Nevin Manimala Statistics

Part 1: Assessment of a virtual vs. onsite interview experience from the interviewee perspective

Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2023 Mar 14:S1877-1297(23)00003-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2023.02.003. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy transitioned the prospective student interview process for the incoming Class of 2025 from an onsite to a virtual Zoom interview. Differences between the two processes were assessed to determine utility of virtual interviews in the future. The objective was to compare preference, impact, and barriers to onsite and virtual interview experiences for prospective students.

METHODS: A survey to assess interviewees’ opinions regarding the interview process, preference, and barriers to participation was emailed to candidates following the 2020-2021 interviews. Responses were evaluated using descriptive statistics, chi-square, Mann-Whitney U tests, and constant comparison thematic analysis.

RESULTS: The survey response rate was 40%. Of these, 54% preferred virtual interviews. Travel, lodging, and time were identified as barriers, with 80.5% of interviewees reporting at least one of these barriers. Respondents who chose time or had more barriers were more likely to prefer virtual interviews. Hosting a pre-interview day helped candidates prepare. Having a pharmacy student in the breakout room helped reduce stress. Interviewees were able to engage, showcase their personality, and learn the culture of the college despite the virtual nature.

CONCLUSIONS: From an interviewee perspective, the virtual interview process is a viable method to continue. Virtual interviews decrease barriers to access for candidates unable to attend onsite interviews while still allowing candidates to feel engaged, learn about the program, and have a positive experience. Pharmacy institutions may consider virtual interviews as an alternative or supplement to onsite interviews.

PMID:36925363 | DOI:10.1016/j.cptl.2023.02.003

By Nevin Manimala

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