Preparing for your Virtual Medical School Interview

So it appears we are still stuck in this pandemic and your interview is most likely to be virtual. The difference between this year and last year (and the year before that) though, is that the virtual way of life is no longer a novelty. That means it is expected that you’ve figured out how to put your best foot forward in this virtual way.

There are two main types of virtual interviews: 

  1. Synchronous – meaning live, in real-time and an interviewer may be interacting with you
  2. Asynchronous – where you would be video-recorded and an assessor watches your video later

The good thing is that whether it is synchronous or asynchronous doesn’t really change the way to prep for the interview. Here is a list of strategies to help you prepare.

  1. Talking to a camera / screen is not the same as talking to a person/ wall/ stuffed animal. (Think about the number of bloopers for movies. It’s not like the actors didn’t learn their lines. Things just feel different once the camera is on) *YOU NEED TO PRACTICE!* Look up some interview questions and practice answering them into the camera / screen. 

  2. Record a few practice runs and watch the recording. It is sometimes difficult to watch a video of yourself, but it is worth your while. Nervous twitches that you find distracting (i.e. touching your hair) will probably also be distracting to your assessor. If you think you’re talking too fast when you watch the video, your assessor probably thinks so too. Seeing all that gives you a chance to fix it before the real thing.  

  3. The basics (a lot of which you will have addressed if you followed #2)
    • Is the room where you plan interview quiet enough? (If there is a choice between equally quiet rooms, pick the room farthest from the street because you can’t control when a loud vehicle passes by)
    • Is the room well lit, and is the primary light source in front of you? (you will look like a dark shadow if the light source is behind you)
    • Is there anything distracting in the background? (if so, remove it or change locations)
    • Check that the outfit you plan to wear is a different colour than your background
    • On the day of, have water and some small snacks available in the room in case you need it
    • Have a stable internet connection (kick everyone else off your network if you must)
    • Make sure your computer isn’t running any system updates during your interview
    • Read the school’s interview instructions in detail and in its entirety 
    • Silence your phone (because you’re at home, it’s very easy to forget!)

  4. Breathe, try to have fun, and remember how awesome you are!

Learn more about the medical school interview process in our other blogs!

General Medical School Interviewing Tips
5 Tips for Acing your Virtual Medical School Interview
3 Steps to Prepare for Healthcare Topic Questions in a Medical School Interview
5 Tips for Navigating Virtual Medical School Interviews
Conflict Resolution Interview Questions
Preparing for Medical School Interviews
5 Tips for Medical School Interviews
Interview Tips from a Medical Student
How to Appropriately Respond to the Ethical Station in Medical School Interviews