Tips for the Virtual Interview

Our author for this post, Dr. Raagini Yedidi, is a graduate of  the UCSF School of Medicine, where she served as a member of the medical school admissions committee. As a committee member, Dr. Yedidi reviewed applications and interviewed candidates for the M.D. program. Using the insights she gained through attaining admission to a top-ranked medical school, Dr. Yedidi has guided other applicants to achieve similar success, assisting them with personal statement preparation, application planning, and interview strategy.

In the face of the COVID19 pandemic, medical schools are offering virtual interviews for prospective students. As you prepare for your interviews, you may be wondering what you can do to make a great impression on your video interviewer.

Here are some tips for success:

Select a Neutral Background

Ideally, you should be in front of a neutral background such as a wall. If there are any pictures or paintings hung on the wall, make sure they’re interview appropriate. For example, a painting of a landscape may be neutral enough to leave on the wall, but you may want to take down things like movie posters in advance.

Ensure Good Lighting

Make sure the brightness on your laptop or computer is high, so that the light from the monitor makes you appear brighter on camera.

Select a Good Angle

If you are using a laptop, tilting your laptop screen will alter the way you appear on camera. Make sure to check your angle beforehand so that it shows your head and shoulders clearly without too much tilt. You may have to raise the laptop so the camera isn’t looking up at you.

Charge Your Devices

If you are using a laptop, be sure to plug in your device to the charger before the interview so you don’t run into issues with the battery life during your interview.

Don’t Look to the Side

Many applicants tend to look away from the webcam while thinking about their response to a question, which can seem unpolished. Practice video interviews and make sure you are looking directly at the webcam.

Have an Energized Demeanor

Above all, the interview is your chance to let your interviewer know how passionate and excited you are about medical school. Come to the interview with energy and enthusiasm. Your positive attitude will definitely translate on camera and make the interview a great experience for both you and the interviewer.

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