Dental School Interview 101: Prior Preparations
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
If you are preparing for an interview before your application cycle has even started, you may find it useful to conduct "informational interviews." A good time to start is approximately a year before you intend to apply. It would also be beneficial to attend any free mock interviews your school provides.
For UC Davis students, check with the Internship and Career Center to seek such opportunities.
If you are preparing for an interview you've received this application cycle:
A) Begin by compiling a list of school-specific interview questions found on Student Doctor Network for each school you are interviewing at.
If, for example, you will be attending an interview at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM), then you would go through each of the Harvard-specific questions shown when you click on the "interview feedback" tab. When you come across a question you cannot answer readily, please copy and paste it onto a word document.
(Keep in mind SDN is an online public forum, so use your good judgement here. From personal experience, however, I can attest to the usefulness of browsing through these questions in advance.)
B) Draft responses to the questions you have collected. Some students may find it helpful to craft detailed answers, but others will prefer to use bullet-points instead. It is up to you.
C) Memorize the responses. Rehearse them out loud, but make sure you sound genuine and natural.
D) Reach out to as many of the school's current dental students as possible. If you do not personally know any, schools are often happy to connect you with its current students if you simply ask! When you contact these individuals, use the opportunity to understand all aspects of the school. Ask them many questions!
E) Create and print a list of open-ended questions to ask the interviewer(s). You will almost certainly be given an opportunity to ask questions. Bring this document to the interview. Do not underestimate this step! I've included some sample questions below for your to draw from:
F) Consider purchasing a "padfolio" to carry documents and writing instruments. It is in your best interest to be organized during interview day!
G) Plan what you will be wearing, especially footwear. Plan the logistics of your travel and lodging. Bring your ID.
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