Posted by Amy Carbone on Aug 9, 2023 9:00:00 AM
If you’ve made it through the first round of the dental school application process, chances are you’ve been invited to an interview. Congratulations!
However, there’s still important steps left in your dental education journey. If you aren’t yet at that step, then you may be looking ahead to see how you can improve your chances of acing your interview once you get the invite. Either way, we have you covered.
While each school may have its own acceptance procedures, the interview can be (and often is) the deciding factor. Below, we’ll discuss how to prepare for your interview and what steps to take that may improve your likelihood of being accepted into your chosen school.
Dental School Admissions: 7 Interview Tips
1. Do Your Research
The interview isn’t just about the school deciding if you’re a good fit for them — you should use this time to find out if the school is a good fit for you. You can get insight by doing research before the interview.
Information to look for includes:
- The school mission and values.
- A detailed curriculum.
- Mentorship availability.
- Faculty information.
- Reviews by former or current students.
- Conversations with alumni or current students.
If you can’t find any of this information or you aren’t satisfied with the answers, this could be something you can bring up to your interviewers. You can also use this intel to impress them with tailored responses to their interview questions.
2. Know the Dental School Interview Formats
Different schools may have different interview formats.
The most common interview types are:
- One-on-one interview.
- Panel interview.
- Multiple mini-interviews.
If you know the format, you can prepare for success. For example, if the dental school has a multiple mini-interview format, you’ll need to find out who is interviewing you for each one, when and where these interviews will take place, and what topics are expected to be covered. If you know the names of your interviewers, you can research them online, on LinkedIn, or other social channels ahead of time.
3. Review Common Dental School Interview Questions
It’s easier to ace a test if you know what’s on it. The same goes for mastering dental school interview questions.
Typical dental school interview questions may include questions like:
- What is your experience with dentistry or medicine?
- What differentiates you from other applicants we may see?
- What event has made the biggest impact on your life?
- How would you rate your level of hand-eye coordination?
- What would you like to improve about yourself?
Take some time to go over the list of questions and come up with answers that you can then revise and practice with until you feel confident in your delivery.
4. Practice Mock Interviews
Practice for your dental school interview by roleplaying in mock interviews with mentors, professors, or an interview prep service to gain confidence. Remember to practice eye contact, good posture, and delivery.
Work on tailoring your answers to showcase your dental experience, discussing clinical or volunteer work, research projects, dental club participation, or leadership experience. Make sure your answers show your passion, empathy, and commitment to the dental profession. Take any feedback you receive during mock interviews and keep polishing your answers.
5. Refine Your Professionalism and Communication Skills
Your body language, attire, and demeanor all convey an unspoken level of professionalism. Know what you plan to wear and make sure it is clean and ready to go on interview day.
It’s also essential to display effective communication skills, including active listening and clear articulation of your answers and the questions you ask your interviewers. Simple tasks like remembering to go to the bathroom and drinking water beforehand can help remove distractions so you can focus on nailing your dental school interview.
If you expect you might be fighting nerves on interview day — which is totally normal — remind yourself to take your time when answering questions and stay positive. The school is interested in accepting you as their student; it’s why you made it to the interview round.
6. Prepare Questions To Ask Your Admissions Interviewers
Prepare insightful questions to ask the interviewers about opportunities, student support, and future career prospects. Some good questions to ask include:
- What resources does your school offer to support students who are struggling academically?
- What are you most proud of about your dental school?
- How would you describe the relationship between students and faculty?
- Are students supported early if they want to specialize?
It’s very likely that the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or to ask a follow-up question at any time during your interview, as this shows you are engaged and critically thinking during the process.
7. Have a Post-Interview Follow-Up Plan
After the interview, send a follow-up email or a thank-you note to your interviewer(s) to express your gratitude for their time. This is the perfect opportunity to reiterate your interest in their dental program. Your follow-up message should be sent within 24 hours of your interview to show your appreciation and follow-through.
Once you hear back, hopefully, it’s good news. If it isn’t, it’s okay to ask for feedback and suggestions so you can improve your interview skills and try again.
Prepare for Dental School Interview Success
Preparation and confidence will help you succeed at your dental school interview. But what happens when you get a spot at your school of choice?
Start your dental career off on the right foot by making arrangements now for managing your dental school debt. Learn more about debt management with Treloar & Heisel.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel, an EPIC Company, offers dental and medical professionals a comprehensive suite of financial products and services ranging from business and personal insurance to wealth management. We are proud to assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement. Our experienced teams deliver custom-tailored advice through an active local presence, while our strong national network ensures that clients experience the same high level of service throughout the country.