Crazy to think that around this time I was finishing my interviews and now I am on the other side having the privilege of interviewing amazing candidates for our program. To be perfectly honest, I feel for all of the candidates this year applying for residency given the current circumstances. Not only have audition rotations been canceled for many but also interviews that are already very stressful, have taken a different format.
Looking back, zoom interviews are difficult for both parties because one, candidates are not able to fully explore the institution or get a vibe for how the residents and faculty interact with each other, or to try our oh-so-delicious coffee-shop coffee! For example, I remember last year visiting the cities I was interviewing at a day or two earlier and having the opportunity to discover what the city had to offer in addition to looking through the residential areas for what would have been my future home. My interviews were also many, many opportunities to travel to places that I had never been before and might not have the opportunity to visit!
This new format, however, does have its benefits as well. For one, the amount of money that candidates save this year is extremely notable! Flights and hotels have been replaced by well-lit bedrooms and 2-3 hour video conversations. Additionally, given the current circumstances, I would assume that it’s much easier for candidates to manipulate their schedules to fit many more interviews if they desire to do so.
Regardless, I have so much respect for this year’s candidates for their flexible natures, making the effort to connect with us residents through technology, and also the courage to apply during such a time in our history.