There’s an interesting series of books by Nicholas Nassim Taleb discussing events that cause a massive change in an environment or industry. While I didn’t love the books because it felt like I was being yelled at by somebody on a lot of cocaine for 600 pages, the message was salient. Right now, we’re seeing a massive change in the residency recruitment arena, and I don’t think it’s going to be a temporary change. That is, using remote meetings and video conferencing for interviews.
Now the trick with this is that there are a number of industries and professions already doing many interviews and meetings in this manner. While certain things like hospital tours (utterly useless) and hand-shaking may be hard to give up (or not), residency candidate interviews can become more effective and efficient using digital platforms.
But in order to make sure you can perform in this new environment, it is useful to discuss some basic fundamentals when it comes to this type of interview. While live-video interviews on Skype/GoToMeeting/Zoom, etc are useful, they are not time efficient. But using a pre-recorded interview format, programs and employers can interview a number of different candidates in a relatively short period of time.
Pre-recorded interviews often will be a more structured evaluation rather than just a meet-and-grill interview. In most scenarios, the residency program will reach out days prior to the interview with instructions on what you will be expected to present and specific questions you will answer. From there, you’ll record your answer to each question within the prespecified time limit and then submit it for the program representative to review the recording later.
But one of the issues with this type of interview is how to actually send or transfer the video file. Since these are rather large files, they can’t easily be attached to an email. And forget sending a physical memory device in the snail-mail. A simple remedy to this is using YouTube. Within YouTube Studio, you can upload your video content and specify it to be “unlisted” content. Doing so will prevent anyone from happening across your video by chance, but allow anyone with the specific link to access the video itself.
Steps to create and share an interview video
First, you’ll need a YouTube account which you already likely have if you have a Gmail or other Google account. Otherwise, these are fairly easy to set up, and are entirely free. Once your account it activated, login.
Once you’ve logged into the account, access your YouTube Studio account by clicking on your account image to bring up this menu.
Upload your content
Now that you’re logged into your YouTube Studio account, on the top right hand side of the page there is an icon of an upward pointing arrow. This is the button to click in order to upload your content to YouTube.
Selecting the file and uploading
Once you’ve clicked on the upload arrow, this popup will appear. In this window, you will have to select your video file to upload. Ideally you’ll have the file on your desktop or somewhere easily retrievable. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a backup copy of the file and it’s stored and saved under a file name you can easily identify and remember.
Video title and content information
While your video file is uploading, you will be asked to provide additional details about your file. If you were uploading a conventional YouTube video, you’re title and description of the video would impact is searchability and discoverability. But in this scenario where you will not be listing it publicly and just directly sharing the video, these items aren’t as critical.
What you should include here as your file name/Title is: Your Name, Credentials (as it would appear on your CV)
As for the description: Include the interview site name, date of interview and brief description of the assignment this video pertains to.
For the Thumbnail, create a powerpoint or Google Slides slide with Your Name, Credentials and the interview site name. Take another screen shot and use this file as the custom thumbnail of the video. This is a really nice touch to do, but not totally necessary since YouTube will select a default image from your video file if you don’t do anything.
The last section here is selecting whether this is made for kids or not. While it seems odd, you should select “No, it’s not made for kids”. While this may seem counterintuitive, the kids restriction will limit the audience and place other unnecessary restrictions on the video that are not necessary.
Cards and end screen
Cards and the end screen are YouTube functions that can help viewers see additional videos you have on your channel. This isn’t a necessary addition, unless you want to make a masterclass move and also upload your CV and LOI as a video file. If you want help doing that, I can help you out.
Unlisted Video vs Public Video
Since you’re only going to be sharing this link with specific people, you want to publish the video as “Unlisted.” As I mentioned previously, the unlisted video will only appear to people who possess the specific link in the picture above. When you’re sharing the video with the RPD of the program you’re interviewing with, this is the link you will be sharing. Once your interview is over, and they’ve watched the video, you can either leave it “Unlisted” or change it to “Private.” The reason why you shouldn’t choose “Private” from the start is that you have to manually add the people (ie, emails/accounts) of the individuals who can watch the video. While it is possible to do so, there is a higher chance of you having the wrong information, or some other obstacle that is just not necessary to encounter.
Congratulations! That’s it. Now all you have to do is deliver this link to the RPD and the residency program. If you need any help, or want to keep learning more about Phase 2 interviews, check out these online interview tips. You can even step up your interview game by signing up for the EM PharmD U! Good luck on your live versus pre-recorded online interviews!