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GlaxoSmithKline Interview
Questions

29 Questions and Answers by
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 29

How do you define success?

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GlaxoSmithKline Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    How do you define success?

      What does success mean to you? Tell the interviewer how you see success and be sure to tie your answer into the success that you plan to bring to this particular position, should you be offered the role.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I define success by my ability to reach the goals that are set out for me. On a personal level, the things I wish to achieve in my life. On a work level, the targets that are set out for me as well as the professional development that I seek."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Success, to me, is achieved when I am pleased with the quality of my work and feel proud to submit it."

  2. 2.

    How do you determine priorities when you have multiple projects due?

      When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I will determine which project requires my attention by the number of hours we are behind and then the project size. I am comfortable delegating tasks when needed, but I am also aware that these times will require an additional commitment of hours from me. Never have I under delivered on a deadline."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Prioritizing is a skill that requires practice. There are many approaches you can take. Here are some suggestions:

      1) Make a list. By thinking through and writing down each item that needs completion, you can see it on paper.
      2) Mark what is urgent or essential. Take into account deadlines and meetings.
      3) Order each task based on effort and estimated value. Considering due dates and how long it will take to do each item (also considering how much time you have).

      In answering this question, show the interviewer that you have a system in place that helps you to think through what needs to happen, and when. The better you can prioritize, the more productive you will be, making you an asset to their company!"

  3. 3.

    What are your strengths?

      Which personal advantages make you excellent at your job? Strengths can be skills or qualities that help you overcome difficult circumstances or accomplish challenging tasks.

      In a work context, your strengths will help you to complete your to-do list, understand client needs, and help you to apply what you have learned in your training. Talk to the interviewer about a couple of your strengths and why those will help you to be successful in this role.

      Some great strengths to mention are:

      - Communicative
      - Loyal
      - Collaborative
      - Tech Savvy
      - Flexible in Schedule/Availability
      - Persistent and Determined
      - Eager for Knowledge/New Skills

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I think my strengths are in my perceptiveness and ability to be observant of the needs of others. These strengths are part of what makes me an excellent performer in a client facing role."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am not sure what others would pick, but I feel that my strengths are my dedication, determination, and ability to build long-lasting and trusting professional relationships."

      Anonymous Answer

      "My strengths include my perceptiveness and ability to anticipate the needs of my clients. I listen carefully in client meetings, and I try to see if I can be proactive. These strengths are part of what makes me an excellent performer in a client-facing role."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good job personalizing the Mock Questions example answer to reflect your background. Your strengths are evident, and it's terrific that you supported your thoughts with an example of your strengths in action.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  4. 4.

    Why did you choose a career in the Pharma/Biotech industry?

      The interviewer would like to know what drew you into a career within their industry. Show the hiring manager that you have a natural attraction to this particular industry and that you're here to stay.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I chose a career in Pharma/Biotech because I have always had an attraction to the study of medicine, and science, and the correlation between them. It's an ever-changing industry which never becomes dull."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The drive behind my choosing a career in Biotechnology was because I love science and helping others. With these two drivers combined, I knew it would be a career choice that I would be happy with for years to come."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I've been in the pharmaceutical industry for many years, and I've always liked the industry's science and technology as well as helping people improve their quality of life."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a good start, and it's great that you bring longevity to this industry. With this question, the interviewer wants to know your 'why' for choosing this industry, so I recommend starting your answer with your primary drivers. I have provided a starter for you below.

      "I was driven to pharma because (tell a story here or discuss your 'why' in a meaningful way). I have enjoyed 26 years in pharmaceuticals, allowing me to help people improve their quality of life while learning more about the blend of science and technology in medicine."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "I worked as an oncology pharmacist for 5 years, and though I learned a lot operationally and clinically, my work became repetitive, and I no longer felt challenged. Pharma is an ever-evolving field, and there are new trials and treatment modalities every day. It was great to have exposure to nearly all types of cancer, but as an MSL, I love that you get to develop into a subject matter expert."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It's terrific that you show such a strong desire to lean in and become a subject matter expert! Try going back to the basics = why did you originally choose a career as an Oncology Pharmacist? Next, to avoid sounding negative in any way, I recommend a quick re-frame. I have offered an example for you below.

      "Originally, I chose to pursue a career as an Oncology Pharmacist because (tell a brief story of your journey). In this career, I learned a great deal, both operationally and clinically. Pharma is an ever-evolving field, and I recognize that new trials and treatment modalities are introduced every day. As an Oncology Pharmacist, it was great to have exposure to nearly all types of cancer. Looking ahead, as an MSL, I love the fact that I would get to develop myself into a subject matter expert on...(what subjects, specifically, and why is this important to you?)."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  5. 5.

    In your opinion, why is it important to develop relationships with coworkers?

      This answer may seem obvious to you because enjoying your time with coworkers is sometimes the best part of the job! If you aren't a naturally social person, this question may seem more challenging to answer.

      Talk to the interviewer about how you develop relationships with coworkers when you start a new job. Think about what is important to you about these relationships. Do your co-workers motivate you when you feel overworked? Do your coworkers give you a reason to show up to work when your boss has been giving you a hard time?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I value my relationships with my coworkers because we support each other and make each other laugh when the work environment becomes intense. I have a coworker that I eat lunch with every day. We've helped each other out by simply listening to what's going on in each other's lives. It's nice to have colleagues who understand you on a personal level."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "To accomplish anything in a job, you need your team members. Your team members are who you rely on to get a project done. You will often call them in when you need advice, or to help pick up the slack when you're in a pinch. If you don't have a good rapport with your co-workers, it can limit your ability to be great at your job."

      Anonymous Answer

      "To accomplish anything in a job, you need your team members. Your team members are who you rely on to get a project done. You will often call them in when you need advice or to help pick up the slack when you're in a pinch. If you don't have a good rapport with your co-workers, it can limit your ability to be great at your job."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Great to see that you are finding assistance with the Mock Questions example answers. Next, try to personalize them to reflect your own thoughts and experiences as much as possible.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  6. 6.

    If you could research any particular disorder, disease, or illness which one would you choose, and why?

      The interviewer would like to get to know you and your particular interests. If you had zero limitations, what area within pharmaceuticals would you focus on? Be sure to show your passion for your career path and tie your answer into an area of focus related to GlaxoSmithKline.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "At GlaxoSmithKline I know that one of your primary focus' is on XYZ. This particular focus is one of the reasons why I applied to work here; because the study of XYZ is a particular passion of mine."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "We have so many options when it comes to research topics. If I had to choose just one area of research, I would choose to research autism, and the spectrum, in full. My little brother received an autism diagnosis recently, and I have the drive to learn more about it."

  7. 7.

    In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Biotechnology in the past 3 years?

      The term 'biotechnology' refers to the use of cells and molecules to create a product within medicine, genetic testing, or even agriculture. What do you foresee as the most significant development that has happened in the past few years?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There have been so many developments in biotechnology the past three years, but I do feel that the biggest was the development in gene editing. It's an incredibly controversial and intriguing practice."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There is a multitude of biotech developments from which to choose! I was recently reading about these new methods of manipulating human cells to beat a range of diseases. According to Fortune Magazine, Chinese scientists have launched the first CRISPR gene-editing trial for the treatment of cancer. It's all pretty incredible, isn't it?"

      Anonymous Answer

      "There have been multiple advances in IT, but the biggest is AI, automation and machine learning."

      Rachelle's Answer

      There have been many developments, indeed! Your reply is a good start, and I encourage you to include more detail regarding the advancements you have seen (as they relate to GSK) in the areas of AI, ML, and Automation.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  8. 8.

    This position requires a minimum Bachelor's Degree in a science related field. Walk me through your post-secondary education.

      Your post-secondary career is significant when it comes to displaying your ability to complete a degree, multitask, and apply yourself. Walk the interviewer through your post-secondary experience making sure to highlight any recognition or awards you may have achieved.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Tampa College of Natural and Health Sciences. I graduated with Honours which was an especially proud moment for me since I had also been working part-time."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I recently graduated from the University of Georgia with my Degree in Pharmaceutical Science. With this degree, I look forward to joining GlaxoSmithKline and carving out a great career with you. When the timing is right, I do plan to return to school to obtain my Master's Degree in a science-based field. This extension of learning, of course, would be in tandem with my full-time job."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I've graduated with my bachelor's degree in information technology and my associate's degree in business administration. I also have multiple certifications and am currently studying for my AWS certifications."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Wonderful! Your educational background sounds very strong. Do you have any accolades or academic achievements to include in your response?

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  9. 9.

    What industry related changes do you foresee in the next 12 months?

      Assure the interviewer that you have a keen and honest interest in this industry by discussing the growth and change that you foresee in this next year. If the organization itself has any upcoming news or changes, be sure to mention these as well.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I read on your website that GlaxoSmithKline is expected to see a 43% increase in the sales of product ABC. This fact piqued my interest as I have seen reports that forecast a strong increase in the use of product ABC for alternative medical therapies. There are continual changes in this industry, but I see this particular one being very significant in the upcoming months."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I was recently reading an article by Q1 Productions that addressed this exact topic. They mentioned in the article that 2018 is going to be a great year for the pharma industry due to the economic upturn. The thought is that this will increase stock prices; thus, allowing pharma companies to grow their offerings, expand operations, and further their research and reach. It's an exciting thought!"

      Anonymous Answer

      "Multiple myeloma is currently incurable cancer, but with more treatment targets and more cancer therapies coming to market, such as targeting the BCMA and more aggressive treatment of SMM, we can reach a point of turning it into a chronic disease and perhaps even cure. Anti-BCMA, CAR-T, and BITE therapies are examples of therapies of the future."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Excellent! It seems you are highly immersed in this topic, which the interviewer should appreciate. Great approach! To finish up your response, how do you feel GlaxoSmithKline will participate/contribute to this topic in the short or long term?

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "Autonomous applications, blockchain, and AI applications will have a big impact in IT. The cloud (AWS, Azure, or Google) will also be a big growth area for companies."

      Rachelle's Answer

      These are strong observations! To take your answer even deeper: How do you feel about these changes? How will you contribute if hired by GlaxoSmithKline?

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  10. 10.

    List 3 qualities that make you the best candidate for GlaxoSmithKline.

      After researching GlaxoSmithKline you should have a firm idea of the qualities they admire most in their candidates. Discuss the attributes that will help you to stand out as a top candidate.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I understand that this role requires stand-out skills in organization, leadership, and an energetic demeanor. I would say that these are 3 of my top skills, and I have many others! My references would attest to these skills as well."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Here are some qualities that make you a great candidate for any company:

      - A robust existing network in the industry
      - A great reputation
      - Leadership capabilities and experience
      - Integrity and likability
      - Strong minded
      - Thirst for knowledge"

      Anonymous Answer

      "I am a lifelong learner, and multiple myeloma is cancer that fascinates me. I have strong relationships with the haematology group at USC; I still contact many of OLs and NPs! Lastly, I am the point of continuity for everyone around me. If I am in a room full of experts, I will listen more than I speak. If I am the point person, leader, or teacher, I will cater to my audience."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Terrific approach! You bring a lot of enthusiasm and also many specifics. Be sure to align your response with the job description as much as possible.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  11. 11.

    How many years have you worked in the Pharma/Biotech industry? What keeps you interested in our line of work?

      Take a few minutes to walk the interviewer through your work history, highlighting the most relevant positions and skills. Talk to the interviewer about your desire to work for GlaxoSmithKline long term.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have worked within Pharma/Biotech for the past 15 years. I started in a lab assistant role and am now at the supervisory level with my current company. I stay in this industry because the opportunities are endless. I would be thrilled to continue my career growth in this industry with GlaxoSmithKline."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am new to the Pharmaceuticals industry and recently graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Science. I plan to remain in this industry for the entire length of my career. At this point, starting in this apprenticeship role and then, moving forward into a role further focused on the development of new treatments."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I have worked within Pharma/Biotech for the majority of my career. I started in an application specialist role and am now at the supervisory level. I remained in this industry because the opportunities are endless. I would be thrilled to continue my career growth in this industry with GlaxoSmithKline."

      Rachelle's Answer

      I am happy to see you utilizing the Mock Questions sample answer! Next, I suggest that you further personalize this to work for you and your specific background. For instance, which growth opportunities are most exciting for you? Specifically, where would you like to see your career grow with GlaxoSmithKline?

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "As an aspiring MSL, I am new to the pharmaceutical industry. But having 5 years of experience as an oncology pharmacist has shown me that there are many strengths that I do not get to apply daily. The MSL role marries my love of science with my passions for communication/marketing/sales."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You are an aspiring MSL, but I would argue that you are not new to the pharma industry overall. Try giving yourself more credit and developing a more confident approach. You worked as a pharmacist which is a significant accomplishment :) I recommend leveraging this further when you approach these qualifying questions.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  12. 12.

    How do you stay informed on changes in the Pharma/Biotech industry?

      The Pharma/Biotech industry is fast moving with changes and developments happening all the time. Assure the interviewer that you are engaged when it comes to industry related changes.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I follow multiple medical journals and blogs related to changes in the Pharma/Biotech industry. My favorite is wiley.com which is a strong source for updates in a variety of related medical studies."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have set up some industry related google alerts, and I also subscribe to Pharma Forum, Science Direct, and Medical Futurist, online. I am always looking for new opportunities to learn so if you have recommendations, I am happy to hear them!"

      Anonymous Answer

      "Clinically, the NCCN guidelines, Bethesda handbook, ClinicalTrials.Gov, and I am subscribed to the IMF (International Myeloma Foundation), ASH (American Society of Haematology), mailing list and webinars. They provide overviews of the newest clinical trials from a variety of pharma/biotech industries."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Very good job - you provide a lot of evidence that you follow reputable sources for your news, knowledge, and information.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "I follow IT changes on multiple websites including AWS console and ServiceNow community. Accenture has a partnership with ServiceNow, and I speak with the SaaS team on ServiceNow support and Accenture support teams."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good for you! It's evident that you are diligent in remaining up-to-date in your sector. The details you provide are terrific.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  13. 13.

    If you could choose any special area of focus with GlaxoSmithKline, which would you choose?

      Working for GlaxoSmithKline could open a variety of career options for you. If you had your choice when it comes to a career path, which career do you think you would choose? Talk to the interviewer about where you'd like to see your career path go with GlaxoSmithKline.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am currently working as a Clinical Research Assistant and would like to eventually grow into a Principal Scientist role, or something of the like, with GlaxoSmithKline. My primary goal is to find a long-term home where I can continue to expand my knowledge in the area of (choose an area of study)."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "That is a challenging question when there are so many interesting options at my fingertips. If I had to choose just one area of specialty today, I would choose a topic within animal science. I am passionate about the health of animals."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I would like to be a subject matter expert in this role first, learn all I can about GSK, and how I can add value to this organization. Then, I would love to be able to gain managerial responsibility. My primary goal is to have a long-term home here at GSK. Also, I've worked with so many great managers in my career that I would like to share that knowledge with my team members."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Fantastic answer! It's clear that you are looking for a long-term fit with GlaxoSmithKline. You do a nice job outlining the growth you'd like to see in the shorter and longer-term while discussing what you are ready to contribute.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  14. 14.

    Would you further your post-secondary education to include a Ph.D. in your field?

      Some upper-level positions within GlaxoSmithKline may require a higher level of education. Assure the interviewer that you would be willing to discuss enhancing your knowledge to grow within the organization eventually.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have considered furthering my education to include a Ph.D. It would need to be in tandem with full-time employment, but I would certainly consider achieving this goal through evening and weekend coursework."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Oh yes! I am a big believer in higher education. These days, to be a stand-out candidate or employee, I think that having a Ph.D. is best."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Yes, I would. I'm always looking for new technologies to learn and to keep my IT skills current. I would invest time after work or on the weekend to acquire these skills."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your enthusiasm and willingness shine through in this reply - good answer!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  15. 15.

    In your opinion, what is the biggest development in Pharmaceuticals in the past 3 years?

      The term 'pharmaceutical' refers to the creation and sale of medicine. What do you foresee as the most significant development that has happened in the past few years?

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There have been so many developments in the pharmaceutical industry the past three years, but I do feel that the biggest was the creation of the first vaccine for Dengue."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am most impressed by the way the pharma industry has switched their focus from treatment to prevention. It's a great way to flip our thinking in the industry, and will save the lives of so many people."

      Anonymous Answer

      "The biggest development has been advancements in getting medicine to the market. When I started my career, it would take twelve to fifteen years to get a medication from lab to patient. Now, with advancements in science, that time has been cut in half."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This advancement is pretty incredible, isn't it! The way that you use this answer to qualify your longevity in the industry is a smart move - well done.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  16. 16.

    If you could choose any area in your field to study further, which area would you focus on? How you do feel that would help you with a career at GlaxoSmithKline?

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  17. 17.

    Do you prefer to work with studies related to humans, animals, or plant life?

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  18. 18.

    Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.

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  19. 19.

    When have you had to be extra thorough in completing tasks?

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  20. 20.

    By this time in your career, you should have advanced further, what has slowed down your career progression?

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  21. 21.

    How does this position fit into your career goals?

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  22. 22.

    Who would you say inspires you?

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  23. 23.

    What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?

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  24. 24.

    When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?

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  25. 25.

    When have you shown great integrity at work?

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  26. 26.

    Describe to me your ideal employer.

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  27. 27.

    What are your salary expectations?

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  28. 28.

    Are you applying for any other jobs?

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  29. 29.

    How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?

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