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How Important Is Video Assessment In MBA Admissions?

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Video assessments are increasingly becoming a part of the admission process at top B-schools aimed at assessing the “soft skills” of the candidates like communication ability and personality traits.

Admission experts are of the opinion that communications skills are essential in the case study method used in the MBA programs besides being prized by companies that hire the graduates.

Of course, well-written insightful essays, GMAT scores and interviews with admissions teams or alumni still play a crucial role.

  • B-schools are increasing using video assessments during the admission process to evaluate the candidate in terms of communication ability and other personality traits
  • Video essays also ensure that the applicants do not use unfair methods like using someone else to draft their essays or recommendation letters
  • Admission experts stress honesty and authenticity while answering the questions
  • Candidates should practice answering the questions but not go overboard with the rehearsals. Freshness and spontaneity is to be maintained
  • They should also consider the particular school’s culture and fashion the answers accordingly to let them know that you would fit in and add value to the class

The schools use the video to get an idea of how the students show up not just in the classroom but in a professional setting too, FindMBA quotes Leigh Gauthier, assistant director of recruitment and admissions for Rotman School of Management as saying.

Yet another reason why INSEAD, Yale School of Management, Kellogg School of Management and London Business School are using video assessments is to ensure that the applicants do not use someone else to draft their essays or recommendation letters.

The same method is also being used by several corporate recruiters. It also helps the schools save time and other resources as they do not have to arrange individual interviews with every candidate. The video essay is used to vet the candidates who would be invited for a personal interview if found suitable.

For the applicants, video assessments provide a window of opportunity to convince the admission team about their drive and passions.

The video assessment at Rotman’s involves each student getting two random questions via the webcam to be answered in 90 seconds. They may also have to submit a timed written essay based on a professional scenario, such as a thank-you note to alumni.

So, how would you go about making a good impression during the video interaction? Admission experts stress on honesty and authenticity while answering the questions. Answers that are thoughtful, articulate and share a story about how you dealt with a particular issue at the workplace and resolved it.

You should also practice but not go overboard. As some of the schools like INSEAD make practice questions available to the applicants, you could create a recording of answering the questions, get someone you trust to review and work on resolving the shortcomings. You should be able to maintain freshness and spontaneity. It should not look like flat, memorized or robotic as it would look as if you lack confidence.

You should also consider the particular school’s culture and fashion your answers accordingly to let them know that you would fit in and add value to the class.

Avoid special effects in the video. A plain background, a webcam with clear visuals and sound, and natural light are recommended in a setting conducive for a face-to-face dialogue.

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