HSBC Interview Questions – Global Banking and Markets Off-Cycle Analyst

by Mai Le | Jun 18, 2020

Report on HSBC interview questions from a Cover Letter Library member’s experiences. This is based on  HSBC Global Banking and Markets Off-Cycle Investment Banking Analyst assessment day in Canary Wharf on 30-11-2019.  There may be some variations depending on the offices or other new updates to the recruitment practice – so please use this for reference/preparation purposes only.

Who’s the lucky company?
For which division?
Global Banking and Markets
And for which office?
Canary Wharf
What’s the formal title of the position you applied for?
Global Banking and Markets Off-Cycle Analyst
When did you apply?
When was this interview?
How were you informed of this interview?
Automatic notification from the application portal
Were you able to choose the time slot yourself?
And this interview was therefore…
Lasted the whole day
Was this a … ?
in-person interview
Which stage was this interview?
assessment day
What’s the format of the day?
We (6 people) arrived at 8AM and were split into 2 groups, Global Banking and Markets applicants and other applicants. The three of us were then led to breakfast where we had the day’s plan explained for us.

This was a group exercise, motivational interview, technical interview and two case-studies.

Were there any case study? Tell us about it.
Case study 1 – the oil & gas industry outlook (falling prices)
Timed assessment to read through 5 pages of information and prepare a verbal report for an MD. This covered predominantly opportunities and threats for our clients and the bank itself.Case study 2 – TMT client
Role-play with a TMT Global Banking client, looking to expand their retail business online. Which investment banking services are relevant and why?
Was there any group presentation / discussion?
The group presentation was more of an ice-breaker but I received very positive feedback for this, by listening to others but leading the conversation and being aware of the time.

We had to decide as a group of 3 on one controversial topic, to then debate in front of the interview panel of three senior bankers.

It is presented very casually by the panel but is being examined so do not be too complacent!

Were there any other exercises? Tell us more.
Other than those mentioned above, there was a technical interview. This was not very difficult and focused more on general accounting principles (three financial statements) than any specific investment banking knowledge.
Onto the interviews, how many interviewers were in each interview?
In all but one, there was one interviewer. The group exercise was observed by three bankers.
How many interviews in total were in this interview?
There was a total of 5 interviews in the day, spread evenly with breakfast and lunch in between. There is a high minimum word count on this field.
How long was each interview?
Each interview was 45 minutes. There is a high minimum word count on this field.
Were there any personal / CV-based questions? If yes, what were they?
No questions were based on the CV or cover letter provided. Instead, questions were generic and were based around “why investment banking” and “why the firm”.
Were there any competencies questions? If yes, what were they?
Yes there were. These included “explain a challenge you have overcome” and “describe a time you wish you had listened to advice that you ignored”.
Were there any technical questions? If yes, what were they?
Technical questions were not complex or related to investment banking. Instead they focused on accounting knowledge; for example what’s EBITDA and how does a purchase of PPE affect the financial statements?
What was the most difficult / unusual question among these? How did you deal with it?
The most difficult question was to explain the relative cost of debt and equity. The interviewer kept asking for more information and detail. I remained calm and elaborated on more abstract considerations a business may, whilst also provided real-world examples. This was positively commented upon in my feedback.
What was the most unexpected thing about this interview or whole process?
I expected there to be of a focus on investment banking. Instead, it was much broader and was testing your knowledge and interest in finance.
Any other weird HSBC interview questions we haven’t covered?
Not really.
Did you get the offer?
How long roughly did it take for you to hear back about your offer?
1 week
Via what means did you hear back about this outcome?
Is there anything you wish you should have known or prepared for prior to applying to this company?
No we were provided with a lot of information prior to the assessment centre and interview.
Overall, out of 10, how would you evaluate your experience applying to this company?
Finally, before you go, is there anything else you think will help other candidates get the offer here like you did?
Be incredibly enthusiastic, HSBC loves passion for the job. Also, HSBC prides itself in having a helpful and friendly workforce. Therefore, a smile goes a very long way! Overall, be yourself and relax.

We hope this report on HSBC interview questions helps you in preparation for similar interviews.

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Written By Mai Le

Mai worked for Goldman Sachs in London for many years as an investment banking associate. When she was at LSE, her seniors used to pass her notes of their interviews as well as their cover letters, which helped her tremendously in her job search. This site is a way for her to pay it forward, obtaining qualified materials from her friends and contributors, and building a similar community to pass the resources on to you.

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