Conversation with head hunter

Tomorrow afternoon I have a phone call scheduled with a head hunter firm that was recommended to me which specializes in buy-side clients, namely pe and hedge funds. I’ve been working since graduating college (15 months or so) in consulting so this would be a great jump for me if i can do it. My question is, when I am asked on the phone call what I am interested in and why, is it bad to say both pe and hedge funds in order to increase my chances? I have heard that you do not want to say both (even though both are great places to be), because they’re completely different type of work and it will look like you are not actually passionate (or even knowledgable) about either and are just looking at the compensation factor. Would appreciate any insight. I can either say I am interested in both or say I am interested in just one.

I don’t know, but here’s my reaction. Point out the skills you like using, and say that this is what motivates you (I assume that that is not too far from the truth). Then select one, HF or PE, which seems to use them a little bit more and say that you have a slight preference for that, but that the other is appealing as long as you can see yourself adding value using your X, Y, and Z skills. It tries to play both sides of the opportunity, but tells them what your choice is if they absolutely must pigeonhole you. I assume if you are asking, you don’t have a true preference, or haven’t thought it through all that much.

Keep your options open and talk about how your skills can relate to both. It’s a good idea to have stronger convictions about one so that the headhunter knows which way you’re leaning, but it’s fine to say you want to keep your options open. That’s what most people would do. Pretty much agree with what bchadwick said, especially the part where you need to come across as well-informed about both options and being confident that your skills could be transferable to either.

While it’s true that you don’t normally want to say you are interested in two dramatically different types of jobs as it makes you look unfocused and so on, the rules are different when you are talking with a headhunter. I would tell the headhunter the truth, and let them help you evaluate both opportunities and your chances.

thanks guys, this is kind of the answer i expected. the truth is that i am more interested in hedge funds but given my background (consulting), i am more marketable and have a better shot at a pe fund since the majority of ppl get into hedge funds via banking. however, i would take either. i plan to say that i would be interested in valuing companies, researching unique opportunities, working with models, and so on and will say that both pe and hedge funds do this. i will likely say that pe intrigues me a bit more becuase of the long-term investments/deals that you see out over a period of time to show the headhunter that i have a slighty higher interest in what i am more marketable for. but like you guys said, i’ll also mention that hedge funds are intriguiing too and make the point that a lot of the skills are the same to show that i would be happy with both. any of the above sound off?