How to Handle the Case Study - Buy-Side Roles

Having recruited for various roles across private equity, leveraged credit, real estate investment and investment positions, a question asked frequency is - how best to prepare for the case study element of an interview process?

Here are some tips for handling the case study element of an interview process:

Practice: While one can argue that you can’t practice for an unknown I would totally disagree. Candidates who do mock analyses of companies, are engaged in the market and understand and are interested in global macro-economic trends always do better than those who try to wing it.

Rationale: Don’t get hung up on having the right answers to everything. Employers are typically looking to establish the following for investment roles:

a. Can you think commercially and understand the context, rationale and detail of the proposed transaction.

b. Based on a. (above) would you recommend investing in the proposed deal.

Accuracy: It is important to i) show clarity of thought around everything you do, ii) answer the question that is asked; iii) be consistent in numbers and themes (if EBITDA is €10.2m it should be €10.2m everywhere it is presented in your case).

Commercial Thinking: Ensure that you are addressing what drives a business and cover the following areas in the case study - the company, the industry, the competition, margins, growth prospects, risks, and the transaction etc;

The Financial Model: Case studies may or may not involve financial models therefore be prepared by understanding the relevant models including the LBO model.

We currently have a number of Buy-Side job opportunities. For more information and a confidential discussion contact Ger Buckley on 01-6688060 or email