The pros and cons of video chat interviews

Residency Program Insider, May 26, 2020

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Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Resident Recruitment: From ERAS to Match. Click here to order your copy.

There are as many ways to organize and manage interview days as there are training programs. Each program must determine what logistically works in its unique context. A video chat application for remote one-on-one interviewing can be used when interviews are cancelled or postponed due to weather or illness-related issues and rescheduling is difficult or impossible. The following are the advantages and disadvantages of video chat interviews:

  • Advantages:
    • It’s faster than a face-to-face interview
    • Eliminates many of the costs associated with a face-to-face interview (e.g., travel and lodging)
    • Requires less effort for programs and candidates
    • Allows long-distance candidates to easily interview
    • Weaker candidates can be culled at the beginning of the process
    • Easy to see if candidates are focused or simply reading from their notes
  • Disadvantages:
    • Technical issues—bad signal, connection, background noise—could interrupt the video call
    • The camera angle may present candidate with visual distortion
    • Difficult to read a candidate’s body language
    • Finding a common time to schedule the call may be difficult
    • Building a rapport via video chat can be challenging
    • Compared to a telephone call, both parties have to look professional and focused during a video call


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