Ellin Lolis Consulting

The Yale SOM Video Essay Questions – And How to Successfully Answer Them

Sep 18, 2023

yale som video essay questions

Why does Yale require a video essay?

How does the yale video essay work, technical requirements, which types of questions are asked.

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UPDATE : This article was originally posted on September 18, 2019. It has been updated with new information and tips below. 

With curricular flexibility that allows students to take classes across Yale’s many faculties (not just the business school!), Yale SOM is a top choice for engaged, globally-minded leaders who seek to make a meaningful difference in the world, all while benefiting from an Ivy League education. 

Despite this fact, many applicants dedicate countless hours to writing Yale’s admissions essays and then rush through the video essay component. 

This is a huge mistake. 

In addition to giving the admissions committee the chance to “put a face with a name,” the Yale SOM video essay is an essential part of the Yale application, as it allows committee members to determine if your communication style and values are a good fit with the Yale community. 

In fact, in our experience helping our Yale applicants secure a place at the school, we have noticed that the video essay can be as influential in an applicant’s admissions decision as the admissions interview . 

That’s why we’ve prepared this guide to help you understand how the Yale video essay works and have shared a list of Yale video essay questions to ensure you put your best foot forward! 

When we first started working with Yale applicants many years ago, the video essay component had not yet been introduced. However, after being one of the first business schools to incorporate the video essay into their admissions process, this component has quickly become a critical part of the application. 

That’s because it gives the admissions committee the chance to truly “meet” candidates — as well as identify red flags in potential members of the Yale community. 

Here is what they say about it: 

Yale SOSM Video Essay Requirements

The way the video essay works is very simple. 

After submitting your application, you will receive an email from a company called Kira Talent. This email will contain a link that allows you to access the video essay platform. 

After signing in and starting the session, you will get three Yale video essay questions in total, one at a time. All will be random, but each question falls into a certain category (more on that below!). 

  • For questions 1 and 3 , you will have 20 seconds to think and 60 seconds to answer. 
  • For question 2 , you will have 30 seconds to think and up to 90 seconds to answer. 
  • You will be able to stop the question and move on if you finish before the time runs out.

If you’ve taken the TOEFL exam , you’ve already practiced for the type of format you can expect in the Yale video essay! 

After signing in and “starting” the session, a video will appear on the screen. This video will show a member of the Yale community, who will read the question you are tasked with answering. The question will also appear in written form under the video. 

After the time runs out, the screen video will disappear, and your image will be visible on the screen. At this point, your 20 or 30 seconds to think will automatically appear. 

After the preparation time runs out, the clock to answer (60 or 90 seconds!) will start, and you will need to give your answer during this period of time. Remember: you cannot redo any of the Yale video essay questions . 

After you answer the question, the system will upload your answer to the server (depending on your connection this can take a while) and will present you with the next question. 

DO NOT leave your computer during the upload time, even if it’s taking a while. You cannot pause the process, and you may end up missing questions!

The Behavioral Assessment

Yale also has a unique separate video essay requirement: the behavioral assessment . 

Unlike the video essay, the behavioral assessment is a fixed-choice assessment conducted by ETS that does not require any previous preparation. It is designed to measure a set of “interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies associated with business school success,” according to the Yale SOM site. 

The behavioral assessment should be completed in a single sitting and should take you about 20 minutes to complete. 

Given past applicants’ issues with iPad and mobile versions of the application, we strongly suggest you record your answer on a computer . 

If you do end up experiencing technical issues, access the support page here . 

yale som video essay questions

Regardless of when you submit your application, you need to submit your responses to the Yale video essay questions no more than 48 hours after the round’s deadline . Find Yale’s most current application deadlines here. 

If you submit your application early, you can submit the Yale video essay questions at any time, as long as you make the final deadline.  

The Yale video essay questions are grouped into three different categories, each with a different focus. 

Group 1: MBA Motivations

The first question in the Yale SOM video essay will focus on your interest in Yale or the reason you are pursuing an MBA.

Yale SOM Video Essay Applicants

(Photo courtesy of @yalesom on Instagram)

This might take the form of “Why Yale?”, or “What are you expecting to learn at Yale?”. Conversely, they may also ask why you think now is a good moment in your career to stop and go to business school. They obviously want to be sure that you have researched Yale and have good reasons for applying for an MBA.

For this section, refer back to your goals essay , reflect, and be honest with yourself about why you’re applying to Yale. Maybe you like the program’s focus on diversity, maybe the raw case method, or perhaps you have colleagues who attended and spoke highly of Yale. 

The curriculum should also be a selling point for you, as well as the clubs and campus life, the diversity of the students, the experience of the teachers, and the internships and alumni network.

Now, please don’t reel off that list! It won’t be personal enough to you. 

Instead, clearly articulate your top three or four reasons for applying to Yale , and speak about them.

You don’t need to spend much time introducing this topic, saying “There are three main reasons why I want to attend Yale” and then giving us the reasons is more than enough.

It’s always good to include something that shows you’ve researched the program, so mentioning something specific, be it the academic modules or a specific club you want to join is a must for a winning video essay. 

Group 2: Behavioral questions

Yale is a community that values purpose-driven, adaptable people who work well in teams and are strong communicators. 

For that reason, Yale often asks questions aimed at determining if you work well with others and will be a positive addition to the Yale community. 

These questions won’t specifically ask, “Do you like working in a team,” but if you can keep in mind that this is a chance to show how you interact with others, you’ll have a good starting point for this question.

Typically questions range from how you help someone who needs advice, to your management style to how you handle conflict.

To do well in this question, it’s great to draw on examples , and to be clear and to the point.  Furthermore, make sure to show your human side and demonstrate that you genuinely care for others and want the teams you join to succeed. It can be easy to answer in a very conversational way, but doing so can often lead to an answer without a point, so make sure you use your planning time to structure the key elements of your answer. 

For this question, you want to make sure you’re showing what you do and use active language.

Your answer will want to show that you’re mature, that you’re emotionally intelligent, that you can see the bigger picture, that you’re empathetic, and that you make a positive contribution to those around you.

If the question is about helping someone with a problem, tell us what you do. Perhaps you first like to listen, then help them get clear on what they really want, and then decide together on some next steps.

If the question is about your management style, be precise. Tell them how you manage people and why. Maybe you’re very hands-off, and like to give everyone the opportunity to take responsibility within their role, as you think this empowers them the most to learn and develop. Maybe you’re more hands-on and like to make sure your team knows they can come to you with problems, as giving people too much freedom too soon can actually be overwhelming to them.

Regardless, make sure to show your reasons for your actions and demonstrate that you’re a person who embraces collaboration and who sees setbacks as opportunities for learning.

Group 3: The thinking question

In addition to the traditional interview questions, you will also be required to answer a thinking question (similar to a case study) during the Yale video essay. 

The key to the thinking question is to see how you think on your feet (and, as a result, test how well you’ll do with Yale’s raw case method ). 

The point of this task is to see if you can present a clear idea and demonstrate good critical thinking abilities, not to get the “right” answer. As such, focus on using your answer to walk through a clear, well-reasoned answer to the prompt. 

Sample Questions

To help your preparation, here are a few sample Yale video essay questions that our clients received when completing their own Yale video essays. 

Group 1 Questions

  • Why are you pursuing an MBA at this point in your life?
  • Why are you doing an MBA now?

Group 2 Questions

  • You are starting a new project with team members coming from different cultures and educational backgrounds. How would you help them get to know each other?
  • What do you do when someone comes to you with a problem?
  • A colleague is asking you to help them assess their future career options. How do you help them grow?

Group 3 Questions

  • Please respond to the following statement: “It is better for a leader to have a superficial knowledge of many topics than to be an expert in one topic.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
  • Providing health insurance for employees is the most pressing issue for business leaders at the moment. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? 
  • Please respond to the following statement: “It is more important to judge people by their actions than by their intentions.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

The difference between a good and great Yale SOM video essay

Given the importance of the video essay in your Yale SOM application, it’s crucial to make sure you don’t just have a good video essay but that you have a great video essay. 

Now that you’ve learned how the video essay will work, we’ve gathered our top 5 tips here to ensure your video essay performance brings you one step closer to reaching your goal of attending Yale. 

Make sure you get into Yale SOM

You have stressed about every aspect of your Yale application, and now you are ready to record your video essay! With the right preparation, this can be your chance to shine and get a highly-coveted spot at Yale. 

However, maybe you don’t know where to start in preparing, or maybe you ramble on and lose your focus while answering. Maybe you’ve even downloaded the sample questions and written out your answers. The problem is, when you try to apply these templates to your own story, it doesn’t quite work.

Our video essay prep focuses on helping you determine how to present yourself to Yale while using appropriate, impact-driven language without being artificial, or worse, robotic.

Regardless of where you’re from or what type of experience you have, we are focused on helping you do your best. 

yale som video essay questions

Want to put the Ellin Lolis advantage to work for you? Schedule your preparation session with our team of video essay experts today!

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September 12, 2023

Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023-2024], Class Profile

yale som video essay questions

As all applicants must do when applying to the Yale SOM , you need to make the most of its single required essay, but you also need to take the time to make every box in the application a home run . Do not treat them as afterthoughts; your job descriptions and activity history are very important. Write and edit these portions carefully. Focus on achievements. Quantify when possible, and keep Yale’s commitment to “educating leaders for business and society” front and center in your responses.

Ready to get to work on your Yale SOM application? Read on.

Yale SOM application essay tips

Yale som application deadlines, yale som class profile.

We want to know what matters to you, and our essay question is designed to help us gain insight into your background, passions, motivations, responsibilities, ideals, identities, challenges, or aspirations, depending on where you take your response. To ensure that you’re able to write about something important to you, we offer you three essay prompts from which to choose.

Choose the prompt that speaks most strongly to you and about which you have the most enthusiasm. In answering the prompt – whichever one it is – you should think about the life experiences that have been most meaningful to you and that you most want to communicate to the committee, and pick the question that will best allow you to express that aspect of yourself. We find that the most compelling essays are the ones that are truly most important to you, so make sure that’s your guide in choosing what to write about; don’t try to guess what we’re looking for or what you think we want to hear. Importantly, regardless of which prompt you choose, you’ll want to support your essay with concrete examples.

Importantly, regardless of which prompt you choose, you’ll want to support your essay with concrete examples.

Essay option #1

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. Why is this commitment meaningful to you and what actions have you taken to support it?

This essay question is based not only on the premise that actions speak louder than words but also on the premise that past behavior predicts future behavior .

So, in your essay, you want to show that you are a person who follows through on commitments. Think about times when you make a significant commitment and fulfilled it. Do you tend to make big commitments? What are the results? What impact have you had as a result of your most important or consequential commitment? What was the impact on you?

An anecdotal response, in which you tell the story of the commitment you made, could be very effective. What was the challenge or problem that triggered the commitment? How did you follow up? What was the outcome, and why is it meaningful to you? Did you successfully solve the initial problem or achieve your goal(s) in meeting the challenge?

You can start with the moment of challenge or with the moment of triumph. If you choose the latter, be sure to go back, provide context, and recount your story of commitment, resolve, hurdles overcome, and challenges handled. If the impact has lasted – on you and others – succinctly include that part of the story, too.

Essay option #2

Describe the community that has been most meaningful to you. What is the most valuable thing you have gained from being a part of this community and what is the most important thing you have contributed to this community?

If you choose to respond to this prompt, start by thinking about a community you either currently belong to or belonged to in the past, and choose the one in which and from which you believe you have learned the most, or to which you contributed the most. 

This could be related to a volunteer activity you regularly participate in, a network or community of like-minded people you belong to, or even a professional organization you are part of. 

We recommend dedicating the first third of the essay to describing the community and the nature of your involvement. Then, spend the second third discussing what you have learned from your experiences in – and potentially from other members of – that community, focusing especially on the one or two most important ones. In the final third of the essay, highlight the most important contributions you have made to the community. 

Essay option #3

Describe the most significant challenge you have faced. How have you confronted this challenge and how has it shaped you as a person?

Using the SAR (Situation, Action, Results), STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result), or CAR (Context/Challenge, Action, Result) framework, describe for the admissions committee the most important challenge you have had to address in your life, either personal or professional. In the first part of the essay, clearly describe the issue and why it was or has been difficult for you. Then, discuss how you confronted the challenge, what you specifically did to deal with and overcome it. Finish with how the experience helped shape you into the person you are today. Explain for the adcom what you learned and how you grew as a result. 

Video component

The Yale SOM application also includes a video component. The questions involved are not posted ahead of time, and they vary from applicant to applicant. The key element to preparation here is practice. Practice talking into a webcam without feedback from another human being. Practice delivering question responses within the school’s 60- to 90-second time frame. Rehearse answers to typical interview questions in this format. Consider using the SAR (Situation, Action, Results), STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result), or CAR (Context/Challenge, Action, Result) framework to structure your answers.

The Yale adcom suggests that you practice via video chat with a friend, but if you do this, have your friend turn off their webcam and just provide feedback at the end of your response. You might also want to consider posting a smiley face somewhere near your computer’s camera you can see it as a reminder to yourself to smile.

Watch: Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean and director of admissions at Yale SOM, talks about common application mistakes.

Click here to listen to the rest of the interview.

Source: Yale SOM website

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with the Yale SOM directly to verify its essay questions, instructions, and deadlines.***

Here is a look at the Yale SOM Class of 2024 (data taken from the Yale SOM website ):

Total enrollment: 347

International passport holders (includes U.S. permanent residents and dual citizens): 48% 

LGBTQ+: 12%

First-generation college students: 17%

Joint-degree students: 12%

Average years of work experience: 4.7

U.S. students of color (% of U.S. students who identify as American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander, Asian American, Black/African American, or Hispanic/Latinx): 54% 

U.S. underrepresented students of color (% of U.S. students who identify as American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander, Black/African American, or Hispanic/Latinx): 24% 

Median undergraduate GPA: 3.69

80% range of undergraduate GPA: 3.34-3.90

Median GMAT: 725

Middle 80% GMAT range: 690-760

Median GRE-V: 164

Middle 80% GRE-V range: 159-169

Median GRE-Q: 165

Middle 80% GRE-Q range: 160-170

Students with GRE scores: 39%

Are you a competitive applicant at your dream school? Check out the B-School Selectivity Index! >>

Countries represented: 48

Citizenship by region (based on primary and secondary citizenship):.

  • North America: 62%
  • Asia Pacific: 27%
  • Mexico, Caribbean, and Latin America: 4%
  • Africa and Middle East: 3%

Undergraduate majors:

  • Business: 25%
  • Humanities and Social Sciences: 19%
  • Economics: 18%

Pre-MBA industry:

  • Financial services: 20%
  • Consulting: 19%
  • Nonprofit: 12%
  • Technology: 12%
  • Government: 9%
  • Healthcare (including products and services): 7%
  • Manufacturing: 5%
  • Media/Entertainment: 4%
  • Consumer packaged goods: 3%
  • Real estate: 2%

Pre-MBA function:

  • Consulting: 32%
  • Finance/Accounting: 18%
  • General management: 10%
  • Marketing/Sales: 7%
  • Operations/Logistics: 5%
  • Information technology: 3%

Pre-MBA sector:

  • For-profit: 74.6%
  • Government: 13.7%
  • Nonprofit: 11.7%

Esmeralda Cardenal admissions expert headshot

Former associate director of admissions at the Yale School of Management, director of MBA admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the United Kingdom, Esmeralda Cardenal has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs since 2014, including MBA and master’s in finance, business analytics, data science, sustainability, and public policy. Want Esmeralda to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

  • What Makes Yale SOM Unique? , podcast Episode 442
  • MBA Selectivity Index
  • Which MBA Program Is Right for Me? The Ultimate Guide to Choosing an MBA Program

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Yale SOM Kira Video Interview

The Kira video interview is an online video interview platform that a number of business schools, notably Yale, have utilised to evaluate potential students’ communication abilities, thoughtfulness, and overall compatibility with the programme.

Important Points

  • Instead of depending just on the written component of the application, this is your chance to talk directly to the committee, giving them the opportunity to measure attributes that they might observe when meeting in person rather than relying solely on the written portion of the application.  
  • There are no “trick questions,” and they have no intention of making you feel foolish. The questions that are asked are quite similar to those that are asked in conventional job or MBA interviews; therefore, you should take the time that is given to you to gather your thoughts before providing a response.
  • A couple of pointers that I’d like to provide with you are to become used to responding within a time period of 60–90 seconds and to become comfortable talking to the camera on your computer.  The use of Skype to practise with a friend is a wonderful technique to accomplish this goal. Turn off the video that your friend is recording, and have a cell phone timer keep track of how long it takes you to respond.
  • Be aware that it is not necessary to use all of the allotted response time.  Simply pressing the “stop” button on your screen will allow you to finish your response and bring the recording to a close.
  • And finally, before you begin your official recordings, make use of the practise tool that has been offered to you. This not only provides you with the chance to test your internet connection, camera, and microphone, but it also enables you to grow comfortable utilising the technology and to simply be yourself, all of which are essential to your success in this endeavour.

Yale SOM MBA Frequently Asked Kira Video Interview Questions

  • Where in the world would you most like to travel, and why do you want to go there?
  • What is the most difficult obstacle that leaders must overcome in the modern era?
  • What are some of the efforts you use to personally resolve conflicts?
  • Do you believe that technology brings us together or further divides us?
  • What does your idea of success look like?
  • The most significant achievement to date
  • Comment on the notion that “leaders do not search for consensus but moulder of consensus”
  • Please give an example of a leadership style that you respect.
  • If your friends were to describe you, what characteristics would they use?
  • Kindly share your thoughts on the following statement: “It is impossible to get an education without participating in the arts.” Are you in agreement or do you disagree? why?
  • Do you believe that the most important aspect of an organisation is the people who are responsible for raising money for it? How come? why not?
  • What would you say are some of your best qualities, as well as your areas of improvement?
  • Your thoughts are requested about the following statement: “As businesses become more global, the differences between cultures decrease.” Are you in agreement or do you disagree? Why
  • Please describe a time when you faced a difficult situation at work and how you dealt with it.
  • Please describe how you become involved with a local community or an established organisation.
  • Please describe the kind of leadership you exercise.
  • What have you done to contribute to the success of your firm or organisation?
  • Describe a time when your team had a disagreement and how you resolved it.
  • We would appreciate your feedback on the following assertion: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Imagination, on the other hand, encompasses the entire world and everything that will ever be available to know and comprehend, whereas knowledge is restricted to what we already know and understand. Are you in agreement or do you disagree? why?
  • Do you believe that the highest priority for a chief executive should be to maximise profits for shareholders, or do you take the opposite position?
  • Which of your achievements are you the most pleased with?
  • Can you tell us about a time when you had to make a tough choice and how you handled it?
  • Give us an example of a creative solution you came up with. 
  • Describe a time when you and a group of people had the opportunity to take a shortcut, but you chose not to. 
  • If you get into a disagreement with one of your future students during the programme, how do you plan to handle it?
  • Why do you believe that now is the right moment for you to get your MBA? / Why have you decided to get your MBA at this time?
  • Recount an instance in which you were unable to meet a predetermined deadline for a project.
  • What caused you to fall behind, and how did you plan to get back up to speed?
  • “The People Who Broke the Rules Are the People Who Stayed in Our Memories the Longest” To what extent do you agree or disagree with the aforementioned statement?
  • Please share a story with us about a moment when you were required to make an additional effort to accomplish something. What exactly was the task, and how did you go about accomplishing it successfully?

Client Testimonials

Mistakes to avoid in kira interview, not acquainting yourself with the platform .

To avoid technical difficulties, you must acquaint yourself with the Kira Talent platform before the video interview. Practice using the platform beforehand and ensure your microphone, camera, and internet connection are working properly. 

Bad time management

Kira video interviews are timed, so it’s crucial to administer your time effectively. Ensure to read and understand the instructions and questions before answering and try to stick to the recommended time limit.

Not dressing professionally

Although Kira video interviews are conducted online, it is necessary to dress professionally to make an excellent first impression. Dress formally like you would for an in-person interview, and avoid wearing anything too distracting or flashy.

Not preparing ahead of time

Just like any other video interview, preparing for a Kira video interview is important. Research thoroughly for the discussion and prepare answers to common interview questions. Refrain from trying to memorize but understand the subject. Memorizing may sometimes backfire if the questions are different from the expected format.

Understand and write

Understand your question and give the best possible response. Never use possible responses given by a computer to answer your questions. You might sound fake, and the reviewers would very well be able to tell the difference.

Not paying attention to body language and non-verbal cues

Pay attention to your body language and non-verbal cues during a Kira Talent interview. Make sure to maintain eye contact, sit up straight, and avoid fidgeting or making distracting movements.

Not being concise and clear 

Kira video interviews are timed, so it’s important to be concise and clear in your answers. Avoid being confused or going off on tangents, and make sure to answer the question directly and succinctly.

To know more about Kira video assessments, tips and tricks,  click here .

FAQs about Kira Interview

During a Kira video assessment, you may be required to submit timed video and/or textual responses to questions that have been pre-recorded by the school. You will be able to record your responses from the convenience of your own home, and you will have complete control over the timing of these recordings. This interview is only one-way.

Once you begin your practise or asynchronous assessment questions, you will be able to view the number of questions you have, the format of your questions (whether they are video or written), as well as the amount of time you have to prepare and respond to each question.

You will watch a single instance of a pre-recorded video when you are presented with a video question. During both the time allotted for preparation and the time allotted for responses, the text of the related question will be shown on the screen for your perusal. You will respond to a video question in a format that is timed and recorded video. Using the countdown timer and bar that is located at the very top of your screen, you will be able to keep track of the remaining time you have for preparation and response.

A video question in Kira Talent - "Tell us about yourself"

You can become more comfortable with the platform by answering the practise questions in Kira, and you can also use them to verify that your device is configured correctly. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the following main variations between the practise questions and the actual assessment questions:

During the period of practise, you are free to finish answering your questions an unlimited number of times. During the actual test, you will only have one opportunity to answer each question. During the practise, you will have the opportunity to playback your responses and gain an understanding of how you come across to others. During the actual test, you will not be able to review your previous responses. Only your answers to the authentic evaluation questions will be taken into consideration. Nobody, not even you, other than you, has access to anything you filmed while you were practising. The similarities between the practise questions and the actual questions on the test are not guaranteed to exist. The amount of time allotted for preparation and response between each question is also subject to change.

A screenshot of a Check-In page in Kira outlining where the practice and real assessment steps are

To know more about types of questions in Kira,  click here .

You will not be able to repeat your questions once your responses to your asynchronous assessment have been submitted (or until your interview is over, whichever comes first). The school to which you are applying has the authority to decide whether or not to allow you to retake an examination in certain circumstances.

Please get in touch with the institution to which you have applied directly if you have solid evidence supporting the conclusion that you need to repeat the exam. Your responses are going to be analysed, and if a new attempt is necessary, you will be given one.

Introduction page for an assessment in Kira

To know more about redo, retake and deadline extension for your Kira video interview,  click here .

In order to successfully finish any kind of test in Kira, you will need the following things:

  • Laptop or a desktop
  • Whether internal or external, a camera
  • Microphone, either internal or external (use of headphones is also acceptable!)
  • Stable connection to the internet

If this is your first time using Kira, it is highly recommended that you schedule aside fifteen to thirty minutes in order to finish the Check-In process.

Please click on the “Learn More” button that is located on your landing page in order to access to the “Details” page. This will provide you with more precise information regarding the scheduling of your asynchronous assessment or live interview.

yale som video essay questions

To find some tips about Kira Talent Video interview,  click here.

yale som video essay questions

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MBA Video Essay Samples

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MBA Video Essay

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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Article Contents 6 min read

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:

This format asks candidates to record a short video answering a specific question or prompt given by the admission committee. The timeframe and questions or topics are usually provided beforehand, thus giving you more time to think through your answers and ensure that your video essay is of the best quality. ","label":"Pre-recorded video essays","title":"Pre-recorded video essays"}]' code='tab1' template='BlogArticle'>

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.

My name is Angela Faye, and I am a corporate lawyer from New York City. I was born in Normandy, France, but I moved to the United States at the age of eighteen to attend university. I quickly fell in love with the melting pot of cultures found in New York and the different aspects of American culture. So, I decided to stay and make a life for myself here. I am a wife and mother to two beautiful children who look up to me and for whom I'd like to set a good example by doing what it takes to accomplish my goals. One of those goals is to open a law firm of my own, and I believe that the next step for me on my journey to making that happen is to gain more knowledge and experience in business administration and management. ","label":"Sample answer","title":"Sample answer"}]' code='tab2' template='BlogArticle'>

I aim to own and operate an affordable, sustainable clothing brand that caters to women of all sizes and body types. I have been working towards this goal for the past five years. I own a personal shopping business, and I have noticed how limited the options are for ethically made clothes, especially for women with different body shapes. In the past five years, I have taken the time to research and learn about the logistics of the clothing industry, study the market and begin gathering funds for this project. The next step for me is to gain even more knowledge about what it takes to successfully and ethically run a business while networking with some of the best business minds in the world. Based on my research, the best place for me to do that is at Kellogg business school. ","label":"Sample answer","title":"Sample answer"}]' code='tab3' template='BlogArticle'>

This is the power that the main character of the sci-fi show Heroes possesses. This power allows you to learn and replicate the abilities of those in close proximity to you. This means that you would be able to learn a wide array of abilities, including flight, invisibility, and anything else that exists. To succeed, you need to be prepared and have multiple tools at your disposal. This superpower definitely gives you that. ","label":"Sample answer","title":"Sample answer"}]' code='tab4' template='BlogArticle'>

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?

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.

I decided to cut back on my hours at the tutoring center, and I enlisted the help of a different student so that I could delegate some tasks and have more time to study. That experience taught me a lot about time management. ","label":"Sample answer","title":"Sample answer"}]' code='tab5' template='BlogArticle'>

I would much rather be good and on time than perfect and late. Nothing is perfect. We can try to get as close to perfect as possible, but there comes the point where chasing perfection becomes a waste of time, and time is far too valuable to be wasted. If something is good and on time, then it will stand out, and you may even have a chance to improve on it and \"perfect\" it while it is already operational. For example, recently, I was assigned to design the logo for a new client, and when the deadline came, I found that the product was not perfect. I wanted to fix it up a little more, but I realized that it would be best to give my clients something good on time and get their feedback so that we can work together to perfect it. ","label":"Sample answer","title":"Sample answer"}]' code='tab6' template='BlogArticle'>

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  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:

I have wanted to pursue a Master's in Business Administration for a few years now, but I needed to accomplish a few things before embarking on this journey. First, I needed to get a few years of practical experience after spending most of my undergraduate years learning business theories. Secondly, I wanted enough savings to cover most of the tuition fees and expenses. I plan on giving my studies my full attention for the next two years, and I find that the best way to do that is to pace yourself and remove as many distractions as possible. Having enough money to ensure that my tuition is paid gives me more choices and allows me to focus on that instead of anything else. ","label":"Sample answer","title":"Sample answer"}]' code='tab7' template='BlogArticle'>

As a business owner, I often find myself in a position where I have to make difficult decisions or handle challenging situations. Recently, I had to decide whether it was time to let go of our office building and become a fully remote company or for a hybrid model for my employees. Everyone, from the senior management staff to the part-workers, had a different opinion. In the end, even though I listened to what they had to say, I had to compare what they were saying to what the numbers showed. Our statistics showed that most of the team was actually performing better from home and that we would save considerable money if we kept working online and spent some money on communication networks that would allow us to communicate better as a team. ","label":"Sample answer","title":"Sample answer"}]' code='tab8' template='BlogArticle'>

\"Without Arts, an education can not be accomplished.\" I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. People learn in different ways, and many of those ways include various pieces of art. For example, I am a visual learner. So Whenever a presentation, poster, or textbook includes images, I tend to remember it better. Furthermore, because artists and the world of arts, in general, are a big part of our culture, one cannot claim to be educated about the world without at least understanding some of it. ","label":"Sample answer","title":"Sample answer"}]' code='tab9' template='BlogArticle'>

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?

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. 

The level of competition will depend on the specific school you're applying to, but MBA programs are generally quite selective.

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.

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.

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.

There are a few schools around the globe that require MBA video essays, including Yale, Kellogg, MIT, Rotman, London Business School, INSEAD, etc.

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.

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.

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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yale som video essay questions

Application Guide 2023-2024

Thank you for taking the first step to join the yale som community..

Applying to MBA programs can be a daunting process. There are lots of tasks to prioritize, manage, and complete, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. Our hope is that this Application Guide will provide useful insights and advice as you prepare for your Yale SOM application. Please use this Guide as a resource to help you think through the overall application process; specific instructions for each section of the application are found in the Yale SOM application itself. Between this Guide and the application instructions, you should have everything you need to complete the Yale SOM application. Good luck!

Bruce DelMonico Assistant Dean for Admissions

Preview image for the video "Our Approach to the MBA Application".

How We View the Application Process

Before we dive into the Yale SOM application itself, it may help to step back and take a moment to share a little about how we as a school view the application process generally. We put a lot of thought into how our application is constructed. Our guiding principle is to be thoughtful and economical in the information we ask of you – to only ask questions that are relevant to evaluating your candidacy, while still giving you ample opportunity to share who you are and what matters to you.

We also very much subscribe to the idea of holistic review. We know that the admissions process is a partial and incomplete glimpse into who you are. No one can truly summarize themselves in such a succinct format—test scores alone don’t tell the whole story, nor do your transcript, work history, essay, recommendations, or extracurricular activities. We don’t believe that you can or should be defined by a limited set of reductive data points, which is why we look at all the information available to us across your entire application in a careful and nuanced way to get the best sense of your individual candidacy.

Finally, we work hard to make sure our application is not only thoughtful, economical, nuanced, and holistic, but also that it is structured to heighten consistency and reduce bias. You’ll notice, for example, that we limit the number of activities you can list in the Activities section of the application to two. We do this to level the playing field among applicants and limit the role “activity collecting” plays in the review process. This is one example of our attempts to create a fair and consistent application process.

We know that applying to MBA programs can be time-consuming and challenging. As you embark upon this process, we encourage you to approach it in the spirit of reflection and self-discovery, looking to know more about yourself at the end of the journey than you did when it began. This is the start of a lifelong process of personal and professional growth, and we’re excited to begin it with you!

Some Initial Considerations

We have three application deadlines (September 12, 2023; January 4, 2024; and April 9, 2024), and also accept applications through the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management and QuestBridge Graduate School Match, using their respective deadlines. So, your first question may well be: which round should I apply in?

If you were a QuestBridge Scholar in college or align with the mission of the Consortium, you may want to consider applying to us through those organizations. Regardless of whether you apply through QuestBridge, the Consortium, or directly to Yale SOM, the advice we invariably give is that you should apply when you feel you have your strongest application prepared. This means that if you need more time – for example, to take (or re-take) a standardized test, or gain more work experience, or secure your recommendations – you should take the time to do so. We model the application cycle so that the same application has a comparable chance of being admitted regardless of the round in which you apply. Obviously there can be benefits to applying early (for example, you’ll get your decision sooner), and if you’re ready to apply in time for an earlier round there’s no need to wait until a later one to do so. But don’t feel as though you need to rush to submit your application if you could make it materially stronger by taking the time to improve it in a meaningful way.

Once you’ve settled on an application round, your next question might be some variation of: OK, what’s next? Below are a few considerations to help you start to get a handle on the application process. Also, if you haven’t done so yet, consider signing up for our MBA newsletter , which includes our Inbox Application Insights – a series of application advice delivered to you as you need it in the weeks leading up to our application deadline.

1. Standardized Test – We accept both GMAT and GRE (current and future versions). Explore both options to see which is best for you, and then give yourself a few months before the application deadline for unrushed study and test-taking – you want to give yourself ample time to feel prepared, and also to be able to re-take the test before the deadline if desired.

2. Transcripts – We don’t require official academic transcripts when you apply (only if you’re admitted and enroll), so you just need to make sure you have unofficial copies of all of your undergraduate and, as relevant, graduate transcripts (including transfer credits, summer school, study abroad, and others) that you can upload to your application.

3. Recommendations – We require two professional recommendations (for current college seniors who apply through the Silver Scholars Program it’s one professional and one academic recommendation). Your recommenders are usually busy people with many competing priorities, so be sure to give them time to write your recommendation. Ideally, you should identify who you want to write your recommendations and ask them to do so at least a month before the application deadline, so that they have plenty of time to get their recommendations to us.

4. Resume – In connection with securing your recommendations, you may want to work on updating your resume with an eye toward MBA applications. Your resume is a valuable summation of your academic and professional backgrounds and achievements. You’ll want to make sure it’s updated and captures your key accomplishments, and it can be helpful to do that at the same time you’re speaking to your recommenders about their recommendations. And even though we recommend you not share any of your written application materials (such as your essays) with your recommenders, you may want to show them your resume to help remind them of those accomplishments as they write on your behalf.

5. Essay – The essay may be one of the last things you complete before submitting your application. That’s OK, but be sure to spend time thinking about what you’ll write and working through the writing process far enough in advance of the deadline that you’re not scrambling to put your ideas into words as the deadline’s approaching. This isn’t a creative writing program, so you don’t need to spend an excessive amount of time stressing over the finer points of every linguistic turn of phrase, but as with the other elements of the application, you don’t want to feel rushed.

One final question you may have as you explore your MBA options is: how can I learn more? There are lots of ways to get more information from many different sources. We’ve put together a range of resources ourselves to you to help you learn more about Yale SOM and also navigate the MBA application process. We have a host of in-person and online events , Student Ambassadors , a blog series, and even the opportunity to visit campus should you find yourself in the Northeast United States. And, as noted above, our MBA newsletter contains lots of information about the school as well as a just-in-time series of tips and advice for you as you’re preparing your MBA application. And of course, if you still have questions, you can always contact us directly.

Inside the Application Itself

Your academic record, in combination with other elements of your application, helps us understand your preparation to thrive in the MBA classroom. But you’re more than just your GPA; we seek to understand all aspects of your academic path, from the courses you took to the ways in which your performance may have changed over the trajectory of your education. Although we ask some questions to understand your exposure to quantitative coursework, we welcome students from all academic backgrounds and disciplines; quantitative coursework is not a prerequisite for the program.

At this point, unless you’re a college senior applying to our Silver Scholars Program, your academic record is likely complete and your focus now is on sharing your transcripts with us as part of your application. The application instructions have more detailed information on the process for uploading your transcripts, but it’s worth noting a few things now as you start gathering materials:

First, we don’t need your official university transcripts at this point. To apply, you can submit either a copy of a physical transcript or a comprehensive electronic transcript; we’ll require your official transcript only when you enroll.

Second, in addition to your degree-granting institution’s transcript, we require transcripts for every course you took for degree credit – study abroad, transfer credits, community college courses, summer courses, etc. – at other institutions (unless those courses and grades are reflected in your degree-granting institution’s transcript). Missing and incomplete transcripts are the number one reason for delays in application review once we begin reading your file, so it makes sense to gather together all your transcripts now to make sure they’re complete and ready to upload when you apply.

Of note, although your academic record is largely fixed by now, sometimes applicants will take a one or more quantitative courses to help demonstrate their quantitative exposure and preparation if they didn’t have those courses as an undergraduate and their test scores do not give sufficient evidence of quantitative preparation. So, for example, if you didn’t have any quantitative exposure as an undergraduate and your standardized test quantitative subsection score does not sufficiently showcase your quantitative abilities (for example, it’s outside of our mid-80% range), you may want to take statistics or microeconomics (or both) to give more confidence about your quantitative preparation for the program. (Those courses are also worth taking if you haven’t done so before, even independent of the admissions process, because they are very helpful foundations for your MBA coursework.)

As with your entire application, we are very interested in the whole picture. What was the progression? Did you have an opportunity to take courses outside of your major? Were you working a job in undergrad to pay for your education? There are so many other factors that provide context and nuance to your academic record, and we very much want to understand that contextual information as we review your academics.

—Kate Botelho, Senior Associate Director of Admissions  

MBA applicants tend to put a lot of emphasis on test scores, but remember that they’re just one piece of a larger picture, and they’re used for a limited purpose: to give us some sense of your level of preparation for the core curriculum, which is all they’re validated to predict. And even for this limited purpose, they’re only one of several indicators – including your academic history and your Behavioral Assessment – that helps us determine your classroom readiness. We consider all parts of your application when considering your candidacy.

We accept both the GMAT and the GRE, including the online and newer, shorter versions of the exams. The Admissions Committee has no preference between the exams, and we’re well versed in evaluating scores from each. As you consider which one to take, it may make sense to try practice questions from each (or even an entire test!) to see which one resonates more with you. Much like the SAT and ACT for those of you who decided between those two tests when applying for college, the GMAT and GRE have some similarities and some differences, so you may feel more comfortable taking one over the other.

Once you decide which exam to take, give yourself time to study. Even in their shorter and more streamlined versions, these are exams that take time to prepare for. Usually you’ll want to spend two to three months studying and preparing, depending on the number of hours available to you each week. And you should try if possible to take the exam far enough in advance of the application deadline to be able to re-take it if necessary – it’s not uncommon for applicants to take the test more than once, although of course there’s no need to do so if you achieved a score you’re happy with on the first try! (If you do end up retaking a test after the application deadline, get your new score to us as soon as you can so that we can try to incorporate it into our review – you’ll be able to enter the new score on your applicant status page.)

In thinking about your test score and whether to re-take the exam, know that we look not just at your overall score but the subsections as well. We also consider your scores not just in isolation but in the context of your academic and professional backgrounds. In other words, a test score has no fixed weight within our application review, but is considered relative to other relevant aspects of your application in assessing your academic preparation. We don’t have any baseline or minimum scores – either for the total score or subsections – below which we won’t consider an applicant, but we do want to make sure the subsections aren’t too far out of alignment; that is, you should show some degree of competency in each subsection, even if your overall score is competitive (for example, a score in the 99th percentile in one subsection doesn’t counterbalance a score in the 9th percentile in another).

Importantly, as with your academic transcripts, you don’t need to submit official test scores when you apply to us. We accept self-reported scored when you apply and will only require official scores after you enroll.

Also, note that we do not require non-native English speakers to submit an English language test such as the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. One of the reasons we introduced our video questions component years ago was to eliminate the English testing requirement and make the process simpler and less expensive for applicants.

When we say we have no preference between the GMAT and GRE, we really mean it. Take whatever exam you feel most comfortable with. I also recommend being a bit strategic. If you know you’ll want to apply for a joint degree, maybe the GRE would be best for you since you can likely use that score to apply to both programs. If you’ve tried taking one of the exams a couple of times and aren’t attaining the score you’re hoping for, maybe it would be a good idea to try the other exam to see if that’s a better test for you.

—Amy Voth, Senior Associate Director of Admissions  

In evaluating your candidacy for Yale SOM, we look at not just your potential to perform academically, but also your potential for professional success and impact. Your past professional experience – as evidenced through the Work Experience section of the application and your resume – is a way to highlight the positive impact you’ve had in your career so far, and in turn the likelihood that you’ll continue to have meaningful impact after Yale SOM.

Your resume is an opportunity to give us a concise overview of your professional experience, academic background, and any volunteer work, activities, or other interests that help to tell your story. Unless you have more than ten years of work experience, your resume should be limited to one page. (If you do have more than ten years of work experience, feel free to take the additional space needed to cover all of your individual experiences, even the ones that took place at the start of your career.) You’re welcome to use any resume format of your choosing, or you can use the Yale SOM resume template that’s provided in our application, which is what our students use when applying for internships and post-MBA jobs.

In the past, you may have used a resume designed to highlight your essential job functions and key responsibilities. The most helpful resume for your MBA application will mirror the type of resume you’ll use for applying to jobs coming out an MBA program: one that focuses on your accomplishments, achievements, and the value you add. In other words, this is not the time to be modest (although you’ll want to avoid exaggeration)! When describing your experiences, begin bullets with active verbs such as “led” or “created,” highlighting the impact and results you drove in each of your roles. In particular, you may want to highlight leadership experience, quantitative experience, and evidence of strategic thinking.

Speaking of quantitative, when possible, resume bullets should quantify results; be specific in highlighting the percentage sales increase, dollar cost savings, increased operational efficiency, and other quantifiable metrics. But when you can’t quantify, qualify. For example, sharing that you “Championed a quarterly learning seminar that increased collaboration between sales, marketing and finance” or “Developed a proposal to refocus traditional media spend on a social media strategy; recommendation was supported by senior leadership” give the Admissions Committee a clear sense of results that can’t necessarily be described in numbers.

If you work for a small company, a company that may not be well known outside of your region, or have started your own company, it’s helpful to include a brief description of that company on your resume to give the Admissions Committee some more information about your experience. The Work Experience section of the application also contains space for you to provide contextual information about your professional experience, including descriptions about your company, your role, your reasons for leaving, gaps in experience, and other information. Use this section to your advantage, because the more information you can provide, the more comfort the Admissions Committee will have about your professional trajectory.

It’s worth noting that while the Work Experience section of your application should only include full-time, post-undergraduate professional experience, feel free to include internships, work during college or part-time work in your resume.

Also of particular note, especially given the unsettled employment landscape of the past few years, we know that some of you have gaps in your employment history or may not currently be working. You might be concerned that the Admissions Committee will view these career disruptions negatively. We want to emphasize that we understand the tremendous professional upheavals of the last several years and will view work histories with those disruptions very much in mind. The best thing you can do is help us understand your career path, including gaps in employment, both on your resume and in the application. The application has space for you to explain your career transitions and gaps of greater than three months. Making sure your resume is clear, complete, and accurate is critical as well.

Your resume is a great place to ground your application. It’s a quick and easy way for the committee to see what you’ve been doing throughout your life and career in a chronological way. Simple stuff: Proof-read it and spell-check it

—Rebekah Melville, Managing Director of Financial Aid and Admissions Committee member

Most students who come to Yale SOM are looking to explore new possibilities for their careers, whether that means pivoting to a new industry or function, changing geographic focus, or accelerating on a current career path. You’re not expected to have it all figured out before coming to school. And in identifying your post-MBA goals, you don’t need to pretend that you’re more certain than you actual are. But it is important to have developed some ideas about your career interests and goals, and how to best position yourself to pursue those interests.

Whatever your post-MBA goals, we promise we won’t hold you to it! We don’t have quotas by industry, nor do we craft a class with a particular mix of industries in mind. In fact, we care more about your thought process around your career interests (including where they came from, how you’re thinking about them, what you’ve done already to explore them, and what you’ll do in the future to pursue them) than we do what the interests actually are. Hopefully you can breathe easier knowing that you don’t need to have the entire course of your professional life mapped out right now!

Recommendations are an important window into understanding your professional impact and how you lead and collaborate within an organizational setting. They’re a way for us to gain additional perspective on your candidacy from people who have worked with you and who know you well.

Unless you’re applying as an undergraduate student, your two recommendations should be professional in nature. Many candidates ask us who the best people are to write their recommendations. We strongly recommend that, if possible, one of your recommendations comes from a current supervisor. More generally, beyond their specific relation to you, your recommendations should come from people who know your work well and who are senior to you, not peers or subordinates. We care more about the quality of the recommendation than the title of the recommender, so you should be guided by the substance of the work relationship rather than the seniority of the position.

While we recommend that one of your recommendations comes from a current supervisor, we know that sometimes this is not possible. You will have an opportunity in the application to explain your choice of recommenders if neither of them is someone who currently supervises you. Maybe that person is a family member, or maybe you’re an entrepreneur, or maybe you haven’t told your supervisor you are considering leaving to earn your MBA. In these cases, we would suggest you look to your most recent former supervisor. For family businesses, think about vendors or suppliers. Entrepreneurs may consider getting recommendations from board members or VC funders.

In terms of securing your recommendations, we encourage you to reach out to your recommenders in advance and schedule some time to talk with them about your desire to earn an MBA – maybe even reflect together on some of the growth experiences you’ve had and how you expect to add value to an MBA community. It may be helpful for you to walk through your resume together, since it will likely contain – and may remind them of – the many accomplishments you achieved that can inform the substance of their recommendation.

We do suggest, however, that you not send your recommenders your essays or other written application materials because they may incorporate them into their recommendations. Seeing the same language in your essays and recommendations may raise concerns to us about the independence of the recommendations, even if you were only trying to be helpful to your recommenders.

Also, you can have no role in the drafting or submission of your recommendations. We know that your recommenders are busy, and they may ask your assistance in drafting a letter for their review. Please resist this pressure and ask someone else instead. An authentic letter coming from an individual who is familiar with your work will always be the better option than a letter that was not wholly written by an independent source, even if that person is your current supervisor.

Finally, we accept recommendation letters written in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. The Yale SOM Admissions Committee will be responsible for translating letters written in Spanish and Mandarin. Our hope is that this service will make it easier for you to find recommenders who know you well and will give you more options in your choice of recommenders.

We want to know what matters to you, and our essay question is designed to help us gain insight into your background, passions, motivations, responsibilities, ideals, identities, challenges, or aspirations, depending on where you take your response. To ensure that you’re able to write about something important to you, we offer you three essay prompts from which to choose:

1) Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. Why is this commitment meaningful to you and what actions have you taken to support it?

2) Describe the community that has been most meaningful to you. What is the most valuable thing you have gained from being a part of this community and what is the most important thing you have contributed to this community?

3) Describe the most significant challenge you have faced. How have you confronted this challenge and how has it shaped you as a person?

Choose the prompt that speaks most strongly to you and about which you have the most enthusiasm. In answering the prompt – whichever one it is – you should think about the life experiences that have been most meaningful to you and that you most want to communicate to the committee, and pick the question that will best allow you to express that aspect of yourself. We find that the most compelling essays are the ones that are truly most important to you, so make sure that’s your guide in choosing what to write about; don’t try to guess what we’re looking for or what you think we want to hear. Importantly, regardless of which prompt you choose, you’ll want to support your essay with concrete examples.

The word limit (though not necessarily the goal) is 500 words.

The Optional Information section is truly optional. It’s not an additional required essay – if no aspect of your application requires further explanation, you should leave this section blank. In most cases, we get all the information we need from the various components of your application and there is no need to complete this section.

However, if you think the Admissions Committee would benefit from a brief explanation regarding any aspect of your application, you may provide it in the Optional Information section. Your general approach should be that if there is something you feel is material to your candidacy that you are not able to include in another section of the application, put it here.

Here are some examples: Consider providing additional context if it will allow us to better understand your academic performance, promotions or recognitions, or other information that is not apparent from the rest of your application. If you’ve taken concrete steps to mitigate a weaker element of your application or have an accomplishment that does not fit anywhere else in the application, you might include that here. Note that you should use the specific prompts provided in the Work Experience section to address gaps in work experience or choice of recommender. And if you would like to provide additional details to expand on any information provided in the Background Information section, you’re encouraged to do so in the “Supplemental Detail” area within that section.

To get a fuller picture of you and your interests, we ask about the commitments outside of the classroom and your day-to-day employment that are most meaningful to you. When it comes to activities, more isn’t always better. We ask for no more than two activities per timeframe because we want you to focus on what’s most significant, and where you’ve engaged most deeply. We know that for some of you, the activities you pursue outside of school or work can be what’s most aligned with your true interests and passions. On the other hand, we also recognize that different jobs, courses of study, and life circumstances can limit your capacity to take on additional activities. Wherever you are within this range, this section presents another opportunity to share something that matters to you.

We encourage you to think broadly about the activities in which you have engaged. This could include extracurricular activities, sports, volunteer work, research/academic activities, employment or work-study during school, familial roles or responsibilities, professional affiliations, or hobbies.

We’ve worked hard to create an application that gives you an opportunity to share who you are and what matters most to you, but recognize that an application process is an inherently artificial framework for learning about any individual. As recognized elsewhere, it gives us only a partial and incomplete glimpse into who you are. No single data point is determinative in this process, and in fact, the same data point can have different meaning based on the other elements of your application and the overall context surrounding your candidacy.

Because of these realities, the Admissions Committee seeks to gain the fullest understanding of you possible within the strictures of the application process. Elements of your personal background may provide crucial insights into the choices and opportunities that have shaped your academic, professional, and personal experiences. We welcome whatever aspects of this background you’re comfortable sharing with us. And, as noted elsewhere, if you would like to provide additional details to expand on any information provided in the Background Information section, you’re encouraged to do so in the “Supplemental Detail” area within the section.

Yale SOM is committed to continuous innovation in the ways we identify future members of our community. The Behavioral Assessment might be the most unique of these innovations.

The Behavioral Assessment is an online exercise administered by ETS, the testing service behind the GRE. But unlike the GMAT or GRE, which are tests of certain cognitive abilities, the Behavioral Assessment is a non-cognitive instrument that measures a set of inter- and intrapersonal competencies that are associated with academic success in business school. We look at it alongside, and sometimes as a counterpoint to, traditional academic metrics. And much like any other piece of the application, the Behavioral Assessment will never be the deciding factor for admission, but will instead be used in combination with the rest of a candidate’s profile.

The exercise itself should take about 25 minutes to complete. You will receive 130 pairs of statements, one pair at a time, from which you’re asked to select the statement that best aligns with your own behaviors. The assessment is adaptive, so no two candidates will receive the exact same set of statements. No preparation is necessary to take the assessment, and no special knowledge is required.

I hope it will put applicants at ease to know that our use of this assessment is geared towards allowing the committee to take more chances on candidates whose traditional metrics may not be the best predictors of success. To truly fulfill Yale SOM’s mission of educating leaders for business and society, we need a community of students whose backgrounds, experiences, and interests are diverse and expansive. If we limit ourselves to applicants who perform best on traditional academic measures like GMAT, GRE, or undergraduate GPA, we may miss out on candidates with extraordinary professional experience or personal backgrounds that would add vital perspectives to the classroom. At the same time, it’s our responsibility to ensure we bring students into the program who will succeed in the classroom—we don’t want to set up students for failure. The Behavioral Assessment gives us an additional piece of information to use in assessing who will perform effectively in the curriculum, specifically by helping us predict who will perform better than their academic history would suggest. So, it will allow us to take more chances on candidates without the strongest academic or testing profiles, but who nonetheless have what it takes to succeed in the classroom and who undoubtedly will make significant contributions to our community because of their experience and perspective.

—Laurel Grodman, Assistant Dean for Admissions

Like the Behavioral Assessment, you’ll complete the video questions after you submit your application and pay the application fee. The video questions are not a substitute for the interview. Instead, they provide a unique way for us to assess your communication and English language skills, and enable us to create a more dynamic, multi-dimensional portrait of your candidacy.

Every candidate will receive a set of previously recorded questions asked by an admissions team member. The questions asked are similar to typical interview questions. There are no “trick questions”; we’re not trying to stump you. The responses do not require any specific knowledge or preparation beyond the practice tool you can use before answering the questions, and your responses will be used with a “light touch,” as we say – they won’t make or break your application.

Here are a few tips on the video exercise. First, know you’re going to be great! Our aim to set you up for success. After receiving each question, you’ll have 20-30 seconds to gather your thoughts and 60-90 seconds, depending on the question, for your response. Familiarize yourself with the 60-90 second time frame in which to deliver your response. You don’t want to feel rushed, and you don’t want to run out of time getting to the heart of your answer. Finally, be sure you have a good internet connection and a quiet, private space. You’d be surprised how many ‘bloopers’ we see in the video questions due to an unexpected colleague, partner, or pet joining your session!

—Kristen Mercuri, Director of Admissions

Interviews are offered by invitation on a rolling basis throughout each round. Don’t be concerned if your invitation to interview does not come until later in the round; it takes a considerable amount of time for the Admissions Committee to review all of the applications we receive, and we don’t begin our review until after each application deadline.

If you receive an invitation, it will be an offer to participate in a 30-minute interview conducted by a current second-year student, recent alum, or an Admissions Committee member. The interview is blind, meaning your interviewer will only know what they see on your resume and will not have reviewed the rest of your application. The questions are largely behavioral in nature – how you handled certain situations – as well as focused on your MBA and post-MBA plans. The best way to prepare is to review your Yale SOM application, resume, and essay to refresh yourself on what you wrote, and be ready with answers to typical behavioral interview questions.

It’s worth noting that even if you’re not invited to interview in the round in which you applied, it doesn’t mean you’ll be denied admission. It’s not uncommon to be placed on the waitlist without having been interviewed. We will review your candidacy again in the next round, in conjunction with the applicants who apply in that round. You may be offered an interview – and subsequently admitted – at any point in the cycle. So please be patient, and resist the urge to check in with the Admissions Office on your interview status!

Final Thoughts

Once you submit your application and complete the Behavioral Assessment and video questions, your application is complete and we’ll begin our review of your candidacy.

We know that the process to get to this point is a long one, involving a lot of time, effort, money, and energy. Regardless of the outcome of your candidacy, you should congratulate yourself on getting to this point! Hopefully just completing this part of the process has yielded important benefits in terms of helping clarify the values, priorities, and aspirations that will guide you through business school and beyond.

Know that we will treat your application during the review process with the same care that you put into preparing it. The process itself is highly individualized: what makes someone stand out can be vastly different from candidate to candidate. Therefore, as you think about your application, the key is to remain your true self throughout the process. What the Admissions Committee is looking to learn about in your application is...you! We look forward to learning more about you, what makes you unique, and what special contributions you’ll bring to our community.

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Admit Street

Lights, Camera, Acceptance: Crafting Compelling Video/Kira Essays for MBA Admissions

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By Arvind Kumar

23 September 2023

In recent years, the MBA admissions process has evolved to incorporate various innovative elements, and one such element gaining prominence is the video essay.

While traditional written essays and standardized test scores remain significant factors in the application, many top-tier business schools have started asking applicants to submit video essays.

Video essays allow candidates to showcase their personality, communication skills, and suitability for the MBA program. 

In this article, we will delve into the why and how of video essays for MBA admissions, examining their significance, the qualities admissions committees seek, and tips for acing video essays at some of the top business schools.

We’ve also compiled the list of video essay questions for B-schools that include this component in their application process: Northwestern Kellogg, INSEAD, Rotman, Yale SOM, MIT Sloan, Oxford Saïd, IESE and IE.

Why Business Schools Ask for a Video Essay

What do mba video essays entail, types of video essays, northwestern kellogg, rotman school of management, oxford saïd, iese business school, ie business school, creating video/ kira essays for mba admissions: tips for pre-recorded and impromptu versions, final thoughts.

Business schools request video essays as part of the MBA admissions process for various reasons. These video essays offer a unique opportunity to assess applicants beyond traditional written materials. 

Here’s a list of 10 key qualities that business schools are looking for in applicants and how different aspects of the video essay can help assess these qualities:

Communication Skills

  • Quality Demonstrated: Clarity of Expression
  • Video Essay Component: The ability to articulate thoughts coherently and persuasively in the video.


  • Quality Demonstrated: Genuine Self-Presentation
  • Video Essay Component: Authenticity is revealed through unscripted, spontaneous responses that show the real personality of the applicant.

Confidence and Poise

  • Quality Demonstrated: Ability to Handle Pressure
  • Video Essay Component: Maintaining confidence and composure while responding to unexpected questions or prompts.
  • Quality Demonstrated: Ability to Capture Attention
  • Video Essay Component: Keeping the viewer engaged by using storytelling techniques and compelling anecdotes.

Cultural Fit

  • Quality Demonstrated: Alignment with School Values
  • Video Essay Component: Demonstrating enthusiasm for the school and its culture through genuine expressions of interest.

Problem-Solving Skills

  • Quality Demonstrated: Analytical Thinking
  • Video Essay Component: Responding effectively to complex or challenging questions, showcasing problem-solving abilities.

Leadership Potential

  • Quality Demonstrated: Presence and Influence
  • Video Essay Component: Portraying oneself as a confident and impactful leader who inspires and motivates others.

Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Quality Demonstrated: Ability to Work Well with Others
  • Video Essay Component: Sharing experiences highlighting teamwork, cooperation, and the ability to collaborate effectively.


  • Quality Demonstrated: Flexibility and Resilience
  • Video Essay Component: Adapting to unexpected prompts and situations, demonstrating the ability to think on one’s feet.

Passion and Drive

  • Quality Demonstrated: Enthusiasm and Commitment
  • Video Essay Component: Conveying genuine passion for one’s goals and showcasing the drive to make a meaningful impact.

These qualities are essential for success in an MBA program and in the business world. The video essay serves as a valuable tool for admissions committees to assess these qualities in applicants, allowing them to make more informed decisions about who would thrive in their academic environment and contribute positively to their MBA community. 

As an applicant, you should use the video essay as an opportunity to showcase your unique strengths and qualities that set you apart from the competition.

MBA video essays involve candidates responding to prompts from the admissions committee through self-recorded videos instead of relying on written responses.

This component has been introduced as an additional element in the application process for select business schools, without replacing traditional written MBA admission essays or the final admission interview.

It’s worth highlighting that due to the relatively recent incorporation of this concept into the MBA application process, different business schools may use varying terminology.

For instance, Kellogg Business School may label it as a video essay, while INSEAD may term it a Video Interview, and MIT may refer to it as a Video Statement. Despite the nomenclature differences, they all essentially entail the same process, with the only potential variation being the video essay’s format.

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There are generally two types of video essays asked in MBA admissions: Live/Impromptu and Pre-recorded. Each type serves a unique purpose and presents its own set of challenges and advantages.

Live/Impromptu Video Essays

Live or impromptu video essays require MBA applicants to respond to questions or prompts in real time.

Candidates are typically given a limited amount of time to prepare their thoughts, often ranging from 30 seconds to a few minutes. Once the preparation time is up, they must begin recording their response immediately. 

This format aims to assess an applicant’s ability to think on their feet, communicate clearly, and maintain composure under pressure. Admissions committees use live video essays to gauge an individual’s spontaneity, poise, and how effectively they can address unexpected topics or situations.

Pre-recorded Video Essays

Pre-recorded video essays, on the other hand, allow MBA applicants more control over the timing of their responses.

In this format, candidates receive a set of questions or prompts in advance and are allotted a specific amount of time to record their answers. This time frame typically ranges from a few hours to several days, depending on the business school’s requirements. 

Pre-recorded video essays allow applicants to carefully craft and rehearse their responses, emphasizing their communication skills, creativity, and thoughtfulness in addressing the given prompts. This format allows for a more polished presentation but still evaluates an applicant’s ability to convey their ideas effectively through video.

Which business schools ask to submit a video essay?

Applicants are required to complete three video essay questions as part of their application.

These questions provide a valuable opportunity for candidates to showcase their personality, communication skills, and alignment with Kellogg’s values. The video essays are due 96 hours after the application deadline, so plan your application timeline accordingly. 

Remember that you have a 20-second preparation period and up to one minute to respond. Use the prep time wisely to outline your answer mentally, and then deliver a clear and concise response within the allotted minute.

Let’s delve into each of the three video essay questions:

Question 1: Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee.

The introduction sets the tone for your application.

Be concise, authentic, and memorable. Start with a brief overview of your background, highlighting key experiences that have shaped your journey.

Mention your name, current profession, and what drives your passion for pursuing an MBA at Kellogg. Use this opportunity to provide a glimpse of your unique personality and values.

Question 2: What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?

Tip: This question demands a strategic approach.

Clearly articulate your career goals, emphasizing both short-term and long-term objectives.

Explain why Kellogg is your ideal platform for achieving these goals. Mention specific resources, courses, or aspects of the Kellogg program that align with your aspirations.

Your response should reflect a deep understanding of Kellogg’s offerings and a strong connection between your goals and the school’s unique advantages.

Question 3: This question will be based on a challenge you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from it.

Tip: Use this question to highlight your resilience and growth. Choose a challenge, either personal or professional, that showcases your ability to overcome adversity and learn from the experience.

Describe the challenge briefly, focusing more on the lessons learned and how it has influenced your character and decision-making.

Conclude by explaining how these lessons will contribute to your success as an MBA candidate at Kellogg.

Compilation of Kellogg Video Essay questions (2023) 

  • Introduce yourself outside of your CV.
  • Tell us something about yourself that we won’t know from your resume
  • There are many MBA schools. What’s so unique about Kellogg?
  • How long have you been considering an MBA and what have you learned about your goals in this time?
  • Whose leadership style do you admire the most and you wish to adopt?
  • Tell us about a time you were uncomfortable. How did you feel?
  • What is one misconception coworkers have about you and how do you plan to change that?
  • Tell us about the best piece of advice you have received, how you utilized it and how it impacted you?
  • Tell us about a time you received harsh feedback. What was your reaction and how did you proceed to act on it?
  • Tell us about one time when you received feedback that changed your perspective about something
  • Tell us about  time you received feedback that you didn’t agree with
  • Tell us about a time when you helped improved a process in your company, organization or community
  • When and how did you resolve a conflict?
  • Tell us about a time when you faced unforeseen or unexpected challenges
  • Tell us about a time you failed and used an unconventional approach the next time. What happened?
  • Tell us about a time when a conflict affected the productivity of the team? How did you handle it? What did you learn from it?
  • Tell us about a time where an unexpected situation arose? Why did it arise? What did you do to pivot and why?
  • Tell us about a time where you used a unique or creative way to solve a problem. What did you do and what was the outcome?
  • What is one value or quality that you bring to the Kellogg community and how will it help others?
  • Tell us about an experience outside school and outside office that motivated you to pursue a postgraduate education?
  • Tell us about a time you leveraged a professional relationship to achieve your goals
  • Tell us how you created an environment where differences and diverse ideas are respected. What was the outcome?
  • Tell us about a time you added value in a professional capacity 
  • Tell us about a time when you had to ask for help. What did you learn?

Note: Please consider this list indicative and not exhaustive

After you’ve successfully submitted your INSEAD MBA online application, an email notification from Kira Talent will swiftly arrive in your inbox, containing a unique link for you to embark on four video interviews. 

These interviews entail answering four distinct questions, and it’s essential to note that the questions presented to you may differ from those posed to other applicants. You’ll have a brief 45 seconds to prepare for each question and a minute to articulate your response.

These video interviews present a distinct opportunity for you to unveil your passions, motivations, and your true essence. The MBA Admissions Committee seeks an authentic portrayal of you as an individual, eager to witness your ability to think on your feet and effectively communicate your thoughts.

It’s important to emphasize that these video interviews do not replace face-to-face/online interviews with Alumni, which will still be a part of the assessment process. The video essay has to be submitted within 48 hours after the deadline of the Round in which you apply to INSEAD.

Tips for INSEAD Video Essay

  • To ensure a seamless experience, INSEAD recommends using either Microsoft Edge or Chrome for recording your Kira videos. Preparing extensively by practicing is encouraged, as it allows you to convey authentic and genuine responses, even though the practice questions and your responses won’t be disclosed to the Admissions Committee.
  • Before you begin recording, conduct a brief technology check by testing your camera and microphone. Once satisfied with the technical aspects, shift your focus to the camera, envisioning that you are addressing the Admissions Committee directly.
  • Wear Business or Business Casual Attire.
  • Lastly, consider keeping a notebook handy during the interviews to jot down key ideas. Remember, you’ll have just 45 seconds to prepare for each answer, followed by 60 seconds to deliver your response to the Admissions Committee.

Compilation of INSEAD MBA Video Essay questions (2023) 

  • What keeps you engaged and motivated at work?
  • How will INSEAD help you achieve your professional objectives?
  • Describe a time when you saw someone else doing something differently. How did you react?
  • Describe a time when you received negative feedback. How did you feel?
  • Do you consider yourself to be creative?
  • What do you think is the biggest challenge in leading a global team?
  • If you look back 10 years into your life, what would success mean to you?
  • Who or what inspires you the most?
  • What is the leadership quality you admire? Why?
  • How can INSEAD help you to contribute to the community?
  • Tell us about something that your family or company borrowed from someone else, its advantages and its disadvantages
  • Why should we select you?
  • Tell us about the most pressing climate concern today and how you will tackle it?
  • How do you handle frustration at work? How do you openly communicate to resolve the frustration?
  • Are you aware of your biases? How does that affect your thoughts?
  • If you were given unlimited resources, which product or services would you offer to community and why?

Once you’ve submitted your application, expect an email from Kira Talent, a designated service provider. Within this email, you will discover a link granting access to the video essay platform, a crucial component of Rotman’s application process, which comprises two video questions.

Upon accessing the platform and initiating the session, you will be presented with a total of two spoken questions, delivered sequentially, one after the other.

Once you receive the question, you will be granted a 30-second window for contemplation, followed by a 90-second timeframe for your response. It’s essential to note that there are no opportunities for revisiting or reattempting the question; you have just one opportunity to express your thoughts and provide your answer.

Regardless of when you initially submit your application, remember that the clock starts ticking once you access the video essay platform. You must submit your video essay response within two weeks of submitting your application to complete this vital step in the Rotman admissions process.

Once you’ve successfully submitted your application, expect an email notification from Kira Talent, the designated company for Yale’s video essay component. Inside this email, you’ll find a link that grants access to the video essay platform.

Upon logging in and commencing the session, you’ll encounter a total of three Yale video essay questions, presented one at a time. These questions are randomly generated but fall into distinct categories, each with its own focus.

The Yale video essay questions are thoughtfully categorized into three groups:

  • MBA Motivations (Group 1) : The initial question in the Yale SOM video essay will center on your motivations, specifically regarding your interest in Yale or the rationale behind pursuing an MBA.
  • Behavioral Questions (Group 2) : Yale values individuals who embody purpose-driven adaptability, teamwork, and strong communication skills. Therefore, they often pose questions aimed at assessing your ability to collaborate effectively and your potential to contribute positively to the Yale community.
  • The Thinking Question (Group 3) : In addition to traditional interview queries, you will be tasked with responding to a “thinking question,” akin to a case study, during the Yale video essay. This question serves to evaluate your ability to think on your feet, a crucial aspect tested in Yale’s raw case method.

As you approach these questions, keep in mind that for the first and third, you’ll have 20 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to provide your response. However, for the second question, you’ll be granted 30 seconds of preparation time and 90 seconds to articulate your answer.

Regardless of when you submit your initial application, remember that it’s imperative to complete and submit your responses to the Yale video essay questions within a maximum of 48 hours following the round’s application deadline. This ensures your application remains complete and on schedule.

Compilation of Yale SOM Video Essay questions (2023) 

  • Why are you doing an MBA now?
  • What motivates you to get an MBA at this point?
  • Tell us about a time when a team member was not doing his share of work and how you handled it
  • Tell us about a time you or your team fixed a critical problem at work
  • Tell us about a problem that you solved by breaking down into its pieces
  • Tell us about a time when there was a potential problem at work and how did you prevent it?
  •  Mention a vague problem that was given to you and how did you solve it?
  • Tell us about a teacher who has impacted you in life?
  •  Yale School of Drama has produced many world renowned artists (e.g. Meryl Streep). Which artist do you admire most and why?
  • Which type of art holds significance to you among the various arts across Yale Center for European arts, Yale Center for Natural arts and Yale Center for British arts?
  • New Haven has great architectural significance ( something along these lines ). What piece of architecture has the greatest significance to you in your hometown or region? Why? 
  • What is a tradition you hold dear to yourself?

Question: “Please take a minute to introduce yourself to your future classmates.”

This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and make a personal connection. Unveil your true self, let your personality sparkle, and have a genuine conversation – this is your moment to shine.

Keep the following criteria in mind when creating your videos for MIT:

  • Keep it under 60 seconds, no more!
  • Record it all in a single take, no editing allowed.
  • Speak directly into the camera.
  • Avoid adding background music or subtitles to your video.

In order to learn more about applicants and assess their ability to think quickly, Oxford Saïd’s MBA application process includes an online assessment.

Once the MBA application is submitted, you will find a link in the application status portal. This link allows you to register with Kira Talent, the online assessment platform, and complete the assessment. The assessment can be done anytime before the application deadline for the desired stage, for instance, Round 1 applicants must complete the assessment by the Round 1 deadline.

The online assessment consists of three parts:

  • Two motivation-based questions that all candidates must answer. These questions aim to let you explain your reasons for pursuing an MBA and why you believe the Oxford MBA is the best fit for you. Each applicant receives the same two questions.

Example: “Why do you think pursuing an MBA is the next step in your career?”

  • One competency-based question chosen randomly from a pool of available questions. This question allows you to demonstrate skills and qualities such as decision-making, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, influencing, change management, and communication.

Example: “Could you share an experience where you successfully handled a challenging situation, either in your professional or personal life? How did you approach resolving it?”

  • A written response (essay), which will be randomized and light-hearted to display how you can think on your feet and write.

Example: “What was your favorite book as a child and why?”

For each motivation-based question, you have 60 seconds to prepare and 90 seconds to respond. For each competency-based question, there is 45 seconds of preparation time followed by 60 seconds to provide an answer.

It’s important to note that there are no opportunities to redo the questions, and you have only one chance to respond and share your answers during the assessment. The entire online assessment should take about 30 minutes to complete, so plan accordingly.

Compilation of Oxford Saïd MBA Video Essay questions (2023) 

  • Since how long have you wanted to do your MBA? Why now is the right time and what skills do you hope to gain?
  • Students apply to many programmes and B schools. According to you, what makes Oxford unique?
  • Tell us about a time you were overloaded with work, how did you handle it?
  • Tell us about a time you asked for help and how did it go?
  • Tell us about a time you led a diverse team, what specific skill did you use and why?
  • Tell us a time when you had an idea and had to convince your project team.
  • What is the most significant personal weakness that you have identified, what did you do about it and what was the result?
  • Imagine you are proposing a business innovation idea for a class project and the audience is not interested. What would you do?
  • How would you convince a team about your idea if you were sure of its positive outcome?
  • How do you describe the color red to someone who can only see in black and white? 
  • Do you prefer cats or dogs? Explain why.

IESE Business School has introduced Video Essays as part of the application process this year, replacing the previous personal essay requirement.

The purpose of this change is to gain a deeper and more authentic understanding of applicants. It allows the Admissions Committee to get insights into the thought process and communication style of each candidate.

After submitting the written application and paying the required fees, you will receive a Kira Video Essay link within 24 hours, to be completed by the Application Round Deadline. This link will expire 48 hours after receipt. You will receive detailed instructions along with the link. Upon clicking the link, you can create a Kira account and practice before recording your video essay.

Each applicant will need to respond to two video essay questions. For each question, there will be a preparation time before recording the response.

Applicants are encouraged to be concise, as they have a limited time of 1.5 minutes to provide each answer. The Admissions Committee values authenticity and is interested in getting to know the real applicant, rather than hearing what they think the committee wants to hear.

It’s important to note that the application will be considered complete and ready for review only after all components, including the video essays, have been submitted.

Compilation of IESE MBA Video Essay questions (2023) 

  • How do we pronounce your name?
  • Tell us something about you not in your resume.
  • Tell us something that’s unique about you – traits and attributes uniquely you.
  • What is the one feedback you received that you didn’t agree with? How did you react and what was the outcome?
  • Every team has a certain archetype: architect, analyst etc. Which archetype are you when you play in a team? And why?
  •  Tell us one thing you like and one thing you don’t like about your current job.

This year, IE Business School has introduced a video essay to get to know you better. The online assessment is quick and won’t take more than 30 minutes.

IE Business School has added this to its admissions process because they believe in innovation. This part of the process helps them understand your personality and how you respond in real time. 

You’ll need a computer with an internet connection, a microphone, and a webcam. You’ll answer three live questions – two in video format and one in writing. You can practice several times, but remember, once you officially start the assessment, you only have one chance to respond. You have one week from when you submitted your online admissions application to complete this online assessment.

Video essays have become a vital component of the MBA admissions process, offering applicants a unique platform to showcase their personality and communication skills. Whether it’s a pre-recorded or impromptu video essay, here are ten tips to help you excel in this aspect of your application:

Understand the Purpose

  • Pre-Recorded: Pre-recorded video essays often have prompts that allow for structured responses. Understand the specific question and ensure your video essay directly addresses it.
  • Impromptu: In impromptu video essays, you may not know the questions in advance. Focus on providing insightful, concise answers to the given prompts.
  • Pre-Recorded: Use your allotted time efficiently. Be concise in your response while ensuring you provide a complete and well-structured answer.
  • Impromptu: Stay on point and avoid rambling. Use the given preparation time to outline your response and make your points concisely during the recording.

Prepare Thoroughly

  • Pre-Recorded: Take time to brainstorm ideas, outline your response, and rehearse multiple times. Ensure your message is clear and compelling.
  • Impromptu: Since you may have limited time to prepare, practice answering diverse types of questions to build your ability to think on your feet. Doing Mock Interviews can particularly help.

Showcase Your Personality

  • Pre-Recorded: Your video should provide a glimpse of your character and values. Let your authenticity shine through by being yourself.
  • Impromptu: Be genuine in your responses. Authenticity is highly valued in impromptu video essays.

Maintain Eye Contact

  • Pre-Recorded: Look directly into the camera to establish a connection with the viewer. This creates a sense of engagement and sincerity.
  • Impromptu: Even when you don’t know the questions in advance, maintain eye contact with the camera during your responses to appear confident and composed.

Have a Strong Opening and Closing

  • Pre-Recorded: Begin with a compelling introduction and end with a memorable conclusion that reinforces your main points.
  • Impromptu: Use the initial seconds to frame your response and conclude succinctly by summarizing your key message.

Eliminate Distractions

  • Pre-Recorded: Choose a quiet, well-lit location with minimal distractions for your recording. Ensure your background is professional.
  • Impromptu: Find a quiet spot where you can focus solely on your response without interruptions.

Manage your Time Well

  • Pre-Recorded: Allocate sufficient time for recording, reviewing, and editing if necessary. Avoid rushing the process.
  • Impromptu: Manage your time wisely during preparation and response. Stick to the given time limits.

Rehearse Video Recording Technology

  • Pre-Recorded: Familiarize yourself with the recording equipment and software. Ensure your audio and video quality are top-notch.
  • Impromptu: Check your internet connection, camera, and microphone in advance to avoid technical glitches.

Seek Feedback

  • Pre-Recorded: Share your video with mentors, advisors or trusted friends to gather constructive feedback and make improvements.
  • Impromptu: After practicing impromptu responses, seek feedback on your communication skills and clarity.

In both pre-recorded and impromptu video essays, the key is effectively communicating your message while showcasing your suitability for the MBA program. With preparation, practice, and attention to these tips, you can create impressive video essays that enhance your MBA application.

In an increasingly competitive MBA admissions landscape, video essays offer you a chance to stand out and convey your unique value to the business school of your choice.

Use this opportunity to not only address the questions asked but also to paint a vivid picture of your aspirations, experiences, and character. It’s a tool that, when used effectively, can elevate your application and set you on the path to success in your MBA journey. So, embrace the challenge, be yourself, and make your video essay a compelling testament to your candidacy.

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