Tips for a successful dental school interview – Part 2

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A Gap Medics mentor explaining a procedure whilst treating a patient What to consider when preparing your responses to the frequently asked dental school interview questions

#1 – Why dentistry?

This is a question that will almost invariably come up in any dental school interview. It is also one of the most crucial questions because it usually gets asked in the earlier stages of the interview and your reply can set the tone for the rest of the interview. Irrespective of when it comes up, this is a loaded question and a tough one to answer on the spot so do spend some time drafting a good reply and rehearsing it well before the interview day.

Here are some things that you may want to work into your response:

  • Concrete examples of how or when your interest in dentistry began
  • Some of the things you may have done to nurture that interest
  • What makes dentistry an ideal profession for you
  • Discuss your interest in the practical applications in dentistry such as the intricate work that requires a high level of manual dexterity
  • Diverse career paths to choose from

 

#2 – Why did you apply to our university?

This is another common question that is asked at almost every dental school interview? The interviewing panel usually consists of at least a couple of faculty members who will want to know why their students chose their particular school. It is important to be prepared with a convincing reply for this one, even if the truth is that it was the only school that invited you for an interview.

The best way to prepare for this question is by finding out the dates of the open days and attending at least one open day before the interview. All dental schools in the UK have outstanding facilities so saying you chose that particular university for its facilities is not going to hold any water. You will need to give concrete reasons and mention a few outstanding features of the campus or faculty or just the atmosphere in the university. On your open day visit, talk to one of the current dental students and get an insider’s view of the facilities and the curriculum. Find out some more about the classroom lectures and clinical experience. Make notes of what you see and how you feel. All of these observations will help you put together a genuine reply on how the open day showed you that their university has excellent facilities with a positive atmosphere, encouraging faculty and enthusiastic students.

Another thing you absolutely must do to prepare for this question is to read the school’s prospectus so you know exactly what the course being offered is and all of the other finer points of the course and the curriculum. If the school offers early clinical exposure, that’s a great point to bring up when replying to this question.

Lastly, it won’t hurt to read up on the location of the university. Every area has its own unique charm and attractions. Knowing about the area and what you can do there will add extra conviction to your response about why you chose that particular university. 

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