By now, you might have heard of the AAMC VITA – an online, recorded interview tool, meant to provide an additional chance for applicants and medical schools to connect. In this blog, you will learn what the AAMC VITA is, what the interview process is like, and how to prepare for the AAMC VITA. Finally, I'll go over some sample questions and expert answers to help you get ready!
Here's What I'll Cover:
The AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions (VITA) is a one-time, one-way, recorded interview designed to help medical schools evaluate applicants’ pre-professional competencies important for success in the medical profession. While the interview will assess every applicant’s suitability for medical school, the specific questions differ. All questions are unrelated to medical experience, so you do not need any clinical knowledge or experience to do well. Remember, questions you will be asked are not tailored for a specific medical school. This interview format is designed to give the medical schools you apply to a chance to get to know you better. Only selected applicants will complete the interview.
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Let’s look over the main components of the AAMC VITA interview process.
The AAMC has utilized the HireVue system to capture and transmit your AAMC VITA interview. You will receive emails regarding the interview from the medical schools that select you to complete the interview, the AAMC, and HireVue. Participating medical schools will select applicants they want to invite to complete the AAMC VITA interview on a rolling basis. A school interested in your application must initiate a request for your interview. If you’re selected to complete the AAMC VITA, you will be invited in a series of emails. HireVue will send your initial AAMC VITA invitation email on a Thursday between August and April of this application cycle. Additionally, HireVue will send reminder emails between August and April until you complete the AAMC VITA interview.
The invitation you receive from HireVue will be generic. It will not include information about which of the medical schools selected you for interview. The AAMC has encouraged all medical schools to inform applicants directly if they have been selected. Additionally, the AAMC will send you a monthly report listing each school that has selected you for the AAMC VITA interview. The AAMC VITA interview may only be completed once. If you complete an interview for a school and are later selected by a different school, you will not complete the interview again. Your video responses will be shared with any school that selects you to complete the AAMC VITA interview.
While the AAMC SJT does provide you with a human proctor during the test, there is no human interviewer in the AAMC VITA. Using your own device, you must record audio and video responses to six questions that are presented in text prompts. You will have up to 60 seconds to read and reflect on each written question, and up to three minutes to record a response. The entire AAMC VITA interview will take between 35 to 40 minutes to complete. You may record all six questions in one sitting, or you may complete any number of questions you choose. You can take breaks between questions and they may be as long as you need. However, keep in mind that all questions must be completed by the required medical school deadline and within the AAMC VITA widow, i.e. between August and April of this application cycle.
Once you are exposed to a question, you will not be able to take a break until the time to record the response has finished. Therefore, make sure you are in a quiet space for at least four minutes after launching a question to ensure you have time to read the prompt, prepare a response, and record it. After recording a response, you may choose to progress to the next question or take an untimed break. You will not be able to view your video responses during or after you complete the interview. Your VITA responses are not stored until you select "Done answering," "Finish," a stop sign, or other similar terms or symbols, depending on your device's operating system. The interview platform will send you an acknowledgment that the interview has been completed shortly after your videos are uploaded to the system. If you do not receive this notification within 24 hours of completion, please contact [email protected]
Step-by-Step Interview Timeline
Step 1: Before completing the AAMC VITA interview, please verify that your email address is correct in the “MY AAMC Profile” tab within the AMCAS application. The invitation email will be sent to the email account registered with your AMCAS application.
Step 2: Medical schools will select which applicants they wish to complete the AAMC VITA interview. Schools may choose to send you a notification email directly if they select you to interview.
Step 3: Interview invitations will be sent directly from HireVue. Emails will be distributed every Thursday between August and April. Before you are ready to interview, you may use the link provided in the email to access the interview platform, and complete a technology check with the device (computer, tablet, phone) that will be used to complete the interview.
Step 4: When you are ready to complete the AAMC VITA interview, enter the interview platform using the link sent in your personalized HireVue email invitation. Once you enter the interview platform, the system will automatically conduct a technology check to confirm that your equipment is working properly. You can then select “Practice,” and practice reading and responding to questions in the interview platform. You will be able to review your sample responses and ensure that you are satisfied with your camera position and audio quality.
Step 5: When you are ready to begin the official video interview, select “Start.” Once you receive the first question, you will have up to 60 seconds to read and reflect on the question and up to three minutes to record your response.
Step 6: Your VITA responses are not stored until you select "Done answering," "Finish," a stop sign, or other similar terms or symbols, depending on your device's operating system.
Step 7: Complete the post-VITA survey (optional).
Step 8: The interview platform will send you an automated acknowledgment email stating “Interview Complete” shortly after your videos are uploaded to the system. If you do not receive such an email within 24 hours of completion, please contact [email protected]
While you are recording your responses, your face must be visible. Your voice must be audible to permit evaluation by the medical school admissions committees. You may complete the interview using any internet-enabled computer, tablet, or smartphone. However, it is better to use a device that will not accept phone calls while you interview because a phone call will interfere with your ability to complete your response. Because the interview is one-way, you should complete the video interview in a location and at a time most convenient for you during the interview window I mentioned above. The AAMC instructs medical schools to ignore your background settings, as well as any unexpected interruptions that may occur, i.e. dog barking or construction outside. They understand that each applicant has different living conditions and circumstances that sometimes prevent total privacy and a quiet atmosphere. The schools will be reminded to focus on the content of your response, however, do your best to ensure that you have at least 4 minutes of uninterrupted time to record one of your responses.
Although this is not a face-to-face interview, you should treat the AAMC VITA as a professional interview. It can be difficult to recreate the same tone of professionalism and sophistication if you’re recording your interview in your living room or bedroom, but try to step your best foot forward. Make sure you dress professionally, as you would for an in-person interview. Wear neutral colors, don’t fidget or touch your face, keep your tone professional and welcoming. Schedule to record your responses at a time when you’re rested and focused. Try to be in a quiet area with a neutral wall, turn off your phone’s ringer, and ensure the lighting is good, i.e. helps in ensuring your face is well-seen in the camera. Try to position your camera so it is at eye-level or above - this will give the clearest view of your face and expressions. Remember, you will only record this interview once, so whatever you record and submit to the AAMC will be sent out to any of the schools that request for your interview. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and complete the recording. Allow time at the beginning to conduct a technology check, answer sample questions, and get used to the new interview format.
Do you want to get some tips on how to ace your online interviews? Watch our video:
Each medical school participating in the AAMC VITA determines how it incorporates the interview into its application review process. Some may use the interview as part of the primary application review, secondary application review, or an addition to the traditional interview process. Therefore, medical schools will select applicants at different points during the application cycle. If you have questions about how your medical school of choice is using the AAMC VITA interview, please contact the medical school directly.
Your responses to the AAMC VITA questions will not be scored or evaluated by the AAMC or the HireVue system. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology (including facial recognition) is not being used in the AAMC VITA interview. Medical schools that select you to complete the AAMC VITA interview will have access to your video responses and an opportunity to evaluate your responses using their own school-specific processes. As with a traditional in-person interview, whether you receive feedback from a medical school about your interview performance will be up to the individual medical school.
- Baylor College of Medicine
- California Northstate University College of Medicine
- Carle Illinois College of Medicine
- Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
- Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science
- Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
- Duke University School of Medicine (7/28/20)
- East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine
- Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine
- Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
- Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (7/28/20)
- Morehouse School of Medicine
- New York University Long Island School of Medicine
- Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
- Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Medicine
- Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
- Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
- Saint Louis University School of Medicine
- San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
- Stanford University School of Medicine
- State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine
- UCLA/Drew Medical Education Program
- University of Alabama School of Medicine
- University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix
- University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
- University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine
- University of Central Florida College of Medicine
- University of Florida College of Medicine
- University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine
- University of Illinois College of Medicine
- University of Louisville School of Medicine
- University of Maryland School of Medicine
- University of Massachusetts Medical School
- University of Michigan Medical School
- University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth Campus (7/22/20)
- University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
- University of New Mexico School of Medicine
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio (MD-PhD program only)
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (MD-PhD program only)
- University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
- Wake Forest School of Medicine of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (7/22/20)
- Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
- Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
- Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
Your AAMC VITA interview will be composed of six questions. The first question will ask you to describe your journey to medical school. You will be asked to share your experiences that led you to pursue the medical profession. The remaining five questions will aim to evaluate these five competencies: social skills, cultural competence, teamwork, reliability and dependability, and resilience and adaptability. While each applicant’s questions will be different, they will generally fall into these three categories:
Medical school journey questions. These prompts will ask you to describe your journey and/or the experiences that led you to pursue a career in medicine. As I mentioned above, the first prompt you will fall into this question category. Sample: What experiences led you to pursue a career in medicine?
Past behavior questions. You will be asked to describe previous experiences that demonstrate your level of knowledge and skills related to the five core competencies I listed above. Sample: Describe a time when you experienced a conflict with a classmate or a co-worker. What did you do? What was the outcome?
Situational questions. You will be asked to demonstrate your level of knowledge and skills related to the five core competencies by describing what you would do in different hypothetical situations. Sample: Imagine you are working in a group project and one of your teammates is not doing their share of the work. What would you do?
Although the AAMC VITA is not a face-to-face interview, you can use traditional techniques to get ready. Firstly, you will need to know how to prepare for your med school interview. It is important to know your application components well. Even though you will not be asked specific questions about your application, your answers for the AAMC VITA should correspond with the experiences and activities you listed in your AMCAS application, including the AMCAS Work and Activities section and your AMCAS personal statement. Of course, you are allowed to reference experiences that were not included in your other application components, however, keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to respond to each question so choose your top-quality experiences – you have likely talked about them in your other application components. Be mindful that the experiences and activities you listed in your application materials are there for you to reference at any time during the interview. For example, typically, personal statements answer the difficult question of “why do you want to be a doctor?” If you are faced with this or similar question in your AAMC VITA interview, don’t hesitate to use your personal statement as a reference point. Do not memorize your personal statement, rather, use it as a guide to answer the AAMC VITA question about your journey to medical school. If you are having a hard time writing your personal statement, make sure to read some successful medical school personal statement examples to get some ideas for your own.
Additionally, it is wise to practice answering some common medical school interview questions, and even MMI questions. Remember, perfect practice makes perfect. The more questions you run through, the more comfortable you will become with answering questions about your personal experiences, activities, and even hypothetical scenarios. Practicing with medical school interview questions will also allow you to time yourself and work towards composing concise and clear answers. Remember, you will have only one minute to read the prompt and brainstorm an answer before you record it, so timing yourself during practice is key.
The most important step in preparing for med school interviews is having an appropriate strategy for each question type. Having an answer strategy for each AAMC VITA question will eliminate stress and allow for better interview preparation. Instead of dreading the myriad of questions that you may face in your interview, you will know how to tackle any question that may come your way. Let’s consider answer strategies for each AAMC VITA question type I listed above.
Medical school journey questions
Remember, a question of this type will be the first question in your AAMC VITA interview. Questions that fall into this category vary widely. They can be as common as “Tell me about yourself?” or leave you to personally identify the most important experiences that led you to pursue the study of medicine. Open-ended questions are challenging. When faced with such questions, many students may be unsure of what they want to talk about and start rambling on. You are personally responsible to construct an answer that would provide helpful information about your candidacy for the admissions committees. That’s a tall order! Remember, the strongest answers are the ones that show, rather than simply tell, your journey. It is important to structure your answer around two or three concrete experiences that led you to apply to medical school. Including more examples may be risky. Firstly, you run the danger of running out of time before giving a solid, well-organized answer. Secondly, referencing more experiences will not give you enough time to delve deeply into the experiences you mention. Remember, simply listing the experiences is not enough. You must speak of each experience in some detail. Most importantly, you must be able to tie the experience to a lesson or a consequence that led you to want to become a doctor. As an example, let’s consider the following sample question and answer.
Sample question: Why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine?
“My parent’s dreams influenced my choice to pursue the study of engineering in university. This fascinating discipline has led me to great discoveries about my own passions and interests that have culminated in my unwavering desire to pursue a career in medicine. My educational background has led me to embark on several research projects in diverse medical fields including vaccine process development and regenerative biology. My project at Global Research Labs on the development of a cytomegalovirus vaccine gave me a deep appreciation of a drug’s path from the lab to patient care. My research journey has provided me an opportunity to prepare for a career of continuous learning as a physician to adapt and utilize new scientific discoveries for the optimal care of patients. And while I enjoyed the search for new knowledge to benefit medical research, I found my personal experiences with patients in a medical setting most rewarding.
As a nurse assistant, I work with many patients, but one man stands out in my mind. For several weeks, I cared for Max, an elderly patient that suffered a stroke which severely weakened the left side of his body following open-heart surgery at the X Clinic. Max’s healing process broadened my perspective, as I was able to visualize the everyday pain and struggle a patient endures during the rehabilitation of a significant ailment. This motivated me to be the encouraging and empathetic voice for each of my patients as a nurse assistant. As a potential physician, I aspire not only to provide care in a clinical setting but to improve the accessibility of medical treatments that can be used to manage chronic illnesses through research. My personal experience with Max has taught me the importance of providing patients a voice, listening to their stories, and caring for them; both medically and emotionally when forming trusting relationships.”
Why is this a good answer? The interviewee gives a solid explanation of how their educational background has contributed to their participation in a variety of research areas related to medicine. They give clear, vibrant details about the research projects they were involved in and how the experience has enlightened the candidate’s understanding of the medical field. Additionally, the interviewee includes a solid clinical experience to demonstrate their exposure to the medical field. This will signal to adcoms that the interviewee knows what they are getting into. The answer also highlights the lessons they learned and what kind of a physician they would like to become. Certainly, it will be difficult to be as eloquent when you speak into your device’s camera, but you must strive to provide details of the experiences that you choose to incorporate into your answer.
Past behavior questions
These questions are meant to disclose who you are at your core and demonstrate whether you are a good fit for the program to which you’re applying. Past behavior questions will reveal your personal qualities, your values, motivations, dedication, and your ethical and moral conduct.
When you answer the questions about your past behavior remember these four steps:
1. Provide a short context about the experience you are about to discuss to give the interviewer enough background to understand the situation. Try to give a brief description of the situation you were in or something you have experienced in the past.
2. Talk about specific actions, behaviors, or tasks you performed to deal with the situation. What did you do to fix the problem? How did you overcome a challenge? Use concrete examples to demonstrate your actions.
3. Discuss what you learned from dealing with this situation.
4. When applicable, talk about how you can apply what you learned to your future career.
Keeping these steps in mind, let’s examine the following response.
Sample question: Describe a time when you experienced a conflict in the workplace. What did you do? What was the outcome?
“When I worked at my university’s registrar’s office as a secretary, I ran into a problem with one of the students. He came to speak to one of the head officers about administration fees the university charged him. He became very agitated and started to raise his voice when I told him that none of my superiors were in the office. I told the student that I will do what I can to help him, but he did not want to speak to me because I did not have access to students’ accounts. I told him that if he would like to speak to a superior officer, I can schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of my managers at a time convenient for him. When I mentioned scheduling a meeting, the student calmed down and asked to schedule his meeting at the closest available date. I scheduled the meeting, the student thanked me, and left. This situation taught me to remain calm and non-judgmental about people’s choices and actions. Though I was uncomfortable when the student became agitated, I remained polite and showed my interest in his problem. As soon as I demonstrated that I want to help and scheduled the meeting, the student calmed down and thanked me. I do not know anything about his circumstances: maybe he is in a tight financial position and the charges made by the university really affect his budget. This experience taught me that it’s important to show compassion and remain non-assumptive about the people you meet. As a future physician, I understand the importance of staying objective and non-judgmental in making a decision. My job is to consider all possible solutions and to choose the one that will benefit all parties involved in a situation.
Why is this a good answer? This answer shows the interviewee's compassion, readiness to help, and demonstrates that they took concrete steps to calm down the student and help him resolve the issue, i.e. scheduling a meeting to talk about the student’s charges. This shows great initiative. The student calmed down immediately because he was guaranteed that his problem will be discussed with a manager at a set time and date. The interviewee stayed calm, polite, and non-judgmental during the conflict. They did not dismiss the student’s concerns, nor did they call security, when the student became agitated. Not only does the interviewee discuss how this experience helped them grow as a person, but it also connects this lesson to the practice of medicine.
You can certainly prepare for and rehearse medical school journey and past behavior questions, but do not try to memorize your answer. First of all, repeating a memorized answer will come off as robotic and insincere. Secondly, if you trip up while reciting your answer, you may lose focus, panic, and ruin the rest of your answer. These types of questions should demonstrate your confidence and self-awareness. Once you get used to implementing the answering strategies I outlined above, you will feel comfortable answering any questions from these categories that may come your way at the interview.
When you’re faced with a scenario type question, you must identify the most vulnerable party in the situation. As a future physician, you must always prioritize the well-being of those under your care, so make sure you identify those who are most affected in the scenario. Knowing who needs your protection will also clarify what kind of solutions you can consider. Gather information to really understand the situation you’re facing. The more information you gather, the more practical options you can come up with to resolve the situation. First and foremost, you must consider solutions from the viewpoint of the vulnerable party. However, you must remain objective and non-judgmental to all parties involved in the situation. It can be difficult to remain objective because sometimes the scenarios you face seem to have an obvious right response. However, you must take your time to consider the situation from all possible angles. Think of several practical solutions, then choose the most rational, ethical, and legal decision that causes the least amount of harm to everyone involved. Scenario type questions are meant to test your ability to remain non-discriminatory and objective. Never jump to conclusions in your answer and vehemently defend one party over the other. Though simple at first glance, scenarios are meant to test your ability to be an informed, unprejudiced decision-maker.
Let’s go over an example of a scenario question and answer. Consider the following situation:
You are a volunteer at a homeless shelter. Janice, a 21-year-old girl has approached you one evening to ask if you know of any place where she can access pain killers because she really needs them. You are aware of Janice’s troubled past and how she has had a tough time after her parents’ passing and has been living on the streets since. The supervisor stepped out to deal with an emergency, and Janice is growing agitated. What do you do in this situation?
Janice’s well-being is my primary concern in this situation. I understand her pain, but I must gather as much information as possible to find out whether she needs the painkillers to alleviate physical pain. Firstly, I will try speaking with her privately, while offering her some tea or soda as we are talking. I want her to understand that I have her well-being in mind and that I want to help her. At the same time, I do not want to assume that she is a drug addict – perhaps she has chronic pain issues. I will ask her about her medical history and why she needs the painkillers. If she tells me that she has had to resort to painkillers before, I will try to reach out to someone who knows Janice’s medical history, i.e. shelter’s nurse and medical personnel, my supervisor, and so on. I will also let Janice know that there are some long-term solutions to pain management like physiotherapy and surgery. If Janice does not cooperate and grows agitated with me, I will do my best to discuss the situation with my supervisor or someone in charge. I would like to find a long-term solution to help with Janice’s pain. Perhaps, our medical staff can reach out to other medical institutions to discuss how we can help Janice. I would not want Janice to think that we are indifferent to her pain. Hopefully, we can collectively come to a solution to help her. I will do my best to keep Janice at the shelter because I do not want her to wander off and look for painkillers somewhere else.
Why is this a good answer? Firstly, the interviewee clearly identifies the vulnerable party right at the beginning of their answer. This shows the admissions committees that the interviewee really gets the pressing issue and knows what’s at stake in this situation. Secondly, the interviewee states that they will gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision. The interviewee shows compassion, kindness, and objectivity towards Janice. No assumptions are made about her request. Notice, the interviewee hesitates to come to any conclusions before they talk with Janice, the medical professionals, and supervisors. The interviewee also provides long-term solutions to alleviate Janice’s pain, i.e. surgery and physical therapy. Lastly, the interviewee states that they will try their hardest to find a solution to appease all parties involved and to keep Janice from leaving the shelter to look for painkillers.
The AAMC VITA was designed to complement the live interview process and not replace it. Each medical school determines how to use the interview in the admissions process, so if you want to know how the interview will affect your application, reach out to the school of your choice. Remember, just like the rest of your medical school application components, the AAMC VITA will take some time and effort to prepare for. Don’t forget to practice with the HireVue platform and get familiar with using your device for the interview. It’s important to stay cool and professional during your interview. To get comfortable answering questions in front of your monitor, go over medical school interview questions I linked to above. Practice with answering strategies I outlined earlier, to become accustomed to implementing them. This is your chance to give the adcoms more reasons to admit you, don’t miss this opportunity to shine!
1. Who is eligible to take the AAMC VITA interview?
Applicants who have been selected to interview by a medical school are allowed to take the AAMC VITA interview. The invitation will be sent by the HireVue system, which is also the platform used to complete the interview. You do not need to register or request to access the interview platform. The directions will be provided to you in the email.
2. Can I complete the interview before a medical school invites me?
No, you must be selected by at least one medical school to complete the AAMC VITA interview. Schools will notify the AAMC that you have been selected to complete the AAMC VITA interview, which will initiate the process.
3. Do I need to record answers for each school that is interested in my candidacy?
No, you only need to complete the video interview once, even if you are selected by multiple schools. The system will recognize you and share your interview with the appropriate schools.
4. How much does AAMC VITA cost?
The AAMC VITA interview is free.
5. Who evaluates my AAMC VITA responses?
Only the schools that are interested in your application and invite you to complete the interview will have assess to your AAMC VITA responses. Your responses will not be evaluated by the AAMC or the HireVue system.
6. How is AAMC VITA used in the application review process?
Each school will decide how it will incorporate your interview in its admissions process. While some schools may choose to incorporate the interview as part of their primary application review, others may treat it as a secondary application component.
7. What is the interview process?
The AAMC VITA interview will consist of six questions, with up to one minute to read and reflect on each written question and up to three minutes to record a response. You may take an unlimited break after you have completed one of your responses. The total seated time, including the check-in and check-out procedures, is approximately 35 minutes. The interview is conducted online using any internet-enabled computer, tablet, or smartphone and in a location of your choice. It might be better to use a device that does not take phone calls, as they can interrupt you while you’re recording a response.
8. Do I have to complete the entire interview in one sitting?
You may complete all six questions in one sitting, or you may complete any number of questions you choose, as long as all questions are completed by the required medical school deadline. The break between questions may be as long as you choose.
9. Does AAMC VITA provide the same questions to each applicant?
No, each applicant will get a different set of questions. While all applicants will not receive the same questions, the type and complexity of questions are similar for everyone.
10. When should I complete my interview?
The AAMC VITA interview is open from August through April. While you will be able to complete the AAMC VITA interview anytime during this window, the AAMC recommends you complete the interview within two weeks of receiving the initial invitation from HireVue. Additionally, a school may indicate a deadline — please refer to school-specific information regarding deadlines and consequences for missing those deadlines.
11. Should I schedule a specific time and place to do my interview?
No, you do not need to schedule a specific date and time to complete the video. However, schools may request that the interview be completed by a specific date and time, so please review their invitation email carefully. In general, plan to complete the interview within two weeks after receiving the formal HireVue invitation.
12. There was a technical problem during my recording. Can I record my response again?
If you believe that a technology or system issue interfered with your recording, and you wish to have the issue investigated, please submit a completed AAMC VITA Technology Issue Report Form within 24 hours of the experienced technology issue. Forms submitted within 24 hours will be given prioritized review. However, beware that you cannot retake a video unless the AAMC determines there is a problem with the videos.
13. Can I see my own recorded responses?
No, you will not get to see your recorded interview. However, when you practice recording your answers, you will be able to view your practice recordings.
14. How do the schools get my interview?
You do not need to take any extra steps for your videos to be sent to the medical schools that select you to interview. Your completed VITA interview will be accessible to all participating medical schools to which you applied and that selected you to complete the AAMC VITA interview.
15. Who are the assessors?
Just like in any other interview format, the team of assessors will include faculty, admissions officers, current students, and allied health professionals.
16. Does the same assessor grade my entire interview?
Each medical school may choose an assessment method it prefers, so it may be the same or different assessors looking at each answer.
17. Does this replace an in-person interview?
Not necessarily. As I mentioned above, the VITA can be used at any stage of the process, including as a precursor to an in-person interview.
18. I know I don’t HAVE to do it in one sitting, but should I?
It might be a good idea to do your interview in one sitting. You should prepare and perfect your responses to the different question types, schedule a time you know you will have no distractions, and try to do it in one sitting. Doing it at once when you are well-prepared means having to dress professionally and being in “interview mode” all at once, rather than at separate times. This will also help you relieve the stress of needing to do this interview several times. If you begin recording and something is not going well, i.e. technical issues or feeling ill, then you can complete just one question and schedule a time to complete the rest later.
19. What should I do in the 60 seconds before I record my answer to the prompt?
Read the prompt twice, go through the structure of your answer in your head and make sure you know the main 2-3 points you want to make.
20. Do I have to use up all 3 minutes?
No. You do not need to keep talking the entire time you’re given. Remember, the quality of your answer is more important than its length. Most importantly, your answer should be well-organized, thorough, and concise.
21. How should I practice?
When you practice, try to recreate realistic, timed interview conditions. It is very important to have expert feedback, so you know what works and what you need to improve. Perfect practice makes perfect.
22. How do I deal with stress?
There are some steps you can take to keep healthy and stress free before your interview. First, avoid dealing with stress by smoking, drinking, or bingeing on unhealthy food. Do not withdraw from your friends and family. Take time to relax with them. Do not forget to exercise and eat a healthy diet. The day before you decide to do your interview, go to bed early and eat healthy meals. Do not stay up cramming for your interview. Think positively as soon as you wake up. Take your time to set up your interview conditions. Release neurotransmitters that put you in a positive state of mind. For example, bite on a pencil or pen with your back molars for 3-5 minutes or sit back in a chair with your arms behind your head and feet up. Activate your parasympathetic nervous system and decrease your sympathetic nervous system by doing breathing exercises with prolonged exhalations.
23. How long will it take me to prepare?
Interview preparation takes 6-8 weeks, so start preparing as soon as you can. SInce you don’t know when you may hear back from schools, and you want to be preparing even before they reach out to you.
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To your success,
Your friends at BeMo,