If you're preparing for an upcoming dental school interview - congratulations! You made it to the next step of the admissions process. The dental school interview will now be the deciding factor whether you get accepted or rejected.
While our research has shown that our 1-on-1 interview prep is the best way to prepare for a dental school interview, and can lead to 5x more acceptances than people who do not go prep with experts, below is a list of 10 of the most common dental school interview questions to prepare for, either by yourself, or with one of our interview experts.
1. Tell me about yourself.
This is an absolute must to ace, and usually one of the first questions that your interviewer will start with. This question provides the opportunity for the interviewer to get to know you, in a way that you would describe yourself. One of the most common errors our former dental school admissions officers often heard is an answer that revolves around regurgitating your résumé or list of activities. However, this question, when answered correctly, has the potential to guide your interviewer into a more conversational interview, and allows your to dictate how the rest of the interview will go.
2. Why dentistry?
Hopefully this is not a surprise! By the time of your interview, you should be able to clearly explain why you are pursuing dentistry. One of the easiest ways to answer this question is by simply reviewing your personal statement. While it may have been a few months since you wrote your personal statement, you should have answered this exact question.
3. Why do you want to attend our dental school?
Each dental school has different curriculums, clinical opportunities, benefits, and drawbacks. It is important to do your homework on the school and explain why you want to attend the school that you are interviewing at. Location, acceptance rates, and competitiveness are all weak answers. Make sure to do your homework and research the school entirely. If you need help with getting to know the specifics of any dental school, reach out to us - we have past clients who now attend almost every dental school in the United States, and have endless information on each dental school.
4. What are some of your strengths?
Our strengths determine our abilities. Your dental school interview will most likely either include a question about your strengths, your weaknesses, or both. Spend the time to reflect on what you do especially well. It is also sometimes useful to ask your friends or relatives what they view your strengths to be.
5. What is your greatest weakness?
Contrary to your strengths, you may be asked about your weaknesses during your dental school interview. With this dental school interview question, it is important to be authentic, but also necessary to avoid any major red flags. If your weakness is manual dexterity or empathy, now is not the time to dive into those details.
6. Tell me about your experience with [experience you wrote about on your application].
If your dental school interview is going to be an "open file" interview, it is important to be ready to speak about your different experiences that you listed in your application. What was your shadowing experience like? If you did research, be ready to talk about it in detail.
7. Where do you see yourself practicing after dental school?
Dental schools place an emphasis on your goals after dental school. Not only should you be able to talk about your goals after dental school, and where you plan on practicing, but be ready to support your reasoning.
8. How do you manage your time?
Dental school is stressful and will require great time management skills. Interviewers commonly ask about time management skills to determine if you have what it takes to perform well in the challenging dental school environment. Reflect on the tools you use to manage your time, and present them.
9. If you could not pursue dentistry, what would you do?
This is one of the more tricky dental school interview questions, but is best answered by thinking about your unique skill set and desires. What other professions have crossed your mind, and why? Support your answer with these reasons, instead of just mentioning a profession, so that you show more about yourself.
10. Ethical-based questions.
Ethical-based questions are some of the most tricky interview questions asked, and interviewers try to bait wrong answers out of pre-dental students through a variety of methods. But who is to blame them? After all, they can only choose a select number of pre-dentals to accept, because dental school class sizes are so small. With ethical questions, it is important to assess, analyze, and create a logical course of action that would make sense to the interviewer. Put yourself in the interviews shoes.... what would you want to hear?
WE CAN HELP YOU ACE YOUR DENTAL SCHOOL INTERVIEW SO YOU GET ACCEPTED
Whether you have a 4.0 GPA and a 26 DAT, or a 3.0 GPA with a 18 DAT, your interview performance will determine whether you get accepted or rejected. Our interview prep program is designed to help you ace your dental school interview, so you get accepted, regardless of your past interview experience. We provide professional guidance to put your best foot forward. No matter your previous interview experience, we can help you!
We have a team of former admissions officers, admissions experts, ADEA Liaisons, and expert dental school admissions coaches that are here to help you! They are available on a limited, first-come, first-serve basis. Schedule your free dental school admissions advising consultation now, or by emailing Andrew@predenting.com.
If you have any questions or need any help at all, please don't ever hesitate to reach out!
About the Author: Andrew Ghadimi
Andrew has served as the National Pre-Dental Liaison for the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), the same organization that runs the dental school application, ADEA AADSAS. He also served as the California Pre-Dental Chair for the ADEA Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows. Ghadimi was accepted to some of the most competitive dental schools in the world, and matriculated at UCLA's School of Dentistry. He founded Predenting because of his passion for helping other pre-dentals get accepted into their dream dental schools, and his unique admissions knowledge and insider information from working with current and former admissions officers. He has helped 300+ pre-dentals on their journey to dental school over the past 4+ years.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to UCLA School of Dentistry, the American Dental Education Association, or any other organization.