Vice President - PE Firm Interviews?

brianceo's picture
Rank: Chimp | 3

Hi, just wondering if the mid-to-large PE firms require lbo model tests / case studies for VP position private equity interviews or is the focus more on fit, deals done, track record, etc? I have seven years of PE experience as a senior analyst then associate. Any helpful feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

Comments (4)

Feb 8, 2012

Hey Brian, I have never heard of a modeling test for any post MBA associates (maybe occasionally at that level) or VPs and above. Probably as you know, by that level it's more about managing the process, due diligence and you are expected to review the models but not build them.

I'd be surprised if many funds, even MM ones drilled you on any technicals or modeling tests....BUT, I woudl say that if you can't demonstrate you had a very close grasp of the financials from previous deals you've done and portfolio companies you've worked with, then that would be a red flag.

Good luck,

Feb 8, 2012

Depends -- are you coming directly out of b-school or is this a lateral hire? As a lateral hire, it is less likely you'll be put through any sort of modeling exercise. I definitely would not be surprised if you were asked to read a CIM and evaluate the merits of a deal so that the Partners could get a better idea as to how you think. Part of it will come down to the role you are expected to play at the PE firm. Some PE firms place a heavy emphasis on modeling and have VPs that dig in deep. Others are less concerned about models and want to know about transaction experience / fit.

Personally, I was given a 10 minute handwritten LBO exercise for my position. All of my other interviews were focused on my deal experience, comparisons of my prior PE firm's deal process to the target PE firm's deal process, and strategic thinking. We aren't a very "model centric" firm though.

Feb 8, 2012

Thank you for all the comments. I'd be a lateral hire, trying to transition from a middle-market PE firm to a larger one. I'm currently a VP that was promoted straight from associate, so I don't have an MBA. Do you think the non-MBA would be a deal breaker with many large PE firms? I was hoping my 7 years of PE experience at my current firm would offset this, but I'm not sure.

Feb 8, 2012