Best Places to Work: 2015 (#17)
I worked at HSBC Holdings full-time
a big international company that provides wide range of opportunities
small fish in the big tank feeling
I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at HSBC Holdings (Swansea, Wales) in April 2018.
I first applied online through indeed. It was a pretty straightforward application form and once this had been submitted I received an invitation to complete an online assessment... Now I really despise these as I've been rejected for many and passed many! I think you've really got to concentrate and weigh the options.
I passed this stage and was invited for a phone interview. This is where it got interesting.
I'd read so many interview questions and got myself into a massive fluster about the whole thing. I'd read a lot of mixed reviews on glass door about the hsbc interview process so was very reluctant. After a week of getting so nervous about it, I had my call.
The line was SO bad I asked the woman to ring me back. When she rang back I came to the conclusion it was also her accent that was very hard to understand!
It was a basic interview which only really consisted of two questions - I'm not sure if that's because I spoke for two long or not!
The two questions were give an example of a time you achieved excellence (and after I'd answered she then asked me about 5 specific questions relating to my example) and name a time you have delivered good customer service (with a further 5 questions about my example). I felt like I had stressed way more about this than I should have so my advice would be to relax. I had prepared 3 sheets of interview prep with example questions and how I'd answer, HSBC facts and values (which typically never came up throughout the whole process) and another page on myself and attributes. I found this really helped me later on for the face to face interview as I'd covered every eventuality for competency questions.
At the end of the call the woman told me I'd been successful and someone would be in touch to arrange the next step.
So... Phase 3. The role play.
It was scheduled 2 weeks after my phone interview. I am not exaggerating when I say I was so nervous for two weeks straight re reading my 3 pages over and over.
When I arrived at the centre there were no other candidates. I presume we all had a two hour time slot. My interviewer Adam couldn't have been nicer, I feel I really got lucky. He was so easy to talk to it put me at ease straight away. I wouldn't even class this interview as a particularly formal one either. It was very casual.
The role play as I'd read on glass door from other people was 2 calls on a dummy system head set and everything. It sounds super daunting but looking back on it if you are calm and use initiative I don't see how you could fail. On call 1 I was very nervous, I even messed up the initial scripted part. For these calls it is KEY you listen to what the interviewer/customer is telling you. Seems obvious but for example - on the first call the customer asked if he could transfer some money from his savings account to his current account as he was going on holiday. The key point of this statement besides the fact he wants to transfer money is that he is going on holiday therefore there was a need to offer travel insurance and or travel money (don't worry on call one there are sections for credit cards, travel services and savings accounts). On call two an additional two sections are included which are loans and mortgages. It sounds very confusing but once the call has started you get the jist of what is wanted of you. I messed up several times just but stuttering and being nervous. Also sounding like a robot as all the information is in front of you. I really thought I'd messed it up but when the interviewer came down he said the mistakes I made were things that could be taught and improved and that I was successful as I had a natural flair for communicating and that I offered services that weren't asked for by the customer (identifying customer needs).
He said that I had passed to my surprise and we continued with the 1:1 interview. Again, very relaxed. There were only 5 competency based questions which I have listed below. If you have prepared your examples this part will be an absolute breeze.
3 hours after leaving the interview I got a call from Adam saying I was being offered the position!
My best advice is to prepare examples from work and personal life to answer the competency based questions and stay calm (even though it's hard) during the role play and make sure you identify the customers needs.