INSEAD Deadlines, Essays & Recommendation Letter Questions (Classes of Dec. 2016, July 2017, Dec. 2017)

(Please see here for my suggested INSEAD workflow)


INSEAD Jan. 2016 Intake (Class of Dec. 2016)

 Application DeadlineDecision Notification
Round 1March 4, 2015May 13, 2015
Round 2April 22, 2015July 3, 2015
Round 3June 17, 2015August 28, 2015
Round 4August 5, 2015October 9, 2015
Applications due by 23:59pm Central European Time

INSEAD Sept. 2016 Intake (Class of July 2017)

 Application DeadlineInterview DecisionDecision Notification
Round 1September 16, 2015October 23, 2015November 27, 2015
Round 2October 14, 2015November 13, 2015December 18, 2015
Round 3January 13, 2016February 12, 2016March 18, 2016
Round 4
February 24, 2016March 25, 2016April 29, 2016
Applications due by 23:59 Central European Time

INSEAD Jan. 2017 Intake (Class of December 2017)

 Application DeadlineInterview DecisionDecision Notification
Round 1March 2, 2016April 1, 2016 May 6, 2016
Round 2April 20, 2016May 20, 2016June 24, 2016
Round 3June 15, 2016July 15, 2016September 2, 2016
Round 4July 27, 2016August 26, 2016September 30, 2016
Applications due by 23:59 Central European Time


Job Description

  1. Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget,clients/products and results achieved. What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (350 words max.)
  1. Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. It should be written as if you were talking to someone at a social gathering detailing your career path with the rationale behind your choices. Discuss your short and long term career aspirations. (350 words max.)
  2. (optional). If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the program starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the program.

Motivation Essays

  1. Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person); stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (600 words max.)
  1. Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (400 words max.)
  1. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.)
  1. Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (300 words max.)
  1. Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (300 words max.)


  1. Comment on the candidate’s career progress to date and his/her career focus.
  1. What do you consider to be the candidate’s major strengths? Comment on the factors that distinguish the candidate from other individuals at his/her level.
  1. What do you consider to be the candidate’s major weaknesses?
  2. Comment on the candidate’s potential for senior management. Do you see him/her as a future leader?

  1. Describe the candidate as a person. Comment on his/her ability to establish and maintain relationships, sensitivity to others, self-confidence, attitude, etc. Specifically comment on the candidate’s behaviour or skills in a group setting/team environment.






  1. Hi, the essays for Jan 2017 intake would remain the same, or are they likely to change?

  2. I wish I could tell you for certain. What I can tell you is that when INSEAD has changed the essays, they’ve made refinements, not wholesale changes. It’s one of the more challenging essay sets, but also one of my favorites in terms of revealing the full range of an applicant’s background. In the past few years, my clients have had close to a 100% interview invitation rate to INSEAD, and an 80-90% acceptance rate. Please let me know if you would like to arrange a trial consultation!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *