Each assessment centre is different, but all will have some form of interview as part of the day. No matter the style of the interview, this is the most important time of the day to be highlighting your commercial awareness to assessors.
It is likely you’ll be hit with a question that is looking to test your commercial knowledge directly so it is vital that you are prepared. Expect questions that could include:
- Tell me about a story in the news that may affect our industry
- How will tech advancements change the industry in the next ten years?
- Who is the CEO?
- How does our company make money?
- What are the key challenges we face as a company and are there any new opportunities?
These questions give you a great opportunity to demonstrate what you know, but they’re not always simple to answer.
In order to effectively demonstrate your commercial awareness here, it’s crucial you’ve researched a couple of stories in depth before-hand, as well as how these stories affect the industry/company you’re applying to. This way you will be able to link your story back and apply your knowledge which will really impress them.
There are several ways you can get ready for these questions: set up google alerts for the company and the industry as a whole, and don’t forget to look on the company’s website for any news articles to see what they are sharing - this is what the company wants you to see.
Group exercises come in a range of styles, and if you’re looking for advice on these in general - we’d recommend you check out our Bright Network Academy module on assessment centres. Looking specifically at commercial awareness, there is a chance that with some activities, you’ll be able to demonstrate some general city knowledge. Having a broad understanding of the news is a great way to get into these discussions, and most importantly, add value to what is being said.
Often there will be an opportunity to network with current employees at an assessment day and even though this isn’t a formally assessed part of the process, it’s a fantastic chance to showcase that you are switched on and know what you are talking about. It will also demonstrate a passion for the business that can be fed back through employers – especially if recruiters ask for their opinions afterwards.
Three top tips before any assessment centre:
- Read the news on the day of your assessment – know the headlines
- Check what the firm has shared on that day and the week leading up to the assessment
- Understand a couple of new articles in depth, specifically how they affect the industry/company you’re applying to