Virtual Interviews are becoming increasingly common. Residency programs will be shifting to online platforms for the interviews this year for the recruitment process. It is important for the candidates to keep an up-to-date inventory of tech gadgets for a smooth virtual interview experience. There are various gadgets that may help to have a smooth virtual experience. We have compiled a list of the top 10 virtual interview gadgets.
Laptop or a desktop:
Most of us spend a lot of time on our laptops/Macbooks and know our machines very well. If your laptops need an update, this is the perfect time to do so. A frozen screen is the last thing you’d want during a virtual interview. Start looking out for good deals now. Get it while you are applying to programs so that you understand the interface and feel at ease using the new hardware during the virtual residency or fellowship interview. Remove unnecessary data from your hard drive if you plan to use your current laptop. You can also free up some space by moving data to an external hard drive.
If you are comfortable with your laptop overall, you might still want to invest in a good webcam. Even the best built-in webcams do not give a very high-quality image. There are many webcam options available to select. A wide-angle webcam works best if you do not have a busy background and have a large space. Narrow-angle webcams will be best for smaller rooms and are ideal for one-on-one meetings. Choose a high-definition camera that can sit on the top of your screen without actually covering the screen panel.
Lighting is critical during an online meeting. Placement of a light source is vital as the interviewer might lose interest if s/he is distracted with the light glare right behind you. Webcams work best when the light is coming from behind the webcam. If you have a light source at your back, consider moving it or changing your place. You can also get a ring backlight which gives a soft light for a better quality image during the virtual interview. This item is a must-have in your virtual interview gadgets arsenal.
Earphones and Earbuds:
Earbuds that integrate with your device are a must-have item to have. You can get a wireless pair but having wired earphones can come in handy when the wireless ones are low on charge. Another benefit of having a set of earphones/earbuds is that they usually come with a microphone which definitely helps.
Strong Wifi router:
The role of a stable internet connection is pivotal in having a smooth virtual interview. If your room is located far from the main router and usually gets lesser signals, add an additional router or shift to a more robust wifi router. This back-end hardware will save you a lot of hassle during the virtual interview process.
This is a must-have item that instantly converts your phone to a virtual meeting dock. Install the platform used by the program for your virtual interview before-hand on your mobile. In case of any interruptions or issues from your laptop, you can quickly turn your phone on and place the mobile holder conveniently to carry on the interaction. This gadget will also help you use your mobile as a backup. Consider moving to a higher data plan with unlimited high-speed internet and use it as an alternative to your main set up
Replacement laptop battery:
It is essential to know the battery life of your device and plan accordingly. Keep the power cable plugged in during the whole interview. Also, having a back-up plan is always good, especially for occasions like job interviews. Imagine that your locality experiences a power outage on the day of your interview. An additional laptop battery will give you peace of mind while you wait for the power to be back or shift to other alternatives. It will also allow you to focus on the interview instead of worrying about the dying battery.
Mobile power bank:
If you are planning to use your mobile phone as a backup, getting a power bank will be wise. Get a quality power bank with a higher charging capacity. It will not only keep your alternative option charged for the interviews but this handy gadget will also become a travel buddy.
Usually, laptops/Macbooks have built-in microphones but you might have to speak loud as they are at a certain distance from your body during a virtual interview. The same is true for the microphones on the webcam. Some webcams have high-end microphones to help with the team meetings. A separate microphone offers another cool feature which is background noise reduction. This feature makes the voice quality optimal by decreasing the noise from the environment. This is especially helpful if you live in a dorm or a shared place. However, getting a good quality headphone with a built-in microphone is best for virtual interviews. A separate microphone is not an essential virtual interview gadget but could certainly add more value by transmitting your voice clearly.
USB plugin internet (optional):
If your internet service provider is not reliable, consider shifting to a better option. You can also think of having a USB-based internet connection. This will also serve as your backup internet in case of power outages, just like your backup laptop battery.
Read this article to review how programs are adapting to the virtual residency Match season.