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Four Questions to Practice Before Your Dental School Interview: Land Your Dream Acceptance!

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Job interview

Dental school interviews are just around the corner! Are you excited? Nervous? All of the above? When I was interviewing for dental school in 2018 I experienced every emotion under the sun when preparing for interviews.

Your dental school interview is the final step to your dental school acceptance and the key to your acceptance. How you answer your dental school interview questions will determine your fate. Some say, “If they like you on paper, you get an interview. If they like you in person, you get accepted”. Practicing these sample interview questions will greatly improve your chances of matriculation into your dream dental school!

Dental School Interview Questions:

Dental School Interview Question #1-"Tell me about your favorite dental shadowing experience."

Hopefully, you have been keeping track of all your hours and the experiences you’ve had with our form to help track shadowing hours. If not, stop reading here and take a couple of minutes to think about your shadowing experiences. What procedures did you get to see? Where were you? What was something special you got to see that day?

  • Did a patient get a new set of teeth and was overjoyed?

  • Did the dentist extract a tooth or do a root canal on a tooth that had been “killing” a patient?

  • Did you get to see a pediatric dentist help a kid who was scared?

When describing your favorite dental shadowing experience, describe the emotions the patient and you both experienced that day and how that experience impacted you as a potential dentist

Dental School Interview Question #2-"Who is your hero and why?"

Dental School Mock Interview invitation

Dental school interviewers love to ask this question about heroes. This question allows them to gain insights into your values and character. It also gives insights into your aspirations.

Because this question is very revealing, it is also very personal. It is a good opportunity to open up and share an experience you had.

Your hero may be one of your parents, a sibling, or another relative. It may have been a coach, teacher, friend, or anyone really. Perhaps it’s Thor, Spiderman, or Black Widow (just kidding-just wanted to make sure you were paying attention still).

Whoever your hero is, share an experience that made you look up to them and how that has inspired you. Perhaps it was their work ethic and it inspired you to achieve your dreams. They may have taught you how to endure hardship and that is how you did so well in undergrad and prepared you to be a great dental student. Maybe your hero simply inspires you to communicate well and help others. Whatever it may be, relate this answer back to how they inspire you to be better, serve others, and be the best dentist and version of yourself.

Dental School Interview Question #3-"What was the last book you read?"

While this question may seem random, it does give the admissions interviewer insights about you. One characteristic that is very important to dentistry is to be a life-long learner.

Having a good answer (and true) answer about the last book you read can show the interviewer that you are more than a robot student, you are always looking to learn and improve.

For most, it was probably a paragraph out of your chemistry textbook. Others may have not actually read a book since high school when they were forced to read To Kill a Mockingbird. Whatever your situation is, we would suggest reading through a book before your interviews (or at least skimming a book recently) in case this question comes up.

But what kind of book should you read? That really depends on what you like! If you’re struggling to think of something, I’d suggest Find Your Why by Simon Sinek (one of my favorites-I mentioned this in my personal statement I liked it so much).

Dental School Interview Question #4-"Tell me about a time when you acted as a leader. What was your experience and what did you learn?"

Leadership is a must in dentistry. Even if you do not own the practice where you work, you must lead a team of hygienists, assistants, and other office staff. Many community members look up to dentists to be leaders in the community. When dental schools ask about your experience as a leader, they want to ensure you are capable of leading others in a school setting, work setting, and community setting. You can use one of these as an example!

Team Meeting
  • In a school setting: -Were you ever a leader on a school project? -On a research team? -Did you work as a TA?

  • In a work setting: -Did you ever have anyone that reported to you? -Have you ever trained a new co-worker?

  • In a community setting: -Did you ever organize or act in a leadership role during your community service? -Were you a leader in a pre-dental or another school club? -Were you on the student council during college?

Additional Tips to Help Prepare for Your Dental School Interview

There are lots of ways to practice these questions for your interview.

Practice answering the questions out loud, looking in a mirror.

Several studies show that 70-90 percent of communication is non-verbal. This means that even though you may have great answers to your questions, you need to practice answering them with correct body language. Try looking yourself in the eyes while answering questions to see how you act!

Answer the questions with a friend/significant other/family member and video record yourself.

Even better than asking yourself the question is having someone else do it and randomly select questions. You never know which question you’ll be asked in an interview and you may be thrown off from time to time. To prepare for this, have someone else ask you questions in random order. It’s still great to record yourself and watch it after to see your body language. Also, ask the person you're working with for feedback!

Schedule a mock interview session with us!

I’ve been through multiple rounds of interviews for dental school and residency. All of our team members have done the same as well. We’ve also worked with tons of students to help them prepare for their interviews. Not only will we help you practice answering questions, but we will give you additional, personalized insights to make your interview that much better. Click here to get more information!

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