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A How-To Guide: Virtual Interviews in the Era of Social Distancing
J Surg Educ. 2020 Jul 30
PMID: 32741692    PMCID: PMC7391954   
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Abstract
The coronavirus crisis hit at the beginning of the Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship (CGSO) and Breast Oncology Fellowship interview cycles. Within 2 weeks, nearly all programs, including ours, switched to a virtual platform for the remainder of the season. Given that social distancing will remain in place for the foreseeable future, it is possible that all residency and fellowship interviews will need to be conducted virtually. Our methods and shared experience can assist other programs faced with this task for their upcoming interview cycle. We recommend using a virtual meeting platform in which staff have the most comfort; we chose Zoom as our platform. Information on the program traditionally included in the welcome packet, research opportunities, details on the institution, hospital and staff, and detailed interview instructions were distributed prior to the interview day. A virtual "happy hour" was conducted to provide an opportunity for candidates and current trainees to interact. Our virtual interview day schedule mimicked our traditional in person interview day, and we always had a back-up plan for completing the interview if the virtual platform became unstable. While many programs would not choose to perform virtual interviews, we felt that by conducting them in the methods we describe, we were able to closely replicate our traditional interview day and appreciate the candidacy of the applicants.
Notes
1878-7452 Hill, Maureen V Bleicher, Richard J Farma, Jeffrey M Journal Article J Surg Educ. 2020 Jul 30:S1931-7204(20)30250-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.07.016.