Are You Ready for a Private Equity Interview?

Here is some background and questions to prepare you for your private equity interview.

The impact of the global economic downturn on private equity is evident in the big numbers: funds raised and the number of deals done. The peak of 2007, with more than $600 billion invested, now seems like a very distant past. In terms of the number of deals done, we are at a level roughly equal to the levels we saw before the peak.

The private equity industry has shifted. Firms are not solely focused on financial engineering and ignoring the longer term value gains to be had from operational improvements. Holding portfolio companies has forced a longer term focus and shifted the demand for talent to operational management. Another private equity jobs trend to watch is the demand for internal fundraising teams.

Although not at 2007 levels, the demand for private equity talent remains strong, especially at the junior professional levels, senior operational improvement roles, and fundraisers.

With firms holding on to large amounts of “dry powder” and the clock ticking on the time frame to make investments, funds are looking to put that money to work. This means more deals and greater demand for talent from both the investment and operational sides of the business.

Are You Ready for a Private Equity Interview? Let’s Find Out.

Test your preparedness by drafting your answers to several questions that you may get in your next private equity interview.

1) Why do you want to work in private equity? (Explain in 3-4 sentences on why you are interested in a career in private equity.)

2) Why should we hire you? (This question is an opportunity to provide a concise 30-60 second elevator pitch on why your skills and past experiences make you a great candidate for private equity.)

3) What are the most important things you should look for in a private equity deal?

4) Why is the President’s proposal to reform the tax code a concern to private equity firms?

5) Provide us with an investment idea and why it makes sense.

Here you can view additional background questions in the Private Equity Questions and Answers from the “Breaking into Private Equity” training session.

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