There is a growing trend in business school applications that is taking some students by surprise: a video essay. Many MBA programs are now using video interviews or video essays, which are essentially an on-camera combination of a live interview and written essay. Students who encounter the video interview will be given a pre-recorded prompt or interview-style question, a short, timed break to compile a response, and then an allotted time to answer on-camera.
Some programs are now requiring this as part of their application and others recommend it as a way to strengthen your application. As with any important piece of your MBA application, there are many ups and downs to this practice.
Pros and Cons
Providing a video essay can give many applicants an advantage in the application process. Admissions Committees are now able to put a face to the applicants they are reviewing; they get to see a personality and a three-dimensional human being instead of a list of achievements across several paper documents. An opportunity like this can help make an applicant more memorable to the Admissions Committee. It also helps those reviewing applications to see that the achievements listed on the paper portion aren’t just exaggerated for effect.
However, unlike a written essay, there is no time for applicants to plan their answer thoroughly. It can be more like a traditional in-person interview in that sense; applicants have 20-30 seconds to collect their thoughts before they are required to respond. This really isn’t that much time, especially when you’re likely already nervous. You will also be limited in your response time, the length of time varies by school, which can make it difficult to fully portray your meaning.
Many applicants are familiar with video conferencing by now. But, a video interview isn’t a conversation between two people, which can make many potential students uncomfortable. Since this practice is so foreign, it’s essential to practice your responses in a realistic setting before encountering the real thing.
Practice is Essential to Success
If you have an upcoming video interview for schools including INSEAD, Yale, Ross or Wharton, PRACTICE is essential to success. This awkward format requires you to think on your feet and record your answer to a question (or questions) while speaking into your computer screen. It’s a new format for many and one that requires some rehearsal in order to become comfortable conversing with a computer screen! Stacy Blackman Consulting has an online video platform that grants you unlimited practice doing exactly this. You can answer from a wide menu of questions, record yourself, watch and assess, tweak and try again. Invest 30 minutes a night and reap the benefits of increased comfort level and more articulate answers when you have your live interview. You can even choose an interview to submit to the SBC team for review and professional written feedback.
Set yourself up for success with this small investment and rock your video interviews! Purchase your package here today: http://www.stacyblackman.com/interview-prep/