Q: Here’s a quick question. Does INSEAD require International experience?
A: Yes and no. Adcom will say that they care more about an international perspective or orientation, but having international experience definitely is good proof that you might have that.
With regards to examples, my #1 message about this essay is DO NOT TALK ABOUT WORK. They mention *personal* like 9 times in the prompt. This is the #1 error that most people make. There are so many opportunities to talk about work elsewhere in the INSEAD application.
One of my R1 candidates has a past history of organizing groups or initiatives that help others achieve a dream they felt was impossible “on the cheap” and provided 2 quick anecdotes to support that. The mantra is show don’t tell. Make your claims, but make sure to illustrate this with examples (for both strengths and weaknesses.)
If you don’t have a lot of clarity around your strengths and weaknesses- survey your friends and family and ask for their input with this. I use this tool, it is free for 15 days. Make sure to let everyone know you need feedback rather quickly. http://www.reachcc.com/reach/survey.nsf
The strengthfinders assessment is also very useful, if you can support the results it with personal anecdotes. If you buy the book it comes with an assessment. http://www.strengthsfinder.com/home.aspx
And finally, there is a values quiz on MindTools https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm
The key is to reflect on past times in your life when you did well (and not so well) and trace back the strengths and weaknesses those point to.
The objective of this question is to give them insight into who you are, not just what you have done. And from this, they can discern your level of self-awareness.
With this question, you want to make an emotional connection with the adcom. So often applicants spend all their time discussing accomplishments but are afraid to open up and describe who they really are as a person.
When someone is candid about their failings, it opens our heart to them, and we feel more connected to them. The importance of making an emotional, heartfelt connection to make you memorable cannot be overstated.
The video interview is basically (and eerily) similar to the TOEFL Speaking section. You get 45 second to prep, 60 seconds to answer. Record yourself as many times as possible!! I have my candidates record themselves, upload to YouTube and send me the link so I can coach them around it. For the “give me an example” questions use STAR format https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situation,_Task,_Action,_ResultThe questions are below. Prep a 1-min pitch for each. Eliminate “ums” and stuff – but the key to doing well here is to be as NATURAL as possible. Do NOT have a script on the screen and “read” from it. Do NOT sound like a robot who memorized each of the answers. Do make little grammatical mistakes – it’s charming. Smile. And all the basic stuff like dress accordingly, check wifi, be aware of your backdrop. *Do not have posters of naked women on the wall behind you.*
- Tell me about a time when you had to speak with someone that had an accent or couldn’t speak the same language as you. How did you adapt?
- What makes you a good candidate for INSEAD?
- Describe a time when you got a negative feedback from a supervisor/professor. How did it make you feel?
- What is a risk you have taken that backfired?
What strategy do you use to deliver bad news at the workplace?
What challenging goals have you set for yourself during your first year at INSEAD?
- How has your decision to work in corporate diversity positively or negatively impacted you?
- What does diversity mean to you?
Describe a time when understanding someone’s perspective helped you to understand them better?
How would INSEAD MBA help you in your career objectives?
- What are you expecting to learn during your INSEAD MBA?
- How would your colleagues describe your leadership style? Give an example
- How would you fight stereotypes in a work environment?
- You are starting a new project with team members coming from different cultures and educational background. How would you make them meet?
- What do you do when someone comes to you with a problem?
- What was the most interesting project you have worked on? Why was it interesting to you?
- How do you keep track of your vision? Or that of your company?
- Why INSEAD?
- How would you establish the foundations of your company?
- What is your management style?
- How did you build your international experience?
- What is diversity according to you?
- Describe one situation where you faced ethical dilemma? How did you resolve it? What factors did you consider while resolving it?
- What according to you is required to start and run a successful business?
- One project which interested you the most and why?
- If you could teach a class on any topic, what would it be and why?
- Tell me what you like most about INSEAD.
- Give me an example of how you convinced your other team members.
- Give me an example of how you were attracted by culture from other countries.
- What are 3 key successful factors to be an entrepreneur.
- If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?
- What word describes you best and why?
- Tell us about the first job you ever had?
- What’s the best book you have ever read and why?
- When you have a problem, whom do you approach for advice and why?
- What accomplishment are you really proud of?
- What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
- If you could witness any event..past present or future-what would it be?
- Tell us about an organization or activity in which you have dedicated significant time. Why was it meaningful to you?
- What have anyone done good for you and how did you felt about it?
- Tell us about the most interesting place you’ve traveled to. What did you enjoy most about it.
- What invention during your lifetime has had the biggest impact on you and why?
- If money was not a concern, what would you do?
- What is the most meaningful thing anyone has done for you in your life?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
- What food do you like? Will you be able to eat that food everyday?
- How have you changed in the last 5 years?
- Whom do you respect most, and why?
- What is your favorite motto or quote, and why
- What risk have you taken and what did you learn?
- What impact do you have on your co-workers?