Commercial Awareness Interview Questions

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About this skill

Commercial awareness is having an understanding of how your organisation (and your industry as a whole) operates and makes money. Being commercially aware in the workplace means being conscious of how your work can generate (or potentially lose) money for the business.

Roles that require commercial awareness skills

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Account management
  • VC Investing
  • Partnerships management
  • Consulting

What skills should you be looking for?

Commercial awareness
Competitor research
Question 1

One of our existing (and long-standing) clients emails to say that they are considering using a competitor either instead of or alongside us. What steps do you take to ensure that we remain their number one service/product provider?

Commercial awareness
Competitor research
Question 2

An existing client has recommended our services to another organisation we haven’t worked with before. What are the three key questions would you ask to understand the needs of potential clients? And what are the key messages about our company you think should be included in the pitch?

Commercial awareness
Question 3

The Head of Business Development approaches you with an urgent request, which will require your team to reassign their time in order to address. Your team is already overstretched, so doing this will likely impact deadlines for their existing work. However, the request is also critical to business success. How would you approach this request?

Commercial awareness
Question 4

Tell us about a recent news story that has sparked your interest? In what ways might this impact our clients or our work? This question is designed to show us your commercial awareness. We want to see that you take an interest in current affairs and can offer ideas on how such events might impact our business and/or the clients we work with and the services they need.

Commercial awareness
Question 5

Imagine we’re working with a partner organisation to host an in-person conference or event. How could we ensure maximum partnership activation for this new commercial opportunity?

Commercial awareness
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Structured questions (or work samples) are highly predictive, job-specific questions designed to simulate parts of a job. 

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