Prep Tips for MBA Video Essay Questions

video essay questions

Business schools use video essay questions to get to know applicants better and assess their communication and presentation skills. A video essay allows the admissions committee to see how applicants present themselves and communicate their ideas rather than just reading about them on paper. It also allows applicants to showcase their personalities and passions more personally and authentically.

A growing number of elite business schools are incorporating video essays into their applications. For example, this season, the Kellogg School of Management has introduced optional video essays that applicants can submit after uploading their application and submitting payment. Kellogg calls this component “a great opportunity to tell us more about you  and explain why Kellogg is the right place for you.”

Likewise, Jared Liu, senior associate director of admissions at Yale School of Management, says the video essay questions provide “a more dynamic, multi-dimensional profile of each candidate” to the AdCom. Applicants shouldn’t stress too much about the video questions. Liu says that “There are no ‘trick questions’; we are not trying to stump you.”

Video essay questions can be an effective way for business schools to differentiate between candidates who may have similar backgrounds and qualifications. They can also provide insight into how an applicant thinks on their feet and handles the pressure of being on camera.

How to Prep for Video Essay Questions

Overall, video essay questions give business schools a complete picture of an applicant and can be a valuable addition to the admissions process. Here are some tips on effectively presenting yourself when answering those video essay questions.

Follow the prompt: Be sure to read and understand the prompt for the video essay carefully. Make sure to answer the question or address the topic thoroughly and completely.

Plan your content: Before you start filming, take some time to think about what you want to include in your video. Consider your strengths, accomplishments, and what makes you unique. Write down a list of key points you want to cover and practice delivering them clearly and concisely.

Choose an appropriate setting: The setting of your video should be professional and well-lit. Avoid distractions in the background, such as loud noises or cluttered spaces. Consider filming in a quiet conference room or a well-lit office.

Dress for success: It’s important to dress professionally for your video, just as you would for an in-person interview. Wear a suit or dress pants and a collared shirt. Avoid wearing too much jewelry or loud patterns.

Check out B-Schooled podcast episode #20: How to Ace Your Video Essays

Practice your delivery: Take some time to practice delivering your content before you start filming. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident on camera. Pay attention to your body language and facial expressions, and maintain eye contact with the camera.

Use a good-quality camera and microphone: A high-quality video is crucial for making a good impression. Use a camera with good resolution and a microphone that picks up your voice clearly. Avoid using your smartphone’s built-in microphone, as the audio quality may not be sufficient.

It’s natural for business school applicants to feel nervous about video essay questions. Still, with proper preparation and practice, it’s possible to overcome these nerves and deliver a strong and confident performance. Following these tips, you can create a strong MBA video essay that showcases your strengths and accomplishments and sets you apart from other applicants. Good luck with your application!

Stacy Blackman

SBC’s star-studded consultant team is unparalleled. Our clients benefit from current intelligence that we receive from the former MBA Admissions Officers from Kellogg, Booth and every elite business program in the US and Europe.  These MBA Admissions Officers have chosen to work exclusively with SBC.

Just two of the many superstars on the SBC team:
Meet Beth who held the position of Director of Admissions for Kellogg’s Full Time MBA program selecting candidates for the 2-year, 1-year, MMM and JD MBA programs.

Meet Kim, who was an Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Chicago Booth.

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