How to Answer Kellogg’s Video Essay Questions

Kellogg's video essay questions are an opportunity to wow the adcom.

Kellogg’s round 2 application deadline is quickly approaching! If you are applying, you’ve likely seen that the application includes three video essays that are due within 96 hours of the application deadline. As such, today we’re sharing our tips for how to prepare for and answer Kellogg’s video essay questions.

Unlike in years past, you won’t know Kellogg’s video essay questions in advance. We get it, this adds another layer of stress to the process. But remember that all applicants face the same uncertainty, and, with a little prep, you’ll be ready to use this part of the application to your advantage.

To help you get started, we’re sharing our best tips for tackling Kellogg’s video essay questions as well as a list of sample prompts you can use to practice.

Timing is Key

Tactically speaking, once you see each question, you will have 20 seconds to think about your answer and 60 seconds to record your response. Our first word of advice is to focus the bulk of your practice on getting the timing right – a minute is shorter than you think! We’ve practiced live with countless clients over the years and most of them initially get cutoff mid-thought.

Using the list of potential Kellogg video essay questions at the end of this article, practice answering them (out loud!) with a timer running. Then do it again. This will give you a sense for what talking for 60 seconds feels like. Kellogg’s portal also offers practice questions to help you get the timing right – use this resource!

Content Should be Complementary, not Repetitive

Our next word of advice is on content. The admissions committee will have just read your written essays, so don’t overtly repeat them. Kellogg’s video essay questions are an opportunity to build on what you’ve included in the rest of your application.

It is also an opportunity to showcase your personality – as such, it’s ok to have a little fun with these, especially the first question where you will likely be asked to introduce yourself. Perhaps throw in a hobby you love or mention your family, pets, spouse, etc.

For the second and third questions, you won’t know the exact prompts but, if you consider the list at the end of this article, you’ll see that they tend to fall into general categories. With those in mind, prepare a few brief stories and think about how you could make them fit several different questions. These should be some of your best stories that you want the adcom to know but just didn’t fit squarely into an essay.

Delivery is the Icing on the Cake (the Best Part, Right?)

Lastly, put thought and practice behind your delivery. This is what separates good video essays from great ones. Look directly at your webcam, speak slowly and clearly (a computer mic can sound muffled!), and – most importantly – smile!

In our experience, mindset is everything here. Put on the shirt or dress that makes you feel like a million bucks, imagine there is a warm, receptive face on the computer screen and talk directly to it. As we said earlier, this is likely the admissions committee’s only chance to see you ‘live’ (Kellogg’s interviews are done by alums), so make the most of it.

Practice Makes Perfect

When you sit down to record your video essays, it would be unwise to assume you have a comprehensive list of potential questions from a source you found on the internet so don’t get complacent. While Kellogg isn’t trying to trick you with these, they are looking to see how you think on your feet and whether you can communicate coherently and effectively. This is exactly what you’ll need to do in an MBA classroom and as a future business leader.

With that said, after grounding yourself in the stories you might leverage from your arsenal, take a stab at answering the following…in 60 seconds…on camera. Practice will help, even if you end up getting a question that surprises you.

  1. Introduce yourself by telling admissions something they wouldn’t already know from your resume. (**Note that all applicants were asked this question in round 1**).
  2. Why is Kellogg the right program for you?
  3. Tell us about a time when you experienced a team conflict.
  4. Share an innovation you made in the past year.
  5. Tell us about a time you created value.
  6. Tell us about a positive impact that you made. Why was it important to you?
  7. Tell us about a time you solved a problem in a creative way.
  8. Tell us about a time you contributed to improving a process in your organization.
  9. Tell us about a time you worked with a diverse team.
  10. Tell us about a time when you initiated something that encouraged people to collaborate.
  11. What is the most challenging aspect of working in an internationally diverse environment?
  12. Tell us about a time when you faced a conflict on a team that affected its productivity. How did you face it?
  13. If you were a team leader and you had a member of your team who constantly under-delivered, what would you do?
  14. Tell us about a time you were out of your comfort zone.
  15. Share a misconception people have about you. If you had the opportunity, how might you shift their thinking?
  16. What will your classmates be most surprised to learn about you?
  17. Share an important relationship in your life.
  18. Tell us about a time you experienced a professional failure. What did you learn from it?
  19. Tell us about a time you’ve asked for help.
  20. Tell us about a time you took a risk. What did you learn?
  21. What accomplishment are you proudest of?
  22. Tell us about an organization or activity to which you have devoted a significant amount of time. Why was it meaningful to you?
  23. What do you like to do in your free time?
  24. Who is someone you deeply admire and why?
  25. Whose leadership style do you admire and why?
  26. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received that you also shared with other people?
  27. When you have a problem, who do you approach for advice and why?
  28. How would your teammates describe you?
  29. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
  30. Talk about an environment you work well in and thrive in.
  31. How long have you considered an MBA and what have you learned about yourself / your goals in the process of doing so?
  32. Tell us about a life experience you’ve had outside of the classroom or the office that prepared you to pursue graduate-level education.

With a little practice, you’ll do great. Video essays tend to stress applicants out more than they need to. This might be easy for us to say from our seat at the table but view them as an opportunity more than a hurdle!

As always, we’re here to help, including with hourly advice on things such as interview skills and waitlist strategy. Click here to request an initial consultation.

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