London Business School (LBS) MBA Interview and KIRA Video Essay: Format, Tips to Excel

By Arvind Kumar

After you submit your application online for the London Business School (LBS) MBA and if you are shortlisted, the next steps involve Kira Video Essays and a 1:1 Interview.

In this article, we will cover the format, duration and tips on how you can best prepare for the LBS MBA Interview and Kira Video Essays. We will also go through the key values LBS looks for in its MBA applicants, and some past (sample) questions.

Purpose of KIRA Video Essays

MBA admissions video essays are used by business schools to assess candidates beyond their written application materials i.e. CV, essays and application form. 

Through the video essays, the LBS AdCom seeks to gain deeper insights into your thought process, presentation abilities, and overall fit for the MBA program. They are looking for an authentic portrayal of you as an individual, assessing your ability to think on your feet and structure your thoughts. 

The best way to approach it is to assume you’re speaking 1:1 to the AdCom. 

LBS MBA Kira Video Essays – Format & Duration

Upon your shortlist notification from LBS, you will receive an email with a link to complete your video essays. The link redirects you to the KIRA platform, where you will first be asked to register, verify your email address and set up your microphone and camera.

Once you have completed the set up, you can practice some video essays on the platform. While the practice questions are taken from a question bank and are likely different from the ones you’ll actually see, it is mandatory to practice at least once.

It’s now time to sign in and start your ‘real’ session. You will get two questions in total. The first question is random, and the second is fixed i.e. the same for all applicants. For each question, you will have 40 seconds to prepare and subsequently 90 seconds to answer. 

Each question will appear as a video on the screen, with someone from the LBS Admissions Committee reading out the question and text appearing under the video. Your image will then be visible on the screen, at which point, your 40 seconds to prepare will automatically appear. After your preparation time runs out, the clock timer (1.5 minutes i.e. 90 seconds) will start, and you will need to provide your answer within this duration.

Remember, you cannot redo either of the questions, meaning you only get one shot at them. You will also not be allowed to exceed the time limit i.e. the timer ends after 90 seconds, and the screen automatically presents you the next question, or ends the session after the second question.

Video Essays – Question Types & Sample Questions

The first question is random and typically falls within the following categories:

  • Self Introspective: Here, you may be asked to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures etc. providing insights into your self-awareness. This question type aims to gauge your ability to assess personal and professional attributes, recognize improvement areas and effectively leverage your strengths.
  • Leadership: This question type involves sharing specific instances of leadership experiences, highlighting your approach, decision-making, and impact. The idea here is to evaluate your leadership and negotiation style, ability to inspire others, and how you navigate challenges within a leadership role.
  • Behavioral: These are the “Tell Me About a Time (TMAT)” questions which delve into past experiences to predict future behavior. You might be asked to narrate a challenging situation you faced, the actions you took, and the outcomes. These questions assess problem-solving skills, resilience, and the capacity to learn and adapt from previous experiences.
  • Motivational: These questions aim to uncover the driving forces behind your pursuit of an MBA or specific career path post-MBA. You may be asked to articulate your goals and the alignment between your personal and professional objectives. The aim is to assess the clarity and sincerity of your motivations.
  • Curveballs: Curveball questions are unexpected and designed to test your ability to think on your feet. These might include hypothetical scenarios, unconventional problem-solving tasks, or creative challenges. The purpose is to evaluate adaptability, creativity, and how you handle unexpected situations, without losing your calm.

The second question is fixed: “What will you gain from the LBS MBA that you won’t gain from another MBA program?”

Sample/ past KIRA video questions

  • Tell us about a time you solved a problem creatively
  • Since how long have you wanted to do your MBA? Why now is the right time, and what skills do you hope to gain?
  • What will you gain from an LBS MBA that you won’t gain from another MBA?
  • Tell us about a time you asked for help and how did it go?
  • Tell us about a time you were overloaded with work, how did you handle it?
  • Tell us a time when you had an idea and had to convince your project team.
  • Do you prefer cats or dogs and explain why?
  • What specific skills are you looking to gain at LBS?
  • What is the most significant personal weakness that you have identified, what did you do about it and what was the result?
  • Imagine you are proposing a business innovation idea for a class project and the audience is not interested. What would you do?
  • Tell us about a time you led a diverse team, what specific skill did you use and why?
  • You’re giving a pitch and the audience is not active, how do you recognise this and how do you engage them?
  • How do you describe the color red to someone who can only see in black and white?
  • Tell us something about you not in your resume.
  • What is the one feedback you received that you didn’t agree with? How did you react and what was the outcome?
  • Tell us one thing you like and one thing you don’t like about your current job.
  • What keeps you engaged and motivated at work?
  • Do you consider yourself to be creative?
  • What do you think is the biggest challenge in leading a global team
  •  If you look back 10 years into your life, what would success mean to you?
  • Who or what inspires you the most?
  • What is the leadership quality you admire? Why?
  • Tell us about the most pressing climate concern today and how you will tackle it?
  • How do you handle frustration at work? How do you openly communicate to resolve the frustration?
  • Are you aware of your biases? How does that affect your thoughts?
  • If you were given unlimited resources, which product or services would you offer to the community and why?

Tips for LBS MBA Kira Video Essays

Strategize your Response

Use the preparation time to outline and structure your response. Since you may have limited time to prepare, practice answering diverse types of questions to build your ability to think on your feet. 

During the recording, make your points concisely. Stay on point and avoid rambling. 

Have a Strong Opening and Closing

The beginning and end can help you have the most memorable impact. Use the initial seconds to frame your response and conclude succinctly by summarizing your key message.

As Richard Branson once asserted, ‘In business and life, success lies in mastering the art of a strong opening and closing : captivate attention from the start, leave an indelible mark at the end.’

Showcase Your Personality

The video essays are a great way to build a connection with AdCom. Be authentic and genuine in your responses, these traits are highly valued. Don’t be afraid to talk about your failures if asked, and how you felt, what you learned etc. 

Importantly, don’t forget to maintain eye contact with the camera. 

Align with Essays and LBS Values

Ensure that your video responses are consistent with what you wrote on your essays, particularly for your MBA motivations, post-MBA career goals, etc.

While outlining your experiences, aim to resonate with the key values that LBS looks for (listed above).

Stay Relaxed

Both the preparation and delivery time are limited. 

Don’t let that stress you out too much, though. The AdCom knows you can’t craft a masterpiece in a short time. So, take a deep breath, and be the real you.

LBS MBA Interview: Format, Duration 

London Business School (LBS) MBA interviews are typically conducted by LBS MBA alumni, and last for 1-2 hours (sometimes more). The interview covers an in-depth discussion of your application. Alumni are mapped based on factors such as your location, career path and availability. LBS prefers that the interviews are conducted in-person, however in exceptional circumstances, you may attend online.

The key values that LBS looks for in the interviews are your:

  • Authenticity
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership potential
  • Confidence
  • Team player mentality
  • International outlook
  • Social consciousness
  • Career goals
  • Knowledge of LBS and their offerings 

Tips for LBS MBA Interview & Case Study 

Have your Narrative Intact

Your story is your anchor. Be prepared to talk about your career, what led you to pursue an MBA and what your short-term and long-term career goals are.

Highlight the turning points, challenges you’ve overcome, and skills you’ve developed. The more authentically and confidently you shape your narrative, the more memorable you’ll be.

Nail the Case Study

Depending on your interviewer’s style, this could be at the beginning or end of the interview. You will be given a business case study, and asked to share your views and recommendations. 

Firstly, understand the problem statement, who the key stakeholders are, and key question(s) to answer. Remember to make notes of your key insights.

Case studies are all about structure. Familiarize yourself with common business frameworks e.g. Porter’s 5 forces, BCG matrix, 4Ps of marketing, Value Chain Analysis, SWOT, etc. Keep the “So-What” at the back of your mind. This is key to crafting actionable recommendations e.g. for a profitability case, what are the actionable steps to increase revenue and/ or reduce costs. 

Engage the interviewer through the discussion. Sometimes, they may give clues and directions.

Prepare your Anecdote Bank

Behavioral questions are common in LBS interviews. These are the typical “Tell Me about a Time (TMAT)” questions.

Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses. Provide specific examples from your experiences to illustrate your abilities, and try to align them to the key factors LBS looks for (listed above). Having a repository of anecdotes helps, so you can tailor your responses.

Research the School Thoroughly

Familiarize yourself with the LBS MBA curriculum, professors, treks, unique opportunities, and even the school’s culture. Align your goals with what LBS offers, and weave these connections organically into your answers.

Diving deep into the specifics of the LBS MBA shows genuine interest, and this is a great way to stand out.

Engage in a Two-Way Conversation

Remember, your interviewer (Alumni) has been in your shoes and is happy to share their insights. Prepare questions for the interviewer that go beyond basic information found on the school’s website. 

Ask about opportunities, experiences, or aspects of the program that genuinely interest you. This demonstrates your curiosity and engagement. A clearly bad answer to “Do you have any questions for me?” is “No”. 

Practice, but not too much

The more you practice interviewing, either by yourself or with a seasoned mentor/ coach, the better you’ll be able to rectify your mistakes, and fine-tune your content and delivery. Practice will also help you feel more confident to face questions, including those curveballs. 

Don’t over-practice either, to the extent that you sound overly scripted and robotic. 

LBS MBA Interview Questions Compilation

  • Can you walk me through your resume? 
  • Could you describe what you do outside of work?
  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals? 
  • What is your plan B in case you cannot achieve your goals?
  • What triggered you to start thinking about an MBA?
  • Why LBS? How is LBS different from the other schools you applied to?
  • What are your criteria for selecting B-schools? Where did you apply? 
  • How will you contribute to LBS?
  • Do you know of the clubs and student associations that you would like to be a part of? How will they benefit you?
  • The first year at LBS is extremely hectic; how do you typically handle stress?
  • When was the last time you took a risk?
  • What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
  • What is your most significant achievement?
  • What are the critical factors to your success?
  • Please give me an example of your experience working with people from different cultures.
  • How would you define your leadership style?
  • Describe a situation where you led a project. What were your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the difference between a born leader and a manager? Who do you admire as a leader?
  • Imagine that some people in your study group are not contributing enough. What would you do next? How would you handle it? 
  • What role do you typically take within a team?
  • What are the most common reasons teams fail?
  • Tell me about a time you worked on a team that didn’t get along.
  • Tell me about a time you didn’t get along with your boss or teammate. How did you handle the situation? 
  • Describe a situation where you initiated changes. How did you go about this?
  • How can you tell if things work well on a project? What do you do if they are not?
  • Describe a situation where you moved to a new environment and how you handled it. 
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • What are the key threats and opportunities your industry is facing? What three takeaways would you advise your company to take action on if you had to develop a strategy for them?
  • Would a scholarship make or break your application? 
  • Questions for me?

LBS MBA Interview Timelines 2023-2024

Interview Decision OnInterview PeriodAdmission
Decision On
R1September 8, 2023October 12, 2023Mid Oct to Early Nov 2023November 30, 2023
R2January 3, 2024February 6, 2024Early Feb to Early Mar 2024March 27, 2024
R3March 25, 2024April 25, 2024End of Apr to mid-May 2024June 7, 2024

Final Thoughts

Remember, the London Business School MBA interview and KIRA Video Essay are not just about meeting criteria; they are about conveying your narrative, aligning with the school’s values, and engaging in meaningful conversations.

Armed with a deep understanding of the purpose and nuances, the format, duration, and various question types, you are better equipped to navigate this phase of the application process.

If you’d like our support with mock interviews, please write to us at consultingteam[at]admitstreet[dot]com or fill in the form here and we’ll get back

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