Once you submit your application to dental school via AADSAS, the admissions committee will conduct a preliminary screening based upon your GPA, DAT scores, extracurriculars and overall application. If you meet a predetermined "academic cutoff," you will likely be invited via email or phone for a personal interview to further probe your suitability for dental school. The personal interview is a critical step in the admissions process and should not be taken lightly; most dental schools will not accept a candidate without meeting him/her in person. The interview goals are to assess whether you have what it takes to succeed in dental school and the profession, like maturity, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation with an attempt to weed out candidates who only look good on paper. The second goal is for the dental schools to market and promote their own programs. Factors such as, how well you express yourself, manage stress, and think on your feet may determine your acceptance to dental school. The interview allows the dental school to determine whether your interpersonal skills are as good as your academic ones and to select those dynamic individuals who possess that rare balance of academic prowess and interpersonal strengths. The dental school interview is your opportunity to distinguish yourself among the other candidates and demonstrate your full potential.
Dental schools are becoming more rigorous and competitive every year. In fact, the number of applicants almost doubles every application cycle, resulting in higher prerequisites and expectations. Dental schools now have the privilege of cherry-picking from a larger talent pool and therefore, today, more than ever, you need that extra edge to stand out and get noticed at your dental school interview.
A mock interview is one of the best ways to prepare for the dental school interview. A dental school mock interview is an individual session with a dental school interview expert to help you prepare and strategize for your dental school interview(s). Traditional and customized interview questions will be presented and you will be asked to respond, just as you would in a real interview. The questions will be based on your GPA, DAT score, personal statement and the most common questions asked at the school(s) you are preparing for. After the interview, you will be given constructive feedback regarding your interviewing style and how you responded to the questions. You will be provided with guidance and winning techniques on how to strengthen your answers to make a better impression.
Do professional athletes play in a game without expert coaching? Definitely not! They have all the required skills but need to constantly sharpen those abilities to remain competitive. This is exactly the case in an interview situation. When you are called for a dental school interview it implies that the dental school considers you a qualified applicant. However, since they select only about 120 students from the approximate 400 applicants they interview, it is up to you to prove that you are a good candidate who deserves to go to dental school. If you do not deliver this message in a clear and coherent way, you may get rejected or placed on a waiting list only because you weren’t prepared.
The dental school interviews normally start early September (some schools do not start till October) and continue till latest April or May the latest. Each dental school usually conducts interviews three to four times a week, on weekdays. Specific interview information may be located on each dental school website. Applicants are notified of their selection status as soon as possible after their interview date, but not prior to December 1 of the year preceding matriculation which is the earliest date the U.S. and Canadian dental schools have agreed to extend a position in the class.
Dress as if you already are a professional. Women should dress in low heeled, dark shoes, conservative suit, skin tone hosiery, limited jewelry and short manicured nails. Hair should be short or pulled back in a professional hairstyle. Hair should not fall in your face. Men should wear a solid color suit and tie, comfortable shoes (preferably black), black socks, and have a neat, professional hairstyle.
Each dental school conducts interviews in a slightly different way. The two main types of interviews are group interviews and individual interviews. These interviews may be closed (the interviewer does not see the candidates’ application), semi-open (the interviewer can only see the candidates’ personal statement) and open (the interviewer see the candidates’ personal statement, GPA and DAT score).