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Interview Prep Tips

How to answer the Yale SOM MBA video questions

Introduction

Kellogg’s video essay has been around for a few years now and is an integral part of admission’s assessment of each candidate.  Read on to understand what Kellogg’s style is so you can get into that dream MBA.  

After you finish reading this, practice your answers to the video essay and interview on a platform like Voomer.

Style guide

Yale’s School of Management (SOM) has a pretty unique culture.  Some say it’s because Yale is nestled away in New Haven, Connecticut, others say it’s because of the unique way the Yale SOM structures its classes and proactively pushes its culture.  Regardless of where its culture comes from, it is important to understand it so you can ace the interview.

  1. Yale is very well known for its interest in broader societal issues, which in a business (or organizationally-focused) setting like Yale SOM translates into NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and nonprofits in general.  If you plan to explore those issues when at Yale SOM, make sure that comes through in your answers.
  2. Yale SOM makes extensive use of their raw case study method.  That is when information is presented in an unstructured way.  Make sure to mention any situations in which you had to deal with unstructured information and what you did to figure things out.
  3. Closely related to the above point, Yale SOM places a high value on interdisciplinary thinking.  Try and bring up this when answering questions – try and bring up examples from your past where you had to think beyond whatever you had formal training in.
  4. The student community is particularly vibrant and is always looking to quickly onboard new admits to Yale SOM’s student clubs and organizations.

Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

Questions

Yale SOM asks you to answer three video questions.  The first two are pretty standard while the second one is a classic Yale SOM style question.

The first two questions are behavioral or motivational questions.  I’ve written extensively about them in this blog post.

The third question is related to Yale SOM’s raw and cooked case study method.  Usually, on the video questions, you’ll get a very small “raw” case study question.  This means you’ll be shown some unstructured information and now have to draw conclusions from that.  I’ve written about Yale SOM’s video questions in-depth in this other blog post.

Conclusion

Stay humble, show admissions you did your research and try and highlight the occasions where teamwork was key to your success.  That is what the Yale SOM MBA admissions team is looking for in the video essay and video interview responses.

The other extremely important thing is to practice.  Answering these questions as best you can takes some mental organization and preparation.

Use a platform like Voomer to prep for the essay and interview.  They use the same question bank as Yale SOM admissions does and have AI-powered analysis tools that evaluate your responses so you can improve quickly.

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Interview Prep Tips

How to answer the INSEAD MBA video interview questions

Introduction

INSEAD’s video essay has been around for a few years now and is an integral part of admission’s assessment of each candidate.  Read on to understand what INSEAD’s style is so you can get into that dream MBA.  Remember to practice your answers to the video essay and interview on a platform like Voomer.

We recently made a video that goes over some of the things I’m going to discuss in this article.  Take a look at the video but read on for more!

Style guide

INSEAD is an interesting outlier in a sea of US business schools and so is their culture.  Being aware of its culture and setting up your answers to the video interview questions to match that culture is key to improve your chances of getting admitted.

  1. Geographic diversity is celebrated at INSEAD.  If you have personal experiences outside of your home country or you have multiple home countries, make sure to mention that in one of your responses.

2. If you’ve worked in a country that is not your home country, that also helps a lot with your case.  So make sure to try and bring that up.

3. INSEAD likes candidates that think outside the box.  When answering your video interview questions, mention any situation in which you had to figure out the solution to a problem through an unconventional way.

Questions

You’ll have to answer three questions drawn randomly from a question bank.  You have 45 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to answer.


Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

Most of the questions are behavioral, which means you have to draw from your past experiences and reply following the CAR structure.  I’ve written extensively about behavioral interview techniques here.

Conclusion

Stay humble, show admissions you did your research, and try and highlight the occasions where teamwork was key to your success.  That is what the INSEAD MBA admissions team is looking for in the video essay and video interview responses.

The other extremely important thing is to practice.  Answering these questions as best you can takes mental organization and preparation.

Use a platform like Voomer to prep for the essay and interview.  They use the same question bank as INSEAD admissions does and have AI-powered analysis tools that evaluate your responses so you can improve quickly.

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Interview Prep Tips

How to answer the LBS MBA video essay questions

Introduction

LBS’s video essay has been around for a few years now and is an integral part of admission’s assessment of each candidate.  Read on to understand what LBS’s style is so you can get into that dream MBA.  Remember to practice your answers to the video essay and interview on a platform like Voomer.

Style guide

LBS has ranked consistently at the top of MBA rankings and that is in part due to its strong, vibrant culture.  Being aware of its culture when answering your video interview questions is key to a strong application.

  1. LBS is traditionally seen as a program focused on finance.  Though LBS obviously excels in other areas, if you have solid experience in finance or plan to take your next steps after graduation in finance, make sure to bring that up in one of your answers.
  2. The program tries to foster a strong sense of teamwork among the students.  That even comes through in the requirements for their application.  Bring up any particularly noteworthy team building experience in your responses.
  3. LBS makes a concentrated effort to be a global business school with global appeal.  If you have international work experience, you have to figure out a way to sneak that into one of your answers.

Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

Questions

LBS requires you to answer only two questions rather than the usual three that most other MBA programs require.

The first one is usually a variation on the usual “why do you want an MBA and why at LBS?” that you will see essentially at every MBA program you apply to.

The second one focuses a lot more on behavioral questions which I have written extensively about here.  For the likely questions that will be asked in the second question, you can take a look at another recent blog post of mine which contains many of the recently asked questions.

Conclusion

Stay humble, show admissions you did your research and try and highlight the occasions where teamwork was key to your success.  That is what the LBS MBA admissions team is looking for in the video essay and video interview responses.

The other extremely important thing is to practice.  Answering these questions as best you can takes some mental organization and preparation.

Use a platform like Voomer to prep for the essay and interview.  They use the same question bank as LBS admissions does and have AI-powered analysis tools that evaluate your responses so you can improve quickly.

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Interview Prep Tips

How to answer the Kellogg MBA video essay questions

Introduction

Kellogg’s video essay has been around for a few years now and is an integral part of admission’s assessment of each candidate.  Read on to understand what Kellogg’s style is so you can get into that dream MBA.  Remember to practice your answers to the video essay and interview on a platform like Voomer.

Style guide

Kellogg is known for having a very particular culture.  Some say it’s due to its midwestern setting, others say it is due to the collaborative nature of study there.  Regardless of what the origins are, it is important to understand it so you can ace the video interview.

  1. Be down to earth and avoid showing off in your responses.  Kellogg is known for being a very unassuming place.
  2. Try and emphasize teamwork in your answers.  Kellogg pioneered the emphasis of teamwork in higher business education almost half a century ago.  That culture is still alive and kicking today.
  3. Show how you will contribute.  Kellogg has an extraordinarily strong student participation culture and admissions expects to see that drive to help and contribute in its applicants.
    If you are a marketer (or a budding marketer), make sure that comes through in your answers.  Kellogg is frequently thought of as “the” marketing business school due to the tenure of some marketing luminaries such as Philip Kotler.

Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

Questions

Normally Kellogg has a relatively large question bank and the questions you’ll be asked are drawn from that. However, due to the extraordinary events of 2020, Kellogg has changed their format slightly and will ask the same three questions to all applicants:

  1. Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee.

2. What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you?

3. 2020 has been a year of seismic disruption — fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic, tragic deaths that have brought systemic racism and social justice issues to the forefront of long overdue conversations, and economic and political divides that are growing deeper and deeper. How has this unprecedented year challenged you and how have you faced that challenge?

Conclusion

Stay humble, show admissions you did your research and try and highlight the occasions where teamwork was key to your success.  That is what the Kellogg MBA admissions team is looking for in the video essay and video interview responses.

The other extremely important thing is to practice.  Answering these questions as best you can takes some mental organization and preparation.  

Use a platform like Voomer to prep for the essay and interview.  They use the same question bank as Kellogg admissions does and have AI-powered analysis tools that evaluate your responses so you can improve quickly.

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Interview Prep Tips

MBA video interview – how to prep for success

Introduction

An increasingly large number of MBA schools is using video as part of their admissions process.  We believe that this trend will only accelerate.

That is driven in part by the logistical and health issues that COVID-19 has brought upon us and partly because it truly does give admissions departments a better, more rounded view of who the candidate really is.  Some MBA admissions departments started using video almost a decade ago – and haven’t looked back.  That gives us a good idea of how much value this relatively new assessment technique brings.

Types of interviews

“MBA video interview” is actually a catch all term for several different types of interview.  To add to the confusion, admissions departments use different terms for the same thing.

Synchronous video interviews are when a actual, real person is on the other end of your Zoom or Skype call asking you the questions in real time and listening to your responses.  Stanford GSB for example, uses these types of interviews on some of their programs even before COVID-19 hit.

Asynchronous video interviews are when you listen to a pre-recorded question.  Then, you usually have a certain amount of time to prepare a response and then another pre-determined amount of time to respond.  Kellogg is an example of a MBA program that has been using this video interview format for several years.  

Video essays are when you receive a (usually) written prompt and have to respond to that prompt via video in your own time and generally with a lot more flexibility in how to respond.  MIT Sloan is an example of an MBA program that has been using this video interview format for many years now and has even “exported” it to other business schools it has a relationship with, such as the Asia School of Business.  

How to prepare for the video interview

Though the above video interview categories might seem very different, they are actually pretty similar when it comes to how to prepare for them.

Let’s break this down into two broad categories: how and what.  “How” refers to your presentation skills.  “What refers to the answer itself, the meaning of the words coming out of your mouth”.  

The “how”

You’re applying to a top flight MBA program – play the part.

Dress the part.  That means your clothes should be business casual (at least the top half of your body!) and your personal grooming should be put together.  Recording your videos while still in pajamas with bed hair probably won’t go down well with admissions.

Make and keep eye contact.  This is especially true when recording for the asynchronous video interviews where there is no one on the other end of the camera as you are speaking.  It is a very strange experience which feels very unnatural, which is why you have to practice quite a bit to get this part right.  Use a tool like Voomer to  get used to looking straight into the camera while speaking.

Vary the tone of your voice.  That is important for two reasons:  Firstly it helps to keep the person reviewing your answers engaged.  Remember these people are reviewing multiple videos – and lets face it, they are humans too and get bored or zoned out.  Secondly, varying your tone helps with adding emphasis to parts of your response that need emphasis.  Perhaps a certain keyword you know admissions is looking for can be highlighted with a change in tone or pause.  Voomer has tools to help you practice those two presentation skills.

The “what”

Most of these types of interviews are what’s called “behavioral interviews”.  The interviewer is trying to figure out how you react and respond under certain circumstances – a difficult teammate, falling sales numbers, etc.

There are two key things to the “what”: Firstly, keep your answers grounded in real life examples from your life and business experience – don’t come up with hypotheticals to say you “would” react in a certain way.  Applications want to hear what really happened.  Secondly, keep your answers formatted under the CAR method.  CAR stands for Context, Action, Results.  Essentially, what the situation was, what you did to resolve it and what were the results of that action.

I recently wrote another article that discusses in depth what a behavioral interview is and how to ace one here.

That helps the interviewer easily parse out the information they need for your reply and fill out the report they have to submit.  Remember – you want to make their lives easier!

Conclusion

There is no easy solution – its practice, practice and more practice.  That’s how you’ll get better at MBA video interviews.  Though you can make things easier on yourself by using a MBA video interview prep solution like Voomer.  

On Voomer, you’ll find questions that are specific to each program’s style (some drawn directly from question banks and current applicants) and AI-powered video assessments that help you improve your performance dramatically in the shortest amount of time possible.

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Interview Prep Tips

Alternatives to MBA consultants

Introduction

Congratulations!  If you’ve been invited for an interview, that means you’ve made the first cut.  Your test scores are in the range that the MBA program you selected is looking for, your GPA is good enough and your essays are compelling.  However, all of that is now in the past.

Whether you get in or not now depends on only one thing – the dreaded MBA interview.  Admissions isn’t just listening to what you have to say, they are also listening to how you say things, which under certain circumstances can be more important than the former.

Preparing for your interview is of paramount importance.  Not all MBA programs are looking for the same type of applicant.  They all have different sets of priorities for their class profiles and they use the interview to confirm what they read in your written submission packet, make a call on someone who they might be on the fence about or choose between two or more candidates with extremely similar qualifications and profiles.  

Different schools interview in different ways, with some using asynchronous and synchronous interviews, others only using synchronous interviews ().

How to prep – MBA consultants

Using MBA consultants to prepare for MBA interviews is a relatively common way applicants prepare for interviews.  However, they have a few flaws, which means they might not be for you.

MBA consultants can be extraordinarily expensive.  A “start-to-finish” package for just one application can cost close to $5,000.  Hourly rates for consultants with solid track records can start at $1,000 per hour.

MBA consultants also aren’t always available at a moment’s notice.  Since almost all MBA programs around the world run on very similar schedules, the application cycles are also very similar.  That means that if you got lucky and got invited to an interview at your dream school, the MBA consultant you think is right for you might simply be fully booked for the season.

A critical issue with MBA consultants is that they are human.  Yes, they might have a lot of experience in giving advice on how to ace the interview at a certain program, but ultimately they are human, and humans are subjective creatures.  Their feedback and next steps suggestions might be flat out wrong simply because they are having a bad day or just need to get off the call with you quickly to deal with something more urgent.

How to prep – MBA consultant alternatives

If you are looking for a way to prep for your MBA video interview while not dealing with any of the issues you’ll encounter with MBA consultants, look no further – use Voomer.

Voomer is a MBA video interview prep platform that does away with those issues since it is fully automated.  Artificial intelligence powers the video and audio analysis to ensure that you prep for your interview in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Voomer focuses on your verbal and nonverbal communication to deliver a holistic analysis of your interview prep performance.  Individual scores for each component of your interview allow you to zero in on what is holding you back and suggests personalized next steps to help you improve as fast as possible.  The objective nature of the analysis algorithm ensures you are measuring your progress in a consistent manner, which helps to make your progress clear and keeps you motivated.

Since Voomer is fully automated, you don’t rely on others to sync up their schedules with you.  You can prep anytime, anywhere.  After submitting one or more videos for analysis, our algorithms run through your videos to deliver results as fast as possible so you can keep improving on your time.

Try Voomer today and start with a free evaluation of your MBA video interview skills.

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Interview Prep Tips

How to answer behavioral questions on an MBA video interview with the CAR method

MBA admissions season is now in full swing, with several round 1 decisions already posted and round 2 decisions coming up shortly.  

You’ve picked up that GMAT or GRE score, dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” on your essays.  You’ve badgered your former managers for letters of recommendation and submitted that huge packet of data to your dream school’s admissions department.  If you really put in the effort, you’ll get a video interview.

Video interview format

Video interviews are fast becoming the norm during these crazy COVID months and it looks like for some schools this is here to stay.  Stanford GSB for example only uses video interviews for some of its programs.

MBA video interviews typically involve a mix of questions.  Some of them are very limited in scope, where, for example, admissions wants to understand something that isn’t clear on your CV.  Or they can be extremely broad behavioral questions which give you a lot of leeway in how to answer – up to a certain point.  When discussing software based video interviews, like the ones hosted by Kira, you’ll typically get a lot of behavioral questions.

What is a behavioral question?

A behavioral question is one that tries to understand how you’ve handled (or how you behaved – surprise, surprise) certain situations or circumstances.  They should be based on past events and therefore completely grounded in facts.

Do not even think of making up something on the spot or stretching the facts of your answer – admissions can easily pick out inconsistencies across your entire application package and probing questions are bound to uncover exaggerations.

How do I answer a behavioral question?

Given the above description of a behavioral question, your answer should be based on examples of things that happened to you at work or in your personal life.

There are two main methods for answering these questions, the CAR method and the STAR method.  Those two methods are virtually identical.

The CAR method helps you structure your answer in three stages: Context.  Action.  Result.  

Conversely, the STAR method helps you structure your answer in four stages: Situation.  Task.  Action.  Result.

Personally, I prefer the CAR method – simply because I only have to remember three things instead of four.  So lets dive into that.

Answering an MBA interview question using the CAR method

“Context” is precisely that – what was the situation you faced at your job or in your personal life.  This helps admissions get situated for what comes next and set expectations.  Remember admissions reviews a huge amount of highly qualified applicants, so context is important – or else you’ve lost them right out of the gate and you are now at a disadvantage.  Typically, the context you are giving is one of a problem at work.  Either sales targets aren’t being hit, there are quality control issues or just plain dysfunction among team members.  The stage is being set for you to come in and save the day.

“Action” is what you did to remedy that situation.  Did you come up with a plan to turn sales around?  Did you come up with some innovative manufacturing method that eliminated quality control issues?  Did you talk to and motivate your team members to work constructively as a group?  Make sure to tell admissions how you did all that, this is what they are really looking for.  

Behavioral question prep on MBA video interviews
MBA video interview prep – make sure you don’t forget this key step!

Before moving on to the last letter in CAR, there is one word in the above paragraph which is extremely important – “you”.  We’ve seen this mistake being make over and over again, even with well prepared applicants.  Admissions does not care what the “team” did – they want to know specifically what YOU did.  They want to understand how much of a force for positive change you are, how you exercise your leadership skills and how  you go about implementing all that.

“Results” is the conclusion to your answer.  Given the above context and given what you did to remedy it – what happened?  Did those sales numbers really go up?  Did those quality issues really go away?  Did those people really start getting along?  The important thing to remember here is to add data when possible.  If you are discussing recent events and you still remember the numbers, mention those in your answer.  If you don’t, mention that, and give your best estimate.

If we go back to the STAR method – where does the “T” for “task” go?  Well, you were given a task, by either your manager or yourself.  That is broadly covered by the “context” category in CAR.

Keep your best examples top of mind

When interview time comes, you’ll likely be nervous and you might even get “caught in the headlights” with a question you didn’t expect.  That’s why its so important to keep around 5 to 7 examples interesting things that happened in your career or personal life top of mind.  A truly interesting example is also versatile, and can be adapted to answer a broad range of behavioral MBA interview questions.

Conclusion

First, make sure you are clear on the CAR response format.  Think of all your answers to behavioral questions using that structure – make admissions life easy, they are looking for precisely those things in an answer.

Second, think of a handful of examples that are really compelling and keep those top of mind.  When you get hit with the behavioral questions you can adapt those to answer almost anything.

Last but not least in third is to remember who is doing the things in your answer.  It should be YOU, not the team, not your manager.  If you were a bystander in the actions you are describing, look for a better, more compelling example.

Make sure you do lots of practice runs to familiarize yourse
lf with recording video without anybody else on the other end.

Voomer is a great way to get that practice since it was built from the ground up with this scenario in mind.

Questions on Voomer match what you’ll get on the interview of your dream school.  After going through a set of questions, you’ll get an artificial intelligence-powered report on your results with specific, actionable steps you can take to improve your performance.

Your response is broken down into multiple components and analyzed individually and then as a whole.  From delivery to content to body language and camera position, multiple data points are analyzed to ensure you have the best MBA video interview prep available.

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Interview Prep Tips

Alternatives to mock interviews for MBA applicants

Background – The importance of prepping

Congratulations!  If you’ve been invited for an interview, that means you’ve made the first cut.  Your test scores are in the range that the MBA program you selected is looking for, your GPA is good enough and your essays are compelling.  However, all of that is now in the past.

Whether you get in or not now depends on only one thing – the dreaded MBA interview.  Admissions isn’t just listening to what you have to say, they are also listening to how you say things, which under certain circumstances can be more important than the former.

Preparing for your interview is of paramount importance.  Not all MBA programs are looking for the same type of applicant.  They all have different sets of priorities for their class profiles and they use the interview to confirm what they read in your written submission packet, make a call on someone who they might be on the fence about or choose between two or more candidates with extremely similar qualifications and profiles.  

Different schools interview in different ways, with some using asynchronous and synchronous interviews, others only using synchronous interviews.

How to prep – mock interviews

Mock interviews are a very common way applicants prepare for interviews.  However, they have a few flaws, which means they might not be for you.

Mock interviews always depend on another person to interview you and give feedback on your performance.  That means that scheduling times that make sense for you and your mock interviewers isn’t the most trivial matter.  Some applicants we talked to rank this as one of the worst problems with mock interviews, and this frequently limits the amount of time they spend practicing due to scheduling conflicts with their mock interviewers.

Two people doing a mock interview.
Mock interviews have been the go-to way to prep for MBA interviews till now.

Quality assurance is also an issue since friends that help you out with mock interviews may not always be aware of the finer points of the program you are applying to or they might stray from the question bank.  Not to mention the most critical issue – coming up with quality feedback that helps you improve.

The scheduling and quality control issues are not done away when using fellow applicants or MBA consultants since ultimately, these are humans.  They have scheduling issues and depending on how they feel on a certain day, their feedback might also set you on a wrong track.

If you are looking for a way to prep for your MBA video interview while not dealing with any of the problems that mock interviews have, look no further – use Voomer.

How to prep – mock interview alternatives

Voomer is a MBA video interview prep platform that does away with those issues since it is fully automated.  Artificial intelligence powers the video and audio analysis to ensure that you prep for your interview in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Voomer focuses on your verbal and nonverbal communication to deliver a holistic analysis of your interview prep performance.  Individual scores for each component of your interview allow you to zero in on what is holding you back and suggests personalized next steps to help you improve as fast as possible.  The objective nature of the analysis algorithm ensures you are measuring your progress in a consistent manner, which helps to make your progress clear and keeps you motivated.

Since Voomer is fully automated, you don’t rely on others to sync up their schedules with you.  You can prep anytime, anywhere.  After submitting one or more videos for analysis, our algorithms run through your videos to deliver results as fast as possible so you can keep improving on your time.

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Interview Prep Tips

Yale SOM MBA video question prep

Yale’s School of Management has been using video as part of the application process at their prestigious MBA program for many years now.

Yale SOM made video a part of the admissions process back in 2014 and sources indicate that the relative importance of a candidate’s video essay has increased over time.  Therefore, prepping thoroughly for Yale SOM’s MBA video questions is a key part of a successful applicant’s journey to admission.

Admissions staff at Yale SOM value the video questions greatly since it allows them to get a better feel for the candidates are, in an environment that is not as staged as a written essay (which some candidates even outright hire ghostwriters to pen them a perfect essay) or relentlessly drill for as the face to face interview.

What to expect

Questions on the video questions tend to mix up classic MBA application questions (for example, “why do you want an MBA from Yale”, “what is your greatest achievement”, etc) with questions that would probably never make it to a formal face to face interview, such as “where do you want to travel to?”.  This gives credence to what admissions has publicly stated as the purpose of the video interview – to simply get to know the applicant.

Recording the Yale video questions is a relatively straightforward process.  The interview is run on a platform managed by a company called Kira Talent.  You have to answer three questions.  Those questions are delivered in the form of a video recording, one at a time.  For the first two questions, the applicant has 20 seconds to prepare an answer after listening to the question and 30 seconds to respond.  The third question has a prep timer of 60 seconds and the response time is 90 seconds.  There are no retries!

2020 Yale video questions

Yale’s first two video questions are fairly typical of MBA application video submissions, but the third is decidedly unique.

The first question revolves the question of why you chose to pursue an MBA.  This can be phrased in several different ways but the question is essentially the same – make sure to have that answer ready to go.

The second question is typically a behavioral question.  If you’ve ever been through an interview that asks you about “your greatest challenge” or “a time you had to resolve a conflict between two teammates” – those are behavioral questions.  You should always answer those questions drawing from your past experiences.  Give them context, tell them what do you did improve the situation, and what was the result of those actions.

The third question is more complex and draws on Yale’s use of “raw” and “cooked” case studies.  “Raw” case studies are when the information is presented to you in an unstructured, unconsolidated way – much like you’ll find information in the real world!  On the third question, you will be presented with some information and you need to demonstrate the ability to handle complex issues quickly and convincingly.

MBA Video Interviews are becoming increasingly important, but finding the right setting can be a challenge.

To be absolutely clear: You only have one chance to record those answers!  There are no retries!  Once you’ve recorded your answer there is no way you can record again.  The only exception is if there is a legitimate technical issue and the Kira staff verify that video was not captured or there was some other sort of problem.  If you ask Yale admissions to redo the video interview without a valid technical reason, your application will probably be flagged and not in a good way.


Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

How to prepare for the video essay

A good way to avoid stressing out due to technical issues is testing the Kira platform before you start answering the Yale questions.  Kira has a helpful section on their website that explains in great details the technical step-by-step of recording video and what to do in case there are any technical issues.

Another big thing to look out for when preparing for the video interview is how unnatural it is to record yourself talking into your camera.  Everyone does selfie videos but this is quite a different experience!

Make sure you do lots of practice runs to familiarize yourself with recording video without anybody else on the other end.

Get ahead of the competition

Voomer is a great way to get that practice since it was built from the ground up with this scenario in mind.  When it comes to doing well on interviews, there is only one way to improve and get ahead of the competition – practice, practice and more practice.

Questions on Voomer match what you’ll get on the Yale video interview and after going through a set of questions, you’ll get an artificial intelligence powered report on your results with specific, actionable steps you can take to improve your performance.

Your response is broken down into multiple components and analyzed individually and then as a whole.  From delivery to content to body language and camera settings.

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Interview Prep Tips

LBS MBA application essay review

So you’ve decided to apply to an MBA, congratulations!  This is a great first step towards taking part in a transformative experience that will be with you for the rest of your life.

No matter what program you’ve decided to apply to, the application process usually follows the same steps:

  1. Prep for the GMAT or GRE and get a competitive score
  2. Write one or more compelling essays
  3. Collect and submit letters of recommendation, transcripts and an updated CV
  4. If the above three items paint an interesting picture, you’ll get invited to an interview

Today, we’ll talk about how you should think about your essays.

LBS asks for only two essays but at 500 words, their recommended length is slightly higher than most other MBA programs.

What should I write about in the LBS essay?

The answer to that question seems extraordinarily simple – just use the prompt that was given to you by the LBS admissions department.  This year LBS requires all applicants to write one essay.  As most other MBA programs do, there is the option to write a second essay.

  1. First essay
What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School program contribute towards these?

2. Second essay (optional)

Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School?

Your question bank sample is on the way! You can practice live now at https://tryvoomer.com!
We’ve not been able to send you a Question Bank, but at Voomer you can start practicing with these questions now.

So I just answer those questions?

Yes, but do so in a way that you avoid the number 1 mistake we see applicants make over and over – repeating information already available somewhere else.

As part of your application, you’ve updated your CV – there is a lot of information on that document.  To name a few that you’d typically find on a CV, names of companies you’ve worked at, highlights of the results you managed to accomplish, your job titles, etc.

Does it make sense to repeat all of that on the essays?  Nope.

Do lots of applicants fall into that trap and repeat information already documented on their CVs?  Yep.

Do you think admissions likes to read essays that talk about things already discussed somewhere else in your application?  I’ll let you answer that one…

Answering the first essay on your LBS application

Notice how the prompt talks about “post-MBA goals” and “previous experience”.  That is a great clue that will help you write a truly impactful essay.  Nothing on that prompt talks about job specific issues.

CVs are normally broken down into tightly timeboxed periods, mostly linked to job titles.  This makes telling stories about how you created value in ways that crossed departments, job titles, years, etc very hard in a CV.  So the first essay should focus on that.  

LBS MBA application essay review
LBS MBA essay review. Don’t miss this important step.

You could talk about how you mentored someone over several years and how they grew.  Or how a project you started as an analyst at a company was built upon by others even as you moved to another department.

On that first question, you want to tell admissions about things that the rest of your application cannot answer.

Answering the second essay on your LBS application

Most MBA programs will have a section within their application that allow you to write about extenuating circumstances that might explain a low GPA, GMAT/GRE score, large gap in your employment history, etc.

LBS however, elevates this to “essay” category, rather than a simple textbox somewhere in your application.

Some might be tempted to use this opportunity to talk about some achievement of theirs that isn’t very prominent in the rest of the application – resist that temptation.

Admissions expects to read about extenuating circumstances that explain something unexpected in your application.  They do not want to hear about how you increased sales at ACME Corp. by 20%.

So only write that essay if there truly is something that needs to be brought to light.

Conclusion and special offer – free LBS essay review

The LBS admissions department gives you the opportunity to branch out from your CV and work experience – take those opportunities.  It helps to make admissions life a lot easier and reading your essays more interesting – ultimately, improving your odds!

At Voomer, we are offering free LBS MBA essay reviews for a limited time.  

Just use our MBA interview prep platform (also free!) and we’ll review one of your essays.

Questions on Voomer match what you’ll get on the LBS video interview and after going through a set of questions, you’ll get an artificial intelligence powered report on your results with specific, actionable steps you can take to improve your performance.

Your response is broken down into multiple components and analyzed individually and then as a whole.  From delivery to content to body language and camera position.