Image for Five key qualities GSK looks for and how to demonstrate them during the GSK graduate recruitment process

A genuine interest in your chosen career path

During the selection process, make sure you can demonstrate not just enthusiasm for GSK and the healthcare industry overall, but also for the specific programme you’re applying to. Recruiters will want to see that you’ve done your research on all three of these. ‘Do the values and global impact of GSK motivate you, or is it the development opportunities you’ll get on the programme?’ asks Joshua Carney, Early Talent Attraction Specialist at GSK. He continues: ‘Make sure to be really specific as general responses often leaves the reviewer wondering if you’ve done your research and whether you really want the job!’

Find out if GSK has been in the news lately (very likely) and read up on its most recent innovations. When it comes to career paths – there are many available, although they are not necessarily all available in every country – you can only apply for one a year, so it’s important to get it right. Find out what to expect on each programme; spend time looking into how a programme is structured and the rotations that will be available during your time on it. GSK offers a handy career paths quiz to help you find the path best suited to your personality – it only takes about ten minutes to complete. Research beyond the website, as well – use any networks you may have to gain more insight and follow GSK’s social media channels.

Clear communication skills

On the Future Leaders Programme you’ll be working with a wide range of people, both within GSK and beyond. It’s essential that you have top notch communication skills – written and oral. On the communications and government affairs programme, for example, your role will be to help protect and enhance GSK’s reputation, internally and externally. You’ll need to make sure that communications are consistent across the business.

Throughout the assessment process, make sure you demonstrate your communication skills by listening carefully and talking clearly. Make eye contact with your audience (look at the camera on your device, not down!), and remember to smile.

An ability to adapt to change

As a leading healthcare company, GSK is adapting to change all the time, and expects its employees to take every opportunity to learn and develop. Faced with an unexpected change of circumstance or a problem, or given some unexpected information, you will need the ability to adapt and rise to the challenge. Joshua points out, ‘Our Future Leaders Programme is a rotation programme – an ability to change and adapt is key as you’re constantly learning new things, growing and stretching before moving on to a new rotation.'

Many aspects of the recruitment process – such as the World of GSK online assessments, the GSK life job simulation and the exercises at the assessment centre – are designed to see how you solve problems and react to being given new information.

Drive and confidence

The Future Leaders Programme is designed to create leaders for the future, and candidates should therefore demonstrate leadership potential. GSK recruiters want to see your drive and ambition. You should have some idea of the opportunities for career progression within the company, and the faith in yourself that you can get there; if you have confidence in yourself, you’ll inspire it in others and boost morale (essential for successful teamwork). If, say, you’re on the tech programme, outside of your day job you may get involved with running global tech debates with external leading experts – situations like that call for confidence.

But drive and confidence aren’t just about your career aspirations. They’re about having the confidence to know you can complete a project well and on time, and the resilience to cope with challenging situations – there will be times when things don’t go as smoothly as you’d like.

Analytical skills

In every role at GSK there will be times when analytical thinking is essential to success. Working in the pharma supply chain, for example, you’ll need to source and analyse complex data in order to make key decisions. If you are on the finance programme, you’ll be supporting various departments at GSK through offering useful, insightful analysis that will help them achieve their objectives. Many of the exercises throughout the assessment process will be testing your analytical skills. The World of GSK online assessments, for example, will present you with scenarios and ask you to indicate you you’d manage them. Recruiters will be looking to see that you can receive information and data and make sense of it. During the interview stage of the selection process, demonstrate your analytical skills by describing a time when you had to solve a problem: make sure you explain how you approached it and achieved a positive outcome.

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