OBJECTIVE: This study compared admission rates to a United States anesthesiology residency program for applicants completing face-to-face versus web-based interviews during the admissions process. We also explored factors driving applicants to select each interview type.
METHODS: The 211 applicants invited to interview for admission to our anesthesiology residency program during the 2014-2015 application cycle were participants in this pilot observational study. Of these, 141 applicants selected face-to-face interviews, 53 applicants selected web-based interviews, and 17 applicants declined to interview. Data regarding applicants' reasons for selecting a particular interview type were gathered using an anonymous online survey after interview completion. Residency program admission rates and survey answers were compared between applicants completing face-to-face versus web-based interviews.
RESULTS: One hundred twenty-seven (75.1%) applicants completed face-to-face and 42 (24.9%) completed web-based interviews. The admission rate to our residency program was not significantly different between applicants completing face-to-face versus web-based interviews. One hundred eleven applicants completed post-interview surveys. The most common reasons for selecting web-based interviews were conflict of interview dates between programs, travel concerns, or financial limitations. Applicants selected face-to-face interviews due to a desire to interact with current residents, or geographic proximity to the residency program.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that completion of web-based interviews is a viable alternative to completion of face-to-face interviews, and that choice of interview type does not affect the rate of applicant admission to the residency program. Web-based interviews may be of particular interest to applicants applying to a large number of programs, or with financial limitations.
- graduate medical education
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