In a survey called “Skills for graduates in the 21st Century” by AGR (The Association of Graduate Recruiters) commercial awareness came out top as the skill most lacking in graduates. Their survey focused on leading graduate firms and 67% of the recruiters responded that this skill was lacking in a worrying 67% of UK graduates.
What is it exactly?
One way commercial awareness could be defined is having an interest in business, together with an understanding of the environment in which it operates. This includes its customers, suppliers and competitors. It also includes an understanding of commercial realities, such as efficiency, cost-effectiveness and customer care. Cass students are well-placed to understand this, but students in other schools also need to understand commercial awareness in relation to careers in health, teaching, the public sector, journalism, the charity sector, etc.
What questions do employers ask to test your commercial awareness?
- What particularly interests you about our organization? or What do you know about our organization?
- What do you regard as our unique selling point or What makes us stand out, in your view?
- Name some of our clients
- Name some of our competitors (and possibly some of the differences between us?)
- What tasks do you think you will be doing on a daily basis in this role?
- Tell me about a business news article that interested you recently. Say why, what your learned and its implications for the organization if appropriate
- What are some of the issues impacting on our sector at the moment?
- Where do you see yourself in 2 and 5 years time?
- What was our share price this morning? What market share do we have?
How can I improve my commercial awareness? Continue Reading