Q: I botched my video interviews. Out of the four questions, I only nailed one of them. I really struggled in one of them and gave an incoherent, rambling response. And the other two, I wasn’t as fluent as I could have been and struggled to find the right words.
How true is it that they don’t disqualify people based on the video essays?
A: I listened to an interview last year between a key member of the Adcom and a large admissions consulting firm. Adcom person did indeed say that it was only a means of fishing out applicants who they might have otherwise turned down.
It was criteria that would give them a reason to say yes; not a reason to say no. This might be a lie, but that is their story on paper.
Rather than pacing and ringing your hands, channel that anxiety towards amping up your profile. This way, if you end up getting wait-listed you have a viable reason for submitting an update letter where I can help you make your case over again.
This means: amp up previous or current community service, retake the TOEFL, get a high-profile or international work project, get on the board of something, or if possible, get a promotion.
Getting a promotion at work is the best but the last person I helped get off the INSEAD waitlist…1 month before enrollment…only got promoted to Organizer for the local Soccer Club. So think broadly about leadership.
And of course if it doesn’t end up working out you have more juicy stuff to report for round one US/UK apps if you choose to do that.