Preparing For Your Online Interview Day
This year COMP & COMP-Northwest will be conducting online interviews, exclusively. Ensuring the safety of our applicants is of upmost importance to us and reducing unnecessary travel, contact and exposure to new communities will help to protect the health of our applicants, faculty, and staff during the pandemic.
Congratulations on advancing to the next step in the admissions process! By now you have received an electronic invitation to select your interview day. If you have questions or if you need to reschedule your interview and need assistance with rescheduling, please contact Martha Alfaro and she will be happy to assist you.
Please carefully review the information below to get a sense of what to expect of your online interview. Although the format may seem more informal, an online interview is an official interview, and we encourage you to approach it as you would an in-person interview. Prepare, present yourself professionally, and remain focused.
Online Interview and Mini Multiple Interview (MMI)
To help ease the added stress of the online interview, we are providing you with a brief overview of what to expect on your interview day and MMI day, including tips on technology. Our online interview platform is Zoom. If you do not have Zoom free versions are available for download. Be sure you have the newest version of Zoom to optimize your experience, version 5.153 or newer is best.
Prior to the interview, you will be required to view a series of short videos located at the bottom of this page. They can be viewed all at once or at different times prior to your interview. They are narrated by administration, faculty and staff and contain important information about pre-clinical and clinical education, residency placement, financial aid offerings, the admissions process, and student support services.
We have restructured our interview and MMI this year. To minimize wait time, your interview and MMI take place on different days. Our interviews take place on Tuesday and Thursday, you will be able to select the date and time. The MMI takes place on the Friday after your interview day. At the time you select your interview day you will be given the opportunity to select your MMI timeslot. The MMI is mandatory to be considered for admission. You will also be invited to join a pre-interview evening with COMP & Conversation hosted by our Admissions Student Ambassadors. This is an informal evening providing you with the opportunity to talk with our students. Students will share their experiences at our school and answer any questions you may have. There are many clubs and chapters of national organizations on campus such as the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), and Lambda and Friends in addition to the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) to name a few. Spouses and significant others may attend with you.
Next, you will be asked to choose one of four MMI timeslots that take place on the Friday after your interview. The MMI session may take place in the morning or afternoon and are a half-hour long. You will be given an overview of the MMI process after which you will participate in two 5-minute interactions with standardized patients. Your knowledge of medicine will not be evaluated. Instructions will be given for each interaction.
Our online interview day contains the same components as our in-person interview day, a welcome from COMP Administration, ice breaker, orientation, traditional half-hour interview with a 2 or 3 panel interviewing team consisting of faculty, physician, and student or staff, and concluding with a narrated campus tour. During the 30-minute interview you will be asked to draw from personal experiences to formulate your answers. The interview is meant to be a professional exchange of information; questions can be challenging and thought provoking.
We will confirm your participation in these events; the Zoom links will be sent to you three days before your interview. Times listed are in the Pacific Time Zone.
A Zoom meeting confirmation, with passcode, security code, and check-in-time, will be emailed to you 3 days prior to your interview. You will first be admitted to a waiting area. When admitted the Main Session, you will be directed to a breakout room where your identification will be verified.
The time spent with us is meant to be informative and enjoyable. We hope that you will take some time to watch the optional videos produced by our staff and students to give you a vision of campus life, the opportunity to listen to conversations with faculty and staff to get a sense of our values and the principles we live by.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your time with us:
(Note that the QR codes mentioned in the videos below are not currently required)
- Admissions Interview Day Presentation
- Interview Day Guidebook
- Dress professionally as you would for an in-person interview
- Try to be rested and focused. As with any formal interview, you want to be able to focus on understanding the questions, articulating coherent responses, and presenting your best self.
- Plan to be ready to join the Zoom interview on-time.
- Keep the meeting number and pass code nearby.
To complete your online interview, you will need the following:
- A stable internet connection
- A computer or tablet with a good webcam and microphone. A mobile phone may be used if your mobile data connection is more stable than your internet connection. You will need a phone stand of some sort to keep your phone from moving. Use a device that will not accept phone calls during the interview, a phone call will disrupt the interview and may cause you to lose your focus.
- Test your system to make sure audio/video is working
Our pre-interview day mixer is an opportunity for you to get to know our students in a fun and informal setting. Due to a conflict in class schedules, this will be the only opportunity to meet our students in an informal setting. Your 3-day interview reminder will provide you with the mixer link.
Conduct a technology Check
- Check your microphone and camera to make sure they are working well, and the picture and sound are good quality.
- Check your internet speed, you can do this at SpeedTest.net. Sometime switching from WiFi to a wired ethernet connection improves your internet speed. If your home’s internet connection is too slow, consider using a private study room at a library or a private room at your school or other location with a stable WiFi.
- Practice positioning the camera at eye level so that you look directly at your interviewers. Remember the set up.
- You will be moving from the Main Session to an Interview Breakout room. Please check your device before your interview to determine how the system displays your breakout room number. Some devices have a breakout room icon at the bottom of the screen, some devices display the breakout room number under the participants icon. Check to see how your breakout room number displays on your device.
Allow time before the interview starts to conduct a last-minute technology check:
- Double check your microphone and camera to make sure they are working well.
- Position your camera and microphone to obtain a clear video and audio.
- Shut down all programs on your device so that no alerts, notifications, or other electronic interruptions distract you.
- Make sure your device is fully changed. Have a charger with you and make sure you can plug into an outlet in case there is a problem with your battery.
NOTE: Your interviewers and your SPs will have your cell phone number in case your technology fails.
- Identify a private, quiet, well-lit space where you can complete the interview by yourself, free of potential distractions, and where you can speak freely. Make sure you have control over the background noise, and avoid open spaces.
- Avoid having light sources directly behind you because they will cast a shadow on you. Instead, make sure a light source is in front of you so the interviewers can see you clearly.
- Consider the background you will use during your interview and try to keep it clean and neat and free of distraction.
News From Campus
- COMP Goes Virtual in Response to COVID-19
- Social Connection for Faculty, Staff and Students
- Project Social Connect
- Recent graduates have matched competitive residency programs throughout the country representing virtually all medical specialties
Identity Verification Policy
Proper identification of individuals allows WesternU to provide a safe and secure campus environment. In addition, the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Public Law 110-315, requires that University confirm that a person enrolling in the University is the person who is completing the enrollment form, and that the student taking an examination is the student who participates in, completes, and receives credit for the course.
It is the policy of Western University of Health Sciences that applicants to the University are required to provide a government issued ID when checking in for an Admissions interview. Applicants who are unable to provide an acceptable form of identification may reschedule their interview if space is available. For more information on acceptable forms of identification, visit the Identity Verification policy web page.
It is the policy of Western University of Health Sciences/COMP that we offer only one interview per application period. Once the interview is over, we do not offer the opportunity to provide additional information to your interviewers. All decisions made by the Admissions Committee are final. We do not offer an appeal process.