I will exclude the name of the firm and MD but maybe someone can figure it (I doubt it though). I just back from a P.E. firm and know for a fact I will not get hired for a s.a. position. Technically I won't know till Thursday but it's pretty obvious I won't get a shot.
The P.E. firm is a boutique firm where the CEO interviewed me directly. The interview lasted for about 1.5 hours. Worst case scenario, the person that interviewed me reads this and doesn't hire me just like he planned.
It started as the usual, tell me about your self. I walked through my resume/skills and this is where it started getting really weird. In my school I am in my student investment group. We get to use real capital to invest. He asked me to explain the fund to him-I do. Now get this, he grills me over how moronic the fund is and how it should be dissolved. I explain that the purpose of the fund is the help students to learn about the markets and some of the profits are used to fund CFA, CPA tests, trips to banks and few scholarships.
He asked me to show him the online performance spreadsheet - I do. He notices it is very volatile at times. Just like any school, there is an attrition issue and during semester breaks fund performance suffers because people aren't there. I get grilled over how this is moronic and pointless because people are not committed (which is true) but then he continues to grill me about how should ask for the fund to dissolved because "we are piss*ng away money". Anyways this went on for 10 minutes.
Then he asked me to explain my previous internship experiences. I had a pwm experience. He then grilled me for doinginstead of banking or another P.E. position. I explained I was a freshman and was trying to learn, I figured I did not like it and wanted to do something else. He said that was moronic and I should have figured out what PWM was about.
He went on to say in the process I didn't really learn anything about analyzing companies or real skills beyond talking to a few people and "wasted 3 months of my life". He said I should have tried to pitch equities or other assets to my PWM firm (given that is not the intern's job nor role of that position).
He then asks me abstract questions about P.E. They included, "what is the secret to a P.E. firm's success", "why do you think I'm successful" and something else. My responses of quality analysis, volume of deals, networking, relationship making, hard work, etc. were apparently all wrong. (This interview just kept getting worse).
Then we had this weird pitch experiment. I got a hypothetical company, he said all the analysis was perfect and everyone in the room except one person will agree with me. What will I do? I gave a series of responses as to how to get that person to agree with me or how to compromise on the company or develop another pitch.
In the hypothetical the person (my interviewee) kept saying no. This went on for 10 minutes with more extensive periods of awkward silences. Then he said the moral of the story was "Managers can be wrong". From all of that - that 1 line. Moving on.
Finally I got a few technical questions, including run me through an. These were the only ones I got right and he had a smile on his face.
After wasting a few hours of my life, I felt the need to share this to blow off steam. I know I won't get the position and feel like all the things I got dinged for was not my fault. I can't force people to show up to meetings, I can't (nor will) cause a school to dissolve an investment fund, I can't make a division that has no say offer an asset to investors, etc. I know I sound like I might be whining a little but wanted to give everyone an idea as to what might go wrong in an interview and you have no control over it. That's life.
Note: I did not get the job as expected. He told me he was sure of two other MBA students prior to me getting there.