Best Practices For the INSEAD Video Essay: A Comprehensive Guide!

With the surge in applications to European business schools, INSEAD stands out as a top-tier choice for many MBA aspirants. Known for its global reach, boasting representation from over 94 nationalities, INSEAD offers a unique experience. However, many applicants, after dedicating hours to the written essays, often underestimate the importance of the video essay component. This oversight can be detrimental.


Why the Video Essay Matters

The video essay serves a dual purpose. Not only does it provide the admissions committee a chance to match a face to the name, but it also offers insights into an applicant’s communication style and values. Surprisingly, the video essay often holds more weight than the admissions interview itself. Hence, it’s crucial to approach this component with the seriousness it deserves.


Understanding the Video Essay

Introduced in 2016, the video essay has become an integral part of the INSEAD application. It offers the admissions committee a genuine glimpse into an applicant’s personality, motivations, and thought processes. The process is straightforward. After submitting the application, candidates receive an email link to the video essay platform. Here, they face four questions, with 45 seconds to ponder and a minute to respond. The catch? No redos.


The Format

If you’ve taken the TOEFL, the INSEAD video essay format will seem familiar. A video question is presented, followed by a written version. After the allotted thinking time, the clock starts ticking for your response. It’s essential to remain engaged throughout, even during upload times, to avoid missing out on subsequent questions.


Technicalities and Deadlines

INSEAD recommends using a computer with a stable internet connection, camera, and microphone. While mobile devices are technically supported, they’ve proven inconsistent. And remember, the video essay must be submitted within 48 hours of your application round’s deadline.


What are the Types of Questions?

Though the questions are randomized, they often revolve around four main themes:

  1. INSEAD-specific Questions: These gauge your interest in and knowledge about INSEAD. Be genuine and specific about your reasons for choosing INSEAD.
  2. Collaboration and Teamwork: INSEAD values diversity and teamwork. Questions in this category assess your ability to work harmoniously with diverse groups.
  3. Diversity and Culture: With its emphasis on global representation, INSEAD often probes your experiences with and appreciation for diverse cultures.
  4. Miscellaneous: These can range from personal inspirations to ethical dilemmas. They offer a chance to showcase your values and personality.


Top Tips for Crafting an Exceptional INSEAD Video Essay

The video essay is not just another box to tick; it’s a unique opportunity to showcase your personality, values, and fit with the INSEAD community. Here are some detailed tips to ensure your video essay stands out:

1. Be Personable on Camera:

    • Practice: Before the actual recording, practice multiple times. Record yourself answering potential questions, review your responses, and refine your delivery.
    • Engage with the Camera: Maintain eye contact. This creates a connection, making your responses feel more personal and genuine.
    • Express Emotion: A smile can be powerful. It portrays confidence, warmth, and positivity. Similarly, use varied tones to convey passion and enthusiasm.
    • Body Language: Sit upright and avoid slouching. Your posture can convey confidence and interest. Also, be mindful of hand gestures; they should complement, not distract from your message.


2. Think on Your Feet:

      • Adaptability: While it’s essential to prepare, be ready to adapt your answers to unexpected questions.
      • Versatile Experiences: Have a set of broad experiences in mind that can be tailored to fit a variety of questions. This ensures you’re never caught off guard.
      • Stay Calm: If a question surprises you, take a deep breath. Use your 45 seconds wisely to structure a coherent response.

3. Be the Protagonist:

    • Highlight Your Role: When discussing team projects or collaborations, emphasize your contributions. What was your role? How did you influence the outcome?
    • Showcase Achievements: Don’t be shy about sharing your accomplishments. This is your chance to shine and demonstrate your value.

4. Diversify Your Examples:

    • Fresh Stories: Avoid rehashing examples used in other parts of your application. Bring in new stories that offer additional insights into your experiences and values.
    • Relevance: Choose examples that resonate with INSEAD’s values and the message you want to convey.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice:

    • Mock Sessions: Use potential questions to conduct mock video essay sessions. This helps you get comfortable with the format and timing.
    • Feedback: Share your recorded practices with friends, mentors, or professionals. Constructive feedback can offer valuable insights and areas for improvement.
    • Use the Platform: INSEAD provides practice questions on their platform. Utilize this feature to familiarize yourself with the actual recording environment.

Incorporating these tips will not only enhance the quality of your video essay but also convey a strong, positive impression to the admissions committee. Remember, the video essay is a reflection of you; make it count!

MentorMpact – Your Trusted Partner in MBA Admissions

In conclusion, the INSEAD video essay is a golden opportunity to showcase your personality, values, and fit with the INSEAD community. Approach it with the preparation and seriousness it deserves, and you’ll be one step closer to joining the ranks of INSEAD’s global MBA community. With our expertise, we will provide unwavering support to help you stand out among other applicants.

  1. Personalized Application Strategy: Our experienced consultants will work closely with you to create a tailored application strategy that highlights your strengths and addresses your weaknesses head-on.
  2. Strengthening Your Weaknesses: We’ll provide you with targeted guidance and preparation to transform your weaknesses into strengths, ensuring a compelling application.
  3. Comprehensive Essay Assistance: Crafting a powerful essay is vital. Our skilled consultants will help you articulate your journey, experiences, and aspirations effectively.
  4. Optimal Recommender Selection: The right letters of recommendation can make a significant difference. We’ll assist you in choosing recommenders who can eloquently highlight your strengths and improvements.
  5. Interview Preparation: A successful interview is the final step. We’ll equip you with the skills and confidence needed to ace your interviews, even addressing questions about your weaknesses.

Contact us to know more!