Standardized Video Interview

Background

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis continues to make advances in its holistic evaluation of its highly talented applicant pool.  A new addition to the admissions process in 2020-21 is the Standardized Video Interview (SVI).  In the SVI (also known as an asynchronous, or one-way virtual interview), invited applicants are asked to provide oral and written responses in a timed setting to several competency-focused questions.  The SVI should be completed in advance of one’s scheduled virtual interview day.  SVI questions have been pre-recorded by Washington University faculty and current medical students.  We see this new interview component as a complement to our interview structure, and an exciting means for candidates to share their unique personalities, ways of thinking, and motivations for medicine.

Our senior students helped us design and record the questions, which we hope will give you a sense of the culture and values at WashU.  The questions are focused on traits or competencies that are considered important for success in medical school, but we are not focused on specific answers.  We are much more interested in your thought process.  Because of this, we hope you will use the SVI to tell us thoroughly, in each question, about your reasoning.  Feel free to discuss different viewpoints; propose more than one solution.  Many of the questions are intentionally hypothetical and may ask you to imagine you are in a certain situation.  Feel free to fill in any details that you need to answer the question effectively.  If you’ve actually been in the situation that is posed, by all means feel free to tell us about the experience.  Otherwise, you can tell us what you would do if you were ever in the given situation.  If you finish with time still available, realize that you don’t have to use all the time allotted.

Instructions

The expectation of the Committee on Admissions at Washington University is for the Standardized Video Interview to be completed in one sitting, prior to one’s scheduled live virtual interviews with faculty.  The SVI can be accomplished from one’s home or another location of choice where you have a significant degree of privacy.  You will need a desktop or laptop computer with a functioning webcam, microphone, keyboard and internet connection (we do not recommend using a mobile device). The platform has specific browser requirements that will be described when you check in. If invited to participate, you can register for the SVI and complete the assessment later.  You’ll receive an automatic email after registration to re-access your SVI assessment before the deadline date.

The SVI system allows for unlimited practice questions so that you can check your equipment and get accustomed to the interface.   However, once starting the formal assessment, there is only one opportunity to answer each question, allowing us to see your candid responses.  There are four questions; three are oral, where you will watch a video prompt, have some “prep” time, and then record a video answer is a specified amount of time.  One question is written and requires a written response. 

Breaks between answering the questions, if necessary, should be limited.  We expect the SVI to take an applicant about 30 minutes to complete.

Professional dress (business casual) is recommended, and eye contact with your camera is, of course, encouraged. We ask that you take the test in an environment that is quiet and free from distractions, but you will not be evaluated on the quality of your room or background. Video and written responses will be evaluated by faculty Committee on Admissions members and senior medical students.  Both groups have been trained to employ rubrics established by Committee on Admissions leadership.

Interview Integrity

It is expected that applicants completing a SVI will not record the experience using any means or technology.  The sharing or posting of questions posed in the SVI is prohibited.  Students should not refresh their browser during the SVI experience, and responses to written questions are expected to be original and typed extemporaneously.  Cutting and pasting from another source (including one’s own personal files) in answering the written question is prohibited.

Resources

The AAMC has published Virtual Interviews:  Tips for Medical School Applicants, which we encourage you to review in advance of your SVI.

Accommodations

Requests for reasonable accommodations in the taking of the SVI should be made in advance of the assessment’s administration.  Requests for accommodations after one has completed the SVI will not be honored.

If you have a disability and believe that you need to request a reasonable accommodation with respect to the Standardized Video Interview, please contact mdadmissions@wustl.edu to make your request. We will respond to your request prior to your interview.

Contact

For questions or concerns regarding the Standardized Video Interview, email mdadmissions@wustl.edu or call (314) 362-6858.