Tips for SVI Applicants

Preparing for the Interview

  • Identify sample experiences. Try to identify some examples of situations you either participated in or witnessed that highlight your knowledge or demonstration of professional behaviors or interpersonal and communication skills. Review your CV and reflect on your experiences and learning. In the months leading up to the interview, make note of situations you participate in or witness that exemplify the two competencies.
  • Practice describing your experiences. With your peers and advisors, conduct mock interviews to practice developing responses using specific behavioral examples from your life and experiences.
    • When practicing responding to behavioral questions:
      • Be sure to discuss the situation or task you encountered, the actions you took, and the outcome of your actions.
      • If you cannot identify a past experience where you demonstrated a competency, describe a situation you witnessed or speak hypothetically about what you would do in that situation.
    • When practicing responding to situational questions:
      • Discuss the actions you would take, why you would take those actions, and what you would expect the result of your actions to be.
      • You may draw on your past experience to explain why you would take specific actions.
  • Practice with technology. Practice responding with the device you’ll be using, and without an interviewer. When you complete the SVI, you will do so alone with your device. Look at the device’s camera, not at the screen, and keep your head and shoulders centered in the camera’s view.

Setting Up for the Interview

  • Technology. We recommend using a computer or tablet with a good webcam and microphone. Although a mobile phone may be used, a laptop or tablet improves stability.
    • Double-check your microphone and camera to make sure they’re working well.
    • Shut down all programs on your device so that no alerts, notifications, or other electronic interruptions distract you.
  • Environment. Identify a private, quiet, and well-lit space where you can complete the interview by yourself, you are free of potential distractions, and you can speak freely (e.g., avoid the library). Consider the backdrop you will use during your interview. While raters evaluate your interview based on the content of your responses, program directors will have access to and may watch your videos.
  • Logistics. Dress professionally, as you would for an in-person interview. While raters evaluate your interview based on the content of your responses, program directors will have access to and may watch your videos. Do the interview at a time when you’re rested and focused. You want to be able to focus on understanding the questions, crafting coherent responses, and presenting your best self.

Completing the Interview

  • Read the entire question before you begin responding. Make sure you respond to all parts of the question.
  • Provide detailed responses and try to avoid speaking in generalities. One strong example is better than several weak or tangential examples.
  • Use clinical and nonclinical experiences to respond to questions as appropriate.
  • Keep in mind that raters are trained to evaluate your Knowledge of Professional Behaviors and Interpersonal and Communication Skills. They are not evaluating your medical knowledge.
  • A note on patient confidentiality: some interview questions may ask you to describe previous experiences with colleagues and patients. While it is important to provide specific responses to the interview questions, you must not provide any information that could be used to identify patients or colleagues.

Application Preparation Guide

For more information on application preparation, review this guide. 

Sample SVI Questions

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Review sample SVI questions for both Interpersonal and Communication Skills and Knowledge of Professional Behaviors.