Since 2020 video vivas have become much more common, first as a necessity and then later as an accepted part of practice. If you have one soon or are wondering whether it might be a good option for you, consider the following as a list of things you might do in preparation:
- Read the regulations. Check which software you are expected to use and whether there are special requests to make in order to have a video viva.
- Talk to friends. Find people from your department who have recently had a video viva and ask them what the experience was like. Find out if they have any particular advice.
- Practise! Take time to get a feel for the software if your Zoom or Teams knowledge is a little rusty. Use the software to remind yourself of the rhythms of video chats.
- Make a good space for yourself. If you will be at home then consider how you could make your environment a helpful one. Make sure you have enough space to work well. Consider your needs and how you can meet them.
Finally, remind yourself that a video viva is not a secondary or lesser option for the viva. It’s a proven process and just a little different from talking in person.
There can be difficulties with signal delays or adjusting to the constraints of a video chat, but also many opportunities that might make it the best option for you.