Tips for a successful dental school interview – Part 4

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General interview tips that apply to your dental school interview too


The dentistry department In preparing for your dental school interview, don’t forget all of the tips and protocol that are associated with any interview, whether it is for admission into dental school or for jobs after you’ve graduated from dental school.

Adhere to the traditional interview dress code 

All school interviewers are well aware that students love lounging around in jeans and tees. While there’s nothing wrong with that, this is not the time to show the interviewers your casual side, either in the way you dress or your demeanour. An interview is a formal occasion and calls for a formal dress code.

For males this means a full suit or trousers with blazer. Wearing a tie is not mandatory but it does add to your appearance and it is always advisable to wear one when going to an interview. Stubble is a no-no so make sure you shave on the day of the interview.

For females, a trouser suit or skirt with a blazer in non-flashy colours is a great choice. Avoid wearing too much or too bright makeup. If you must wear makeup, limit it to a slight touch in muted colours. 

 

Watch your verbal & non-verbal communication

Your non-verbal communication or body language says as much to the interviewers as your verbal communication.

Watch your body language throughout – from the time you enter, right through the interview to the time you leave the room.

 

  • Maintain eye contact with every person on the panel, particularly with the person who is asking you a question and you are replying to their question.
  • If you need to shake hands, offer a firm handshake.
  • Don’t slouch or sit back into your chair. Sit up straight and maintain good posture.
  • Watch your hand movements. You don’t want to flail your arms around while trying to make a point and neither do you want to keep your fists clenched under the table nervously. The best solution is to keep them relaxed and rest them lightly on the table. 

 

Aim for clarity when speaking. Whether you are replying to questions or explaining a point, make sure to speak at a controlled pace – not too fast and not too slow either. 

Avoid all slang expressions, even those you consider mild. Slang is crass and makes you sound unprofessional.

 

Don’t forget ‘that something extra’

Your main goal during the interview is to prove to the interviewers that you are truly passionate about dentistry and the best way to do this is by reading as much as you can about the different aspects of the profession. In the days before the interview, read about the different dental specialties and stay updated on the latest dental breakthroughs and trends. All of these will hold you in good stead should the interviewers decide to question your knowledge about dentistry.

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