GSK telephone interview


Hello, I have a telephone interview for the GSK graduate scheme coming up soon. Just wondering what sort of things to expect? How long is it? Is it competency-based?

Thanks very much!!


I’ve got one for finance next week, what and when is yours?


Helloo, same here, finance next week.


Hii, Ive got a telephone interview for Finance next week, can you give any help as what to expect? how did both of yours go?


hi guys, how did you get on in your interviews. can you shed any light on the questions? i have mine on saturday.


Hi, it was competency-based. The questions were a bit strange actually- “one of our competencies is enabling and driving change, give me an example of a time when you have enabled and driven change”. It was a female interviewer, and she literally asked for “an example of a time when…followed by the exact wording of GSKs competencies”. In some cases, she split the It lasted about 20 min. I withdrew my application, so cannot comment on the next stage. Good luck! Oh, and the first 5 minutes or so were spent on confirming your eligibility to working in the UK, etc.


Hi Guys,

Just giving some information about my telephone interview. Mine lasted 35 mins (approx). First 5 mins was eligibility for working in the UK and confirming you are who you are and ready to talk etc as well as the format of the interview.

Then went straight into the interview. I had 3 competency questions. One was about team work – how you brought a team together and contributed to making it successful. Time where you changed a process to make it more efficient and the lat one was customer focus, where you delivered the needs of a customer (the customer could be anyone i.e. a manager, teacher or voluntary work that you have done). At the end of each example I was asked what did you learn from this, so be prepared to outline what you learnt.

As I’m applying for a Chemical Engineering role, I was asked some technical questions. This was split into two. Firstly a series of true and false questions. So the interviewer read a statement and you say whether that is true or false, for example ‘the flow rate within a pipe decreases if you double the diameter of the pipe’. They do get harder than that, and make sure you ask to repeat if you need to as the interviewer mentioned that it’s perfectly normal to.

The second part of the technical question was two questions. ‘how would you carry out a risk assessment?’ and ‘The rate of dissolution of an active ingredient within a tablet has shown that it has slowed down, what steps would you take to investigate why this is happening?’.

That was basically it, 35 mins flew by, I thought I had messed up and that it had lasted 15 mins, but when I looked up 35 mins gone! I was told at the end the next step is an assessment centre which all the information will be given beforehand and that I will find out the outcome of this interview within a week.

Good luck guys, ill give an update whether I got through or not!


Hey guys
I just had my phone interview, dont stress too much its not that bad. I basically had the exact same competency questions as jmsrowley.

Im doing chemistry so my technical questions were just true and false they werent hard just things like “does IR spectroscopy measure the bond vibrations of a molecule” and stuff like that.

Good luck xx


i had my telephone interview on 29th jan, still havnt heard anything back from GSK if i got through or not, how long did everyone hear from GSK.


Hi jmrowley

I have my gsk telephone interview soon and also applying for the chemical engineering role. I know you mentioned a couple of example technical questions they asked but can you tell me what part of the course they where mainly focusing on or if you still remember any other specific questions that would be really great. Also please give an update on the assessment centre if you attended

Good luck :wink:


Hi, i cant remember the exact questions they asked. my post above gives some details. ive got through to the assesment centre but have not been given a date, i have contacted a few times and they said they are waiting for some dates of thier next ones and will be in contact with me as soon as they know. taking them ages though!!


has anyone herd bk from after their phone interview? i had a marketing and sales on in end of jan ./ beg of feb not herd anything. wondering if anyone has herd bk?


Hi smk926,

I am going to have my interview next week. I am quite worried about the technical question. English is not my first language. I am worried that I might be too nervous to understand the technical questions by phone. It sounds like the technical questions you got were similar with what I expect. Can you give me some more examples about your technical questions. Thank you very much.



I have my interview 2 days form now, can any 1 provide any ideas or help pls?


Hi, I just had my telephone interview with GSK and thought that I would share my ideas and views, as I have found this forum to be really helpful. I applied for the Sales and Marketing Programme.

The interview began by asking the Admin questions like Can you Work in UK?
When can you start, are you mobile??

Competency based questions were as follows:

1)Tell me about some thing that motivates you and what have you done a sa consequence of that??

  1. Describe a success I have had in applying an innovative solution to a complex problem

  2. Describe a time when I took the initiative to make a change in order to ensure that the task was successfully completed??

  3. Describe a time when you had to work with some one whom you find it difficult to work with and how did you build the relationship??

And finally some information pertaining to GSK which I have found to be useful and hope that this is useful for other also:

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE: GSK NYSE: GSK), often abbreviated to GSK, is a global pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues (after Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer).[3] It has a portfolio of products for major disease areas including asthma, cancer, virus control, infections, mental health, diabetes and digestive conditions.[4] It also has a large consumer healthcare division which produces and markets oral healthcare products, nutritional drinks and over-the-counter medicines, including Sensodyne, Horlicks and Gaviscon.[4]
Its primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange and it is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
As the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world, based on net income, the company had sales of £22.7 billion and made a profit of £7.8 billion in 2007.[10] It employs over 90,000 people worldwide, according to their website(2009)[11], including over 40,000 in sales and marketing. Its global headquarters are GSK House in Brentford, London, United Kingdom, with its United States headquarters based in Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina[12] and its consumer products division based in the Pittsburgh suburb of Moon Township, Pennsylvania. The research and development division has major headquarters in South East England, Philadelphia and Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina.
The company’s stock is listed on the London stock exchange and ADRs are listed on the NYSE. The single largest market is in the United States (approximately 45% of revenue), although the company has a presence in almost 70 countries.
In November 2009 GlaxoSmithKline formed a joint venture with Pfizer to create ViiV Healthcare. Viiv Healthcare received all of Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline’s HIV assets. [13] ViiV Healthcare is 85% owned by GlaxoSmithKline and 15% owned by Pfizer.
laxo SmithKline has been active in a global alliance to eliminate lymphatic filariasis.[14] Jean-Pierre (JP) Garnier, former CEO of GlaxoSmithKline has said, “The Egyptian data shows that we can now eliminate a disease that has plagued the world for centuries. We remain committed to donating as much albendazole as required to eliminate this disabling disease, but ultimate success will depend on continued long-term commitments by all partners across the globe.”
In addition Glaxo has been short-listed for awards such as the Worldaware Business Award for its work to eliminate malaria in Kenya.[15]
GlaxoSmithKline recently donated money to the British flood appeal, and was ranked first on the 2006 UK Corporate Citizenship Index for donations.[16]

GSK at a glance
• Our mission is to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer
• We are a research-based pharmaceutical company
• We are committed to tackling the three “priority” diseases identified by the World Health Organization: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
• Our business employs around 99,000 people in over 100 countries
• Around 12,800 people work in our research teams to discover new medicines
• We screen about 65 million compounds every year in our search for new medicines
• Our vaccines are included in immunisation campaigns in 182 countries worldwide
• We delivered 1.4 billion vaccine doses in 2009, of which nearly 1 billion were shipped for use in developing countries
• In November 2009, we launched ViiV Healthcare, a global specialist HIV company established by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer to deliver advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV
• In July 2009 we acquired Stiefel Laboratories, the world’s largest independent dermatology company
• January 2008 marked the tenth anniversary of our programme to help eliminate lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis). Since the start of this programme we have donated more than 1.4 billion albendazole tablets to countries affected by LF
• In 2007 we marked 15 years of the Positive Action programme that helps communities living with HIV/AIDS. Positive Action is today a programme supported by ViiV Healthcare
• In the developing world, we provide certain medicines at preferential prices ensuring that the poorest can still benefit from our treatments and vaccines
• Many of our consumer brands are household names: alli, Ribena, Horlicks, Lucozade, Aquafresh, Sensodyne, Panadol, Tums


Hi I have an interview for a chemistry placement, just wondering if anyone else has had one and the kinds of questions they ask you?



Hi Guys,

Well I did promise that if I were successful in my telephone interview with GSK I would provide as much information on the call as possible. I was interviewed for the purchasing graduate scheme a couple days ago.

The interviewer called exactly on time, actually by my clock the call came a minute earlier, so do be prepared to answer the call atleast five minutes prior.
The interviewer was extremely pleasant, but matter of fact from the onset ( I think this is a tactic to relax your nerves). My advise don’t get too relaxed still be professional because everything you say is recorded.

I was led through some administrative questions, such as whether I had the right to work in the UK, whether it was a good time to talk. I was then told that the interview would last 25 minutes and if I was happy to proceed.

Then the interview began!

I answered every question using the STAR technique, please refer to GSK website or google for what this is.

Q1- Please tell me about something recently that has motivated you and what you have done about it?

Q2- Give an example of when you have applied innovation to solve a complex problem? Once I had answered, the interviewer probed deeper by asking “what would you have done differently”, so be prepared for further questioning

Q3- Using a different example when have you implemented change to ensure a task was completed successfully?

Q4- Please tell me about a time when you worked with someone you had difficulty building a relationship with and how you managed the situation?

The interviewer then informed me that it was the end of the interview and wanted to find out my availability in the next few weeks, just in case I was invited to an assessment centre.

I thanked the interviewer for her time which led onto a little banter. I think this was a nice way to establish a rappour. However, I would always let the interviewer take the lead and responded genuinely, but remained professional at all times.

A couple of days after my interview I received an email informing me that my application had progressed to the AC and I will be contacted shortly with a date.

Also in general do your research about GSK and be prepared for questions such as why GSK and why the role you chose.

Good Luck and I hope this helps

God Bless


Hello guys

Does anyone can explain to me about the competitive salary in GSK?
For example what it would be the starting point of someone holding a Ph.D and apply for a graduate scheme in GSK…?

Many thanks


I had a telephone interview last week and received the email today saying i was unsuccessful at this stage however my application would be kept on hold until they let me know if they’ll progress my application.

What do you think the chances are of my application actually going through now. Pretty slim?


I had a telephone interview and assessment day for microbiology at gsk and thought I’d share what they asked me/what to expect.

Telephone interview: mine lasted twenty minutes- the first ten minutes were competency bases questions ie. Describe a situation where you displayed leadership qualities? etc Where did you find out about this industrial placement vacancy? What do you know about GSK? The last ten minutes were technical questions in which I had to answer true/false to statements and pick the correct answer out of multiple choices (much harder on the phone as you cant see any of the answers!).

Assessment day: I had a presentation to do beforehand on how to streamline and rationalise a testing service which had to last 15 minutes with a maximum of 10 slides. There was a group activity in which we had to discuss an advert for a new drug treatment and see if it was fit to be published ie. did it match the laws that are in place for these types of advertisments ( they give you a list of laws). This task was mainly to see how we worked in a group and whether we took on board other peoples suggestions. Lastly, we had a technical interview which lasted 50 minutes- the first twenty minutes were competency based questions such as - Describe a situation in which you used your technical knowledge to solve a problem ( I went on to describe a practical issue in which I used my knowledge of chemistry to rectify a problem). The last 25 minutes consisted of a silent test in which they gave us scenarios-We were the manager at a lab and rising microbial counts had been observed going past acceptable levels in the water supply of the production lab. What would we do to investigate and address this? and we had to write down what we would do in that scenario and then they gave us three different columns which were host,infection and causative agent and we had to match each box to the correct bacteria ie- human- thrush-candida albicans.

It took them a week and a half to get back to me but it was worth the wait I was successful so I hope this helps you!