Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare PE
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Military Quant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Kellogg | Mr. Maximum Impact
GMAT Waiver, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Ms. Interstellar Thinker
GMAT 740, GPA 7.6/10
Harvard | Mr. Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Female Sales Leader
GMAT 740 (target), GPA 3.45
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Gay Techie
GRE 332, GPA 3.88
INSEAD | Mr. Product Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 63%

INSEAD Adds Video Test To MBA Application

One of three INSEAD campuses

One of three INSEAD campuses

Let’s go to the video tape!

INSEAD has become the latest business school to add a video component to its MBA admissions process for the September 2017 intake for the class that would graduate in July of 2018. The school also cut out one required essay this year, reducing the number of essays for admission to three.

The four-question video challenge will be available within one hour after a candidate submits an application, though applicants will have a week to complete this part of the application. “The video component will be a great opportunity for us to see applicants come to life,” explains Virginie Fougea, associate director of admissions at INSEAD, in a letter to admission consultants. “There are no right or wrong answers to these 4 questions. We just hope to offer applicants a fun and interactive way of applying to us!”

WHAT IF THE DOORBELL RINGS OR THE DOG STARTS TO BARK?

She is attempting to allay any potential concerns about the new requirement. “Should you feel the need to reassure applicants who found themselves in unexpected poor conditions while recording the video (the doorbell rings, the dog starts to bark, it is a total mess), you can tell them that we can exceptionally reset his/her answers to one or all 4 questions,” she writes.

INSEAD is the first prestige business school outside of North America to introduce a video test in admissions. The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was the first school to pioneer the use of video in MBA application in 2012. Yale’s School of Management, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and several other schools have followed the move. Admissions directors say they like the test because the questions asked of applicants are not known and therefore provide a more candid look at an applicant than an essay might allow.

Caroline Diarte Edwards, the former admissions director of INSEAD who is a co-founder and director of Fortuna Admissions, says the school has been thinking about these changes for some time. “From my discussions with the admissions team, the goal with introducing the video component is really to enable the staff to observe the candidate much more directly. As INSEAD only has alumni interviews (admissions staff never interview candidates), the school rarely gets an opportunity to see the candidate in action.”

A GLIMPSE AT PROFESSIONAL PRESENCE & ENGLISH LANGUAGE FLUENCY

Caroline Diarte Edwards is a director with Fortuna Admissions

Caroline Diarte Edwards is a director with Fortuna Admissions

Video also allows admission officials to get a better sense of a candidate’s English language skills as well as professional presence–a critical attribute to judge a person’s ultimate employability. “There are many benefits of the video questions: it can be an opportunity to evaluate communication skills, English fluency and to see how they present themselves,” says Edwards. “I remember from my days as Admissions Director that with 3000 alumni admissions interviewers around the world, it is really impossible to ensure consistency in the interview process, and comparing candidates based on the feedback from interviewers can be very tricky indeed for the admissions committee.

“Sometimes one interviewer will rave about a candidate, and the other interviewer will want to ding them. (Candidates normally have two interviews). In such situations, the admissions committee can be left scratching their heads, wondering whose report they should give the most weight to. So the videos are really injecting an element of the ‘level playing field’ in terms of the evaluation of how the candidates perform ‘live’ and will be especially useful in evaluating borderline candidates and candidates who have very divergent feedback from their interviewers.”

Among the set of four questions applicants can likely expect, says Edwards is “something to evaluate the candidate’s motivation for applying to the school, which used to be part of an essay question until 2014, when it was removed in an effort to slim down the application a little. Understanding the school’s culture and the value they place on an international mindset are likely to be critical for these video questions.”

INSEAD DOESN’T CHANGE ITS ADMISSIONS PROCESS LIGHTLY

INSEAD also eliminated one 300-word essay question about a candidate’s experience of cultural diversity. “The quality of responses to this question were a bit hit and miss, as some candidates struggled to interpret the question and figure out what the school was looking for here,” says Edwards. “Most likely the school will be looking to evaluate the candidate’s international perspective via the video questions. Adaptability and flexibility in multi-cultural environments is really central to what the school is looking for so I expect to see this come through in the video component and this is also evaluated in the interviews.”

For INSEAD, these are fairly substantial year-over-year changes. As Edwards notes, “INSEAD doesn’t change its admissions process lightly. They experiment much less than other schools with trying different questions to shake things up. The set of essay questions has hardly changed since I applied to the program myself back in 2002. They also haven’t followed the rage amongst many other schools to drastically reduce the length of the application. The school really prides itself on how thorough the application process is and they prefer to err on the side of capturing too much rather than not enough information to make a decision.”

DON’T MISS: 2016-2017 MBA APPLICATION DEADLINES AT LEADING BUSINESS SCHOOLS

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.