GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one of the biggest research-based pharmaceutical companies in the world. GSK places a strong emphasis on start-of-career positions. It offers apprentice programmes, the GSK Future Leaders Programme for graduates, a postgraduate scheme, and summer internships. However, gaining acceptance into any of these schemes means a long recruitment process that involves difficult assessments designed to examine your skills at every stage.
The GSK recruitment process for apprentices, undergraduates, graduates, and summer interns is listed below. Some variations may exist for finance scheme applicants. For experienced hires, the process involves a telephone interview, an in-person interview, and a possible assessment centre. GSK's assessment centre includes a case study, a presentation, and various other exercises.
The GSK Online Application Form
The first step of the process is to choose the job or scheme you wish to apply for. The application form asks for information about yourself, including your education, skills, and experiences. In order to progress to the next stage of the GSK recruitment process, your application form must demonstrate you have the desired criteria (education) for your chosen position.
The application form also includes two questions that are designed to examine your motivations for choosing GSK:
- What interests you about this specific programme? Think about how you will utilise your strengths, skills, and knowledge to deliver high quality results for your chosen programme? (maximum 300 words)
- What interests you about working for GSK? Think about what motivates and interests you about working for GSK, and within the healthcare industry. (maximum 300 words)
These questions are an important tool to help you stand out from other candidates. Plan your answers carefully before you insert them. When answering these questions, it is important to bear in mind the key competencies and values of the company. They are known by GSK as Key High Performance Behaviours, and incorporating them into your writing is strongly recommended:
- Flexible thinking
- Building relationships
- Developing people
- Enabling and driving change
- Continuous improvement
GSK Aptitude Test
Once you have submitted your application form, and the filter shows you fit all the criteria, you are invited to take several online psychometric tests. The purpose of these tests is to determine if you have the required skills for the area of GSK you wish to work in. You are asked to take between one and three tests depending on the programme you are applying to. The GSK tests are provided by Kenexa. They are not timed, but each takes around 20 minutes to complete. You are asked to take one test at a time, and you have two days to take each test.
GSK Values Fit Assessment
The first test you are invited to sit is the values fit assessment. This untimed test is a type of personality test designed to assess how your values fit with GSK’s. For each item, you are given three value statements about what is important to you in the workplace. You are then asked to choose which is the most and which is the least important to you. Before taking this test, review the GSK values and high performance behaviours. Also be sure to practise answering questions of this type. Our personality practice test pack helps you familiarise yourself with this type of test and teaches you how to decide between similar-feeling priorities.
Numerical Reasoning Test
The next test you will take is an untimed, multiple-choice numerical reasoning test. This test is slightly different than other tests you may have taken in the past in that it is adaptive. This means that questions become harder or easier depending on how well you answered previous questions. The number of questions you eventually answer depends on how long it takes the system to understand your level. However, according to the guidelines, the test takes around 20 minutes. The system records how long your test took and keeps track of your speed and accuracy, so try not to spend too much time on each question.
The aim of the GSK numerical reasoning test is to assess how well you understand and can utilise numerical information. The question topics are diverse, from understanding number series to extracting information from graphs and tables. To answer the questions, you must be able to perform basic mathematical calculations quickly and confidently. You may use a calculator to help you work out the answers. The adaptive nature of this test makes it a little more tricky as the system is able to assess how well you perform on different level questions.
Verbal Reasoning Test
The final test is the verbal reasoning test. Like the numerical reasoning test, this test is adaptive. You continue to receive questions until the system senses that your ability has been sufficiently assessed. The test should, however, only take around 20 minutes. Once again the system logs your time, so work through each question at a steady pace.
The aim of this test is to assess your English language skills and how well you understand written information. There are two types of question on this test. Some questions are in the true/false/cannot say format—you are given a passage of text and asked to determine whether a statement on this passage is true, false, or you cannot say based on the information contained in the text. The second type of question involves a sentence with missing words. Your task is to choose the correct word from four options. Prepare for this style of question with our specially created GSK Kenexa–style practice pack.
Logical Reasoning Test
Some applicants may be asked to take a logical reasoning test. A logical reasoning test is a non-verbal test in which you are presented with a sequence that is missing a shape at either its end or middle. Your task is to identify the missing shape from a set of options. Logical reasoning tests assess how well you can apply logic to a situation and use it to solve a problem. This test may seem trickier than the other GSK tests as it is designed to examine your innate intelligence. However, preparation can help you identify solving strategies and skills that will contibute to your success.
The GSK Video Interview
Some applicants for GSK graduate, summer placement, and apprenticeship schemes are asked to complete a video interview instead of or in addition to the online tests. This video is recorded via Sonru, so make sure you have the ability to work the programme before you start. The purpose of the interview is to get more information about your motivation for the position, as well as to learn more about your previous work experience. Remember that this interview is all about you, so make sure to talk about yourself during the interview.
The program works by popping question up on the screen. You have one minute to think about your answer and 2–3 minutes to record it. Keep your answers concise so that you don’t run out of time. There are a total of four or five questions, plus a final question asking for additional comments. In addition to questions about your motivations, you should expect to answer a technical question about the programme you have applied to.
Here is a list of some example GSK video interview questions:
- What is GSK?
- Why did you apply to GSK?
- Why for this particular program?
- Describe an experience where you learned an important lesson that you later applied to other areas of your life.
- Please describe a current topic of interest in the healthcare industry and how you think it could have an effect on GSK.
- With regard to your extracurricular activities, please give a detailed description of the key achievements and responsibilities you have gained.
- What problems have you encountered at work?
- Tell me about a difficult situation at work.
- Where do you see yourself in five years time?
- How do you react to instructions and criticism?
Ahead of your interview, prepare examples that you can use to answer a variety of questions. Concentrate on why you want to work for GSK. Prepare using the STAR method to answer questions, and make sure you don’t leave any important information out. Once you have done all your background work, get used to talking into a camera with our online interview preparation services. You not only gain experience with video interviews, but you also receive constructive feedback on your performance.
If your video interview is successful, you will be invited to the final stage of the GSK recruitment process: the assessment centre.