HSBC Holdings Interview Questions in Hamilton, Scotland | Glassdoor

HSBC Holdings Interview Questions in Hamilton, Scotland

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    Customer Service Advisor Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hamilton, Scotland (UK)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at HSBC Holdings (Hamilton, Scotland (UK)) in January 2017.


    Applied in the evening, the following morning I received an email invite to complete the online assessment. This consisted of a number of scenarios you have to read and then determine which of 3 options were the most and least effective. 4 days after this, I was invited to complete a phone interview.

    After this was complete, I was told that the interview needed to be reviewed along with my application in order to get short-listed for a face-to-face interview. 2 days after the phone interview, I was called and invited to come in for a face-to-face interview and role-play assessment. This was scheduled for the following week.


    I arrived at the contact centre early, my bag and phone were stored in a locker (as you weren’t allowed to take those through!) and I was escorted to the assessment room. 

    A member of the recruitment team came in, greeted me and went over the details of the day, discussing the role-play, the interview (should the role-play be successful) etc., and previous work history (last 5 years) including gaps. 

    We then went on the start the role-play exercise where I was given a pen and notepad to take any relevant notes. The role-play is conducted on a computer and the recruitment team member left, and called me from another room. 

    There are 13 screens to go through with instructions for this exercise. Most of them just detail procedures which you don’t need to pay too much attention to. You only have 10-15mins to go through these. The most important thing to remember from this was that you cannot give advice, just information, and you cannot sell loans.

    There are 2 calls in total. There are screens with information pertaining to each caller which are accessible during the call. Familiarise yourself with the details, the products they currently have etc. and try to read over the products and services you’ll have to offer the customer. E.g. some products may only be available to Advance current account holders.

    You have instructions/prompts on screen regarding how to speak to the caller. E.g.

    “Hello this is _____ at HSBC. May I take your first name and initial please?”

    From here you have to listen to what the caller is asking for. For me, both calls began by providing the callers with their current balance. Make sure to pay attention to which accounts they are asking for as it could be regarding a Current Account, Joint Savings or Sole Savings Account, Mortgage etc. and relay the correct information. Then ask if there’s anything else you can help with.

    The first call required me to provide information regarding travel money and travel insurance. I would advise applicants to try and be as natural as possible and really think as though you are in this situation, asking for all information you would need. For example, at one point during my first call, I forgot to ask the customer which branch they wanted to collect their travel money from!

    During the second call, I was asked about upcoming transactions on the account and to work out the future balance once these transactions had cleared. You are given a calculator to help with this. (You are given information on interest rates etc. so I would advise applicants to brush up on their maths skills if needed as this could have been another question to ask during the role-play). For me, the second call was a lot smoother as I was more used to the process of taking the call, inputting information, searching for relevant information etc. However, I did not progress past this stage onto the face-to-face interview, unfortunately.

    If I could do it again, I would try and be more natural, calm down a little, and really try to get myself “in character”, trying to get all the relevant information from the customer as possible.

    The staff I encountered there were all very lovely. After I was informed that I had been unsuccessful, the assessor asked if I wanted to go over some feedback which was really helpful, and she encouraged me to apply again in future (once I had a little more experience in a call centre environment).

    Annoyingly, the position is advertised as not needing experience in a call centre. I thought it was a little unfair not to progress to the next stage on the basis of not having experience in this, as more experience would have been gained through training and on-the-job experience. Given that the assessor said my previous experience, skills etc. were otherwise desirable, this was a little frustrating.

    Interview Questions

    • 1) Why are you interested in this role?
      2) Details of previous work experience (why I left my previous position, further detail on some areas e.g. Why I returned to education etc.)
      3) Describe a time you went the extra mile for an unhappy customer
      4) Describe a time you had an unhappy customer and you had to step outside of the role in order to make them happy
      5) Describe a time you encountered a difficult situation and how you handled it
      6) Describe a time you encountered a challenging situation and how you handled it   1 Answer

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