What are the deciding factors in final rounds?

Had a final round with an UMM fund in London last week (€7bn latest fund) and recruiter has told me there's three of us who made it to this stage for two positions. It was an in person meeting with the Head of Europe and another Partner (separately) and were both very much fit based, covering the classics of motivations for PE and motivations for the firm specifically (no technicals) and felt much more like a friendly chat than an interview.

How are these rounds typically decided? Is it simply a case of who the Partners like more on a personal basis, or is still an ability to stand out through your answers to the fit questions? Recruiter has said they are 'having trouble deciding'. I'm certain my motivations for why PE and why the firm specifically would've really made me stand out, but I don't know how much value is placed on it at this stage...

Private Equity Interview Course

  • 2,447 questions - 203 PE funds. Crowdsourced from 750k+ members
  • 9 Detailed LBO Modeling Tests and 15+ hours of video solutions.
  • Trusted by over 1,000 aspiring private equity professionals just like you.

Comments (4)

Apr 1, 2021 - 4:39pm

At the stage of hiring process you are at boxes such as technical capability, why PE and why this firm. So I think it will be more based on fit and who they believe can excel in the role. 

I would be interested on why you think your take on why PE and why the firm specifically would have stood out relative to the other two candidates?

Good luck with securing the position. 

  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Apr 2, 2021 - 4:35am

Thanks for the reply. Regarding why I think I stand out:

i) I originated a buyside mandate for my team by analysing and then pitching a company to our MD, which was then pitched to a PE client who liked the idea and mandated us, which is where my motivation comes from.

ii) Their training programme is relatively unique with a big focus on juniors being involved in origination and pitching ideas, which I tied to my origination experience and I then highlighted how they have a track record of being comfortable paying high multiples (>18x EBITDA) for high quality businesses they like, which not many investors are able to do.

I am certain no other candidates will have also done the origination point (I have never heard of anyone doing this at a junior level and other interviewers in this process have straight up told me how impressive it is). The Head of Europe agreed with my 'why the firm' answer, in particular on investment philosophy and said when they like a business, they aren't afraid of paying up for it. I would be surprised if the other candidates were as insightful on investment philosophy (it is not written on their website) - I certainly wasn't, but an MD I am close with who knows I'm interviewing suggested I say this as part of my 'why the firm' answer...

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

April 2021 Private Equity

  • Principal (7) $694
  • Director/MD (15) $627
  • Vice President (63) $371
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (66) $267
  • 2nd Year Associate (127) $250
  • 1st Year Associate (266) $224
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (24) $164
  • 2nd Year Analyst (60) $136
  • 1st Year Analyst (171) $117
  • Intern/Summer Associate (18) $71
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (191) $60