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Individual Response

  • University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
  • Dental School
  • San Francisco, CA
Overall Experience

How did the interview impress you?


What was the stress level of the interview?

2 out of 10

How you think you did?

10 out of 10

How do you rank this school among ALL other schools?

10 out of 10


How long was the interview?

60+ minutes

Where did the interview take place?

At the school

How many people interviewed you?


What was the style of the interview?


What type of interview was it?

Open file

What is one of the specific questions they asked you (question 1)?

"(paraphrased & summarized) start off by telling me a little bit about you, where you come from, and how you got here to where you are today, with dentistry, with UOP, and in general." Report Response | I was asked this question too

What is one of the specific questions they asked you (question 2)?

"Have you thought about any specialties that interest you for postgradute study? (***note: it is generally held that you shouldn't mention an interest in specializing to an interviewer, as it can be conveyed as rude or arrogant, but if asked you can certainly comment. I ended up talking about ortho and asking what clinical and research-based opportunities were available to help me explore this and other options as a first-year student)" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What is one of the specific questions they asked you (question 3)?

"(paraphrased) What about Pacific interests you the most?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most interesting question?

"So, they actually put oil on the bowling lanes, and that affects the way the ball rolls?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

What was the most difficult question?

"What would you say are some of the general issues facing dentistry today?" Report Response | I was asked this question too

How did you prepare for the interview?

"Reading SDN reviews; browsing school's website; reviewing my application and essay; getting a haircut!" Report Response

What impressed you positively?

"One thing that sets Pacific apart from other schools in my mind is the overwheling sense of spirit, enthusiasm and cooperation evident in every corner of its programs. Every student talks about the ''Pacific Family'' and confirms that positive teamwork contributes to their success and enjoyment at UOP; several faculty members stopped us during our tour to declare their love and support for their school, and gave us positive encouragements about our application process; the list goes on... But you can really tell that everyone is in it together, not just among students but with everyone at the school, and it becomes no wonder why Pacific has one of the most active alumni bases and student bodies of any school around." Report Response

What impressed you negatively?

"The events leading up to check-in seemed a bit scattered. I entered on the first floor and the receptionist welcomed me, then directed me to a room on the 2nd floor. When I got out of the elevator I discovered by chance that we were assembling in the cafeteria down the hall, but was welcomed upon my arrival there. Honestly, though, this is a really trivial point, and it's the only thing that I think could have used improvement throughout the day -- except maybe some coffee after lunch." Report Response

What did you wish you had known ahead of time?

"I did a good amount of research prior to interview day, so there weren't many surprises. Everything you read about the relaxed nature of this interview is true. They spend their time showing you the school and they don't turn the bright lights on you like other schools do. The faculty interiew lasts one hour and its content and structure vary with the interviewer, but I haven't heard of a single interview that was stressful or unpleasant. Some things that I might have put here, had I been less prepared: 1) the meal ticket they give you is an all-you-can-eat coupon. Seriously, get as much food and drink as you want; your fellow interviewees and the dental students who randomly sit down with you at lunch aren't going to judge you by your meal. 2) Be cool! Just by getting an interview at Pacific, you've passed a MAJOR hurdle in the applications process. According to the director of admissions, Pacific likes to interview about 225 people for the 143 spots available (comment dated 04/2007); figuring in that they will over-accept in order to fill their class at an 84% yield (04/2007), that translates to roughly a 75% chance that you'll get in outright. If you don't get in, you'll probably get waitlisted -- unless you threw up on the Dean or something. So, relax -- they like you, and they just want to make sure that you're the same person as you are on paper. 3) Obviously, send a thank-you note or card to our faculty interviewer no later than the day after your interview. You should also send a thank-you to your student interviewer." Report Response

What are your general comments?

"Where should I start... I've done my research, applied, and now interviewed, and Pacific has been my #1 school the entire time. The more you get to see of the school, the more evident its strengths become, and the more you'll love it. Physically speaking, the campus is in great shape -- Pacific runs all the latest technologies and equipment, including digital patient files and a possible upcoming switch to digital textbooks (this is still being debated). Everything is clean and presentable -- even the x-ray stations on the clinic floor, which recently suffered water damage and are currently undergoing some improvements. Academically, the school speaks for itself -- you can get a sense of Pacific's reputation and curriculum before the interview day. What you'll see when you visit and talk to students is that everybody carries this sense of pride and cooperation. I didn't meet one person who was in a bad mood or had anything negative to say about the school. The most important thing for me was to see that every student confirmed that there was a strong sense of ''Pacific Family'' and cooperation within the student body. I've heard many horror stories from students at other schools about stealing notes, sabotaging study groups and other competitively hostile behavior. While I'm sure that this cannot be entirely absent at Pacific, many students admire the cooperative nature of the Pacific Family and it becomes a self-reported distinguishing feature. They also feel that the opportunities to them are numerous -- whether it be staying after school to work in the lab, or meeting with study groups, or getting involved with student government, or getting into research projects on the upper floors, students have positive things to say about their extracurricular lives. Of course, living in San Francisco culture has its perks, too... The actual interview began at 11:00am, though all students arrived by 10:30. We filled out some initial paperwork, confirming our contact information and updating the admissions office with our recent grades. Our first session was a one-hour introduction with Mary Lynch, assistant director of admissions. She talked generally about the school, the structure of the day and what we should expect. We got to know our fellow interviewees a bit more, thanks to a roundtable introduction and a couple of brief stories/facts about ourselves. Everybody seemed really comfortable, happy, and also qualified to be there. Our second hour was split between two activies. Half of us took a tour of the school with a dental stuent, and the other half had their faculty interviews. This was the ''big interview'' as far as the day was concerned -- the bottom-line reason you were there. I took a tour during this time, and I had seen the school several times already, so there wasn't much new stuff to see. The next hour block was split into two half-hour sesions, composed of a half-hour lunch and a half-hour student interview. I had lunch first, grabbing a sandwich and bottle of water from the deli but only finishing half of it due to slight nervousness/excitement/having talked the entire time and not being able to finish eating. Some dental students came over and sat down at our table, and it was a really good chance to talk to them about general stuff. They gave some of us the low-down about our upcoming student and faculty interviewers -- mostly just comments like ''Oh, he's a grat guy, you'll have fun talking to him.'' My student interview went fairly well after that -- they're always conducted by second-year students, who are already in clinical rotation with their own patients. They tend to run this session more like a conversation than an interview; basically they just want to get to know you and see if you can carry a conversation while also presenting yourself. I think I did fine -- I sat outside on a picnic table talking to my interviewer, since the sun had come out and it was quite warm at the time. By now it was 2:00. Our next hour was a completion of the earlier split: we would have our faculty interview or go on a tour of the school, whichever we hadn't done already. This was my time for the big interview. *** Honestly, I was only nervous leading up to this event because it's just in our nature to be nervous in anticipation of big events. I truly believed all the feedback I'd gotten in advance, and you should too: don't stress out about this interview! Remember, the interview day philosophy at Pacific is that it's just as much for you to evaluate them as for them to evaluate you. The interviewer will ask his/her own set of questions, and it certainly varies according to who you get. You can expect some basic question types, such as ''why dentistry'' or ''how do you think that xyz activity has helped prepare you'', but there are also many more casual questions that are probably designed for them to get to know you. Most, if not all, of this interview will feel like a conversation to you. The interviewer might start with an interview question, and after a couple minutes of your answer, one thing leads to another, and responses spark further questions, so you can get quite a bit ''off topic''. I ended up talking about such things as the dynamics of oil on bowling lanes (I bowl competitively) and the traffic and transportation issues in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Again, the interviewer just wants to make sure that you're the person you were on paper, and that you can hold a conversation, present yourself with maturity, and not screw things up. Keep your eye contact, don't be afraid to say that you don't know something, and be confident! Read over some of the other reviews on this site to get a collective idea of what questions are asked in the interview, and think about the ones you think you might not be ready for. But DO NOT plan out answers or script anything -- you'll just sound like a robot. *** After the interview we had two scheduled hours left in our day. We spent a half-hour talking about financial aid, where we learned that it's ridiculously expensive to go to dental school, but you can take loans out. There are some grants, and the school can provide very big loans, but there are also federal loans and a couple other notable sources available to cover the rest. You can get this information any time by contacting the financial aid office. Finally, we closed with a slightly more casual wrap-up section. I wasn't entirely clear on the official position of the man who led this session, but he was very helpful in answering our final questions. He did do one more ice-breaker activity, which was probably more for him to get to know and listen to us than for us to warm up to one another. He also gave a little talk about why students choose Pacific and tried to bring everything from the day together into a complete image of the Pacific School of Dentistry. We also spent about 20 minutes talking about whether we'd like to switch to electronic textbooks or stick to the old system. They're still debating this issue, and we didn't reach any collective conclusions, but they liked to hear from us as the prospective future students. After this session ended, we were left with some surveys to fill out, after which we had an unfortunately abrupt disbanding and everyone started to go their separate ways. If you want to keep in touch with your interview group, talk to them before they start this survey, because they all kind of trickle out one by one. There's no wham-bang ending to the day, but you're left with a tremendous mass of information and positive energy, and if you're like me and the other nine members of my interview group, you're feeling really good about UOP as well as your own standing in contention for the future class." Report Response

Tour and Travel

Who was the tour given by?


How did the tourguide seem?


How do you rank the facilities?

10 out of 10

What is your in-state status?

In state

What was your total time spent traveling?

0-1 hour

What was your primary mode of travel?


General Info

On what date did the interview take place?


How do you rank this school among other schools to which you've applied?

10 out of 10

What is your ranking of this school's location?

9 out of 10

What is your ranking of this area's cultural life?

9 out of 10

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