for your local team on the careers contacts page. Please don’t send your CV or any sensitive information to these email addresses, as they are for handling application and selection queries only.

If you have any questions during the application process, feel free to ask ‘Stitt’ the Lion, our Chatbot who can be found in the bottom right hand corner of your application page and is available 24/7.

More in Careers

Students and graduates

Whether you are a school leaver, a university student or graduate, we have placements, programmes and entry-level positions to suit you.

Career development

People who work for HSBC receive a wide range of support to help improve their skills and achieve their career goals.