Yale School of Management

From the Director of Admissions: Tips for Answering the Video Questions

Happy New Year! With the Round 2 application deadline a week away on January 9, I thought it would be a good time to talk about video questions, a new element in this year’s Yale SOM application.

January 2, 2014

We introduced video questions this season as a way to get a fuller, more complete sense of all applicants, rather than only being able to hear directly from those applicants we invite to interview with us. After reviewing this year’s first-round applications, our sense is that the video questions have helped applicants present their candidacies more effectively than they would from a purely “paper” application, and we have heard from applicants themselves that they found the process to be quite positive, despite concerns about their familiarity with the format (if you’ve ever Skyped, you’re familiar with the format).

For Round 2 applicants who have yet to complete their video questions, I offer a few thoughts and insights. You will be asked to answer three questions: first, an open-ended, introductory question about yourself; next, a “behavioral” question similar to what you would be asked in a business school or job interview that asks how you handled a certain professional situation; and finally, a “thought” question that offers a statement and asks if you agree or disagree with it, and why. The questions are meant to give us a better sense of who you are, how you act, and how you think.

The questions themselves do not take long to answer—you can complete them in a single 15-minute session, and all you need is a webcam and an internet connection to do so. Each question gives you 20 seconds to think about the answer and up to 90 seconds for the response (although you don’t need to use all 90 seconds—something I think some Round 1 applicants wished they knew!). And they do not require extensive preparation; the time you spent preparing your application and thinking about yourself and your academic and professional experiences should serve you well for the video questions. I would especially emphasize that we do not expect perfection with these questions. We know that they are unrehearsed, extemporaneous, in-the-moment responses. We are more concerned about the thoughtfulness of your responses than the “polish” of the presentation.  (That said, please do dress appropriately.)

For those of you applying by our Round 2 deadline, you have until deadline at the 5 p.m. on January 9 to complete the questions (candidates applying to us through the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management will receive the video questions after submitting their applications to the Consortium by its January 5 deadline.)  If you have any questions about your application before the deadline—whether about the video questions or anything else—feel free to email us at mba.admissions@yale.edu.  Good luck!

Bruce DelMonico
Assistant Dean and Director

Admissions Office
Yale School of Management
135 Prospect Street
Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
203.432.5635, Admissions Office
203.432.6380, Visitor Center
fax 203.432.7004


About the author

Bruce DelMonico

Assistant Dean of Admissions