ObjectiveThis study compared admission rates to a United States anesthesiology residency program for applicants completing face-to-face versus web-based interviews during the admissions process. We also explored factors driving applicants to select each interview type.
MethodsThe 211 applicants invited to interview for admission to our anesthesiology residency program during the 2014-2015 application cycle were participants in this pilot observational study. Of these, 141 applicants selected face-to-face interviews, 53 applicants selected web-based interviews, and 17 applicants declined to interview. Data regarding applicants' reasons for selecting a particular interview type were gathered using an anonymous online survey after interview completion. Residency program admission rates and survey answers were compared between applicants completing face-to-face versus web-based interviews.
ResultsOne hundred twenty-seven (75.1%) applicants completed face-to-face and 42 (24.9%) completed web-based interviews. The admission rate to our residency program was not significantly different between applicants completing face-to-face versus web-based interviews. One hundred eleven applicants completed post-interview surveys. The most common reasons for selecting web-based interviews were conflict of interview dates between programs, travel concerns, or financial limitations. Applicants selected face-to-face interviews due to a desire to interact with current residents, or geographic proximity to the residency program.
ConclusionsThese results suggest that completion of web-based interviews is a viable alternative to completion of face-to-face interviews, and that choice of interview type does not affect the rate of applicant admission to the residency program. Web-based interviews may be of particular interest to applicants applying to a large number of programs, or with financial limitations.