A number of third-round MBA applicants to Yale SOM MBA program were asked to participate in a pre-recorded video interview.This was not the usual MBA video Skype interview, in which applicants can interact with an admissions staff member. The students were asked three questions and had to record themselves speaking via a webcam. This new tool for interviewing students was also part of the wait-list process at University of Texas at Austin, where wait-listed students were offered the opportunity to include a recorded video interview in their applications as additional information.

Yale SOM Interview: In-person versus Video

The Yale SOM video interview included three questions. From the reports I’ve seen so far, they were a combination of common MBA questions about the candidate’s profile, work experience, personality, and understanding of business. The personal questions are not a big surprise to anyone preparing for a standard MBA interview, but the setting itself is more of a challenge, as applicants often feel awkward interacting with a webcam rather than an individual.

MBA interviews at Yale SOM this year have included on-campus interviews, an MBA interview superday (where about 150 applicants were interviewed by second-year students and admissions staff), and off-campus interviews with adcom ; the average length of these interviews was 30-40 minutes.
The big question here is whether Yale SOM is planning to admit MBA applicants based on this very short recorded video interview, consisting of the answers to only three questions. According to  the email sent to the applicants, the video interview was due by May 9, 2013, and the applicant can expect to hear back with an admissions decision by May 16. The short time-frame between the two brings up the question  of whether this information will be sufficient for the Yale Admissions team to decide whether an applicant should be admitted into the program.

Is This Good News for MBA Applicants? (and SOM students)

Top MBA programs have prided themselves on interviewing each and every member of the incoming class, and it is often the MBA interview that makes or breaks the admissions decision for many applicants, in terms of fit, communications skills, and potential.  The clear benefit of this tool is that top MBA programs such as Yale SOM can now interview a larger group of candidates with the same (or even fewer) resources; still, I wonder whether such a short interview is a true indication of one’s ability to become a contributing member of an MBA program and a valuable alumnus/alumna. While the opportunity to record a video interview is better than simply being placed on the waitlist, it still doesn’t feel like  the equivalent of a full-fledged MBA interview.

And the Yale SOM Video Questions are….

Here are some of the questions that have been asked in the past by Yale SOM:

  1. What qualities would your friends use to describe you.
  2. How would your friend and coworkers describe you? 
  3. Please respond to the following statement: “Without Arts, an education can not be accomplished” Do you agree or disagree? why?  
  4. What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Please respond to the following statement: “As businesses become more global, the differences between cultures decrease.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  6.  Tell us about a challenging work experience and how you handled it. 
  7. Tell us about how you engaged with a community or an Organization. 
  8. Tell us about your leadership style. 
  9. How did you contribute to your company/organization? 
  10. 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? 
  11. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  12. Tell us about a difficult decision and how you handled it?
  13. Tell us about a creative solution you designed
  14. If we asked your colleagues about your weakness and strengths, what would they say ? 
  15. How will you resolve a conflict with your future classmates at the program? 



 How did your Yale SOM video interview go, and did you feel you got a chance to present yourself? Please share your experiences in the “Comments” section.

Other relevant articles to help you with your MBA application:

Let me help you ace your MBA interview. Schedule a mock interview (audio or video) and get immediate feedback on your performance. Email yael @ admit1mba.com and include your resume and target schools.
Relevant topics: Yale SOM , Yale MBA Interview, MBA Interviews tips, MBA video interview.
MBA Interview preparation
Yale MBA Interview Preparation