Private equity internship interview questions

12 Private Equity Internship Interview Questions and Answers

Do you need to attend an interview for a private equity intern job? If so, this article will give insights on frequently asked private equity internship interview questions, providing an easy guide on answering each question.

Interviews are unavoidable during the selection process for intern positions. Hence, you will undergo one or multiple interviews before you can get an intern job. The interview is one of the reasons why getting a private equity intern job is challenging.

With this article as your guide, you can increase your chances of landing a private equity internship in any company.

Types of Private Equity Internship Interview Questions

The Human Resources manager of Private Equity firms often asks prospective interns various questions to know more about them.

Here are some types of questions a hiring manager will likely ask you during your PE intern job interview.

General questions

  • These questions are about your personality, qualifications, and why you chose to make a living in the Private Equity industry. The interviewer will ask more of these questions to see whether you are a good fit for the firm.

Technical or in-depth questions

  • Also, expect the hiring manager to ask several technical questions to assess your understanding of private equity. They often ask these questions to discover your extent of knowledge and your reactions under certain conditions.

Experience questions

  • The hiring manager will also ask questions about your previous work experience in the Private Equity industry. These questions may cover your financial skills.

Top Twelve (12) Private Equity Internship Interview Questions

Here are the questions your interviewer will likely throw at you during your interview for a private equity intern job.

#1. What do you love most about Private Equity? Why intern in our firm?

The interviewers of most Private Equity firms ask prospective interns this same question, so it is general, and you should expect it. Your answer shares your passion and interest in private equity with the interviewer.

Regarding why you choose the firm for your internship, discuss everything you know about the firm and how your goals and the firm’s objectives correspond with each other.

#2. What makes a great private equity associate?

When asked this question, your interviewer(s) wants to hear three things; discover better investment opportunities, generate more income, and save more money. The three are the job roles of a private equity employee. You may not put your answer in the same way, but similarly.

#3. How do you stay updated about changes in the private equity industry?

Hiring managers ask this question to evaluate your passion for the private equity industry and your willingness to learn new things. To answer this question perfectly, itemize some reliable sources you use to monitor the current trends in the industry.

#4. What skills are you bringing to our private equity firm?

The HR manager asks this question to know whether you know the requirements of the intern job. Therefore, you should answer by relating the skills noted in the job description to up to three relevant strengths you possess.

Recommended Post: Guidelines for sending a follow-up email for an intern role.

#5. Which of our investments do you love most on our website? And why?

To provide an accurate answer to this question, you need to research the company, most especially via its official website. As one of the various ways to plan for your internship interview, visit the company’s website to discover its history, portfolio, and current projects.

#6. Assuming your investment increased by 25% and you now have $1,000, how much was your capital?

Even though this private equity internship interview question is simple, you must quickly answer the question if asked. Hence, you need your statistical skills to answer a question like this.

#7. Would you prefer a lump sum of $1 million or $2,000 monthly for your entire life?

This question allows the interviewer to understand your view about the time value of money. Since the monetary value of $2,000 this year may vary from next year’s, a lump sum at hand is better than a stipend of $2,000.

#8. Why would you work for a company?

The interviewer of a private equity firm will ask you this question when there is a trending topic about the company. It’s a hypothetical question that requires you to be positive. Never make it seem like you only want to take advantage of a company’s internship program without providing value.

Helpful Blog Post: Questions for interns a hiring manager during an intern job interview.

#9. What would you do if no one had an answer to your question?

This question is one of the many private equity internship interview questions asked to assess your emotional agility. Ensure your response is concise, describing how you would ask an expert, as an unanswerable question does not exist.

#10. If you could choose two financial statements, what would be your decision, and why?

Common types of financial statements include balance sheets, cash flow statements, income statements, and retained earnings statements. Therefore, your answer to this question should be balance sheets and income statements, as these two statements help to generate a cash flow statement.

#11. If you had to examine only one financial statement, what would you choose, and why?

This question is similar to the previous one and is recurrent during PE intern job interviews. We recommend that you choose income statements due to their accounting method.

#12. What industry trends will you investigate when looking for a potential investment?

We advise you to focus your answer to this question on the market position, experienced management, competitive advantage, and stable & recurring cash flows.

Recommended Article: Top New York internship programs in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect in a first-round private equity interview?

The first round of a private equity internship interview usually involves a series of behavioral questions to ensure that you possess the appropriate skills and qualifications.

Do private equity interns get paid?

Yes, students working as private equity interns mostly receive salaries, depending on their employer. According to ZipRecruiter, the estimated monthly salary of PE interns in the US is approximately $6,200.

What does an intern at private equity do?

The roles of private equity interns include helping with reports, developing presentation materials, supporting the operations of current portfolio companies, and more.

How hard are PE internship interviews?

Private Equity intern interviews are typically challenging to pass. However, most students make the process easier by planning ahead of the interview.

Do private equity firms have interns?

Yes, almost all private equity firms hire interns to facilitate their career development. Such companies include Bainbridge, Inc., Western & Southern Financial Group, ARCHIMED, and Lazard.


Taking cognizance of the above-mentioned private Equity internship interview questions and mastering their answers will go a long way in helping you win a position in your preferred company.

If there is anything else you wish we could help you with about internship programs, Contact Scholarship World’s team to provide you with your informational needs.

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