Menu Icon Search
Close Search

Mock Interviews Are Key for the Prepared Predental Student

Created June 13, 2013 by Leigh Reynolds, ASDA
Share

 

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in March 2013 issue of ASDA News.

You spent years taking prerequisite courses, endless hours studying, passed the DAT, composed a personal statement and submitted your dental school application. There is one major hurdle still left between you and acceptance to dental school: the interview. After so much preparation and effort spent leading up to the interview, it’s important to bring your A-game.

While each dental school has its own method and setup for applicant interviews, there are some common ways to prepare. Familiarize yourself with the common interview questions to expect. For example: “Why do you want to be a dentist?” and “Why do you want to come to this school?” Having a solid and truthful response to these questions is important. Speaking with current dental students can help you learn more about the dental school experience and the schools.

One way to prepare is by participating in mock interviews. A predental student just completing her interviews, Kori Reinbolt, Missouri ’18, credits mock interviews for increasing her confidence. She said that interviews are where an applicant can “make or break” the admissions process and to “present yourself as a professional so that they can see you fit into their program.” Interviewers can tell when a student has prepared. Feeling comfortable with yourself in the interview room will help carry a sincere conversation and bring your application to life. Overall, the interview process is to let the interviewers get to know you on a personal and professional level.

Mock interviews can help identify and correct faults and nervous habits. Some common examples include: talking too fast, saying “um” repeatedly or a nervous tick like playing with your hair. Strengths can also be sharpened like speaking loud and clear and maintaining eye contact. Ask your mock interviewers to make you aware of any nervous habits and work to improve your communication skills.

A mock interview should be as close as possible to the real thing. Men and women should wear a professional suit and comfortable dress shoes or heels for a tour of the school. Look the part by paying attention to your personal grooming by keeping clean nails, not overdoing the makeup and a fresh haircut.

Your interviewer should be a truthful and objective professional to meet with you for a 30- to 60-minute mock interview. Start by introducing yourself with your full name and a firm handshake. Mind your manners and remain polite under pressure, as everyone you meet on interview day should be treated as your interviewer. Appropriate questions for this mock session could be: tell me about yourself, name three strengths and weaknesses, do you think you can handle the workload in dental school. Practice your answers to questions you’ll likely be asked without sounding scripted. If your interviewer is a representative from a dental school, turn the table and ask him or her a couple of questions. Remember that during a dental school interview it is also your time to see if the school is right for you. Research the school’s website for things to ask about. Better yet, talk to current dental students to see what their experience is and what they’d encourage you to consider when looking at schools.

Check with either your school’s career services department or predental club to see if they offer or would be interested in setting up a mock interview session. If not, ask a dentist, your advisor or some other qualified professional if they would feel comfortable doing a mock interview with you. Bring along a CV or a resume so that the mock interviewer can review and ask specific questions for you to expand upon your qualifications.

Some words of wisdom from Dr. Richie Bigham, assistant dean of admissions at University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Dentistry: “When a student receives an invite to interview at a dental school, realize not all students are invited, so those invited are already well-liked, and the school knows that they have worked hard to get to this point.” It is never too early to begin to prepare. Check into mock interview opportunities available to you to get ahead of the game.

For more interview tips, visit ASDA.

// Share //

// Recent Articles //

TPW_Study_SS_287191085
80/20 principle
improve your CARS score
  • Medical, +1 MORE
  • The Top 5 Ways to Improve Your CARS Score Today

  • Posted April 28, 2016 by Nick Zehner
  • For most pre-meds taking the MCAT, the CARS section proves to be one of the biggest obstacles standing between them and admission to the medical school of their dreams. The CARS section is a highly artificial environment, unlike any test you’ve ever taken before. It can be difficult to know where to begin and what...VIEW >
minorities and the mcat
  • Medical, +1 MORE
  • Minorities and the MCAT

  • Posted April 28, 2016 by Brian Wu
  • The MCAT looms large on the horizon of many would-be medical students – and there is a lot of anxiety over choosing preparation courses and books and in finding different ways to achieve the highest score possible. And there is good reason for this – a poor or mediocre MCAT score can close the doors...VIEW >
20160427_Chip_SS_118623172
  • The Dangerous Devolution of Physicians into Technicians

  • Posted April 27, 2016 by Amanda King, contributing writer for in-Training
  • Reposted from here with permission. As I sat in my institution’s white coat ceremony this past fall, I listened to our dean describe the process of selecting the newest batch of future doctors. I’m an MD/PhD student, so this is my fifth time hearing this speech, but the statistics still blow my mind: less than 3% acceptance...VIEW >
multiple MCAT scores
  • What the Adcom Sees (and Thinks) About Your Multiple MCAT Scores

  • Posted April 27, 2016 by Linda Abraham
  • MCAT History Back in the olden days (like prior to 2007), the MCAT was only offered a few times a year, and test-takers took the paper exam with a No. 2 pencil. There was also a restriction placed on the number of times you could take the exam in a single year, as well as...VIEW >

// Forums //