Answering the Top Frequently Asked Interview Questions

If you are currently looking for a new job, you’re most likely preparing yourself for an interview. After all, your interview is a very vital part of the process and is a deciding factor on whether or not you’ll get your dream job. Whether you’re job hunting for the first time or are looking to transition to a new career in private equity, this article is perfect for you. Here is a list of the most frequently asked interview questions to help you along the way.

Tell us about yourself.

No matter what career you pursue, this question pops up everywhere. It’s actually a good sign. This shows that you’ve piqued the interest of your interviewer, and they want to know more about you. At this point, they’ve probably already glanced over your resume. However, it’s still a huge opportunity to show them who you are beyond those pieces of paper.

Try to make an elevator pitch to answer this question. It needs to be short but sweet, preferably between 30 to 60 seconds. Make sure to highlight your skills and experiences, especially those relevant to the position. In addition, you may also talk about your reasons for pursuing your previous experiences as added insights for your interviewer.

How did you find us and this job?

This sounds like a straightforward question, and most candidates might attempt to answer it simply and directly. But this isn’t just about which website led you to the job opening. It’s about the specific role and time for you to express genuine interest. On top of this, you can grab this chance to showcase extra details about how great of a fit you are for the position.

Why did you choose us?

This is partly related to the second question and, most commonly, a follow-up. It’s designed for your interviewers to gauge how much you know about their firm. The interviewers may also be testing you on whether or not you did your homework on them before the interview. This will give them an idea of your interest level and preparation tactics. 

When answering this, make sure that you focus on talking about them. Explain how the firm’s goals, growth plans, clients, etc., perfectly align with your career objectives and values. These details will help you stand out right away since everybody wants to team up with people who share the same mission and purpose.

Why are you interested in private equity?

Interviewers want to make sure that you are in the right place and are genuinely enthusiastic about the industry. Always remember to describe how passionate you are about the private equity industry. You may also talk about any relevant internships or previous private equity jobs you’ve had. In addition, you can also tell them why and how you got into the field.

What makes an ideal private equity employee?

To answer this question, you must know the essential skills a private equity associate should possess. For instance, in a private equity job description, the importance of networking, financial knowledge, and critical thinking are extensively highlighted. Keep these crucial skills in mind when answering this question.

You should be able to emphasize how an ideal private equity employee showcases those skills in carrying out their duties. In line with that, you should also tell them how you will display these skills for the company, should you be hired for the role. This exhibits your knowledge of what is expected of you as an employee and how you’ll directly benefit the firm.

Describe your ideal working environment.

Prior to sending an application, you need to have already looked into the company’s culture and working environment. This means that, well before the interview, you should already be sure that their culture and environment are an excellent fit for you. It’s worth it to emphasize this detail during your interview.

Keep in mind that you should be very careful when answering this question since this point is when interviewers are assessing your personality. That said, make sure you highlight how well you’ll blend in with their firm’s culture and how much your work style matches their corporate values.

What do you think our company does right and wrong?

This might be the dreaded trick question in every interview. Don’t fall for it. Remember that no company or firm ever does anything wrong – rather, anything wrong that you should point out. Instead, they might have a few things to improve or build on for best results. Use this approach when answering.

Specify the firm’s strengths first and how these strengths have helped them add value to their clientele. Afterward, gently mention areas for improvement or continued growth and some possible solutions. Make sure to never talk about these improvements in a negative way.

What are your weaknesses?

This is probably one of the most challenging questions to answer. We are mostly aware of our strengths and weaknesses. However, the challenge is delivering your answer in a way that doesn’t remove you from the to-hire list. It’s actually not as complicated as it seems.

First, avoid talking about personal weaknesses. The key here is to share a professional frailty that you’re already working on improving. Talk about the steps you’ve been taking to overcome that particular weakness. This shows your interviewers that you know how to admit your faults, and more importantly, that you know how to work on fixing them.

Now that you know more of what to expect in the interview, start practicing. In no time, you’ll find yourself confident and ready to make a stellar impression and land your dream job!