Commercial awareness

Come prepared to talk about a business issue that interests you, as you could be asked to discuss this in detail during your interview.

How do your experiences count?

Before your interview, take some time to think about your own business awareness. For example, you might have a part time job, or could have completed an internship. With these experiences in mind, ask yourself the following questions about your employer and their business:

  • What kind of business do you work in?
  • What's their main product or service?
  • What type of business or economic climate do they operate within?
  • Who are their main competitors in the market and why?
  • What makes the business successful (or not)?
  • If you were in charge of that business, what changes would you make?
  • What business issues are facing the organisation?
  • What skills have you learned from your experiences?
  • How will these skills help you in future jobs?

These few examples aren't an exhaustive list, but hopefully they'll help you think about the kind of questions you might get asked in an interview situation.

Your interest and awareness of business will be assessed during the selection process and isn’t something that can be developed the night before an interview. Come prepared to talk about a business issue that interests you, as you could be asked to discuss this in detail during your interview.

• The Times

• The Daily Telegraph

• The Guardian

• The Independent

• The Sunday Times

• The Financial Times

You can even get some good pointers on what's happening in business from tabloid papers and the 'Metro' newspaper – use these as a guide for current stories in the press, and check out all the details in the newspapers and websites.

  • Accountancy Age is a popular website and magazine – it's good for keeping up to date on what's happening in organisations like PwC. For more specific information on PwC, visit our UK website

  • The BBC is an excellent source of all kinds of news – general and business. They have a dedicated business section and each story has links back to previous articles on the website. They have a helpful section in the Business News area of the website, which focuses on a current story and analyses it in a straightforward question & answer format.
  • The Economist is a well known business magazine and they have a comprehensive website with lots of different news sections
  • Bloomberg's website is full of detailed financial information on organisations – access the News section on their website

  • Keep up to date with what's happening in the press
  • Read newspapers, business magazines and online newspapers
  • Work experience - be more aware of where you work and how you fit in with the organisation
  • Ask questions and discuss issues
  • Keep up to date and start formulating opinions and ideas about business issues that interest you
  • And don't leave your preparation until the night before your interview
  • Just remember - we're not looking for you to learn and recite information from the Times or from the BBC website
  • We're more interested in how you interpret, apply your knowledge and the opinions you have throughout the assessment process to demonstrate your commercial awareness

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