In Application Essays, Interviews
MBA interview and MBA video essay tips

Don’t take any chances with your MBA video essay and interview preparations.

An often overlooked preparation tip for both admission interviews and video essays is to practice your speaking skills. Assuming you have already selected and refined your story themes and wow factors, you will now need to ensure that clarity and confidence are clearly reflected in good interviews and essay videos.

The more proficient you become with the following speaking skills, the better your interviewer will understand and appreciate your thoughts, ideas, and perspectives.

Pause and Speech Utterance Duration

Try to speak at a comfortable pace. Practice breathing (long and controlled exhaling) while speaking.

Try to construct concise and to-the-point sentences. Try to pause after every sentence or two and, again, remember to breathe. These pauses will help the admissions committee absorb your answers.

Pitch and Intensity Modulation

Try to speak with a calm and confident voice. Avoid speaking too softly or too loudly. Also, avoid a monotonic voice while speaking.

Instead, try to modulate your voice to emphasize what is important. This will help keep your evaluators engaged. Believe it or not, humming is actually a very effective way to improve pitch and intensity modulation.

Speaking Rate

Try to speak while breathing at a comfortable rate. Avoid speaking too fast or too slow as your evaluators may not understand or even lose interest. Organizing your thoughts and getting plenty of practice ahead of time are imperative to maintaining proper speaking rates.


Avoid filler pauses such as “ah,” “umm,” and “err.” Also, avoid crutch words and phrases such as “to be honest,” “you know,” “like,” and “well” while speaking. Try breathing in when you pause.

Finally, and most importantly, b-school applicants who are emotionally engaged and enthusiastic are always the most successful. That is partially because they also perform better with regards to these speaking skills. 

And in this lies your key advantage for acing your interviews. No matter what, never forget that you are the utmost expert on the interview subject. (And that would be you!)