Telephone interview with HSBC?

Hi, I am having my first ever telephone interview with HSBC tomorrow afternoon for the role of Customer Services Officer!

I really really want the job and would REALLY appreciate it if you could tell me what type of questions would they ask me and any important tips i should keep in mind apart from talking with confidence, being in a quiet place and have a calculator by my side...!

Thank you very much!



I've had a telephone interview with Deloitte (massive accountancy firm) before and they asked a "competency" question (IMPORTANT: Large firms are obsesssssssed by "Key competencies", i.e. communication, teamwork, problem solving, organisation).

They asked me for evidence of one of these, I think it was communication.

They then asked why i wanted to do a gap year (it was for a year internship), but I would expect a similar basic general question like "Why HSBC?", here I would give an example of something dodgy about another firm (I did this in my final interview regarding rival KPMG), and then go but HSBC blah blah blah. Or for example, say their training is far better regarded than Lloyd's or something like that. Part of the reason I ultimately didn't get my Deloitte job however was that I got really quite angry at KPMG (they had previously rejected me and given me feedback saying "not enough evidence of ___competencies: we advise you____;" and all the advised things were things we discussed.

In my feedback therefore they told me to be more positive, don't diss your current job or alternative firms too much, talk more about why this one is better.

They also asked me to define "professional services" and to give examples.

They also asked what I understood as the main activities of Deloitte. Here, give some depth, (for HSBC of course) don't just saying "banking, finance." Which was kind of the type of response I gave in mine.

You won't need a calculator, I had some aptitude tests for my position, but my role was much more mathematically involved than a "customer services officer" would be, and they'll be looking far more at communication and interpersonal skills.

I also ultimately failed because of not enough eye contact, i didn't believe anyone could actually not get a job on such an irrelevant trait, but apparently so.

Overall, focus on the "competencies", prepare little examples of the really cheesy things, large firms love them and are far too obsessed by them IMO.



Hi, it is very difficult to determine the type of questions you will get asked as they vary vastly.

The questions they ask you depend on what you have told them in your Resume/CV.

It is fairly important to try to learn as much as you can about the company (Not too much, just basics like # of employees, turnover, headoffice, profit/loss), re-visit your resume/CV, and you have to remember, you gotta ask some questions if they ask you if you have any questions.

Like for example, if they are involved in any major projects that you are aware of, or if they are making a loss, or lots of profits, just ask them a little something about it.

If you try to relax and maybe even make a joke in the beginning say how nervous you are, that will help relax you and the interviewer will unconsciously ease off too. Once you are familiar with what has attracted them in your CV/Resume and see what fits with the job role, you will deliver with knowledge and if you speak knowledgeably, it comes across as confident.

Also, get some examples to back up the points on your application.

I am not even sure what you will be doing with a calculator?!'s customer service not engineering/maths officer. lol


I have had multiple phone interviews in the engineering field, and what tripped me up at first is that at the end of the interview they will ask if you have any questions. You want to sound intelligent, so I would have something thought out beforehand.

I have also found it helpful to write down some of the points I want to get across about my experience and expertise and have on a note pad in front of me. Some common questions I've been asked are "What are your top strengths and weaknesses?" "Give me an example of how you've used (whatever skill) to solve a problem?" and "What would you ultimately like to do with your degree?"

The only really horrible thing I've ever been asked was about a hypothetical situation where I was put in charge of a group of 4 that needed to make a decision. The 3 other people felt one way and I felt the other way, but it was ultimately my call. What decision did I make?

I answered that I respected management and felt they put my in a position of authority because they trusted my instincts, so I went with what I felt was right. I don't know if that was a good answer, but I didn't get the job if that's any sort of indicator...

Also remember to write your interviewer a quick thank you note for taking the time to speak with you.

Good luck!


I would try local places near your scoohl first, their probably more kean to hiring students. Then try craigslist and narrow the results down by par time only.