Dentistry Interview Questions & Example Answers
There are various questions that may arise in a dental school interview. Here are 5 common questions alongside model answers.
This is a common question that most interviewees will be asked. Yet, it is so essential that candidates make their answer as unique as they can. You’ll need to make your answer stand out and stick in the assessor’s mind. Below are a few ways to do this.
- Answer the question and relate it to yourself. Explain why you have chosen dentistry and support your answer with evidence of why you’re the best candidate for it. For example, one may say, I have chosen dentistry as a career pathway as I have a great passion for serving others and improving oral health. This passion was built from my years of volunteering at a care home or at a children’s centre where we assisted with oral hygiene advise sessions.
- One could also say, I have chosen dentistry because I love how it is a career that boosts confidence in patients through restoring smiles and it beautifully intertwines with charitable work. I have spent much time volunteering with charities abroad and would love to be able to use my skills as a dentist to help those in less fortunate areas during my spare time. I also volunteered with a mental health charity and realised how much poor oral health can impact one’s mental health. Thus, through potentially being in a position whereby I can help transform smiles and boost self-confidence, I knew dentistry was the path for me.
- From the above, one can see rather than just saying, I wish to pursue dentistry to help others – supporting your answer with evidence of how you display certain traits will surely make your answer stick in the assessors’ mind!
Can you adapt yourself to a fast-paced working environment?
Dentistry is a very fast paced working environment and it’s important one can work well in this atmosphere and also manage their ability to work under stress. Here’s one way to answer this question!
- I am very good at working under stress and being able to juggle different things at one time. I have experienced this through my volunteering at a nursery. This post required me to multitask and complete many jobs in the day. I had to mentor children whilst completing admin work and was responsible for a class that required a lot of patience and good time management skills. Thus, I believe I am able to work under stress and am able to adapt myself to a fast-moving working environment. This, of course will continually improve as I move through dental school but I am determined and hard working and will ensure I gain the further skills to succeed as a dentist.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Again, a common interview question! Be prepared for this and try and think of at least 2 strengths and weaknesses before the interview! Try and ensure these are related to dentistry or something relevant to the post in question. Start with your strengths, for example:
- I am very good at working under pressure. This has been demonstrated through… (insert your experience here). It is essential you back up your strengths with evidence!
- I have a passion for working with people and believe I have the skills to show empathy and handle difficult cases. This was reinforced through my time at/my experience with… This is essential to dentistry as it is a very people-orientated career.
- I believe I have good manual dexterity and attention to detail which is crucial for a dentist especially within restorative dentistry which is a passion of mine. I partake in… (insert skills that demonstrate manual dexterity e.g. painting, art work, cake decorating, bakery etc) to show you hold this trait and strength!
When mentioning weaknesses, never leave it open ended but always ensure you back it up with ways you will turn this into a strength thereafter so the interviewer always finishes up hearing a strength inadvertently. For example,
- One of my weaknesses is that I often spend a lot of time perfecting detail and ensuring work is done meticulously, for example in my art work. I have to ensure that I correctly balance this with my time management skills however to ensure work is done to the best of my ability but within the necessary time limits assigned for a project. I do believe I am improving in this however and will continue to self-develop.
Why this university?
For this question, you must come prepared with knowledge about the university you are applying for. Try and research the following areas:
- What makes this particular dental school unique compared to others?
- Do they have any specific technology or advancements that other schools don’t have and thus attracted you towards this one?
- Their extra-curricular opportunities?
- The staff at their dental school and any renowned professors or clinical teaching personnel?
- The surroundings and location
Tell us about yourself!
This is usually one of the first questions an interviewer will ask! This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Make yourself sound unique, bring out your strengths, relate them to dentistry and speak about your experiences.
Back up every fact with evidence and support answers with ways you’ve demonstrated it.
Don’t sound overtly academic and be sure to mention extra-curricular activities. They want to see a well-rounded candidate whose both academic but has hobbies and interests outside of dentistry as well.
Finally, a huge part of a dental interview is about personality, character, confidence and how you come across. Be cheerful, smiley and approachable. A bright persona is essential not only in an interview but dentistry as a career and it’s this trait they’re looking for!
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