10 Tips for Virtual Interview Success
With medical program interviews being mainly conducted virtually for the 2021-2022 season, Code Blue Essays is here to provide the tips you need to find success in the digital world. We are dedicating this blog to the essential guidelines for conducting yourself before, during, and after a medical school interview done in the virtual realm.
Preparing for the interview
1) Collect All The Information You Can
Collect all the information you can, just as you would in a non-virtual interview. You’ll want to know which platform the school utilizes for interviews and whether the interview is live or asynchronous. Currently, AAMC is not offering their asynchronous interview tool, VITA, and most interviewers express a preference for a live interview.
You should also prepare for other interview logistics that vary from school to school. This database is helpful for a first glance look at different school procedures. This planning will be essential when you’re preparing the space to use during the interview.
2) Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice your live interview skills in real-time, and record your practice so you can review it later. We at Code Blue Essays believe in the power of recording yourself, which is why we make it a major feature in our Interview Genius and Interview Coaching services.
3) Make Your Surroundings Presentable
The best environment to conduct an interview is quiet, tidy, and well-lit. Do a test run to see what your surroundings look like before your interview. Opinions vary on whether you should have a blank wall or some sort of background space, but no matter what, make sure you are mindful of your surroundings and whether they add or detract from your presence. Here are some considerations for your background on camera.
4) Use Technology That Works Properly
AAMC suggests using a computer or tablet with a well-functioning camera and microphone and warns against using your cell phone for interviews. Make sure your computer is either plugged in or fully charged, and finally, make sure you have a stable internet connection. If possible, hardwire your internet connection with an ethernet cable. Nothing is more distracting and awkward than lag during a question-and-answer session, so avoid it at all costs!
During the interview
5) Banish distractions
Ensure that during your interview time, there will be no unnecessary distractions. If you have roommates or live with family, you could forewarn them to stay away during the interview window. If you have pets, see if someone will pet-sit for you. Turn off your cell phone and close out any extra windows on your computer that could interrupt your interview.
6) Dress Professionally
A virtual interview may feel more casual – after all, you are likely interviewing in the comfort of your own home. Don’t get too comfortable, though! Dress the same way you would if you were meeting an interviewer in person. Forbes claims that dressing for success makes people have more confidence, feel more powerful, and have more focus on details.
7) Body Language Matters
Even if you’re unable to shake your interviewer’s hand, conveying respect with your eye contact and posture is powerful in the virtual interview world. Eye contact can be tricky because it’s natural to look at your interviewer on screen, but the best way to maintain eye contact is by looking into your camera instead. Practice this, and you will gain a powerful interview tool.
8) Get Personal
Now more than ever, it’s essential to make personal connections with things like making small talk and freely sharing anecdotes about yourself. Many consider online interviews impersonal and cold, so making an effort to overcome this with friendliness and enthusiasm can make you especially stand out.
9) Don’t Rely On The Internet For Help
Again, prepare well in advance for your interview. It may seem like you would be able to do a quick google search if you get stumped on a question – after all, you’ve got the internet literally at your fingertips. However, an extra distraction will only be a disservice.
After the interview
10) Follow Up
Finally, just as you would in a face-to-face interview, be sure to send thank you notes (via email or snail mail, even!) A virtual interview can be exhausting for both you and the interviewer. Acknowledging your gratitude is not only good etiquette, but it also lets the interviewer know you have a high interest in the program at hand.
Virtual interviews don’t have to be intimidating! These ten rules of thumb will set you on the right track for online interview success. If you would like to learn more about our interview prep services at Code Blue Essays, email us at CustomerService@codeblueessays.com or visit our website for information.