Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Researching employers



During the recruitment process, employers will be assessing your understanding of their business, it is important that you do the appropriate research.

Recruiters will be looking for candidates who have commercial awareness, that is an understanding of their company - its products or services, customer base and an awareness of business trends in the sector.

To be able to relate to real things that are happening during an interview means that you have the grounded foundational knowledge of the company to answer the question appropriately. 

Katya Savelieva, sales and marketing graduate trainee, Mondelez International


What is commercial awareness? 

The Mondelez perspective

In this video hear from Katya, a graduate trainee at Mondelez, as she tells you what is meant by the term commercial awareness and how it can help you success at interview. 

The careers adviser perspective

In this podcast Sarah Allen, Senior Careers Adviser, gives her expert advice on how you can develop and demonstrate your commercial awareness when you have an interview coming up.

Girl with headphone using mobile phone


What are the company essentials I need to know?

You'll need to know the following.

  • What are the company's key products and services? 
  • What is their mission statement and values?
  • Where are they based? Do they operate in other countries?
  • Who are their customers?
  • Who are their competitors and how do they compare?
  • How are they performing financially?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Have they been in the news recently? If so, why?
  • What are the trends and developments in their sector?
  • How are they responding to developments? 

More employer videos on commercial awareness

The Nottingham Police perspective


The Enterprise Rent-A-Car perspective



Sources of company and sector information

Start with the company's website and social channels (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) but ensure you have a broader and unbiased picture of the company and sector by using a variety of sources.

For the latest news on companies or sectors, use the search facility to identify relevant articles from:

You can also read specialist journals or magazines. Some examples are:

For sector information - changes to the environment the company operates in locally, nationally and globally use:

Our Career paths pages - Sector skills councils and professional bodies

Prospects - Find out about the sector the company works in

e-Library Gateway - Print and e-resources available in the University's libraries


Glassdoor is a great resource to use when researching employers and jobs in your area. The active community of reviewers provides their opinion of:

  • companies
  • jobs
  • salaries
  • interviews and questions

Visit the Glassdoor website

Another site that offers independent employer reviews is:

targetjobs Insight Buzz


Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679