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Virtual Interview Guidance from the APPIC Board of Directors (July, 2023)

Published on Thursday, July 13, 2023


The intent of this document is to provide guidance for the upcoming doctoral internship and postdoctoral selection season. Following the onset of the COVID-19 public health crisis, Health Service Psychology (HSP) training pivoted to virtual interviews for the recruitment and selection process. APPIC data over the last three years have shown that most applicants and programs were able to conduct fully virtual interviews and that virtual interviews were preferred by applicants and sites.

Highlights from the 2023 post-Match (internship) and post-Common Hold Date (CHD; postdoctoral fellowship) survey data of both applicants and training directors include:

  • Internship (86%) and postdoc (75%) applicants have a strong preference for virtual interviews. A majority of applicants (64%) believe that it should be mandated.
  • Internship (98%) applicants were satisfied with the virtual interview process in terms of what they were able to learn about training at the site.
  • A majority of training directors of internship (89%) and postdoc programs (83%) expressed satisfaction with virtual interviews.
  • Survey respondents voiced concerns about equity if they were unable to attend an interview in person if both options were offered.
  • Applicants endorsed the following as benefits of virtual interviews: promoting equity and increased access for applicants; decreasing costs; minimizing disruption to clinical service and academic responsibilities; managing safety concerns such as health, illness, and hazardous weather conditions; and considering environmental factors such as mitigating unnecessary travel to reduce emissions. 

The APPIC Board of Directors supports the autonomy of internship and postdoctoral programs in ensuring the safest and most equitable selection process. Thus, this document is not intended to override the judgment and responsibility of doctoral programs, internship programs, postdoctoral programs, and the larger institutions in which they reside. However, the APPIC Board recognizes that the widespread use of virtual interviewing has notable benefits that we believe outweigh the drawbacks for both internship and postdoctoral fellowship recruitment. Therefore, the APPIC Board strongly recommends that doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship programs utilize virtual formats for recruitment and selection.

If, despite this guidance, a program elects to offer in-person interviews, or the choice of a virtual or in-person interview, the program should clearly articulate the rationale for this decision in their public materials, including the assurance of equitable experiences for the applicants regardless of interview format, and the ways in which the program will protect against bias that might arise should applicants be interviewed with different formats.  The APPIC Board reiterates our strong recommendation for virtual formats.

The APPIC Board is reiterating our position as described in the previous statements below (dated 6/21; 6/22). In developing this guidance, the APPIC Board utilized the principles of safety, equity, ethics, science, and autonomy.


Respectfully submitted,

The APPIC Board of Directors


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