Purpose: In the midst of a pandemic, residency interviews transitioned to a virtual format for the first time. Little is known about the effect this will have on the match process. The study aim is to evaluate resident application processes and perceived outcomes. Methods: An electronic survey was distributed to 142 colon and rectal surgery residency applicants (95% of total). Results: A total of 77 applicants responded to the survey (54% response rate). Applicants reported high levels of satisfaction with virtual interviews but less comfort. Utilizing the mute button and using notes in a different way from face-to-face interviews were significantly associated with applicant confidence that they ranked the right program highest. A majority of applicants (73%) would recommend virtual interviews next year even if COVID-19 is not a factor. Conclusion: While applicants appear generally satisfied with virtual interviews, they also reported less comfort. Applicant confidence was predicted by utilizing the unique technological affordances offered by the virtual platform.
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