Big 4 companies see commercial awareness as a key requirement in potential recruits. Graduates who take the time to understand how the organization operates and makes a profit – as well as how the industry as whole works – are the sort of people who then demonstrate a high level of motivation, interest, and focus on the bottom line. This awareness helps graduates “hit the ground running” and make informed decisions, right from the start.

What is commercial awareness?

Commercial awareness is basically an understanding of what the company needs to do to be profitable, be successful, and serve its customers well. With it, you should know organization’s core values, biggest competitors, key stakeholders, and current business challenges. You also should know the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, and you can apply that information to make sensible decisions i.e. answer the interview or application form questions.

Why is it important to show you understand the industry and organisation you’ve applied to?

Finally, the recruitment process of any employer is designed to find out the following:
1. Does this candidate know about the job they’re applying to do?
2. Will this person be good at their job and make our business more successful?

However, knowing the organisation is not enough to be commercially aware. During the interviews, reflecting on your past experiences can also be a demonstration of commercial awareness. During the online tests, if you don’t know business jargons and fundamentals, you may miss the answer.

A big mistake that majority of graduates make is when they perceive commercial awareness as a pure reading of business newspapers. Remember, commercial awareness is not only about reading business newspapers but much more!

Based on our experience, we have developed the first-ever Commercial Awareness Model™ which will be your competitive advantage during your application process. By understanding and applying the Commercial Awareness Model™ your chances to secure a graduate position are significantly improved! Material will be available from October 1, 2018 at

EY Commercial Awareness
EY Commercial Awareness