Tips on crushing your dental school interview

dental admissions interview prep

Alright, so you made it through the written portion of your application, and BOOM: an email from your dream school inviting you for an interview? CONGRATS! This can bring an immense amount of excitement—but also a ton of jitters and nerves.

Here’s a few tips on how to crush your upcoming dental school interview:

Know if your interview format

Prior to the interview, check to see if your school does a traditional interview or a multiple mini interview (MMI). This will help you gain a sense of how much time you will have to talk to your interviewers, keeping in mind what you really want your interviewer to know about you. Also, check if it will be an open-file interview or closed-file interview. This means whether or not your interviewer is given your written application to look over before the interview, or if they’re going into the interview knowing nothing about you. From there, you can structure your conversation so your interviewer can learn the most about of you in the limited time.

Know your “Why dentistry” answer by heart

This question gets asked at almost every school! Read your personal statement beforehand, or just simply know how to speak about why you’ve decided to embark on the journey of dentistry. Just like all other aspects of the interview and life itself, it’s incredibly important to be honest here—whether you have some crazy story that got you interested in dentistry or just genuine growing curiosity about the field, the interviewer wants to make sure you’re truly and deeply interested in the field to pursue this rigorous, yet incredibly rewarding career path.

Get to know the people around you

As soon as you walk into the school, you’ll begin an exciting day full of interactions with all sorts of people—other interviewees, current dental students, faculty, etc. This is the time to push yourself out of your comfort zone and make conversation with everyone— be an approachable person, reach out and get to know others, and make new friends with other interviewees! Talking to people about pleasant topics outside of interviews was a huge stress reliever for me, and as soon as it was my turn to walk into my interviewer’s room, I felt ready to carry on just another conversation. In addition, some schools have current dental students working the interview, so get to know them and see what they think of the school! Create that positive and engaging energy from the start and carry it into your interview for a positive experience for both you and everyone you talk to.

View your interview as a conversation

The idea of an “interview” can be intimidating by itself, let alone the thought that it may impact your chances of getting accepted to the school. These interviews are not meant to be heavy, strict interrogations! Your interviewer simply wants to get to know you better as a whole person—they already know that your application on file is good enough to get you to the next stage of the application process, so let your character shine here! If prompted, talk about your interests and hobbies both inside and outside of dental school. If your interviewer seems interested about a topic outside of dentistry, feel free to take that and run with it! The interview does not need to be strictly about dentistry at all. It is meant to be a conversation, so don’t be afraid to ask your interviewers questions too! Your interviewer will be left with a much more positive impression on you if you have a two-way conversation, demonstrating your personality and interests.


academics study skills MCAT medical school admissions SAT expository writing college admissions English MD/PhD admissions GRE GMAT LSAT chemistry writing strategy math physics ACT biology language learning test anxiety graduate admissions law school admissions MBA admissions interview prep homework help creative writing AP exams MD study schedules summer activities history personal statements academic advice career advice premed philosophy secondary applications Common Application computer science organic chemistry ESL PSAT economics grammar test prep admissions coaching law statistics & probability supplements psychology SSAT covid-19 legal studies 1L CARS logic games reading comprehension Spanish USMLE calculus dental admissions parents research Latin engineering verbal reasoning DAT excel mathematics political science French Linguistics Tutoring Approaches chinese DO MBA coursework Social Advocacy academic integrity case coaching classics diversity statement genetics geometry kinematics medical school skills IB exams ISEE MD/PhD programs PhD admissions algebra astrophysics athletics biochemistry business business skills careers data science letters of recommendation mental health mentorship quantitative reasoning social sciences software engineering trigonometry work and activities 2L 3L Academic Interest Anki EMT English literature FlexMed Fourier Series Greek Italian Pythagorean Theorem STEM Sentence Correction Zoom algorithms amino acids analysis essay architecture argumentative writing art history artificial intelligence cantonese capacitors capital markets cell biology central limit theorem chemical engineering chromatography climate change clinical experience cold emails community service constitutional law curriculum dental school distance learning enrichment european history finance first generation student fun facts functions gap year harmonics health policy history of medicine history of science information sessions institutional actions integrated reasoning intern international students internships investing investment banking logic mandarin chinese mba meiosis mitosis music music theory neurology operating systems phrase structure rules plagiarism poetry pre-dental presentations proofs pseudocode school selection simple linear regression sociology software study abroad teaching tech industry transfer typology units virtual interviews writing circles