The Hybrid Interview Format

Some medical schools offer a hybrid interview format, meaning an applicant can select either in-person or virtual interviews. Medical schools that chose to offer a hybrid format did so after considering many factors. They want you to interview in the format that works best for you.  

Consider the following factors and questions to guide your decision on the best interview format for you: 

Consideration Question(s) you may consider asking yourself:
  • How does opting for a virtual interview impact the overall cost? Can it help reduce expenses on travel, accommodation, and meals compared to in-person interviews? 
  • By choosing a virtual interview, how can I effectively manage my budget and potentially save money? 
  • In what ways do virtual interviews offer greater convenience? Can I take advantage of the flexibility they provide in scheduling, especially with reduced travel time? 
  • How can virtual interviews accommodate my busy schedule while maintaining efficiency? 
Comfort Level
  • How does participating in interviews from familiar environments like my home or school contribute to a more comfortable experience? Can it alleviate interview-related anxiety? 
  • Can virtual interviews create a more relaxed atmosphere that allows me to showcase my best self? Or would I perform better in person? 
  • What strategies is the school using to ensure fairness and reduce bias? 
Ability to Assess Fit
  • How do medical schools facilitate the assessment of fit during virtual interviews and events? Are there specific sessions or opportunities for interaction that will help me gauge my compatibility with the medical school? 
  • What resources and platforms are available for me to connect with the medical school and gain insights into its values and culture? 
Ability to See Physical Spaces 
  • Given the virtual interview format, how can I gain an understanding of the medical school's physical spaces, such as living quarters and medical facilities? 
  • Do they offer virtual tours or alternative means to familiarize myself with the environment? 
  • How can I virtually explore the campus and facilities to gain a comprehensive perspective on the medical school's infrastructure and resources? 
  • Is there an optional in-person visit day? 

Most  schools provide information on the ways in which they are working to maintain fairness and equity for hybrid interviews up-front (e.g., not sharing whether an applicant interviewed in-person or virtually with decision committees). If a medical school does not provide this information up-front, it is appropriate to ask them to provide it so that you have it when making the decision about whether to interview in-person or virtually.  

If you feel that it would be beneficial to see a program in person but cannot feasibly attend all interviews in person, consider scheduling an in-person medical school visit to a select list of your top medical schools if the medical schools offer this option. 

Peer-Reviewed Articles Published in Medical Journals About Hybrid Interviewing:

Brian, R., Wang, J. J., Park, K. M., Karimzada, M., Sequeira, N., O’Sullivan, P., & Alseidi, A. (2022). Virtual interviews: assessing how expectations meet reality. Journal of Surgical Education, 80(2), 200–207.

Rohrberg, T., Walling, A., Gillam, M., St Peter, M., & Nilsen, K. (2022). Interviewing for family medicine residency: in-person, virtual, or hybrid? Family medicine, 54(10), 820–827.