AAMC Standardized Video Interview Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated May 2, 2017

What is the AAMC Standardized Video Interview operational pilot?

In an effort to improve the transition to residency process, the AAMC has developed the Standardized Video Interview as an innovative tool to enable applicants to share objective, performance-based information about themselves beyond academic metrics, to add breadth and depth to their application, as well as to provide residency program directors with additional information to assess applicants.

Following a one-year research study to confirm the tool’s validity and reliability, the AAMC has launched an operational pilot program with the emergency medicine community for the ERAS 2018 application season to explore the value the tool offers to the residency program community and to the residency selection process, and to understand how the scores predict residency outcomes.

What does the AAMC Standardized Video Interview measure?

The video interview is designed to assess knowledge of professional behaviors (professionalism) and interpersonal and communication skills, two competencies that have been identified as required for success in residency and medical practice.

What format does the video interview take?

The video interview is an online interview. Applicants can complete the interview using any internet-enabled computer, tablet or smart phone. Questions are presented in text and applicants provide an audio/video response. The AAMC Standardized Video Interview consists of six questions. Applicants have 30 seconds to read each question and three minutes to respond.

Who is eligible to participate in the operational pilot?

The operational pilot is limited to the emergency medicine specialty.  The academic emergency medicine community has endorsed the use of the Standardized Video Interview during the ERAS 2018 application cycle.  All applicants to ACGME-accredited emergency medicine residency programs are required to complete the Standardized Video Interview as a component of the ERAS 2018 application.

An applicant’s Standardized Video Interview score, as well as access to the video files, will be provided to all emergency medicine residency programs to which the applicant applied.  Emergency medicine residency programs are not required – though are highly encouraged – to make use of these scores and videos as part of their screening and selection process.

Note, completion of the Standardized Video Interview is not a required field in your ERAS 2018 application; therefore, you will not be barred from applying for a residency position in emergency medicine if you do not complete the video interview. However, the emergency medicine residency programs to which you apply will be aware that you did not complete the interview and may consider your application incomplete.

What is the timeline for the operational pilot?

Timeline Activity
May 1, 2017             

Applicants who wish to request an accommodation may begin submitting the required paperwork

June 6, 2017, 9 a.m. ET MyERAS portal opens; applicants register by indicating intent to apply in emergency medicine
June 6 - July 31, 2017, 12 a.m. ET             Rolling emails sent to applicants inviting them to complete the video interview online
July 31, 2017, 11:59 p.m. ET Deadline to complete the video interview
June - September 14, 2017 Interviews are reviewed and scored by third party
August 2017     Residency program staff receive training on the video interview and use of the scores
September 15, 2017 (anticipated)  Scores made available to applicants
September 15, 2017 (anticipated)  Scores and access to videos begin to be made available to programs based on whether the applicant has released the ERAS application to the program


How does the video interview process work?

The process begins with the applicant logging into MyERAS.

Step 1:  On the MyERAS dashboard, there is a question near the bottom of the screen: “Are you planning to apply for a residency position at an ACGME-accredited Emergency Medicine program?”  If you are planning to apply--or even considering applying--in emergency medicine, then you should click “yes.” 

Step 2: Within 24 hours of responding to the question on the MyERAS dashboard, you will receive an email invitation to complete the interview. The email will be sent to the email account registered with the MyERAS portal.

Step 3: Using a link and the unique interview code provided in the email, access the interview platform and complete a technology check with the device (phone, tablet, computer) that will be used to complete the interview. 

Step 4: When you are ready to complete the video interview, log in to the interview platform using the link sent in the personalized email invitation. Once in the interview platform, the applicant should:

  • conduct another technology check to confirm that your equipment is working properly
  • click the "Take a Sample Interview" button and practice reading and responding to the questions in the interview platform.

Step 5: When you are ready to begin the official video interview, click on the "Get Started" link. Once you receive the first question, you will have to up 30 seconds to read and reflect on the question and up to three minutes to record your response.

How can applicants prepare for the Standardized Video Interview?

Applicants should prepare for the Standardized Video Interview in the same way they would prepare for an in-person interview.  During the video interview, applicants are asked six questions that focus on two ACGME competencies: knowledge of professional behaviors (professionalism) and interpersonal and communication skills.  Applicants are encouraged to consider specific experiences that highlight their knowledge in these areas and be prepared to address them during the interview.

The AAMC has developed a resource, Preparing for the AAMC Standardized Video Interview, for applicants that includes guidance on how to prepare for the interview.  

In general, applicants should prepare for the video interview just as they would any telephone or in-person interview. The questions will focus on knowledge of professional behaviors, and interpersonal and communication skills.  The interview website (supported by HireVue® technology) also provides an opportunity for applicants to check their computer or mobile device system (like the microphone and lighting) to make sure conditions are optimal for the interview and provides practice questions to help students get comfortable with responding to questions in this online video format.  We believe these interventions will help students prepare for the Standardized Video Interview as well as in-personal interviews. 

Will applicants be able to see their score? 

Yes. The Standardized Video Interview total score is anticipated to be reported to the applicant on September 15, 2017. More information about how Standardized Video Interview scores will be delivered to applicants will be communicated in summer 2017.

Will applicants be able to interview more than once?

Requests to retake the video interview will only be considered in the event of a technical problem. Otherwise, there are no retakes and applicants may only complete the Standardized Video Interview once during the ERAS 2018 season. They cannot re-take the interview to improve their score. Please see The AAMC Standardized Video Interview: Essentials for additional information.

We encourage applicants, along with their advisors, to prepare early for the Standardized Video Interview. As with in-person interviews, effective preparation strategies include mock-interviews, reviewing curriculum vitae, and reflection on how best to respond to behavioral and situational questions.

How much does the tool cost? Is there an additional fee for emergency medicine participants?

There are no registration fees for the Standardized Video Interview for the ERAS 2018 season.

While I recognize that the AAMC is covering the cost of the operational pilot, what will the costs be if the tool moves beyond the operational pilot and who will pay?

The AAMC does not have an answer to that question at this time.  We are in the early phases of research to understand the value this tool might bring to stakeholders involved in the residency selection process.  The AAMC remains concerned about students’ growing debt burden as well as the financial constraints facing many of our academic health centers.

What is the AAMC doing to address concerns about bias?

Data analyses from the earlier research project phase—in which this video interview tool was tested by volunteer applicants during the ERAS 2017 application cycle—indicates that there are no significant group differences in scores by gender, race/ethnicity, or applicant type (US-MD, US-DO, IMG).  These group differences were smaller than the industry average for standardized tests.

Is this tool a valid measure of these competencies and does applicant score correlate with resident performance?

The AAMC has analyzed the results of the research study, looking very closely at parameters such as inter-rater agreement, group differences, and correlation of interview scores with USMLE Step 1 scores.  The preliminary results from these psychometric measures are promising.  The AAMC found that there is no correlation between an applicant’s Standardized Video Interview score and his/her most recent USMLE Step 1 scores. This suggests that the Standardized Video Interview measures something different than academic competency, as was intended.

However, questions about correlation of an applicant’s Standardized Video Interview score to Match success, or to performance in a residency program cannot be answered without an operational pilot.  Evaluating the Standardized Video Interview score in relationship to resident evaluations and other outcome data available in the residency program would enable us to more accurately answer these important questions.

What role will computer scoring play in delivering Standardized Video Interview scores to program directors?

If the Standardized Video Interview moves beyond the operational pilot stage and expands into specialties that have large applicant pools, it is unlikely that the AAMC could resource enough professional raters to score the interviews and make them available to program directors by mid-September when ACGME-accredited residency programs start receiving applications. As part of our current research, the AAMC is exploring the possibility of computer scoring as a supplement to human scoring.  During this operational pilot for the ERAS 2018 application season, the AAMC is conducting a parallel research project (without implications on applicants’ scores) to explore the possibilities of computer scoring.  For the operational pilot, the scores delivered to emergency medicine residency program directors would be provided by human raters only.

My students already have separate/additional application requirements for certain specialties—is this video interview related, or just one more thing applicants have to complete outside of ERAS?

The AAMC Standardized Video Interview is not affiliated with any of the specialty-specific tools and assessments that are conducted outside of or subsequent to the ERAS application (such as the Otolaryngology Phone Interview Talent Assessment or the Orthopedic Surgery Phone Interview tool). The academic medicine community has endorsed the use of the Standardized Video Interview during the ERAS 2018 application cycle. All applicants to ACGME-accredited emergency medicine residency programs are required to complete the Standardized Video Interview as a component of the ERAS 2018 application. If fully realized as a tool in the future, we hope that the AAMC Standardized Video Interview would serve as one common tool to be used across specialties.

How will the Standardized Video Interview affect introverted applicants who are shy or whose positive traits may not be highlighted by this tool?

The goal of the Standardized Video Interview is to provide applicants with another way to share information about themselves that will add depth to their residency application, in addition to academic metrics, such as grades and Board scores.  The tool is designed to assess knowledge of professional behavior (professionalism) and interpersonal and communication skills.  These competencies are important to program directors along with other characteristics they may consider in the residency selection process.

Applicants will be provided with resources and tips to help them prepare for the interview.  We also encourage applicants to take advantage of practice questions offered by HireVue before they complete their interview.  The independent, professional raters are trained to focus on the content of the applicant’s response, and program training encourages the use of broad, inclusive measures to identify applicants who might fit their program.  Our goal is to widen the band of acceptable applicants rather than narrow it.

My school does not have a professional video studio for students to complete their Standardized Video Interview.  Will the quality of my interview jeopardize my application?

Based on feedback from our vendor and review of interviews completed during the research study year, applicants and medical schools do not need to invest in studio time or professional help to complete the Standardized Video Interview. We encourage you to use your computer or tablet to run a technical test with the vendor in the exact location and environment where you intend to complete the interview so that you’re comfortable that the technology you’re using provides clear audio and video outputs.  We recommend tweaking the settings until you’re happy with the output.

Completing the Standardized Video Interview will require more time and increase my anxiety; yet there’s no guarantee that programs will even have time to view all interviews.  How will this tool help me?

The size of a program’s applicant pool and how they integrate the Standardized Video Interview into their selection process will likely determine how many video interviews they will view.  Feedback from program directors tell us that they want more than Board scores and academic metrics to support their decision-making about who they invite to interview.  They also indicate that applicants who fall in the middle (i.e. may not have the highest Board scores but may excel in other areas) may be overlooked because they don’t stand out in other ways.  We believe an applicant’s performance on the Standardized Video Interview can provide an additional information point that programs might find helpful when making decisions about who they invite to fill their limited interview slots.  This tool provides applicants with another opportunity to help programs see why they might be a good fit for their program.

How are you preventing applicants from saying they’re applying just to get the interview questions to share with friends who are applying in emergency medicine?

One of the areas that the interview covers is knowledge of professional behaviors; and our first task is to challenge applicants to integrate this tool into their ethical and professional sphere for the good of all applicants and program directors.  Applicants who sign up to complete the interview are asked to certify that they will not collect, share, or in any way distribute the interview questions to anyone.  Applicants are subject to an ERAS Investigation if found to have breached the security of the video interview.  In addition, the AAMC has taken steps to develop an extensive question bank to address the issue of unfair advantage due to prior exposure.

What does it mean that the Standardized Video Interview is an operational pilot?

This project is not a research study.  The results from the research year confirmed that the tool meets psychometric standards for reliability and validity, and correlates in expected ways with other selection tools.  The Standardized Video Interview will be used by programs, in conjunction with other application information, to make decisions about which applicants to invite to in-person interviews. The AAMC will evaluate results of the operational pilot year and make an evidence-based decision about whether or not to continue the program.

How did the AAMC decide the timeframe for making the video interviews a requirement for emergency medicine applicants?

We carefully considered the timing of this project, and know that many schools begin sharing information about the residency selection process with rising seniors before they leave for summer activities.  Although the requirement is new this year, we believe that the resources we provide for the video interview will help applicants prepare adequately.  We also want to ensure that this critical information reaches program directors early enough to allow them to take this into account as they make decisions about in-person interviews in September.  In order to provide sufficient time for our independent raters to evaluate interview responses and to deliver Standardized Video Interview scores to program directors when the ACGME-accredited residency programs start receiving applications in September, the interview window is set June 6, 2017, at 9 a.m. ET to July 31, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Will the Standardized Video Interview take the place of in-person interviews?

No, the Standardized Video Interview does not replace or replicate in-person interviews. The Standardized Video Interview is not a one-on-one interview and is not tailored to a specific residency program. The AAMC developed the Standardized Video Interview to provide information that is not readily available nor standardized in the current ERAS application packet when programs are making decisions about who to invite for interviews.  Some programs may also use the tool when trying to finalize their rank order lists.  Both applicants and programs alike indicate that the in-person interviews are a valuable part of residency selection process.  


Contact the AAMC at residencyinterview@aamc.org.

AAMC Standardized Video Interview

Emergency Medicine Operational Pilot for the ERAS 2018 Application Season

AAMC Standardized Video Interview with Accommodations

The AAMC is committed to diversity and inclusion in academic medicine.  That includes ensuring the Standardized Video Interview is accessible to persons with disabilities in accordance with relevant law.  Please review The AAMC Standardized Video Interview: Essentials for more information about standard interview conditions. 
For more information, review the Standardized Video Interview: Accommodations Request Form or contact residencyinterview@aamc.org.

The AAMC Standardized Video Interview: Essentials

The AAMC Standardized Video Interview: Essentials is required reading for interviewees. The Essentials outline the Standardized Video Interview program, including interview format, content, scoring, registration instructions, and terms and conditions.  The Essentials also includes information regarding the requirements for requesting an extension and reporting a technology concern.

Tips for Preparing for the Standardized Video Interview

Resource guide to help applicants prepare for and complete the video interview.