Are you curious about the MBA video interview questions/MBA video essay? You're not the only one. This relatively new application component has become a part of the admissions process for several top business schools, including some Ivy League schools like Yale University's school of management and other prestigious institutions like MIT. MBA video interviews or essays can be challenging for applicants, mainly because most applicants are unsure how to prepare for them. Much like with other interview formats and essays, the key to success is practice! In this blog, we will share some common MBA video essay prompts so that you have some questions to practice with, and we will also provide some sample answers to those questions to help you prepare.
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What are MBA video interview questions/video essays?
MBA video interviews and MBA video essays are short, self-recorded videos where candidates answer questions given by the admission committee in a video instead of writing. This application component has simply been added to the admission process of some business schools; it does not replace any other written MBA admission essay or the final interview for admission.
It's also important to note that because this concept is relatively new in the MBA application process, business schools refer to it by different names. For example, Kellogg Business School and London Business School both call it a video essay, while INSEAD refers to it as Video Interview, and MIT refers to it as a Video Statement. Ultimately, these are all the same thing. The only thing that may vary is the format of the video essay.
There are two main types of MBA video essays:
Regardless of the format, MBA video essays give you a chance to humanize your application and speak directly to the admissions team. You may be asked simple questions related to your motivation, career orientation, and past working experience. You will also be asked about your personality and other experiences that you would typically write about in a written essay.
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MBA video interview questions/video essay common prompts and sample answers
Kellogg Business School
Kellogg business school is one of the pioneers of the MBA video essay. This component was added to their already thorough application process in 2013 and is here to stay. Kellogg no longer publishes their admission statistics, but in previous years, the acceptance rate was roughly 20%, making it one of the most selective business schools in the world. To apply to Kellogg’s MBA programs, applicants must submit two written MBA admission essays, and answer 3 MBA video essay questions.
Kellogg Business School's acceptance rate
The Kellogg MBA video essay comprises three essay prompts. Applicants have 20 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to answer each question. The first two questions are predefined, and the third question is usually randomized. It should be noted that this is subject to change. For example, not too long ago, the admissions committee was specifically asking students about their experience with COVID as a third question instead of using a random prompt. So, it is always best to verify the school’s website for the most up-to-date information.
Be sure to read some Kellogg MBA essay examples for inspiration! Here are a 10 additional common Kellogg MBA video essay questions that you can use to practice:
- What piece of technology could you not live without and why?
- Who do you approach when you have a problem for advice and why?
- What accomplishment are you really proud of?
- What's the best piece of advice you have ever received?
- If you were given a chance to meet anyone, current or historical, who would you meet and why?
- What was the most interesting class you took at university?
- How have you changed in the last five years?
- What risk have you taken, and what did you learn?
- What impact do you have on your co-workers?
- What inspires you?
Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto)
The University of Toronto is not only one of the best universities of Ontario, but it attracts candidates from all over the world yearly. So it is not surprising that Rotman school of management is an increasingly popular choice for MBA hopefuls. To get into Rotman, you need to ace the MBA video interview/MBA admission essay.
The university uses the Kira talent platform, which uses both video and text. Applicants will answer two different questions on video and one question in writing. For the video portion of this MBA video interview, candidates will hear the question, have 30 seconds to think, and then 90 seconds to answer. The questions used during the interview will vary, but we looked at a few past prompts so that we can share sample answers and questions for you to practice with.
Here are a 10 additional MBA video essay questions from Rotman that you can use to practice:
- Who is your mentor outside your family, and why?
- Apart from money, what else would keep you in your current organization?
- What is one good habit, and what is one bad habit of yours?
- If you had to delete all apps but three from my phone, which ones would I keep and why?
- If you got a chance, what subject would you teach?
- Out of the four seasons, which do you like the most and why?
- What is one good habit and one bad habit that you have?
- If you had no financial downsides from quitting your job, what job would you prefer to be doing?
- Which of the following aspects of your life are you most in touch with: emotional, spiritual, or physical?
- If you could have anyone over for dinner, who would it be?
Yale University School of Management (SOM)
Yale University is an Ivy League institution with a worldwide reputation and a highly selective admissions process. The video interview component for Yale School of Management uses a set of randomized, previously recorded questions. This means that applicants will likely not have the same set of questions in one interview cycle. The school's website states that the questions asked are similar to typical interview questions. In other words, while the video essay may not have "trick questions," it will have some tricky ones. One tip we can give you is to prepare for your MBA interview early. This will not only improve your chances of doing well during your MBA interview, but it will also help you with your performance on this MBA video essay component.
Yale video essay comprises three questions. Applicants will have 20 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to answer the first two questions. For the third question, applicants will have 30 seconds of preparation time and 90 seconds to answer. Let's take a look at some of the prompts that have been used for Yale MBA video essays in the past:
Here are a 10 additional Yale SOM MBA video essay questions that you can use to practice:
- What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
- Tell us about a creative solution you designed
- Please respond to the following statement: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." Do you agree or disagree? why?
- Do you agree or disagree with the notion that the chief executive's first priority should be a profit for shareholders?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- Tell us about a shortcut you and a team could have taken, but decided not to
- If we asked your colleagues about your weaknesses and strengths, what would they say ?
- How will you resolve a conflict with your future classmates at the program?
- Tell us about a difficult decision and how you handled it?
- "The People who we remember most are the people who break the rules." Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Check out this video if you are preparing for your MBA interview:
MBA video essays should not be underestimated. While the questions and format used by the business schools are not designed to trick you, they are definitely intended to challenge you. This means that it gives you a chance to rise to the challenge and the admissions committee a chance to find out which candidates took the time to research and prepare for this application component. If you're reading this blog, then you have already taken a step in the right direction by looking at common video essay prompts and sample answers. To prepare further, we recommend using the questions we listed to practice. Remember that these video essays are timed, so familiarize yourself with the time limits by using a timer while practicing. You should also take the time to set up and test your equipment before your interview, to make sure it is stable and that your background is appropriate. If you truly want to maximize your chances of success, you should consider working with an MBA essay consultant or participating in MBA mock interviews.
1. How competitive are MBA programs?
The level of competition will depend on the specific school you're applying to, but MBA programs are generally quite selective.
2. What is an MBA video essay?
This is a relatively new application component used by a few business schools. Essentially, they are short videos during which candidates answer essay questions given by the admission committee.
3. What should I talk about in my video essay?
The admission committee typically provides questions or prompts for your video essay. You should verify the admissions information of the school you are applying to, as some schools make the questions to the video essay available in advance.
4. Do all MBA programs require a video essay?
No, not all of them do. Video essays and Video interviews are still a relatively new practice. They are only used by a few business schools in the world, but the practice is rising in popularity, so it is best to be prepared.
5. What MBA programs ask applicants to submit a video essay or answer MBA video interview questions?
There are a few schools around the globe that require MBA video essays, including Yale, Kellogg, MIT, Rotman, London Business School, INSEAD, etc.
6. Will I need to write admission essays and record MBA video essays?
Yes. Most business schools ask for both written essays and video essays. Some schools also include a written essay in their MBA video interview process, like Rotman, for example.
7. Are MBA video essays a replacement for interviews?
The video essay serves a similar purpose as the MBA personal statement or MBA diversity essay. If you meet the standards set by the admission committee, you may still get called for an in-person or virtual interview.
8. How can I prepare for the MBA video interview questions/video essay?
You can prepare by planning or structuring your answers in advance, timing yourself when you rehearse, participating in mock interviews, and investing in MBA admissions consulting.
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