Office hours

Corporate Development & Strategy Interviews

Corporate Development & Strategy Interviews

“I turn the words of the only poet that Blue Collar, New England scumbags like me know: Robert Frost” – Peter Griffin

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost


So, you have finally reached the breaking point, huh? You’re tired of the high-pressure, sleepless, and weekendless grind and want to move to a role with greener pastures. Trust me, I have been there myself – and although there is a false stigma that going corporate is “easier” than trying to opt for a recruitment path on the buyside, and while there is some truth to this, the preparation process for recruiting for these roles is completely different than that of traditional IB exits. Below, I will describe the key differences of recruiting for traditional IB exits vs. other corporate roles:

  • You Should Focus on Your Skillset That You Have Developed, Rather than Your Deal Experience – I know that if you have been primarily focused on buyside recruiting, this sounds a tad counterintuitive – after all, for buyside recruiting, deal experience is EVERYTHING, is it not? Yes, for buyside recruiting this is the case, but for corporate roles you will often be leveraging your broad skills (i.e., efficiency in financial modeling, strategic thinking, PowerPoint, etc.) rather than managing multiple deal processes. Unlike going through the buyside gauntlet, you aren’t going to separate yourself through your deal experience, rather, you will be separating yourself from the other candidates by showing that you can thrive in a high-intensity environment, and how you can transition that to a role that will require more strategic/creative thinking and/or leadership.


  • Recruiting for Corporate Roles is the Only Time where Being at an EB might be a SLIGHT Disadvantage – I want to clarify that this is not because working at an EB does not give you the proper experience to transition into a corporate role; however, simply put, these firms are simply more obscure to recruiters who might not be directly linked to the finance industry. I should note that this concern will NOT present itself when specifically targeting corporate development/M&A roles, but if you are seeking roles more aligned with strategy and operations, top consulting firms and BBs will certainly be placed on a higher rank, and you might need to be more proactive in your outreach if coming from EB.


  • You Should Place More of an Emphasis on the Company’s Business Model – While it’s true that every business model can essentially be boiled down to “maximize shareholder returns”, each individual corporation is in different stages of profitability, scale, and maturity. The best way to separate yourself from other IB/consulting candidates is to have a better understanding of the company you are targeting. Some of the key aspects you want to know are its primary strategic initiatives (be as specific as possible when describing them), ideal customer, largest revenue streams, most profitable business lines, and key leadership members and their backgrounds (bonus points if you can familiarize with the individuals who are interviewing you for the role).


Best of luck! The transition to a more relaxed lifestyle can seem unfathomable at first, but with the right mindset, anything is possible and achievable as long as you put in the effort.



Interested in learning more about OfficeHours and how a Career Coach can help you? Schedule a time to connect with a coach here or submit your Application directly here and we’ll be in touch!

To receive additional updates, feel free to follow and subscribe to our social media accounts –InstagramLinkedInTwitterTiktokYoutube

For more information, be sure to check out our free resources.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Accelerate Your Finance Career

Get Started With OfficeHours