After applying for admission, individual schools will request interviews of the candidates they are interested in. Applicants are selected for interviews based on their GPA, DAT scores, extracurriculars and overall application. Also, due to the rolling admissions process at dental schools, applicants who submit their application early are more likely to receive an interview.
Do all dental schools require an interview?
Almost all schools require an interview to be admitted into dental school. One exception is NYU, which accepts a small percentage of applicants without an interview.
When are interviews offered?
Most dental schools begin interviewing applicants in September or October and continue to do so through at least March, but sometimes into April and May. Schools typically do not conduct interview on the weekend so prepare to miss some school or work to attend interviews. Interview information for each individual dental school may be located on each school's website.
How many applicants does each dental school interview?
Every school is different, but dental schools typically interview 3 to 4 students per available seat at that school.
What percentage of interviewed students are accepted?
On average, about 30%-40% of interviewed students will be accepted. However this varies depending on the school. Schools accept more students than can actually attend because many students will be accepted at multiple schools and will turn down some offers of acceptance.
What should I wear for my dental school interview?
It is important that you dress and act professionally during your interview. Men should wear a coat and tie while women should wear a conservative suit or blouse.
What types of questions are asked during a dental school interview?
The most important interview question you will need an answer for is "why dentistry?" This is an important one because admissions committees want to know that you really want to be there and you understand what you are getting into. You may also be asked why you are interested in that particular school, so make sure to review each school's website and information before your interviews. Additionally, interviewers may ask questions like why you didn't perform well in a particular class or during a certain semester, how you prepared for the DAT, what dental related experience you have, your strengths and weaknesses, and you may even be quizzed on current events issues or general biology knowlege. Every school conducts interviews a little differently.
How long is a dental school interview?
At most schools, the interview is a half day event lasting 4 to 6 hours. Your actually interview will be only 15 to 30 minutes. The rest of the day you will be touring the school facilities, meeting with students, talking to a financial aid advisor and having lunch.
What is the format of the actual interview?
The format of the interview varies by dental school. At some schools you are interviewed by a single faculty member, at other schools it may be a panel of faculty members with or without student representatives. Also, in most interviews each applicant will be interviewed seperately, but at some schools multipe applicants are interviewed at the same time.
How should I prepare for a dental school interview?
Ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you and have them ask the basic dental school interview questions like why dentistry, why this school, what are your strengths and weaknesses and any other general interview questions. Let your mock interviewer come up with their own questions to help you be prepared for any random questions that may come up. Practicing a few times will help you get comfortable in the interview situation. Also, remember to review the dental school's website and any other information you have on that particular school. Know who the dean is, when the school was founded, whether its more clinical or research oriented and any new developments at the school. You may also want to read up on the world and national political and economic news so you are prepared for any random current events questions. You should also check out the interview feedback that students have written on Student Doctor Network to get an idea for what an interview at your particular school might be like and advice from students who have interviewed at each school. Also, the new book The Dental School Interview does have some great information on the types of questions that might be asked and how you can prepare.
Any travel advice for my interview?
If you are driving to your interview, make sure you have good directions and give your self plenty of time. You don't want to accidently get lost or stuck in traffic on the day of your interview. If you are traveling to your interview from far, make sure you get in the night before. Do not take a red eye the night before your interview as you will be visibly tired and it could affect your interview performance. If you are searching for flight or hotel options, try kayak or StudentUniverse - I usually find the best travel rates at one of those two sites.