|Getting a job in venture capital is one of the hottest gigs in business. If you manage to get in at the right firm, it’s not just a lucrative career path. It’s a front-row seat to the future, working alongside some of the most innovative entrepreneurs who are building The Next Big Thing for all of us.
I always loved this old quote from legendary startup investor, Ron Conway, about why he loves VC. Conway has backed some of the largest companies in the world since the 1990s. “Entrepreneurs share their vision of the future with me,” he wrote in 2012. “And every so often, their vision becomes the future. What could be more interesting than that?”
The problem is, VC gigs are hard to land. And landing the initial interview can be the hardest part. Fortune‘s Jessica Mathews and Anne Sraders rolled up their sleeves and interviewed 11 VCs and VC hopefuls about what it takes to work on Sand Hill Road—a famous street in Silicon Valley where some of the biggest firms set up shop. They also learned which questions to watch out for in VC interviews.
“You don’t need to know every portfolio company,” a partner at Harlem Capital told them. “But at a high level, you should know the fund size, the check size, what stage they invest in, any major industries that they invest in.” The partner also suggests being familiar with two portfolio companies that you like, and one that you have questions about why they invested.
For more on how to break into venture, read Jessica and Anne’s complete guide below. And subscribe to their newsletter, Term Sheet, which digs into the venture capital industry every morning.
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