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What are the key qualities we look for in our intern candidates?

The internship season is upon us again! 

Congratulations to everyone who has successfully secured internship placements - we hope your internship journey will be fruitful and meaningful. 

Bintang has played host to interns for the past six years, during which we’ve met a grand total of more than 300 candidates (we are receiving more and more applications as the years go by – so to those who have applied, thank you for your support!). 

Given our desire to provide candidates with a highly personalised experience and our relatively limited resources, unfortunately we can’t offer every single candidate a place at Bintang (as much as we wish we could).

That said, it always inspires us to meet candidates who are very passionate about the same things we believe in namely investments, innovation and impact.

If you’re keen on securing a place in one of the Bintang Internship Programme cohorts, here are some tips to improve your odd of success.

#1 Come prepared with your “why”

Have concrete examples to explain why you want to intern at the company. You can relate these reasons to your values or future career path, and draw a link between this internship and how it can help you achieve your goals. Try to understand what makes Bintang… well… Bintang. 

“Bintang is looking for a curious and self-driven individual, with a passion for understanding how businesses work, grow and succeed. A person with excellent attention to detail and is capable of logical analysis. Having strong interpersonal skills would be a major plus. We love working with people who care about doing good and who we feel would make a great team member.” ~ Vice President, Investments

#2 Be truthful

The resume is a place for you to highlight your achievements - but make sure to only include achievements you’ve actually accomplished. In most interviews, the interviewers will dive deep into your experience and can easily discern whether your experiences are exaggerated or not, particularly if you fail to answer with clear examples. 

“An interview is a golden opportunity for me to get to know the candidates – I love asking “why” or “how” as follow-up questions to deep dive because that’s where I learn about their thought processes and intentions.” ~ Chief of Staff 

#3 Articulate well

Often, we meet candidates who are unable to articulate their thoughts well. When we are nervous (which is totally normal!) we tend to waffle to fill the silence or while we try to steady ourselves. If you are struggling to understand a question, why don’t you ask for clarification or for the question to be repeated instead? If you find yourself unable to respond on the spot, ask for some time to think – you’ll find that interviewers are generally understanding enough to give you the extra time.

#4 Strike a balance between confidence and humility 

Highly confident candidates do stand out. However, a lack of humility tends to put interviewers off. If you are asked a question you’re unsure about, do try your best to answer, but also recognise when to say “Sorry I’m not sure, can I read up on this and get back to you?”.


#5 Fundamentals and technical skills

For technically driven roles such as investments, make sure you brush up on fundamentals: know the three financial statements, what drives a company’s revenue streams, and build up your overall knowledge on businesses. 

“What I look for in an intern is curiosity and an eagerness to learn. While having financial knowledge is advantageous, what I truly value is business acumen – a deep understanding of market forces, strategic thinking abilities, and the capacity to assess business potential objectively. Some key traits are strong analytical and critical thinking capabilities, adaptability to changing circumstances, effective communication skills that allow for clear expression of ideas, and a proactive mindset that drives him/her to take initiative and ownership of tasks.” ~ Associate, Investments

A candidate’s attitude can significantly affect how one is perceived by the interviewers. By adopting a positive, proactive and humble approach, you can stand out in the highly competitive process of securing a private equity internship. Remember, technical skills and knowledge are important, but the right attitude can make a lasting impression and open doors to opportunities.

“What I'm looking for usually is a sign that the intern is willing to learn, and that's usually noticeable based on his/her resume. Examples can include enthusiasm for multiple internships or extra-curricular activities, but it's also possible to show your desire to learn through other initiatives, especially for those who are unable to secure internships due to personal circumstances. And by the time we get to the interview stage, I believe that a candidate’s attitude is one of the most important deciding factors.” ~ Associate, Portfolio Engagement & Stewardship 
“When assessing internship candidates for a role in private equity, I seek more than just technical skills. A genuine passion for private equity is crucial, indicating a deeper commitment that will drive individuals to go above and beyond in their work. Moreover, passion sustains candidates through challenges and fosters a proactive approach to learning and innovation, essential in a dynamic field like private equity.” ~ Vice President, Investments

Don’t give up if you are not shortlisted: there may be other aspects the interviewers are looking for which are beyond your control such as cohort diversity / inclusivity considerations and specific hiring preferences. 

But as Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts!”

Sometimes the courage and effort it takes to try matters more than the outcome: so keep on trying, and we hope these tips will help you ace your future interviews! 

Bintang hires interns every 1 July – 30 August, do read up about our programme on


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