Private Equity: Walk me through your resume / tell me about yourself (1-3 min)

Startup Funding

You want to tell a story about how you became interested in investing and learning how to improve businesses. Always start from the beginning: where you came from or grew up, where you went to school, and how the first “spark” led to your interest in financing, whether it be from trading your own portfolio, joining an investment club, or taking a finance class.

If you’re interviewing for a post-IB associate role, you want to really focus on the deal experience you’ve had. In particular, you should walk through a few key steps of the process and provide the context of the deal and industry.

If there was any interesting “drama” between the buyers / sellers / owners, you’ll want to highlight that and how it affected the negotiation of the deal. This will demonstrate that you truly understood the background of the deal and you didn’t just blindly punch in numbers.

Since you don’t have enough time to dive too deep into your deal experience, you should just summarize your role in the deal: make sure to mention if you ran the LBO model, any industry research / due diligence you did, and how this ultimately affected the valuation and closing of the deal.

If you’re interviewing for an entry level PE role without IB experience, you want to really focus on how your work experience and extracurriculars gave you the intellectual curiosity to understand business fundamentals and think of creative ways to improve them, as well as how your experience tangentially led to your passion for investing.

Finally – and this may seem odd – but it’s good to mention some hobbies and interests of yours. This is because they are looking for good and interesting personalities much more than IB, as teams tend to be smaller and closer-knit.

The “story” is more important in PE interviews than in IB, because PE firms aren’t just looking for smart and polished presenters. They’re looking for truly passionate investors who are intellectually curious about the fundamentals of the business. Many PE firms believe this is often something you either have or don’t, so you need to catch their interest.