MBA Application Videos Likely to Become the New Normal

October 30, 2013
Lucas Weingarten

Video_CameraHave you or are you submitting applications to business school? Was a recorded video component an aspect of one or more of those applications? If so, how did you feel about it?

In a recent US News article, Get Ready for MBA Application Videos, a burgeoning trend in b-school applications is highlighted: the video interview. Unlike traditional interviews conducted face-to-face or even their more modern counterparts, interviews conducted via video conference software such as Skype or FaceTime, these interviews are recorded by the applicant and viewed during the application review process by admissions committee members.

In a previous Kaplan GMAT blog post, MBA Admissions Decisions: A Fly on the Wall, I linked to an interesting exposé on the admissions process at one of the world’s top b-schools: The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Much to the delight of Rotman, when the PR rain comes, it pours, as the institution’s newly revised application criteria is featured again in the above linked US News story.

Rotman’s director of MBA recruitment and admissions, Niki da Silva, inducted a video component to the application package in order to “take a big leap away from the essay writing contest that has become the norm in the MBA admissions world.” In the admissions decision exposé, that video component was brought up and utilized among committee members to help inform admissions decisions.

Unsurprisingly, other competitive institutions have joined in the videography fun. The specific process varies among mentioned schools – Rotman, Yale, Kellogg, Stern, and McCombs – but the purpose of the recorded responses is shared. Recorded responses to posed questions that allow applicants only seconds to prepare provides evaluators the opportunity to better get to know the human being described by all those other quantitative and qualitative application metrics.

Is the individual a quick, agile thinker? Is s/he eloquent yet understandable? Does the applicant have natural poise and presence? Is the applicant well put together and professional in appearance? Can the applicant avoid seeming “canned” and contrived?

If you have had experiences with a video recording as an element of a b-school application, then we definitely want to hear from you!!

Lucas Weingarten Lucas Weingarten teaches students how to beat the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for Kaplan Test Prep and is proud to have earned “elite instructor” status. Lucas writes extensively for Kaplan’s GMAT blog, and in addition to the GMAT and business school as primary subject matter, he regularly explores topics within higher education, economic systems, sustainability, and current events. Lucas spent his formative years in North Carolina and currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, though he has not yet found the part of the world wherein to bury his roots. He has an MBA with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and finance from DePaul University in Chicago and is fortunate to have secured an adjunct teaching position there out of the department of management. Family, friends, and a seemingly endless stream of new hobbies keep Lucas busy and happy outside of the classroom. You can reach out any time by email ( or through the comments thread after his blog posts.

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