Tips for a successful dental school interview – Part 1

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A pre-dentistry student on her dentistry work experience placement in Tanzania All the hard work you put into the first stage of your dental school application has paid off and you’ve been invited for an interview at one of the prestigious dental institutions in the UK. Whilst putting together all of the documents along with your personal statement and letters of recommendation is without doubt the most daunting part of the dental application process, getting an invite to interview does not mean you can now sit back and relax. Not yet anyway. The interview is an absolutely crucial step. It’s the last hurdle you must get over before you can finally call yourself a ‘dental student’. Passion, hard work and focus go a long way throughout your time in dental school and the dental school interview requires the same three elements from you.

 

So how do you prepare for a dental school interview? Here are a few tips that will help you.

 

First, take a look at some of the questions that you can expect to be asked at the interview. You may not be asked all of these but over the years, these have been the most commonly asked questions at any dental school interview. The first four questions are particularly important. In articles to follow, you will find tips that will help you give compelling answers to these questions.

 

  1. Why dentistry?
  2. Why did you apply to our university in particular?
  3. Have you had any work experience? Did you find anything particularly interesting? Did the dentist you were shadowing have to deal with any difficult situations during that time?
  4. Do you have a basic knowledge of dentistry? What is caries? What do you know about periodontics? What are your thoughts on the use of amalgam fillings? What are your thoughts on water fluoridation?

 

Other questions you can expect to be asked include: 

  • Do you think the dentist profession is a stressful one?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why did you choose dentistry instead of medicine?
  • What, in your opinion, is the most important trait that a dentist should have?
  • Can you give any examples of a time when you demonstrated the above quality?

 

Some of these questions may sound so simple but if you are not prepared you could find yourself fumbling for an appropriate reply. Remember, an appropriate reply is not just one that is factually correct. It also needs to be compelling enough to convince the interviewing panel. In preparing responses to the interview questions, you have to walk a fine line between saying the right things and making sure that your answers do not sound rehearsed. It is important that your answers should come across as genuine and confident.  

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