Pre-Health Virtual Interviewing

Before the Interview 

RESEARCH

  • Thoroughly research the program/school to demonstrate your knowledge and interest, and to allow more time to discuss specifics of the school and your fit. 
  • Look into the school's website, the MSAR, or printed literature/news articles to learn more about them. 

TECHNOLOGY

  • One of the most common concerns is going to be the wi-fi connection. Check the speed with speedtest.net to be sure it is strong enough.
  • If you live with others that share the same network, ask for them to shut down their devices during the time to prevent the network from being stretched. You will also want to shut down all other applications on your computer for the same purpose.
  • You may also want to conduct your interview close to an outlet and have a charger at the ready in case of a low battery emergency.
  • Try not to use a device that accepts phone calls or text messages for your interview so that you are not disturbed during the interview.
  • Do a test-run video call with a friend or family member to get feedback on how the sound quality, video quality, and environment appear to the receiver. 
  • Prior to the interview, be sure to have the appropriate software on your computer. Some might run through Zoom but there are additional platforms for virtual interviews. You will want to allow time to navigate the interface prior to the interview starting.
  • Develop a plan for if the technology cuts out. This could involve providing the employer with your cell phone number prior to the session in case it cuts out unexpectedly.
  • If the interview is in Zoom, be sure to use your UVA email address, not your personal email. It demonstrates a level of professionalism and brands you as a UVA student.  

INTERVIEW ENVIRONMENT

  • Where you conduct this interview is important. Try to find a location that is both well lit and has a neutral background. This may be difficult to find if you are in an apartment or shared space, so consider virtual backgrounds if need be or if the platform allows.
  • If you do live in a shared space, it is important you let the people around you know about your interview. You do not want there to be any interruptions so you can focus on the task at hand.

TYPE OF INTERVIEW

Be sure to clarify the format of the interview with the recruiter. There will likely be information about the software required and if there is a password required. Interviews in the virtual world may be facilitated differently depending on the organization.

SYNCHRONOUS
  • The interview is present in the platform asking questions, much like a normal in-person interview.
  • Treat this just as you would a normal interview and pay attention to body language and positioning on camera.
  • Pay attention to your body language and positioning and look directly into the camera to maintain eye contact and position yourself at eye-level so that you don’t appear to be looking up or down at your interviewer. This may involve propping up your computer for better positioning. 
ASYNCHRONOUS
  • This is what the AAMC Virtual Interview Tool for Admissions (VITA) will be. It is a recorded interview with prepared questions - not a "real-time" interview. Read more about the AAMC VITA below. 
  • Eye contact is even more important for this interview since you will likely not be seeing another individual when responding to the questions.
  • Keep in mind, you may have one attempt for these interviews. Be sure to familiarize yourself and read all instructions before starting your interview.
  • The AAMC has preparation material and ways to practice on their website. Participate in these to be sure you are ready for the real interview.

AAMC VITA 

What is it? 

  • A recorded, one-time, online, unidirectional interview for medical schools. There is no human interviewer. 
  • Not all schools are participating in AAMC VITA - so you may or may not need to complete one depending on where you applied. You must be invited by a school to complete the VITA. The list of schools who chose to participate AAMC VITA can be found here
  • This does NOT replace a synchronous (person to person) interview. Schools may choose to have you complete a VITA prior to a synchronous interview to obtain general knowledge about you and your experiences so that the synchronous interview can focus on more details about you and your fit with their school. 
  • Your VITA, once completed, will be available to all the schools you applied to who are participating in the AAMC VITA - this means that you should not identify a specific school in the VITA (ex. "That's why I want to go to Harvard Medical School")
  • The VITA consists of six questions that are presented in text prompts - and applicants record their audio/video response. 
  • You will have one minute to read and reflect on the question and up to three minutes to record a response. 
  • Questions will target the following core competencies: social skills, cultural competence, teamwork, reliability and dependability, resilience and adaptability - learn more about the format and questions here

How can I prepare for a VITA? 

  • Identify examples of your experiences that demonstrate fulfillment of the core competencies. It can help to create a list or chart of experiences to draw from. 
  • Practice utilizing the STAR method in answering interview questions
  • Review the list of sample questions that will appear on the VITA
  • Complete a practice interview that is the exact format of the VITA - this is through the AAMC. You will not be able to review your responses, so consider recording yourself on another device so you can review yourself. You can complete the practice interview as many times as you would like.

Day-of Interview

  • Ensure your laptop/technology is charged and has a strong internet connection
  • Remind the people who live in your shared space about your interview 
  • Dress for success - from head to toe (not just the top half!)

After the Interview 

  • Send a thank-you email within 24 hours to thank the interviewer and include a unique piece of information you learned or demonstrated during your interview. If you are submitting a letter, check out tips on How to Write Thank You Letters

Resources 

Virtual Practice Interview - while this may be specific for the VITA, it is also a great platform for practicing interviews in general. We highly encourage students to complete a virtual practice interview prior to making a mock interview with a Pre-Health Advisor. 

Mock Interview - Schedule a mock interview with a Pre-Health Advisor through Handshake or by calling 434-924-8900. Pre-Health Advisors are available for one mock interview per semester for students, so please be intentional when you choose this appointment option. 

More to Explore Columns: 
Resource - Pre-Law Blog
Resource - Attend a UVA Career Event
Advising Promo - Personalized Guidance

More to Explore

Learn more about Pre-Law events, courses, and opportunities available!  

Check out upcoming events to build your resume, develop job search strategies, meet top recruiters, and more.

Schedule a virtual or phone appointment through Handshake, or by calling the UVA Career Center at 434-924-8900 M-F from 8am-5pm.