Best study guide for PE interview/case study?

jeanpaulvalley's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 53

I have my first ever PE interview coming up. I am in RE and am used to asset based valuation, but have no experience with valuating an entire company. Recruiter told me there is a case study and I have rounded up all the usual free study materials. My question is if I go with a pay service (which I think I need due to my inexperience), which one should I go with?
Ask Ivy, WSO technical guide (the 49$ one), something else. I am not interested in the $299 full service PE from WSO as I think that is a bit much on price and may be overkill anyways as this is a small "low-presitige" shop.

Anyways I appreciate any advice.

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Comments (12)

Jan 3, 2015

Take this with a grain of salt. I haven't interviewed yet, but I do know what resources have taught me the most.

I can vouch for the full WSO guide for PE interview prep. The modeling tests are substantially better than anything else I have come across for the kind of modeling done in private equity interviews, of the guides I've seen. Think of it as an investment--this probably won't be your last interview. Basically, the only reason I can build an LBO from scratch is this guide.

Now that I'm thinking about it, the weakness of the guide may be its lack of guidance in other forms of valuation. It doesn't really cover any. Breaking Into Wall Street does a great job of teaching you what you need to know to break into banking and for covering gaps of knowledge on the job (DCF, LBO, M&A modeling). It does a less great job, in my opinion, of helping you build from nothing. The other problem is that the full course is pretty expensive.

I don't know anything about the ask Ivy guide.

I don't think the WSO technical question guide will help in for a PE level interview. To be honest, I really don't like the guide at all.

Jan 4, 2015
MJK:

Take this with a grain of salt. I haven't interviewed yet, but I do know what resources have taught me the most.

I can vouch for the full WSO guide for PE interview prep. The modeling tests are substantially better than anything else I have come across for the kind of modeling done in private equity interviews, of the guides I've seen. Think of it as an investment--this probably won't be your last interview. Basically, the only reason I can build an LBO from scratch is this guide.

Now that I'm thinking about it, the weakness of the guide may be its lack of guidance in other forms of valuation. It doesn't really cover any. Breaking Into Wall Street does a great job of teaching you what you need to know to break into banking and for covering gaps of knowledge on the job (DCF, LBO, M&A modeling). It does a less great job, in my opinion, of helping you build from nothing. The other problem is that the full course is pretty expensive.

I don't know anything about the ask Ivy guide.

I don't think the WSO technical question guide will help in for a PE level interview. To be honest, I really don't like the guide at all.

Can absolutely vouch for WSO guide.

Jan 3, 2015

If you're looking for more guidance on valuation, I'd go with the technical interview guide since the PE guide assumes you are familiar with those and focuses much more on the LBO and interview trends in PE. If you understand how PE firms looks at an investment, you will be able to structure your case much more coherently and make sure you don't miss on any key issues. Realize it's a big investment, so either way good luck!

-Patrick

ps - we are working right now on a ton more video content to go into version 2.0 of the PE Prep Pack (you get free upgrades for life if you buy)...including videos that walk you through building the LBO modeling tests. We expect to release the new guide by end of February.

Jan 3, 2015

So I went with the technical interview guide. I like it as I am so new that I really need the broad strokes. Question I have in regards to interview prep though. The firm I am interviewing with is aware that I have one total year of finance experience (ug major was history, zero finance internships), the recruiter liked me more for fit (I am a JD and apparently they like that), so should I go crazy and try to learn as much PE based finance as possible or focus more on my past experiences and my "fit" with the firm.

Put another way, how much does a PE firm expect someone with 1yr experience to know?

Jan 3, 2015

I think you really need to have the answer to the question, "why finance?", "why pe?" down cold. In order to do that, you need more than a cursory understanding of what an LBO is. If they dig in at all, I think it will be tough for you to stand up to other candidates without really playing around with a model and understanding what drives returns, as well as spending some time walking through business cases. What makes a good PE investment?

Is this for a typical pre-MBA PE associate role? If so, I'd think you would need to be prepared for more than just the basics...unless they think they can train you? That tends to be rare...which is why they usually go straight to IB analysts to fill their spots. They know they will have the training (modeling, etc) to be able to help out right away...

Good luck!
Patrick

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Jan 3, 2015

I heard Case in Point was good for studying case study interviews

Jan 3, 2015

We have a beta version available at a discount...if you shoot me an email at [email protected] and can commit to getting us some comments within 2 weeks, that will work. I'm about to put up something in the interview guides section that is a pre-sale before the full version gets release late May...

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Jan 5, 2015

Thanks Patrick. I shot you a note.

Jan 5, 2015

Are you applying for PE or consulting? Consulting PE cases don't expect you to write up an LBO in 30 minutes, just investment thesis analysis