Interview Prep Tips

How to answer the Yale SOM MBA video questions


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.

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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.


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.