Publicis Sapient Case Study Interview: Full Guide (2024)

Publicis Sapient case study interview


The Publicis Sapient case study interview is the most difficult part of the interview process. You will need to nail your Publicis Sapient case study interview in order to land a job offer.

 

If you have an upcoming case study interview with Publicis Sapient, no need to panic because we have you covered.

 

In this comprehensive article we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Publicis Sapient case study interview, including how to solve it, how to prepare for it, and provide common examples of cases to expect.

 

If you’re looking for a step-by-step shortcut to learn case study interviews quickly, enroll in our case interview course. These insider strategies from a former Bain interviewer helped 30,000+ land consulting offers while saving hundreds of hours of prep time.

 

Publicis Sapient Interview Process

 

Publicis Sapient typically has four rounds of interviews. You will be asked a mix of resume questions, behavioral questions, motivational questions, and case study interviews.

 

While the exact interview process may vary depending on the office that you apply for, your Publicis Sapient interview process may look like the following:

 

  • Application: Resume and cover letter submission

 

  • First round interview: A phone interview with an HR recruiter, mainly focused on resume questions

 

  • Second round interview: Interviews with 1-2 consultants, focused on resume questions and behavioral questions

 

  • Third round interview: Interviews with 1-2 consultants, focused on case study interviews

 

  • Final round interview: Interviews with 1-2 consultants, focused on motivational questions

 

Resume questions dive deeper into your experiences, accomplishments, and achievements.

 

Behavioral questions ask you to draw upon a time or experience in the past in which you demonstrated a particular skill or quality. 

 

Examples include:

 

  • Tell me about a time when you made a significant impact

 

  • Give an example of a time when you resolved a disagreement

 

  • Tell me about a time when you failed

 

Motivational questions ask you to explain your interests and passions. You should expect to be asked why you are interested in consulting and why you want to work at Publicis Sapient.

 

In addition to these interview questions, you will be given one or more case study interviews throughout the Publicis Sapient interview process.

 

What is a Publicis Sapient Case Study Interview?

 

A case study interview, also known as a case interview, is a 30 to 60-minute exercise in which you develop a recommendation or answer to solve a business problem.

 

These business problems can be any challenge that real companies face:

 

  • How can a company improve its profitability?

 

  • Should a company enter a particular new market?

 

  • Should a company merge with another company?

 

  • How should a company price its new product?

 

Publicis Sapient case study interviews simulate the consulting job by placing you in a hypothetical business situation. This situation could be a real situation that a Publicis Sapient client experienced in the past.

 

While a Publicis Sapient consulting project may last between 3 to 9 months, the case study interview condenses solving business problems into just 30 to 60 minutes.

 

Publicis Sapient case study interviews can cover any industry, including retail, consumer packaged goods, financial services, energy, education, healthcare, government, and technology.

 

They can also cover a wide range of business situations, including entering a new market, launching a new product, acquiring a company, improving profitability, and growing revenues.

 

No technical or specialized knowledge is needed to solve case study interviews. All of the background information that is needed to understand the industry and problem will be provided to you.

 

Acing your Publicis Sapient case study interview is critical to getting a job offer.

 

What Does a Publicis Sapient Case Study Interview Assess?

 

Publicis Sapient case study interviews assess five different qualities: logical and structured thinking, analytical problem solving, business acumen, communication skills, and personality and cultural fit.

 

1. Logical and structured thinking: Consultants need to be organized and methodical in order to work efficiently.

 

  • Can you structure complex problems in a clear, simple way?

 

  • Can you take tremendous amounts of information and data and identify the most important points?

 

  • Can you use logic and reason to make appropriate conclusions?

 

2. Analytical problem solving: Consultants work with a tremendous amount of data and information in order to develop recommendations to complex problems.

 

  • Can you read and interpret data well?

 

  • Can you perform math computations smoothly and accurately?

 

  • Can you conduct the right analyses to draw the right conclusions?

 

3. Business acumen: A strong business instinct helps consultants make the right decisions and develop the right recommendations.

 

  • Do you have a basic understanding of fundamental business concepts?

 

  • Do your conclusions and recommendations make sense from a business perspective?

 

4. Communication skills: Consultants need strong communication skills to collaborate with teammates and clients effectively.

 

  • Can you communicate in a clear, concise way?

 

  • Are you articulate in what you are saying?

 

5. Personality and cultural fit: Consultants spend a lot of time working closely in small teams. Having a personality and attitude that fits with the team makes the whole team work better together.

 

  • Are you coachable and easy to work with?

 

  • Are you pleasant to be around?

 

All of these five qualities can be assessed in just a 30 to 60-minute Publicis Sapient case study interview.

 

How to Solve a Publicis Sapient Case Study Interview

 

Regardless of the exact industry or type of case you get, there are six steps to solving any Publicis Sapient case study interview.



 

1. Understand the case

 

Your Publicis Sapient case study interview will begin with the interviewer giving you the case background information. While the interviewer is speaking, take detailed notes on the most important pieces of information.

 

Ask clarifying questions if needed. You may want to summarize the case background information back to the interviewer to confirm your understanding of the case.

 

The most important part of this step is to verify the objective of the case. Not answering the right business question is the quickest way to fail a case study interview.

 

2. Structure the problem

 

The next step is to develop a framework to help you solve the case.

 

A framework is a tool that helps structure and break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable components.

 

Before you start developing your framework, ask the interviewer for a few minutes so that you can collect your thoughts and think about the problem. This is a common request while solving a case study.

 

Your framework should be as MECE as possible.

 

MECE stands for mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. You want each element of your framework to have zero overlap with the other elements. Additionally, you want the sum of the elements of your framework to cover all of the important issues or areas of the case.

 

Once you have identified the major issues or areas that you need to explore, walk the interviewer through your framework. They may ask a few questions or provide some feedback.

 

For a complete guide on how to create tailored and unique frameworks for each case, check out our article on case study interview frameworks.

 

3. Start solving the case

 

Once you have finished presenting your framework, you’ll start diving into different areas of your framework to begin solving the case. How this process will start depends on whether the case study interview is candidate-led or interviewer-led.

 

If the case study interview is a candidate-led case, you’ll be expected to propose what area of your framework to start investigating. So, propose an area and provide a reason for why you want to start with that area. There is generally no right or wrong area of your framework to pick first.

 

If the case study interview is interviewer-led, the interviewer will tell you what area of the framework to start in or directly give you a question to answer.

 

Publicis Sapient case study interviews are generally interviewer-led.

 

4. Solve quantitative problems

 

Your Publicis Sapient case study interview will have some quantitative aspect to them.

 

For example, you may be asked to calculate a certain profitability or financial metric.

 

You could also be asked to estimate the size of a particular market or to estimate a particular figure.

 

The key to solving quantitative problems is to lay out a structure or approach upfront with the interviewer before doing any math calculations. Once this is done, the rest of the problem is simply executing on the math.

 

When doing case study interview math, make sure to talk through your thinking and calculations out loud. The interviewer should be able to easily follow what you are doing in each step of your calculations.

 

Finally, once you have calculated the final answer, explain how your answer impacts the recommendation that you are beginning to form.

 

5. Answer qualitative questions

 

Your Publicis Sapient case study interviews will likely also have qualitative aspects to them. You may be asked to brainstorm a list of potential ideas. You could also be asked to provide your opinion on a business issue.

 

The key to answering qualitative questions is to structure your answer.

 

When brainstorming a list of ideas, develop a structure to help you neatly categorize all of your ideas.

 

When giving your opinion on a business issue, provide a summary of your stance or position and then enumerate the reasons that support it.

 

When you finish answering a qualitative question, connect your answer back to the case objective. How does your answer impact the recommendation that you are beginning to form?

 

6. Deliver a recommendation

 

In the last step of the case study interview, you’ll present your recommendation and provide the major reasons that support it.

 

You do not need to recap everything that you have done in the case, so focus on only summarizing the facts that are most important.

 

You should also include potential next steps that you would take if you had more time or data. These can be areas of your framework that you did not have time to explore or lingering questions that you do not have great answers for.

 

Publicis Sapient Case Study Interview Examples

 

Unfortunately, unlike other consulting firms, Publicis Sapient does not provide any case study interview examples on their website for you to practice.

 

Below, we’ve listed the eight most common problems given in case study interviews. These examples should give you a good sense of what to expect on interview day.

 

Market entry case study interview

 

Market entry cases assess the viability of entering a new market or launching a new product or service.

 

Example: Evaluate the potential entry of a multinational retailer into the Indian market, considering factors such as consumer behavior, regulatory environment, and competitive landscape.

 

Profitability case study interview

 

Profitability cases focus on identifying opportunities to improve a company's profitability.

 

Example: Identify and quantify the key drivers affecting the declining profitability of a regional airline. Propose actionable solutions to improve margins.

 

Mergers & acquisitions (M&A) case study interview

 

M&A cases involve evaluating the potential benefits and risks of acquiring or merging with another company.

 

Example: Assess the strategic fit and financial implications of a merger between two pharmaceutical companies, analyzing synergies, market positioning, and integration challenges.

 

Growth strategy case study interview

 

Growth strategy cases revolve around developing strategies to achieve sustainable growth.

 

Example: Develop a comprehensive growth strategy for a technology startup, encompassing market expansion, product diversification, and strategic partnerships to capitalize on emerging trends.

 

Pricing case study interview

 

Pricing cases involve setting or optimizing pricing strategies for products or services.

 

Example: Optimize the pricing strategy for a premium coffee chain facing increasing competition to maximize profitability.

 

Operations improvement case study interview

 

Operations cases focus on optimizing operational processes to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

 

Example: Streamline the supply chain operations of a manufacturing company through process optimization to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

 

Product launch case study interview

 

New product cases involve developing strategies for launching a new product or service.

 

Example: Plan the successful launch of a new electric vehicle model.

 

Market sizing

 

Market sizing cases require estimating the size of a market or segment.

 

Example: Estimate the market size for a telemedicine platform targeting rural areas.

 

How to Prepare for Publicis Sapient Case Study Interviews

 

There are six steps to preparing for Publicis Sapient case study interviews.

 

1. Understand what a case study interview is

 

The first step in preparing for Publicis Sapient case study interviews is to understand exactly what case study interviews or case interviews are. 

 

You should also know what a great case study interview performance looks like. This will facilitate how quickly you learn case study interview strategies in the next step.

 

Before continuing onto the next step, you should be familiar with:

 

  • The overall objective of a case study interview

 

  • The structure and flow of a case study interview

 

  • The types of questions you could get asked

 

  • What a great case study interview performance looks like

 

2. Learn the right strategies

 

Now that you have sufficient background knowledge, the next step in preparing for Publicis Sapient case study interviews is to learn the right strategies.

 

It is much more effective to learn the right case strategies the first time than to learn poor strategies and try to correct them later.

 

The quickest, most efficient way to learn these strategies is to go through our Comprehensive Case Interview Course.

 

If you prefer reading case study interview prep books instead, the three I recommend are:

 

 

 

 

Hacking the Case Interview provides strategies on exactly what to do and what to say in every step of the case interview. It is a concise and straight to the point guide. I recommend this book as the first book to read for beginners.

 

Case Interview Secrets teaches core concepts such as the issue tree, drill-down analysis, and a hypothesis driven approach. It illustrates these concepts through stories and anecdotes. If you have read Hacking the Case Interview, I recommend also reading this book to get perspectives from a second author. Check out our full review of Case Interview Secrets.

 

Make sure to spend sufficient time learning the right strategies before starting to practice cases. It is not effective to practice cases if you have no idea what strategies to practice and refine.

 

Before moving onto the next step, you should have strategies for the following parts of a case study interview:

 

  • Developing frameworks

 

  • Solving quantitative problems

 

  • Answering qualitative questions

 

  • Delivering recommendations

 

3. Practice a few cases by yourself

 

Once you have learned the right strategies, the next step in Publicis Sapient case study interview prep is to practice.

 

When practicing case study interviews, it is usually better to practice with a case study interview partner than to practice by yourself. Casing with a partner better simulates the real case interview experience.

 

However, when you are just starting to practice, I recommend doing the first 3 – 5 cases by yourself.

 

There are three reasons for this:

 

  • You can get the hang of the case study interview structure and format much more quickly working by yourself rather than having to wait to schedule a time with a partner

 

  • There are many aspects of case study interviews that you can practice without a partner, such as structuring a framework and solving quantitative problems. You can get much more practice working through these parts by yourself

 

  • You may have difficulty finding a case study interview partner if you are a complete beginner. Without having done any cases, you likely won’t know how to properly give a case or provide good feedback

 

4. Practice cases with a partner

 

The next step in preparing for Publicis Sapient case study interviews is to case with a partner.

 

Casing with a partner is the best way to simulate a real case study interview. There are many aspects of case study interviews that you won’t be able to improve on unless you practice live with a partner.

 

When practicing cases with a partner, ensure you are spending enough time delivering feedback.

 

For a case that takes around 30 – 40 minutes, spend at least 15 – 20 minutes for feedback. Much of your learning and improvement will come from these feedback sessions.

 

5. Practice with a former or current consultant

 

After doing 5-10 cases, I highly recommend asking former or current consultants to give you a practice case. This will significantly help you improve your case study interview skills.

 

Doing a mock case with a former or current consultant is highly advantageous because they know exactly how to run cases and give feedback. You’ll receive incredibly helpful feedback that your previous case partners likely missed.

 

If you feel that you are plateauing with your case partner, that is a sign you should do a mock case study interview with a former or current consultant.

 

You can find former or current consultants among:

 

  • Friends

 

  • Classmates

 

  • Colleagues

 

  • People you met during the consulting recruiting process

 

  • Your broader LinkedIn network

 

I would not ask a consultant that is involved with the consulting recruiting process for a case too prematurely. Although these practice cases are not evaluative, some firms will actually make note of how well you perform during the practice case.

 

At this point, you will have accumulated a long list of improvement areas from all of the different people you have cased with.

 

6. Work on your improvement areas

 

In this step of preparing for Publicis Sapient case study interviews, you will work on improving any deficient or weak areas. Examples of common improvement areas include:

 

  • Creating a more complete and mutually exclusive framework

 

  • Performing math calculations quicker or more smoothly

 

  • Providing more structure to your qualitative answers

 

  • Leading the case more proactively

 

  • Delivering a more succinct recommendation

 

Try to focus on improving one thing at a time. This is much more effective than trying to improve everything at once.

 

For some areas, such as math, it will be better to work independently. For other areas, such as learning to proactively lead the case, it will be better to work with a case partner.

 

How many cases you need to do to be fully prepared for case study interviews will depend on your starting skill level and how quickly you can improve.

 

Candidates do anywhere from 10 to over 100 cases to prepare for case study interviews.

  

Recommended Publicis Sapient Case Study Interview Resources

 

To prepare for Publicis Sapient case study interviews as well as case study interviews from other consulting firms, we recommend the following resources:

 

  • Comprehensive Case Interview Course (our #1 recommendation): The only resource you need. Whether you have no business background, rusty math skills, or are short on time, this step-by-step course will transform you into a top 1% caser that lands multiple consulting offers.

 

  • Hacking the Case Interview Book (available on Amazon): Perfect for beginners that are short on time. Transform yourself from a stressed-out case interview newbie to a confident intermediate in under a week. Some readers finish this book in a day and can already tackle tough cases.

 

  • The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook (available on Amazon): Perfect for intermediates struggling with frameworks, case math, or generating business insights. No need to find a case partner – these drills, practice problems, and full-length cases can all be done by yourself.

 

 

  • Behavioral & Fit Interview Course: Be prepared for 98% of behavioral and fit questions in just a few hours. We'll teach you exactly how to draft answers that will impress your interviewer