Commercial Awareness Practice Questions

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Keeping up with the political and economic news isn't everything when it comes to commercial awareness. You need to be able to relate global events and market changes to the sector and firm you're applying to. We've compiled a list of key questions, which you may be asked at anytime throughout the application process for graduate schemes and internships.

Application form

There’s a standard question on a number of applications to leading employers, regardless of which sector you're applying to. Here’s what it might look like:

  • Tell me about a recent business (or financial) story you’ve been following? How will it impact the firm/industry?

Firm/industry specific questions

Most firms will want you to be able to clearly explain how world events or changes in the market will directly impact them or their industry. Here are some questions to think about:

  • What are the biggest issues facing the firm/industry today?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing the firm/industry in the next 10 years?
  • How do we generate revenue as a business?
  • How will Brexit affect the industry?
  • Who are our clients and what products/services do we offer them?
  • Who are our competitors and what is our USP?

Specific to you

This is more about what you’ve done to upskill yourself and develop commercial awareness. The question may look like this:

  • How have you developed your commercial awareness?
  • How would you define the term commercial awareness?

General questions

These questions test your ability to understand wide reaching issues which may be causing change in the UK or even the world.

  • How will a rise in interest rates affect the UK economy?
  • Is the FTSE 100 going up or down at the moment? What impact is that having on the economy?

More challenging questions

Some firms will test your commercial awareness with more obscure questions, which might require quick thinking. It's difficult to prepare for something like this, but here are a few questions which have come up in recent years:

  • How would you define terrorism?
  • How would you improve the iPhone?
  • Who’s the most powerful person in the world and why?