GSK telephone interview - IT graduate scheme

IT Graduate

Please help!

I have my first telephone interview with GSK in two days. Does anyone know if this is just a competency based interview?

What should I expect to be asked about the company itself?

10x a lot.


I don’t have specific experience of the GlaxoSmithKlein interview - but [[telephone interview]]s are almost always [[competency based interview|competency based]].

  • Prepare for competency questions (in particular, look at the competencies the company state they want to see from candidates - usually found on company websites - and prepare answers for questions on these specifically),
  • Read and re-read your CV so you know it like the back of your hand,
  • Swot up on current [[commercial awareness]] issues.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes!


I had mine recently. They’ll ask competency questions, i.e “What is your greatest achievement” etc.

A question that caught me off guard was “Why GSK?”. While I’d prepared for this question with facts and figures relevant to my scheme, the interviewer will expect you to REALLY know about the organisation, more so than many other grad schemes I’ve experienced. From an IT point of view, try and find specific project methodologies, software’s the company utilises, or any technological advances relevant to the company.

Remember, the IT is essentially there to support the production of pharmaceuiticals, so talk about the impact an IT failure would have on drug production, and how the shortage could cause people to get ill or worse.


Thank you both!

To Reg:
-What do you mean by : " the interviewer will expect you to REALLY know about the organisation"? What excactly do u think that he/she expected from your answer? I have researched about the products, the different departments, the strategy etc. but I’m not sure how to present them in my answer. Did the interviewer insist by asking you to tell more about GSK?

-For which department have applied for?

Thanks very much!



I was asked “Why GSK?”. I answered with a 2-3 minute pitch about why I prferred GSK above 1) The other pharmaceuticals (Pfizer, AstraZeneca etc.), and 2) Any other finance scheme.

Following my answer, she rephrased the question, but I’d used all my facts and figures so it forced me to improvise an answer about how I’d be helping to drive company growth, and how I enjoy financial modelling etc. etc.


Thanks Reg for telling me about the “impact an IT failure would have on drug production”, it was really helpful!

Actually the rectuiter was very polite but impersonal… She asked me two questions about GSK:
-Why IT in GSK?
-What are the challenges of IT in GSK?

The rest three were competency based:
-time when I took initiative
-time I had to persuade somebody about sth
-exampe of how I react under pressure

The interview didn’t last more than 16 minutes (it was supposed to last for 20 min). It’s the first telephone interview that I ever had that lasted less than it was expected and I am not sure if this is good. How long did your interview last?


Hi! I’ve got my phone interview with GSK on Monday (for the microbio programme) and was wondering how technical the technical knowledge questions are (ie. will they be asking specific questions about microbiology?).

Any help or advice or example interview questions will be much appreciated!!



Hi Emyxvs!

Actually the interview (for graduates) is not technical at all,it is competency based. I was asked the questions above. I think that they want to find out that you are the right person to work for GSK,not only the person with the right skills. I believe that the most important question that you should prepare is “Why GSK?”. Also,try to find out the challenges in microbiology and what GSK has done in this domain.

I hope this helps!
Good Luck!!!


Thanks for the info foteini! had my phone interview on monday and i’m not too sure how i did (lot of background noise which the inetrviewer commented on :S )

Any idea on how long it takes until they get back to you?



hi Emyxvs!

My interview was on Friday and they contacted me via email on Tuesday to invite me at the assessment centre!
I wish you GOOD LUCK with yours!


Anyone know the starting salary for GSK grads? “Competitive” doesn’t really mean anything as far as I’m concerned.


Hey… does anyone know what the assessment day is like at GSK ? Do they include numerical/verbal reasoning tests on that day at all ?



About the GSK AC:
There were 5 exercises:

  1. Analytical reasoning test
  2. Role playing
  3. Presentation
  4. Group exercise
  5. Interview

In detail:

  1. About the analytical reasoning test please see [[Business Decision Analysis Psychometric Test?|my previous post]].

  2. The role playing was really exciting! I had to read a paragraph about a situation and respond to it. My role was a manager and the role of the recruiter was an employee. The scenario had to do with the will of the employee to leave the company. I had to decide whether to let him go or persuade him to stay. In order to decide, I had to ask him A LOT of questions that I thought relevant. The final goal of the exercise was to identify the reason that the employee wanted to leave and EXPLAIN why I made these questions to him. So, ASK HOW,WHY,WHEN,WHO…EVERYTHING!

  3. In order to do the group exercise and the presentation we were given a booklet the day before the ac. It included information about a virtual pharma company and the different departments and business units. We had to read it and understand the way the company worked. Not difficult. The next day we were given 5 different solutions to invest in, one to each candidate. The goal of the exercise was to present our investment solution according to the information given and the information in the booklet. The presentation was made in front of 2 recruiters and the other team members. We had ONLY 5 minutes each.

  4. After the presentation, we had to do a “meeting” and decide which of the solutions presented was the most important to invest in. We were given some instructions to follow and we could use the information in the booklet as well. It was not difficult and the recruiters didn’t care about the result but about the way we communicated.

  5. The interview was a typical competency based interview, like the one the phone…

The key competencies that they are looking for throughout the day (as they told me when I called for feedback) are:

  • information gathering and search
  • identify advanced business solutions
  • developing people
  • selling ideas and under-leading people
  • communication
  • achieving change (taking responsibility)
  • customer focus
  • measure success(improve)

As a general consumption of my experience, they want you to have 3/5 in every competency. They do not care if you are the best (5/5) in communication if you have 1/5 in customer focus, for example. So, you do not have to be the best in the group. You just have to be good enough to all the competencies above.

I have been to three AC so far and it was my best experience! Good Luck to everyone and enjoy it!


Repeating the question above - anyone knows the starting salary?


Sorry, I don’t…


It is £22,500 starting. But there may be a sign on bonus (depending on your location). Plus there are other benefits such as bonus schemes, private health care, free gym and other club memberships etc so they normally put competitive as its hard to quantify. Hope this answers your question.


Yes it does, thank you!


Do GSK offer the ACA?




22.5k is pretty low in comparison with the majority of other schemes of the same calibre. Is that just for IT, or all divisions?