Nowadays, all radiology programs have migrated to a completely remote online interview model. And I get it. With Covid around, it needs to be that way. Regardless of the reasons, there are a few advantages to Zoom interviews. Especially now, applicants don’t have to waste time and money traveling from program to program. But it’s not all a bed of roses. The remote interview system leaves some significant issues. How do you get a good feel for the program when you are not present? And how do you know about the area around the residency? Here lies the new role for live second look interviews!
Rank Lists Will Be Different With Online Interviews!
I harken back to my interview experience back in the days of the dinosaur! If I couldn’t join the residents at my Brown University residency dinner the night before, I am not sure that I ever would have ranked them. By meeting the program’s capable and happy residents the night before (maybe it was something in the fruit punch!), I changed my opinion entirely. I don’t think I would have gotten that sense if I wasn’t there. My entire rank list would have looked wholly different, and not for the better. All these issues lead me to believe that we may have a significant problem. We have an application pool of residents this year who are applying to programs they might not want to go to but don’t quite know it yet.
So, how can we keep the low cost/time solution of Zoom interviews and allow residents to know the programs they are applying for? I am even thinking about the world post–Covid (yes, I believe that it is coming soon!). Well, the answer is straightforward. The second look will play a critical role as a new paradigm for interview seasons going forward.
The Rejuvenated Live Second Look Interviews
Second look interviews used to be the domain only of borderline or unsure candidates. Please take a look at my previous blog on this topic from 2017 about second looks. I mean, who else would want to return to a place they have already been for interviews? It’s expensive and time-consuming to do it again. Right?
But, I have a feeling that this paradigm is about to shift in the long run. In the post-covid future, the second look interview will become the shortlist domain, those programs that residents are most interested in ranking highly. At the same time, I believe that residencies will also use this second look to reevaluate the candidate live to make sure that it is the right fit.
Think about it. Instead of going to ten to fifteen interviews or more, now you can go to your top two or three choices. And, you can get to know these programs well. Simultaneously, other programs that applicants are not interested in will not have the pleasure of meeting the resident. It makes a lot of sense because most applicants get one of their top three choices anyway. And now, applicants no longer have to waste as much time and money on interviews as they did before Covid.
Live Second Look Interviews Will No Longer Be Optional
So there you have it. The second look interview, I predict, will no longer be the domain of the few. It will become the tool for most residents to make sure they make the right choice for four years. Choosing a residency can be difficult. There is no reason you should make that decision without getting all the information you can. Think about taking a shot at a second look!