Before video chat programs like Skype became popular, we held in-person interviews with the individuals we were recruiting for the Middle East. In 2014, however, we switched to conducting our interviews to be online, e.g., Skype, Facetime, Zoom.
We feel a face-to-face encounter (whether in-person or electronically) allows for a more in-depth exploration of:
The many benefits of working in the Middle East: learning about a new language, seeing
different diseases, working with people from all over the world, having more time for personal interests, etc.
Possible adjustment problems that individuals may have to a Muslim/Arabic culture, to being far away from their families and to living in an entirely different environment.
Political sensitivities of the Middle East.
Personal issues, attitudes, or motivations, which would diminish an otherwise enjoyable experience in the Middle East.
These interviews also make candidates more comfortable in asking us even the most personal questions.
We feel a personal connection to most of the people we have recruited and I believe may people feel the same personal connection with us. This is partly because they come to trust that we give accurate information, and that we are concerned about their welfare. It is also because all of us here truly enjoy talking with our candidates.