Tips for Video Essays in MBA Application

Gauri Khatri

Gauri Khatri

Founder, Pegasus Global Consultants

Technology has now become an integral part of our lives and so it’s no surprise that it has made its way into the MBA application process as well in the form of video essays. Many top MBA programs have added a video component in their requirements for MBA applicants. Typically, the applicant is provided with one or several questions, and some time to think about them (around a minute or 90 seconds) and is then expected to provide the answer in a video recorded format. Following are some of the reasons as why B-Schools use video essays-


1. Applicant’s Authenticity – It ascertains the schools about the authenticity of the applicant as video essays are submitted without the direct support of the admissions consultants and other professionals.


2. Language and Communication Skills – A video interview helps the B-Schools to assess the applicant’s command on the language & communications skills. As the candidate can be seen in a real time scenario, it’s a great platform to access the ability of the candidate to think in the moment, gather the thoughts and respond with an answer.


3. Spontaneity- Most of the video essays are unpredictable and applicants are not expected to be prepared for them. This requires applicants to be spontaneous. It also provides an opportunity for some candidates who aren’t brilliant at presenting themselves on paper but can shine much better verbally and visually.


Tips to ace the Video Essays –


1. Practice, practice & practice – Although the video essays are spontaneous, but they require even more practice then the traditional interviews. Most of the Schools have practice questions and it is very important to prepare ideal responses, practice out loud or record yourself and make sure that the responses fit within the given time frame. Unlike traditional interviews, applicant requires more and more practice to get more articulate and have a better sense of timing as there are no visual or verbal cues to help.


2. Record and Review – Get a sense of where the camera is located and work hard on your body language and maintaining a natural eye contact with the camera to give the best stimulation to the person reviewing your videos.


3. Meaningful Fit with the narrative of MBA Application –Your video responses will be reviewed as a part of your application, so it is important that they align with your overall goals and experiences and reflect a part of your personality as portrayed on the paper.


4. Dress Appropriately, sit in a noiseless room with ample light and a clean background and work on a tested device to avoid distractions.


Remember there are no “right” answers and your video essays are just one component of the overall application and should reflect what you have built throughout your application without being repetitive. Finding a balance between the brevity and authenticity can be challenging but with practice, it will start to feel more natural and easier.

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