How to Prepare for the Dental School Interview
Know the program. Visit the school’s website and social media pages to learn more about the dental school program you are applying to, as well as the overall institution. This is also a great way to get a sense of the college’s culture.
Be prepared for the dental interview type. A conversational in-person interview with one or two interviewers; other schools may do a panel interview, a multiple mini-interview, open file or skype interviews.
Mock dental interviews. Some students find that doing a mock dental interview is a great way to prepare. During a mock interview, you can practice body language, note taking, and timing of your responses, and then get immediate feedback. Inquire with your school’s career services office to see if they offer this as a service. It is also recommended that you wear your suit to the mock interview.
Be yourself. It is crucial that you practice; just do not memorize your answers. There is a difference between being prepared for the interview and providing rehearsed answers. Answer the questions honestly and to the best of your ability. Interviewers say that students commonly provide better answers by just being conversational.
Be honest about your weaknesses. This shows your interviewers that you have great self-assessment skills and that you know exactly what you can improve to be a better student. We are human beings and no one is perfect. We know we all have strengths and weaknesses, and application reviewers want to know how well you know yourself. Being honest reflects integrity and maturity.
Be reflective. The interviewers want to hear specific examples and reflections of your experiences. Describe what you learned from past experiences, good and bad. Rather than just name activities you’ve been involved in, highlight how they shaped you as an individual and a future oral health provider.
Be enthusiastic and positive. When you project enthusiasm with a positive outlook on things, it leaves a strong impression. Interviewers get excited when they meet a student that is as passionate about dentistry as they are, and can confidently address questions.
Answer questions completely and accurately. Stay focused, and answer the question to the best of your ability. Sometimes, writing down the question helps to formalize a better response. If you don’t know something just indicate that you don’t know the answer.
Bring your own questions. During the interview you will have the opportunity to ask your own questions. This is the time to ask insightful questions about the program, and learn about specifics that aren’t in the program literature or website.
Plan to arrive early. Admissions staff have carefully prepared all the details for your interview day. Being late to the interview shows a lack of preparation and lack of respect for other’s time. The Chicago morning rush hour is unpredictable and getting to the College can take longer than you expect. Always allow plenty of time for unforeseen circumstances that may delay your arrival. Even if you arrive early, you’ll have time to further prepare before your interview time.1. Tell me about yourself. (Consider discussing your background, your strengths and other attributes that might not stand out on your application.)
- Why do you want to be a dentist?
- What do you consider your strengths? What would you like to improve on in the future?
- What research, volunteer or leadership experiences have you had?
- Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
- Why have you chosen to apply to this dental school? 7. Tell us about the most influential person (people) in your life?
- Discuss a situation in which you’ve had to make an ethical decision. How did you handle it?
- How do you think you might interact with an individual who has a serious, and perhaps contagious, disease? ________________
10.Discuss your experiences shadowing or observing in a dental environment. What have you liked or disliked most?