Virtual interviewing is increasingly becoming the norm in the medical field in the post-pandemic world. There are many advantages to online meetings, with the primary one being that interviewing at home or other private location eliminates the risk of infection by Covid-19.
Other advantages to interviewing online:
- Requires less preparation
- Candidates, being at home or in a private location, tend to feel more comfortable
- Accommodates participants’ various schedules
- Easier to interview candidates anywhere in the world
While health systems are tilting toward online interviewing, many medical schools have made virtual interviews mandatory. And academic medicine isn’t the only field to do this. Many tech companies including Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Amazon, in 2021, halted in-person interviewing, deciding to go with the virtual model instead.
Here are a few best practices to help you conduct a smooth, seamless virtual interview.
Use a good platform to set up the meeting and email the candidate an invitation
There are many excellent platforms in use today. A few of the most popular ones are GoogleMeet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, and ClickMeeting. Each have their pros and cons. Be sure to double-check in your invitation the date and time as well as who will be on the call and all the information the candidate must have on hand, plus any needed documentation.
Select a quiet, distraction-free location
Scope out a spot in your home or office or other location that is free of noise. The fewer the distractions, the better you will be able to give the candidate your full attention. Speak to any family members or housemates to let them know you will need quiet and at what time. If possible, set yourself up in front of a neutral or pleasing background so as to ensure that the candidate is not distracted. Set your phone on mute.
List your questions in advance
This is standard practice for all interviews, of course. Have the questions on a screen in front of you or printed out. Prior to the call, while you are reviewing the candidate’s CV, cover letter, and other information, note what comes to mind and what questions you will want to ask. Add any items that come up in addition to your usual queries about background, interests, and so on.
Check your technology and test your connection
Without a working connection and well-functioning technology, you could have a disaster on your hands. This can adversely affect your organization’s image. Set yourself up at your computer at least 10 minutes in advance. Test your connection several times. Test your microphone and your camera. Optionally, hold a short test call with a colleague to ensure that everything is working fine.
Dress the part, as you will be representing your practice or hospital—even if you are at home. This will reflect well on you and your group and ensure that the candidate sees that you are committed to professionalism. However, if you are wearing sweat pants or pajama bottoms, as some people do because the lower body will be off-camera, be sure not to stand up! 🙂
Do it as you would an in-person interview
Many of us tend to view virtual calls casually, since we are often at home and may hold frequent video calls with friends and family members. Don’t make this mistake. Stay focused, use professional language, and display appropriate body language. Don’t let your gaze wander or become distracted.
Did you know … Facts about virtual interviews
- 60% of all HR managers include video interviewing in the hiring process
- 76% of all resume and CV rejections are due to unprofessional email addresses
- You only have 7 seconds to make a good first impression
- Millennials and Gen Zers will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025
- The current unemployment rate in the U.S. is 3.6%
Good luck holding a great virtual interview!
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