Psychological Benefits and Challenges of the Doctorate Entrance Exam Virtual Interviews During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Does Gender Play a Role?

This article was originally published here

Psychol before. Nov 25, 2021; 12: 800715. doi: 10.3389 / fpsig.2021.800715. Electronic collection 2021.


This study aimed to investigate the thoughts of Iranian students on the doctorate. Entrance examination interviews held virtually nationwide during the pandemic. Two hundred and thirty-one doctoral candidates were asked to complete an anonymous online survey designed in Google Forms, of which 36 volunteered to participate in semi-structured follow-up interviews. Two ANOVA measures were used to investigate possible influences of gender and prior virtual interview experience on candidate perceptions. A thematic analysis was also adopted to explore the attitudes and perceptions of participants towards virtual interviews (IV). The quantitative results showed that the Iranian doctorate. candidates perceived the IV as a flexible and useful procedure that offered them satisfactory interpersonal treatment. Yet they did not promote perceived behavioral control of the proceedings and the ability to impart information to render procedural justice. Moreover, neither their gender nor their previous experience of the virtual interview was a predictor of the divergences in their outlook. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data revealed that despite some cognitive, personal and financial advantages, IV posed technical, communicative and personal challenges. This study provides implications for universities and applicants who will use VI for different purposes in higher education.

PMID: 34899548 | PMC: PMC8654781 | DOI: 10.3389 / fpsig.2021.800715

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