The Newest Requirement In Your MBA Application: Video
Nicole Buscema applied to business school at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She had studied for the admissions test and written an entry essay, yet there was one more requirement that she needed: a video interview.
“What film best describes your life?” she was asked.
“I was a little anxious, but it gave the admissions team a sense of who I was,” Buscema tells Financial Times. “You can’t always convey your personality in writing.”
The video requirement is finding its way into several MBA applications. While written essay still remain an integral part of the application, Financial Times writer Seb Murray reports that the video component is “an effort to improve efficiency in the search for the right students.”
Minh Huy Lai is the managing director for INSEAD’s full-time MBA programme. She says the video component offers something a written essay cannot.
“With videos, we detect the level of English, body language, confidence and public speaking skills,” Lai says.
Video questions also allow admissions committees to get a more authentic portrayal of a candidate, which isn’t always the case with written essays. Lai says some candidates compose their admissions essays with admissions consultants. “With videos there is no cheating,” he says.
Yale School of Management requires applicants to answer three mandatory video questions on top of writing an essay. Laurel Grodman, director of admissions, says both are equally important to an application.
“If a candidate sheds more light on their essay, that can also help them,” Grodman says.
SDA Bocconi School of Management was the first European school to add mandatory video interviews to its application.
Giuseppe Soda, the school dean, says that the video approach offers admissions committees a more authentic portrayal of the applicant that is often difficult to capture in a written essay.
“The problem was that they were always the same sort of essay,” Soda says. “Written pieces can be faked so a video seems a better way.”