Top 10 Venture Capital Interview Questions

Blog Cover_Top 10 Venture Capital Interview Questions
Sina Sadegh

Sina Sadegh

Sina is currently working as a Business Development Manager at Finanzcheck, one of Germany's fastest growing FinTechs. Prior to his move to Hamburg, he studied at the Goethe University in Frankfurt and worked for different startups from Germany, US and Middle East. He started Startup & VC in 2020 with the goal to share insights and news from the ecosystem and to build a community of founders, VCs and product people.

A Venture Capital (VC) interview is a chance for venture capitalists to get a sense of you, the same way they do when meeting with entrepreneurs.

For the Venture capitalists, the interview is an opportunity to get to know you better and to understand what type of person you are. The interviews are often very personal and not comparable to typical consulting or investment banking interviews. As venture capital teams are often very small, personal fit is very important. The interviewer must answer the question “Is this a person I trust and want to work with for years to come”?

VC interview questions usually fall into one of three categories:

  • Personality fit 
  • Expertise & Skillset
  • VC process

Below are ten questions you can expect in a typical Venture Capital interview:

1. Why do you want a job in Venture Capital?

This is a question that almost every interviewer will ask. The most important point is to  express your enthusiasm for the venture capital industry. Is it having the opportunity to  work with a wide range of startups? Or do you want to be always up to date with the latest  trends in the ecosystem and help to start new businesses? Make some notes and also write  down what type of skills you have acquired during your career which would be relevant as a  Venture Capitalist. Explain why VC is the next logical step for you at this point.

2. Which of our investments do you like most and why?

Read up on their portfolio companies and prepare to answer on two or three companies.  You can also prepare special questions.

3. Which sector do you follow?

Pick two or three sub-sectors and do in-depth research. You should be able to explain the  trends in detail and know who the key players are. It is also helpful to give an outlook on  how you think the market will develop in the coming years.

4. How do you expect your day in the role to be like?

If you can, try and meet up with a past or present intern/analyst/associate from the firm for  coffee. Read the firm’s blog, check out people on the team on social media, subscribe to  their newsletter, and look for clues. What processes do they talk about, what conferences do  they go to, what have they been funding recently? Try and put together a picture of what  that means in terms of how they spend their time.

5. What are some recent developments in the VC industry?

Venture capitalists are looking for employees who have proven expertise in a specific topic.  Ideally, it is an area in which the Venture Capital company also invests. You have to show  that you have a lot of knowledge in this area and also understand which developments in  the market are influenced by which factors. It is important here that you do not give superficial answers but present your detailed knowledge, ideally by discussing a recent  activity in the market (New Ventures, Funding rounds, Mergers, etc.).

6. Choose one startup that you admire. Why?

You can name any company you want, but make sure you have deeper knowledge about the  company (culture, turnover, business model, etc.) so that you can explain why you have  chosen exactly that company.

7. Please walk me through the three financial statements!

Focus on the major parts of the three financial statements. A good answer will be high level  and will provide commentary on the general purpose of each statement while still  highlighting key aspects.

8. According to you, which startup is the most promising in our portfolio and why?

This will require real research. You need to know their portfolio across the board and have  compelling reasons behind your decisions. These could include factors like business  characteristics, company traction, alignment with firm strategy, or alignment with your  personal thesis.

9. According to our investment thesis, do you have a startup in mind that we should look at? Why?

This will require real research. You need to know their investment thesis and have  compelling reasons behind your decisions why a startup could be a potential fit.

10. What did you take into consideration when you chose this firm?

The interviewer wants to: 

  • Learn about your career goals and how this position fits into your plan 
  • Make sure that you are sincerely interested in the job and will be motivated to perform if  hired 
  • Find out what you know about the company, industry, position (and if you took the time to  research)
  • Understand your priorities and preferences – which aspects of the company and/or job are  appealing to you and why?

Looking for more?

We have collected 60+ real questions VC firms ask their candidates during the application process. You can download them for free on Startupandvc.com.

[For more Startup and Venture Capital content visit our website www.startupandvc.com or  Instagram account https://instagram.com/startupandvc]

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