33 School of Dentistry Interview Questions (With Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Interviews are a good opportunity to showcase why you're an ideal candidate for a place at a dentistry school. Admissions tutors are likely to ask candidates why they believe they're suitable, and knowing the types of questions to expect may help you feel better prepared and more relaxed in interviews. Understanding what model interview answers look like may also enable candidates to provide clear and structured responses. In this article, we discuss 33 school of dentistry interview questions and provide sample answers to model how to answer such questions well.

What are school of dentistry interview questions?

School of dentistry interview questions are those that admission tutors pose to prospective candidates. Typically, these tutors are dentistry professionals who recommend the strongest candidates to the admissions dean. Conducting interviews is mandatory in the admissions process as entry into medical professions and training programs is competitive. These professionals use targeted questions to learn about candidates on a more personal level. They may question a candidate's background, their interest in the dentistry profession and why they believe they're a good fit for the school.

General school of dentistry questions

Admissions tutors may begin the interview with general questions that aim to disseminate your personality and build your confidence. When answering these questions, it's advisable to express your personality so tutors can assess whether your character suits the dentistry profession. These questions are also a good opportunity to showcase your professional awareness around stress management, task planning and career development plans. Here are some examples of general dentistry school interview questions:

  1. What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?

  2. What interests you about a career in dentistry?

  3. What are your hobbies and extracurricular activities?

  4. How do you think your education has supported you on your journey to dentistry school?

  5. What are your greatest character strengths?

  6. What would you regard as your greatest shortcomings, and how do they affect you?

  7. Is there a defining experience that led you to pursue dentistry?

  8. Do you take an active interest in academic literature on dentistry in your leisure time?

  9. What field of dentistry are you most interested in?

  10. How do you effectively manage stress in your career?

Related: How to Become a Dentist

Questions relating to clinical ability and knowledge of dentistry

Admissions tutors are likely to want to consider your level of clinical knowledge from previous study and experience. This helps them to gauge whether you're likely to retain the required information. These questions may require short answers or more in-depth explanations and, either way, it's important that candidates provide a structured, coherent answer that addresses all points.

Interviewers may ask candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of current developments in dentistry, so they can indicate that they're well informed. Below are some questions regarding clinical ability and knowledge of dentistry that you may encounter in an interview:

  1. What treatment or dental instrument makes you most excited about working in dentistry?

  2. What are the most common complications with a poor dental care routine?

  3. Name the common signs of poor oral hygiene.

  4. Which industry figure inspires you most, and why?

  5. What are the qualities of a good dentist?

  6. What are your expectations of a career in dentistry?

  7. What technological developments do you expect to see in the next 10 years within dentistry?

  8. How would you approach a patient who finds oral hygiene challenging because of health issues?

  9. What are the most important morals a dentistry profession can have?

  10. What is a dental burnisher used for?

Related: Dental Assistant Resume Guide (With Template and Example)

Questions regarding experience and background

Questions targeting experience and background aim to gauge how you've previously conducted yourself in the workplace. Answering such questions provides you with the opportunity to showcase whether previous employment or educational experience has provided you with useful skills to make you a better dentist. Common questions of this type target how you've previously tackled issues in the workplace and gained expertise. Here are some example questions relating to experience and background:

  1. Provide an example of a workplace issue and explain how you resolved it.

  2. Which subjects that you studied at school have prepared you for a career in dentistry?

  3. How do you approach exam revision?

  4. Has there been an occasion where you've made a poor choice at work? Can you explain how you rectified it?

  5. When was the last time a personal issue affected your work, and how did you overcome it?

  6. What is your ethos towards work?

  7. How would you rate your work-life balance?

  8. Has there been a notable experience in previous employment that has equipped you with the skills to be a dentist?

  9. Has there been a time in your academic career when you doubted yourself?

  10. What educational or career achievement are you most proud of, and why?

Related: Top 10 Medical Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Interview questions with sample answers

To help you understand how to answer interview questions in a structured manner, here are some sample questions with model answers, including the challenging points that the question targets:

1. What personal qualities make you the ideal dentistry candidate?

This question attempts to gauge how you view the ideal dentistry candidate and what you perceive to be desirable qualities. Admissions tutors may use this to determine how self-aware you are and how much research you've conducted in this area. In answering effectively, it's best to offer a clear opening statement that outlines two or three personal qualities that you consider ideal.

From here, you can provide examples of where you've demonstrated these qualities. This evidence may present you as a more suitable candidate and increase your chances of success. Here is an example of how you can answer this question:

Example: 'When I imagine the ideal dentistry candidate, I visualise someone who embodies respect, hard work and resilience. Personally, I demonstrated these three qualities in my final year of high school, where I was studying many subjects at once and feeling the pressure as exam season approached.

I used this pressure as motivation to work harder. I also used the experience to build better relationships with my teachers as I sought extra help with my studies. This episode gave me a newfound respect for them as they took on additional work to help me succeed, something for which I'm grateful and now hold as a core value in my own approach to work.'

2. How have you overcome challenges in your life?

Although questions like these are sometimes disarming, they're a good opportunity for you to demonstrate how you rebuild after setbacks. Admissions tutors typically value resilient candidates who can take positive lessons from hardship. This quality also offers admissions tutors a useful indication of how you may cope at dentistry school if you find the workload challenging.

The best way to answer this question is to transform it into a positive story. Ultimately, the tutor is more interested in the coping mechanism than the challenge itself, so it's important to place the primary focus on that. Here is an example:

Example: 'I've overcome challenges at many points in my life. An example that closely affected my career was the impact of a family bereavement on my academic studies. I went from a high-attaining student to an average one in a short time. I overcame this by compartmentalising my grief and trying to concentrate on academic achievement. I successfully turned a negative situation into a positive, motivational one and congratulated myself each time I received a good grade. From this experience, I managed to rebuild my self-esteem and work harder than before.'

3. What excites you about the dentistry industry in the next 10 years?

Admission tutors design questions such as these to measure how engaged you are with current developments in dentistry. These questions pick out candidates who take an active interest in the sector to see whether they have longer term career goals. The best way to answer this question is to briefly discuss a single advancement and elaborate on why you're enthusiastic about this. Here is an example:

Example: 'I'm excited to see how the dentistry industry evolves its approach to restorative dental work, especially in patients who have dental issues as a result of substance abuse. I believe this represents an underserved area of dentistry and plays an important part in fulfilling an oath to patient care. I also take an interest in this area because this is where I can envisage working later in my dentistry career.'

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