What You Need to Know about Interviews During the Post-Match SOAP
One of the most common questions many residency candidates may have about the Post-Match SOAP® is whether or not residency programs conduct interviews during Match Week for the Post-Match SOAP.
The answer is yes.
After submitting your maximum 45 SOAP applications, programs have three main ways of interviewing potential candidates throughout SOAP:
- In person (only for those who are local to the program)
- Over the phone
- Skype/other types of video chat
Most of the time, programs will contact residency candidates they are interested in through email first, so it is very important that you check your email (including your Junk/Spam Folder) often during the early part of Match Week. However, programs can also contact you directly over the phone or through your ERAS account so be sure to keep an eye on not only your listed email but also your phone, ERAS account and NRMP account.
** Remember: Residency candidates are prohibited from initiating first contact with programs. Programs must initiate first contact.
Post-Match Phone Interviews
Phone interviews are fairly straightforward and the most common form of SOAP interview. They are usually about 15 to 20 minutes with the same content and questions that are covered in regular residency interviews. The only real difference is you will not be able to read the interviewer’s body language and tone could be hard to interpret.
Tips for Phone Interviews:
- Have your application materials printed out and on hand for quick reference. This includes your MyERAS Application, Personal Statement and any Letters or Recommendation you may have on hand that you did not waive the right to see.
- If you aren’t confident on the phone, practice with a friend to increase your comfort and skill
- Make sure you have a quiet place to talk– eliminate all distractions like the television, music or outside noise
- Be sure to take time and listen to your interviewer before speaking, don’t cut them off until they are done asking the question
- Dress for an interview to put yourself in the right mindset, even if they can’t see you
- Keep pen and paper around to write notes and stay focused
- Just before the interview, drink some tea with honey or water to clear your throat
- Do not hang up without establishing your next step.
Post-Match Video Chat Interviews
Phone interviews can be a little intimidating, but easy enough to manage if you are prepared. On the other hand, Skype (or any other video chat) interviews are a fairly new way of conducting SOAP interviews and some can find it uncomfortable to sit in front of the computer, on camera, trying to talk to a future employer.
Tips for Video Interviews:
- Practice, practice, practice to gain familiarity in front of the camera
- Remember, look at the camera, not the screen
- If it helps, tape googly eyes next to the camera to know where to look interviewers in the “eyes”
- Move the view window that shows the interviewer nearer to the camera
- Have your application materials printed out and nearby but don’t be too obvious about looking at them
- Have Skype downloaded beforehand with a professional username and icon
- Pick a clean, quiet and well-lit place to have the interview. Don’t forget what might be in the background! If there are going to be other people around, be honest and let them know you will be having an interview.
- Close all background programs on your computer
- Right before the interview, take time to freshen up your hair and check your teeth
- Dress for an interview, even if they can’t see your pants, it helps put you in the right mindset
If you have either type of interview, do not forget to email a Thank You message after the interview!
You might feel out of sorts because of the overwhelming nature of the SOAP, but it’s important to remember, SOAP interviews are similar to Main Match Season interviews in protocol. Prepare for the interview like you would any other interview, use your common sense, and you will be just fine.
(Content Updated: February 1, 2018)