GlaxoSmithKline Headquarters

GlaxoSmithKline: How to Prepare for the Online Assessments and Interviews?

Do you want to work for one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies? If so, you are going to have to prepare for an intensive recruitment process made up of pre-employment assessments and interviews.

And, given the growth of the healthcare industry, you can expect a great deal of competition from other applicants, all vying for one of their coveted jobs.

GlaxoSmithKline, as you would expect, is in a position to set the bar high when recruiting employees. Offering job openings in its internships, graduate programmes and postgraduate programmes, it aims to select the best possible employees for their teams.

Even the title of their graduate programme — GSK Future Leaders Programme — hints at the level of difficulty you might expect from their assessments.

Having applicants work their way through a series of demanding assessments, they pick the people who are best suited to a role at the company.

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How Can I Prepare for the GSK Assessments?

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Preparing for job tests is vital when you apply for jobs. When you apply to a company as prestigious as GSK, it is even more vital to double your preparation efforts.

To discover the format of the testing and the style of questioning, it is essential to use a job test preparation company. For this, we recommend using the services of Job Test Prep, a company with many years of experience in preparing applicants for the job recruitment process.

Using their services, you are guaranteed accurate information on the company’s recruitment process. You will also access the preparation materials to help you outshine your competitors.

You will get a test prep pack containing sample tests modelled on the real GSK assessments, explanations for questions and answers, interview guides and material to prepare you for a day at the GSK assessment centre.

Using the sample tests:

  • You have the confidence of knowing you are working on tests similar to the ones you will be seeing in the real tests
  • You hone your skills with each test you do
  • You can monitor your progress from test to test
  • If any of your tests pose time limits, you learn to work within them
  • You quickly pick up areas that are giving you difficulty and can rectify them immediately

To get an idea of the types of tests provided, try this free sample situational judgement test.

What type of people is GlaxoSmithKline looking for?

In all parts of the recruitment process, you need to show GSK you have the qualities and skills they are looking for in their employees. On their website, they state they are looking for the following types of applicants:

  • Talented, ambitious students and graduates
  • People with the talent and ambition to lead others
  • People who are a good fit for a diverse, inclusive and supportive work culture

They expect their employees to display what they describe as Key High Performance Behaviours.

They expect you to be:

  • Flexible
  • Good at building relationships with colleagues, management and clients
  • Interested in and capable of enabling and driving change
  • Interested in continuously improving your skills and advancing your career
  • Interested in helping colleagues develop their skills

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Application Form

Your first step in the recruitment process is submitting your application form. You need to put some careful thought into the role you are applying for and check you are suitably qualified for it.

As well as giving information about yourself and your education, you will also be required to answer two further questions on your application. You should write a maximum of 300 words in response to each.

  1. Why are you applying for a particular programme?
  2. Here you need to emphasise your skills and strengths when answering this.
  3. Why are you interested in working for GSK?
  4. Answering here, you might consider why you want to be involved in the healthcare industry.

Bear the Key High Performance Behaviours in mind when answering these two questions. Showing your awareness of the company’s culture at this early stage will help you shine out from other applicants.

What is the Format of the Testing?

When the company have processed your application and decided you are suitable for your chosen role, you will be asked to do online psychometric testing.

To continue with the recruitment process, it is essential to score well on the tests.

Are the Assessments Hard?

GSK assessments are considered hard. To get your dream job, you need to start preparing for the tests immediately after you submit your application.

However, despite the difficult assessments, someone who does the preparation and shows the attributes the company is looking for can ace the recruitment process.

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GSK Online Testing

CAPP supplies the tests used by GSK, so you can expect to come across the Elements Verbal exam, and CAPP experienced hire tests.

CAPP tests are considered challenging and it is recommended you get a GlaxoSmithKline preparation pack from Job Test Prep to ensure you are working on the correct tests.

Values Fit Assessment

This untimed test is a form of personality test and assesses your workplace values to determine if you are a good fit for the company.

For each characteristic being assessed, you are given three statements on what is important to you in the workplace. You pick two statements, one stating what is most important to you and the other what is least important.

Knowing that the test will have a bearing on whether you continue on the GSK recruitment process road, you need to prepare for this test before you attempt it.

A review of the Key High Performance Behaviours and preparation on sample personality tests will help you do well on this test. It will teach you how to present the required personality profile.

Try your hand at a free sample personality test here.

Numerical Reasoning Test

This is an untimed multiple-choice test and its purpose is to discover how well you handle and use numerical information. However, unlike other numerical reasoning tests, this one is adaptive.

The questions you are given depend on how well you answered previous questions. A correct answer to a question means that the next question will be more difficult. In the same fashion, a poorly answered question is followed by an easier question.

Even though you are not restricted in the amount of time you take to do the test, a timer keeps track of how long it takes you and this is taken into account when calculating your scores.

The general estimate of how long the test should take is 20 minutes.

This test calls for a lot of practice on sample papers if you are to answer accurately while being conscious of not taking too long.

Begin your practice with our numerical reasoning study guide.

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Verbal Reasoning Test

The verbal reasoning test is also adaptive and follows the same pattern of making questions more or less difficult as the numerical reasoning test does.

This test assesses your English language skills and asks two different types of question.

  • A piece where you are asked to replace missing words
  • You are given a passage to read and are asked if the statements that follow it are True, False, Cannot Say based on the information in the passage.

To learn more about verbal reasoning test, click here.

Video Interview

You may be asked to take a video interview as well as the online tests.

This interview can be more daunting than face to face interviews. You may feel you are talking to yourself and this may make selling yourself difficult.

You also have to be careful how you manage your time. Dawdling too long over a question could cause you to run out of time, destroying your recruitment prospects.

When doing the video interview, questions will pop up on the screen. You are allowed one minute to think about the question and 2-3 minutes to record your answer. You can be asked 4-5 questions.

Expect the questions to focus on your reasons for applying to your chosen role and your previous work experience. You might also get a technical question about the role you have applied for.

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GSK Assessment Centre

An invitation to the assessment is your signal to begin preparing for face to face interviews, group exercises and roleplays, as well as written assessments.

Use your test prep pack to prepare for all of these.

The GSK assessment centre is the final stretch of the recruitment process and is a day of testing and exercises. As you work through the sample roleplays and interview guides in the test prep pack, remind yourself again of the company’s core values as they will be central to the testing process.

At the assessment centre, assessors will be on hand as you do the exercises, deciding if you exhibit the GSK values.

GSK Ability Test

The ability test assesses both verbal and numerical skills and is adjusted to the role you have applied for.

You will be given 15 minutes to answer as many questions as you can.

Group exercise

For the group exercise, you will be given information about a fictional pharmaceutical company and given time to study it.

Working with your fellow applicants, you will discuss the information and prepare to present your findings to the assessors. Each of you will have to make a 5-minute presentation to the assessors.

Assessors watching you will be assessing your teamwork and communication skills and judging if you have the teamwork skills required for a role at GSK.

To make an impact on them, you will need to make valuable contributions to the discussion. But, you will also have to show your listening skills as well as your speaking skills and avoid being overly dominant or passive.


For the roleplay, you will be given information about a work related situation you could find yourself in.

An interviewer will play one part in the scenario while you will play the other. You could, for example, be asked to play the role of a manager while the interviewer plays the part of a member of staff who is not fulfilling his role to your satisfaction.

The assessors watching the role play will be able to judge from how you behave if you are ideal GSK material and would work well in their company culture.

Expect the roleplay to be challenging. You may find yourself acting out a scenario you have never before been in. Nevertheless, you need to remember those High Performance Skills and adjust your behaviour to what you feel is acceptable at GSK.

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Written exercise

The written exercise is comparable to an in-tray exercise and assesses how you manage your time and prioritise tasks. You will be given information on the tasks you are likely to have to perform at GSK and must show your judgement when deciding which tasks take priority.

The way you deal with this exercise will reveal a lot about your work style and decision-making ability.


You will be given the topic and information for your presentation at either the assessment centre or on the day before it. The presentation is an assessment of your communication skills and your ability to convey information to an audience.

The assessors will also want to see what information you thought was worth selecting for your presentation as a means of deciding if you are aware of what is important to the company.

Technical exercise

Applicants for technical positions can be asked to do a presentation on their area of expertise and may also have to do a technical interview.


The interview is the final event of the assessment day. Expect to be asked questions about your previous work experiences and how you dealt with situations that arose in the workplace.

By getting information about your previous workplace behaviour, the interviewers are attempting to judge how you will behave in the GSK workplace if hired.

Revisit your previous work experiences when preparing for the interview. Find situations you could refer to when explaining how you handled difficult situations, worked with a difficult teammate or learned something important. This is your opportunity to put your best foot forward and highlight the skills you picked up along the way.

Interviewers will also take the opportunity to discover more about your reasons for wanting to work with them. They may ask questions about your skillset. Review your application and CV in preparation for this.

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Do your preparation. Put in the time and the work. Do the assessments and interviews confident that you have prepared for this and deserve a place at GlaxoSmithKline.

If working for GSK is your ambition, you will find all the resources you need to prepare for their assessments here.

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.