Hey PSF community! We are from the Community and E-Communications committee. We wanted to open a discussion about the best strategies to use while going through virtual residency or job interviews. Based on our experiences with virtual residency program interviews, we wanted to share some tips and tricks we have learned along the way.
Best Virtual Interviewing Practices:
- Place books or other items underneath your laptop to have the camera align with your eyes. It looks better to be looking straight on at the interviewer instead of looking down because you can appear more engaged in the conversation.
- Make sure you have good lighting! It is best to have natural lighting, but if that is not possible, getting a bright lamp or ring light may be helpful so that your interviewer can adequately see you. Try to avoid interviewing in dark rooms or with low, poor-quality lighting. Also, make sure your light is not behind you because that can also make it difficult to see your face.
- Try to avoid interruptions while interviewing. Make sure your phone and computer notifications are silenced so that your attention can be fully on the interviewer and your conversation.
- Be prepared with water wherever you are interviewing. These job and residency interviews can be extremely long, and it is best to have something to drink if your voice starts to get tired.
- Be familiar with the online platform that is being used for the meeting. Set up a practice meeting with a friend to ensure you know how to use all the features easily.
- Don’t forget to have questions prepared for them. Specifically, ask questions about their culture or facility since you didn’t get to visit in-person and feel the atmosphere.
- Dress the part! It’s tempting to only wear professional clothes from the waist up, but wearing a full suit will give you more confidence and make it feel like a real interview.
- Be flexible! Virtual interviews are new for us and residency programs, so we are bound to run into technical or other issues. There are things out of your control so be patient with yourself and others as we go through this process.
While these are some best practices that we’ve learned along the way, we would love to hear your thoughts and what other advice you have that we’ve missed. Best of luck to everyone on their interview journeys!