INSEAD Video Essays
INSEAD has only recently started requiring MBA applicants to answer INSEAD video essay questions, so the information available about the INSEAD video essay is limited. The following information has been published by INSEAD themselves, about the matter, however:
Video Interviews (from September 2017 intake onwards)
Upon submission of your application form, you will receive a message requesting you to record video interviews through Kira Talent. You will also be able to access this from your online application dashboard. Please complete your video interviews within one week of submitting your application. Through the videos we hope to get a deeper insight into your background.
Shortly after completing your INSEAD MBA online application, you will receive an e-mail notification from Kira Talent with a unique link to complete 4 video interviews. Your link will be also available on your dashboard within the application system.
The video should be seen as a unique opportunity for you to share your passions, your motivations and who you truly are. The Admissions Committee is interested in obtaining an authentic view of you as a person, to see how you think on your feet and how you convey your ideas.
The video interviews do not replace the face-to-face interviews with Alumni.
Your application will be considered as complete and ready to be reviewed only once we have received your answers to the video interviews. The latest date by which you can record the video is a week after the application deadline you are applying for. We strongly recommend however that you complete this step before the final date to allow yourself some time to prepare for this exercise.
MOST COMMON QUESTIONS
HOW MANY QUESTIONS ARE IN THE VIDEO INTERVIEWS?
You must record your answers to 4 questions. Questions always vary from one applicant to another. You have 45 seconds to prepare each answer and 60 seconds to record your answer.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN I TRY THE PRACTICE QUESTIONS?
You can practice an unlimited number of times. The practice session has several questions available and you can do as many practice sessions as you need to feel comfortable with the video interviewing. You do not need to complete everything in one go. You can create an account and come back later.
ARE THE PRACTICE QUESTIONS RECORDED?
No, the practice questions are available for you to prepare, learn and improve. You can replay them and see how you performed and/or check if the sound and image are satisfactory.
WHAT TECHNOLOGY IS NEEDED?
You will need an internet connection, a camera and a microphone. You can test your devices before starting the exercise. If you wish to use your phone, you can download the Kira interviews for your iOS or Android device. It works with iOS 7+, and Android 4.0+. If you are searching on an iPad, please check under iPhone Only apps.
WHAT IS THE ADDRESS FOR THE TECHNICAL SUPPORT?
If you experience technological issues with the video (practice questions, device set up, etc.), please check the following technical support webpage https://www.kiratalent.com/support/. You can either e-mail, phone or chat with the Kira technicians.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE LINK TO THE VIDEO?
The unique link to the video interview is available within an hour of submitting your application. An e-mail message containing the link is sent to you by Kira Academic. The link is also available on the dashboard of the online application system.
WHEN SHOULD I SUBMIT THE VIDEO INTERVIEW?
Please complete your video interviews at your earliest convenience and no later than 48 hours after the deadline to which you are applying. We strongly recommend however that you complete this step before the final date to allow yourself some time to prepare for this exercise.
1. Get ready by practicing. You can practice as much as you want. Practicing will enable you to convey authentic and genuine answers. Practice questions are not shared with the Admissions Committee;
2. Test your camera, your microphone, forget the technology and look at the camera as if you were talking to the Admissions Committee;
3. Wear business or business casual attire, but the Admissions Committee will not judge your look or your background;
4. Prepare a notebook next to you to write down your ideas; you will have 45 seconds to prepare each answer; you will have 60 seconds to share each answer with the Admissions Committee.
INSEAD recently announced some changes to the admissions process for the September 2017 intake and going forward.
The school has been thinking about these changes for some time, and from our 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. 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. Caroline Diarte Edwards from our team at Fortuna remembers from her 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. Furthermore, 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.
The school has at the same time eliminated one essay question, which was about the candidate’s experience of cultural diversity: “Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (approx. 300 words)”). 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. 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 we expect to see this come through in the video component (and this is also evaluated in the interviews).
INSEAD doesn’t change its admissions process lightly – they experiment much less than other schools with trying different questions to shake things up. Caroline, as an MBA alum herself, stated that “The set of essay questions has hardly changed since I applied to the program 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. Candidates also often appreciate that they really get enough airtime with INSEAD to be able to get their story across.
The school will be hoping that the video component doesn’t deter any candidates from applying, and hence impact application volume. That’s also why they have eliminated one essay – to roughly keep the effort required to apply the same. They are also trying to keep the video component as straightforward as possible, so that candidates don’t feel intimidated.
The school is also introducing the videos so that candidates have another mechanism to communicate their candidacy to the school. Some great candidates aren’t brilliant at presenting themselves on paper, but can do a much better job verbally. So this is a really positive evolution in terms of giving candidates more scope to express themselves in the application process.
Finally here are a few pointers for candidates in terms of what to expect for the videos:
Candidates will be asked 4 questions (unknown at this point) – there are no right or wrong answers – the hope is to offer applicants a fun and interactive way of engaging with the ad coms.
- The video link is available after the applicant has submitted his/her application (within an hour)
- The video link is displayed on the dashboard of the applicant
- The video link is also sent to them via email
Applicants will have a week to complete this component. Then, the application will be considered as “complete” and can be reviewed.
As an applicant, if you find yourself in unexpected poor conditions while recording the video (the doorbell rings, the dog starts to bark, it is a total mess), INSEAD can exceptionally reset his/her answers to one or all 4 questions.
Examples for INSEAD video questions:
- Explain what you would do to gain respect as a new manager.
- Describe a time when understanding someone else’s perspective helped you understand him/her better.
- Please describe a situation in which you worked will people from different background and how did you adapted.
- Please describe a situation in which you worked with someone who had different opinions than yours.
- Give examples of how you stay focused on your vision or the vision of your company?
- What do you know about the INSEAD MBA program?
- What do you think are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
- What do you believe to be the 3 top values of a business/company?
- What are the 3 factors that you would like to incorporate in your company?
- How would INSEAD help you to achieve your career goals?
- What makes you can good candidate for the INSEAD MBA program?
- Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way.
- Tell us about an international encounter you had. what did you learn from it?
- Tell me about an experience living, travelling, studying or working abroad. What was this experience like for you?
- Tell us about a manager you looked up to – what were the qualities you liked?
- A colleague is asking you to help him/her to assess his/her future career options. How do you help him/her grow?
- How would you define success for your career?
- If you were a team leader an you had a worker who is constantly under-delivers – what would you do?
- Please explain why and how networking will help you in a start-up situation?
- If you had unlimited resources and funds – what company will you create?