Ogilvy Interview Questions

Last Updated: 20 February 2020

The application and assessment process at Ogilvy is as follows:

Assessment day

The Ogilvy assessment day lasts from 9:30am - 5:30pm. The day will start with introductions and a company presentation.

Personal Presentation

You will be required to give a five minute oral presentation at the start of the assessment day, as a way of introducing yourself to interviewers and other candidates. For this, you will be asked to bring an object which you feel represents you to the assessment day, and to talk about it for five minutes. This is a lot like "show and tell", although you will need to be professional: confident, interesting and coherent, to do really well.

Interviews

You will meet four interviewers over the course of the day who will each ask different questions, in their own style. Expect lots of discussion about "why advertising" and "why Ogilvy". Make sure you have researched who "Ogilvy" was and why he was such an important driving force in advertising. At the very least, make sure you read books written by David Ogilvy and about him, as at least one of your interviewers will certainly ask you about him.

Expect specific questions such as:

  • What is your favourite advert at the moment?
  • What is your favourite advert of all time?
  • Why do you want to work for this agency?
  • Where else have you applied?
  • Who are Ogilvy's main/direct competitors?
  • Why do you want to work in advertising?
  • Have you read any books on advertising?
  • What do you think makes a good advertising campaign?
  • Do you know about an advertising campaign which has actually made a company worse off?

Also be prepared for competency based questions and questions about your education, history, background, CV and application. Watch out for:

  • Situational questions during the interview, and;
  • Questions to assess how switched on/assertive you are.

For example, you might be asked to: "Think of a photo of a group of men in the 1930's, 1940's and even 1950's. All the men are wearing hats. Imagine a group of men in the 1960's. These men are not wearing hats. Why is this?"

Group Presentation

At some point during the assessment day (morning or afternoon) you will be given a product and asked to come up with an advertising campaign for it. You will then have to present your ideas to the rest of the interviewees and about ten interviewers, all from different parts of the agency.

Specifically, you will be given a brief and then told to split into groups of about four people. You will then have four hours to come up with a way of relaunching the product and subsequently asked to give a fifteen minute presentation explaining it.

Overall the assessment day is relaxed and not excessively pressured. You should bear in mind however, that you are at all times "on show" and even when talking and joking with your interviewers, they will still be assessing you, and deciding whether or not you would make a good team fit.

Recent Assessment Day: Feb 2011

Had a 15 minute interview discussing two different adverts- one from Ogilvy and one from a competitor

Then had a group excersise during the afternoon. As there were 47 candidates, it was split into groups of 6. We had three hours to re-launch a brand and its services. Then complete a 10 minute presentation explaining our campaign.

It was watched by all candidates and assessors from the day.

A very competitive environment, I would suggest understanding how to deal with 'difficult people' in a group situation before attending.