Interview Day & Potential Questions

Congratulations! You’ve made it so far. All of the hard work is nearly behind you, the dental school interview is my favorite part of the entire application because I talk just like how I write and I write a lot. In the words of one of my dental school classmates, Dilan, “I knew if I got an interview I could talk my way into the school. Imma talker.”

It probably makes you laugh now, but in recent years I’ve found that so many pre-health students discount the interview, overemphasizing every aspect of the application except for it. In my time as a Colorado College Admission Office, I’ve had the opportunity to interview hundreds of prospective students, learning about their life experiences, talents, and passion for learning. The vast majority of students that I interviewed were certainly academically qualified for CC, but it was that extra shine, be it from their commitment to community, intense drive for their extracurricular, and ultimately, their ability to articulate it, that made me advocate for that student in my write up and during deliberation meetings.

Yes, I recognize that selective undergraduate admissions is a world of difference from dental school admissions, but the same key pillars hold very true. The interview is a chance to back up your talk and walk – in person.

Interview Day Etiquette

  • Arrive early to the interview – at least 30-60 minutes early prior to your call time in ideal; this will afford you time to collect your thoughts and gather your nerves to present your best self
  • Act professionally at all times – I wrote about this briefly in my other interview blog post; there are spies everywhere! Parking attendants, student tour guides, and desk assistants will have their eyes on your behavior and your treatment of them; it should really go without saying that you should lend respect to everyone regardless
  • Wear appropriate interview attire – interview attire is strictly business, not business casual and most certainly nothing you’d wear casually; you will likely be interviewing with many older, well-respected doctors and the last thing you want is someone judging your appearance; you will be judged enough
  • Be honest in every answer you give during the interview – embarrassing to be caught in a lie at this point
  • Be as confident and natural as possible – be the professional, polished version of yourself
  • Thank them for their time when the interview is completed
  • Follow up with a “thank you” note – grab their business card or contact information on their way out (nothing fancy, please don’t send a gift)

Common Interview Questions

  • Why did you choose dentistry?
  • Why do you want to attend our school?
  • What is one thing you want us to know about you?
  • Do you have any questions for us? – always have a question or two
  • What would you do if you saw your classmate cheating on an exam? (ethical question)
  • What are your thoughts on the Affordable Care Act versus the Better Care Reconciliation Act? (current issues in healthcare, tread lightly and don’t get political)
  • What is the most difficult thing you’ve done in life? (overcoming challenges)

Curveball Questions

  • What is the name of our Dean?
  • If you were a tooth, which tooth would you be and why?
  • Name all of the dental specialties.
  • Why would you use an amalgam restoration over a composite restoration? (confirms you’ve been actively shadowing)
  • What else should I ask you?

Student Doctor Network

Most of the time, I tell predentals to avoid Student Doctor Network at all costs! Anyone can put anything on the internet and it’s a near surefire way to convince yourself that you’ll never be a dentist. I do recommend SDN for one thing: interview feedback. For each individual dental school, applicants that have interviewed there will provide example questions, give you a heads up on odd questions, and give you a brief synopsis of what the interview day looks like (aww but it ruins the surprise). Knowing what you might be asked ahead of time can help you practice your responses, which is helpful, but applicants can also fall into the trap of sounding canned and fake.

Last word: Befriend your fellow applicants interviewing that day. These students may very well become your fellow classmates, should you be accepted to the school and matriculate. Above all, offer them the utmost courtesy and genuinely get to know them – after all, even if you aren’t classmates one day, you will be dental colleagues in some way.

~ Colleen

*This post is sponsored by Colorado ASDA

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