Impress with your Commercial Awareness!

This post first appeared on the Careers in the City blog.

While the world’s attention is focused on Greece, it may be worth taking a moment to acknowledge a startling economic shift in the fortunes of Spain – which recently posted a 2.6% growth rate for this year.

In this piece we look at how you might use this information to talk about an economic story that has interested you – if prompted to do so in an interview setting. This is a technique used in some interviews for financial roles, where evidence for wider economic knowledge is sought by the interviewer. It’s a technique I’ve used myself when interviewing people for roles on trading floors in the City of London.


So how can you talk about this?

The first thing to do, is to impress by knowing about this – you can pick this information up from, the FT and many other journals and newspapers besides.

So you might say something along the lines of…

“Spain has certainly been performing well recently – its 2.6% growth rate is set against a backdrop of its main stock index rising 100% between 2012 and 2015, and joblessness falling a startling 2.7% in April – aided by reforms to labour market law.

The sustainability of this rise can best be assessed by looking at economic data. The construction and retail sectors have driven much of the growth. However, there is little evidence that strong rises in the construction sector are based on the need for new buildings – since occupancy rates are at an all-time low. Instead, it appears as though the money now being engineered in Europe via quantitative easing, is flowing into projects that may ultimately prove a drag on the economy – more empty buildings cannot positively impact GDP over the long term – but provide only a short term boost. The data therefore prompts questions as to the sustainability of the remarkable growth rates we’re seeing in Spain.”

If a candidate were to provide this level of detail about a story that has interested them, it would be deeply impressive!



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