Are you preparing well for your next respective step towards achieving your goal of becoming a D.D.S. in the USA? Unwavering focus and grit shall get you there for sure!
In this article, I will be sharing the information about common dental school interview questions and how to respond to them. This article is for anyone who is an aspirant for D.D.S., a candidate with an upcoming dental interview or even a beginner who just wants to get an idea about what the interview is like.
This article will help you get acquainted with the most common and important questions and how to approach and respond to them.
Dental school interviews
Most dental schools conduct personal interviews with applicants to assess qualities such as self-confidence, communication skills and the ability to overcome challenges. They also want to know whether your personality matches what you have portrayed in your application. A personal interview is an excellent opportunity for you to shine and to ask questions about the school as well.
Only applicants taken for further consideration get a call for an interview. This means that if you got your invitation, your application made an impression on the evaluators. Hence, a successful interview could be the ‘deal maker’ in gaining admission into a dental school.
There are a couple of interview styles for dental schools. It is better to contact the school and ask what format the interview is and prepare for that type. If you prepare in advance, you will be at an advantage. Mixed multiple interviews (MMI), group or one-on-one interviews will require different preparation. Another tip is to make sure to do a mock interview that matches the one you’re going to.
Let’s head on to the next paragraph and check what are some common dental school interview questions.
The most common dental school interview questions
Q.1 Tell me about yourself
This is probably going to be one of the first dental school interview questions. It is an age-old question and possibly the most important since it sets the tone for your interview. This open-ended question will guide the interviewers in asking follow-up questions.
It is not just a casual icebreaker. Below are the critical details that you must present with ‘passion and emotion’ in your voice while answering these questions:
- Give a brief walkthrough of your career
- Highlight relevant experience
- Be crisp and concise
Q.2 Your long/short-term goals
Another fundamental question. The way you answer it displays your potential as a candidate. Explain your ambition and motivation. Explain why you could be an asset to dentistry and the school. You need to build upon how your aspirations are unique. Additionally, your answer will build up the following related questions:
- Why should we choose you?
- Why are you interested in our program?
Q.3 Why are you interested in our program?
The answer you will be giving to this question will provide an insight of your commitment to acceptance, work ethics, diligence, sincere interest in the program and how well-prepared you are as a candidate.
You will have to do some substantial research to answer this question confidently. If you picked this school because of its well-respected professors, rigorous curriculum or specialty training, you need to convince the interviewer why this is the place for you.
Q.4 Why should we choose you?
Explain your unique qualities. Share your interests; including volunteer experiences or activities that have made you a well-rounded person. Balance honesty with being humble. Remember to mention the mentors who helped you along your way (and share what they taught you).
Q.5 Questions you ask the interviewers
This is usually the last interaction of the interview. The questions you ask will provide an insight into how you think and what possible concerns you might have. This may also leave a positive or negative emotional impression.
Q.6 Why the United States?
This is one of the most important dental school interview questions. Since you will be practicing in the USA it’s important you answer it well. Describe what prompts you to explore dentistry in the USA. The evaluator’s need a convincing reason to why are you leaving your home country.
Q.7 Describe the positive and negative aspects of your previous dental schooling.
The answer you give to this question describes your perspective towards what improvements could be done and how well you have utilized what already was provided as part of your dental schooling.
Q.8 Why not a Residency Program?
Since you are going to be repeating two years of your dental schooling in the US, you can expect this question. Make sure to point out a good reason on why you have chosen this path.
Q.9 Something picked out of your CV and asked to elaborate about it
Make sure you go through your CV well. For each achievement/ experience listed, be prepared to answer how it has taught you something and how have you contributed through it.
Q.10 How do you spend your free time?
What are your hobbies apart from your profession? Would you be able to get along well with the community? This interview question will help the interviewers learn more about your personality type.
How to prepare for the interview?
Here are some tips to present your best version at the interview:
- Prepare and practice! Revise your answers, practice with the people you know, accept feedback and work on it. Stand in front of a mirror and evaluate your body language, your expressions and work on your voice modulation.
- Your dress does make an impression! Make sure you wear well-fitted and ironed clothes. Formal wear, like a suit or a dress and blazer, usually go well. Minimal pieces of jewelry which don’t grab too much attention could compliment your dress.
- Stay calm and be yourself. Don’t be pretentious. Being nervous is normal.
- Taking some help from interview preparation courses or agencies could also be useful if you don’t consider yourself a great speaker
A dental school interview is a crucial step for your admission to a US dental school! Stay ahead of the rest of the applicants and prepare well. Research thoroughly about the school you are interviewing. It will help you build rapport and increase your chances of getting in.
What difficulty do you usually face while preparing for an interview? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll be happy to answer you!