Hello to all the pre-dental students and aspiring dentists! My name is Sophia Saad Saylor and I am a first-year dental student at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in Arizona. I completed my B.S. in Biomedical Science from Arizona State University where I also participated in the Honors College. I graduated in May of 2021 and headed straight to Midwestern in August of 2021. The transition was like no other, so I want to share with you some tips I have on how I rocked my interview at my top choice school, Midwestern!
The Interview Process
My interview process was a little different than what you might be going through because we were at the peak of COVID-19. Therefore, all my interviews were virtual. This did not hinder my preparation for the interview process in any way. If anything, I was more prepared! In my opinion, the best way to ready yourself for the questions you will get in your dental school interview would be to answer as many questions as possible.
Where to Find Common Questions
To start, I did a simple google search to find the most commonly asked interview questions. I’ll attach the link here: https://interviewpenguin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dental_school_interview_questions.pdf . I found this list to be SO HELPFUL. I put the questions in my own word document and under each question, I added bullet points of things I wanted to say if I were to get that question. This helped me keep my thoughts more concise to get straight to the point when asked a question in an interview.
My Common Questions
I had many interviews from different dental schools, and a common question I saw in most of them was “Why did you choose our school?” Or “What makes our school your top choice?”. That being said, go into every interview knowing the school’s mission statement and what its core values are! This is so important. You want to show the school in the interview that you know what their goals are and that you would fit in with their mission statement. Other questions I remember being frequent include, “What are your strengths?”, “What are your weaknesses?”, “What do you do in your free time?”, “Why dentistry?”.
Further, some schools like to ask ethical questions. These questions could have to do with doctor-patient relationships in a clinical setting. It is okay if you don't know how to handle the situation in your interview question. You are not a dentist yet! Focus on answering the question from an ethical standpoint, keeping in mind that you always want to do what is best for the patient’s health. A few ethical questions are in the link I attached earlier if you want to get a feel for those types of questions.
Know Your Schools
Overall, when it comes to interview questions, make sure you know the school’s mission statement, why you chose dentistry, what makes you unique, and things you put on your application. Practice answering these questions with different family members and get feedback from each of them on how you could be better. And don't forget to be yourself! The more comfortable I got in interviews, the more the school got to know who I was, and that is most important.
Feel free to reach out to me on social media if you have any other questions in your Pre-Dental track (@Sdr.SophiaSaad)! Best of luck in your studies.
-Sophia Saad Saylor”