Yale Video Essays

Yale has added the Yale video essay as a part of their MBA application process. As the addition is rather new, it is hard to know if the video essays will be different each year, but this is what we know about the Yale video essay 2018:

From the Assistant Dean for Admissions: Tips for Tackling Our Video Questions

when I talk to prospective applicants, many questions tend to be about a piece of the process that occurs after you submit your application: the video questions.

While I can’t give you the questions ahead of time (what fun would that be?), below are some tips that will hopefully put you at ease with the platform, the types of questions asked, and how you can prepare.

1. Get comfortable with the platform.

Once you’ve submitted your application and paid your application fee, you will receive a link on your status page to complete your video questions and you’ll have a few days after the Round 1 application deadline to do so. When you’re ready, you will have the opportunity to complete a practice question first. I highly recommend taking advantage of this option. Beyond helping you get comfortable with the platform, completing this step also offers you the opportunity to adjust your microphone and camera angle after watching the recording of your practice answer. Feel free to complete the practice question more than once; the admission committee will not have access to your practice recordings.

You are probably familiar with Skype, which is broadly analogous to the platform we use for our video questions. As further preparation, you may want to have a friend ask you some practice questions over Skype, but have them turn off their video so you can’t see them—this will make the experience even more similar to the one you’ll have with our video-question platform. You can then practice answering questions on an online platform without receiving any verbal cues, similar to a recording.

2. Be prepared.

Our video questions will resemble questions you could be asked in any standard interview. My biggest piece of advice is to practice answering basic behavioral interview questions. In your answers, we’re looking to assess your potential for leadership and your communication skills.

You will receive three video questions, to which you will have 60 to 90 seconds to respond, depending on the question. If you aren’t familiar with answering questions in this specific timeframe, this can be challenging, so when you practice your responses, be sure to time yourself.

Last, try your best not to leave the video questions until the last minute. They only take 15 minutes to complete, so they won’t require a huge amount of your time, but there is more opportunity for error when you feel rushed. Leave yourself time to ensure you have a quiet, clean space to complete the questions, and limit your chances for interruption. Be sure your internet connection is strong. Although the video questions do not take the place of an interview, it might be helpful to treat them like one: dress professionally and be sure to speak clearly and concisely.

3. Be yourself.

You’ll hear this advice time and again, and for good reason. It is excellent advice.

Speak to your own experiences, successes, and shortcomings. Your story is very different from those of others we will see in the application process, and it is your story we are looking to learn about.

4. Relax.

Finally, and perhaps most important, relax! Don’t feel that your responses need to be perfect. We know that your answers are spontaneous, and we know that your candidacy comprises much more than brief responses to three short questions. So of course take this part of the application seriously, but do not feel that your entire application is riding on it. This is just one aspect of our overall review, and not something that will outweigh other parts of your application.

Remember the video questions were initially developed as a replacement for a test of English language proficiency, which is why we no longer require any applicants to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or any other, similar test. The questions you will be asked are not brainteasers or riddles; rather, they represent another medium to get to know you better.

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare to complete the video question portion of your Yale SOM MBA application. We look forward to learning more about your experiences!


From Yale’s admissions blog: Tips for Answering the Video Questions

We introduced video questions this season as a way to get a fuller, more complete sense of all applicants, rather than only being able to hear directly from those applicants we invite to interview with us. After reviewing this year’s first-round applications, our sense is that the video questions have helped applicants present their candidacies more effectively than they would from a purely “paper” application, and we have heard from applicants themselves that they found the process to be quite positive, despite concerns about their familiarity with the format (if you’ve ever Skyped, you’re familiar with the format).
For Round 2 applicants who have yet to complete their video questions, I offer a few thoughts and insights. You will be asked to answer three questions: first, an open-ended, introductory question about yourself; next, a “behavioral” question similar to what you would be asked in a business school or job interview that asks how you handled a certain professional situation; and finally, a “thought” question that offers a statement and asks if you agree or disagree with it, and why. The questions are meant to give us a better sense of who you are, how you act, and how you think.
The questions themselves do not take long to answer—you can complete them in a single 15-minute session, and all you need is a webcam and an internet connection to do so. Each question gives you 20 seconds to think about the answer and up to 90 seconds for the response (although you don’t need to use all 90 seconds—something I think some Round 1 applicants wished they knew!). And they do not require extensive preparation; the time you spent preparing your application and thinking about yourself and your academic and professional experiences should serve you well for the video questions. I would especially emphasize that we do not expect perfection with these questions. We know that they are unrehearsed, extemporaneous, in-the-moment responses. We are more concerned about the thoughtfulness of your responses than the “polish” of the presentation. (That said, please do dress appropriately.)

For the first and third question you’ll be given 20 seconds to think about your response and then 60 seconds to answer. For the second question you’ll be given 30 seconds to think about your response and then 90 seconds to answer. Additionally, you’ll have time in-between each question, as you are in charge of selecting when you’re ready to move on to the next question.

2020-2021 application instructions:

You will receive access to the video questions after you submit your application and pay your application fee. The video questions are not a substitute for the interview; they are a component of your MBA application.

Every candidate will receive three randomized, previously recorded questions

asked by an admissions team member. No two applicants will have the same set of questions. The questions asked are similar to typical interview questions, and there are no “trick questions.” We are not trying to stump you.

After the question has been asked, two of the questions will allow for 20 seconds to gather your thoughts and 60 seconds to deliver an answer. The third question asked will allow for 30 seconds to prepare your response and 90 seconds to respond. You do not need to fill the entire response time. You can complete your answer and end the recording.

Here are a few tips on the video exercise. First, know you’re going to be great! This is not a deal breaker or maker. It doesn’t require any preparation beyond the practice tool you can access before you start your recordings. Don’t stress; we’re trying to set you up for success. One piece of advice is to familiarize yourself with the 60-90 second time frame. You don’t want to feel rushed in your answer, and you also don’t want to only utilize 10 seconds. Next, practice using Skype so that you can be comfortable speaking to a computer camera, which can feel awkward for some. And finally, be sure you have a good internet connection and a quiet, private space. You’d be surprised how many ‘bloopers’ we see in the video questions due to an unexpected colleague, partner, or pet joining your session!


From BusinessWeek: “To Be a Yale MBA, You Have to Look Good on Video

MBA applicants to the Yale School of Management will soon confront a new wrinkle in the application process: Their answers to some questions will be videotaped.
Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico says Yale, which experimented with video in 2011 and again this year, is making it part of the application for all applicants starting with the 2013-14 application cycle. The move would make Yale one of very few MBA programs that incorporate video into the application process.
DelMonico says one-on-one interviews, while important, do not do the best job of gauging an applicant’s ability to think on his feet. Responses are polished, and one interviewer’s impressions may not be shared by everyone on the admissions team. Video responses can be compared with those of other applicants and reviewed by multiple team members. Since the questions are not known in advance, responses can’t be scripted, he adds.
“Obviously being able to think and speak in the moment is an important quality for business leaders and the people we want to bring into our program,” DelMonico says.
While Yale is still working out the details, DelMonico says applicants will likely be directed to a website via which they will receive three questions. After each opens, they will be given 10 to 20 seconds to think about their response, and a further minute or so to answer the question. The questions, chosen randomly from a list, will probably include a behavioral question asking about a past experience; a thought question asking the applicant to respond to a statement; and a data interpretation question.
The results will be used, along with the rest of the application elements, to evaluate the candidate and to determine if he or she should be invited for an on-campus interview. The addition of the video component will likely be accompanied by a decrease in the number of essay questions. During the 2012-13 application cycle, Yale asked four essay questions. DelMonico says the number of essays will likely be cut in half.
Yale’s approach is very similar to that of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business, which added a video component to its MBA application process last year, citing the difficulty of getting an “authentic” view of applicants from essays. At New York University’s Stern School of Business, applicants have the option of answering one required essay question, using video, artwork, or other media in place of the traditional essay.


Learn about Video Questions and the Interview.


Possible Yale MBA video questions:

• Where do you want to travel in the world and why?
• Explain your hobbies
• What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
• What are your personal steps to conflict resolution?
• Do you think technology divides or unites us?
• How do you define success.
• Most significant accomplishment
• Time when you face resistant
• “leaders do not search consensus but molder of consensus”
• Describe a leadership style you admire
• What qualities would your friends use to describe you.
• How would your friend and coworkers describe you?
• Please respond to the following statement: “Without Arts, an education can not be accomplished” Do you agree or disagree? why?
• Do you think the people who raise capital in an organization are the most important part? Why/why not?
• What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses.
• Please respond to the following statement: “As businesses become more global, the differences between cultures decrease.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
• Tell us about a challenging work experience and how you handled it.
• Tell us about how you engaged with a community or an Organization.
• Tell us about your leadership style.
• How did you contribute to your company/organization?
• Talk about a team disagreement and how you handled it.
• Please respond to the following statement: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Do you agree or disagree? why?
• Do you agree or disagree with the notion that chief executive’s first priority should be a profit for shareholders?
• What accomplishment are you most proud of?
• Tell us about a difficult decision and how you handled it?
• Tell us about a creative solution you designed
• Tell us about a shortcut you and a team could have taken, but decided not to
• If we asked your colleagues about your weakness and strengths, what would they say ?
• How will you resolve a conflict with your future classmates at the program?
• Why is now the time for you to pursue an MBA? / Why have you chosen to do your MBA now?
• Tell us about a time when you fell behind on a task/deadline. Why did you fall behind, and what steps did you take to catch up?
• “The People who we remember most are the people who break the rules.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
• Tell us about a time when you had to exert extra effort to complete a task. What was that task and what steps did you take to be successful?