It's good you started this thread because, in all honesty, both the questions you asked show you very unprepared for interviews. A previous poster made a very good analogy that comparing VCs to PE is like comparing a dentists the brain surgeons. In the simplest terms, VC use a shotgun approach, making many, many very small bets (read: $10K - $100K per round); PE funds make very, very big bets (read: deals greater than $20 million, although underwriting criteria varies fund-to-fund). Your second question is the paradox of the PE and VC worlds. You can't get in without experience and you can't get experience without getting in. Everyone one in the financial services world knows that . . .