Let me start by saying congrats on your dental school interview! This is a very exciting step in the dental school process, and chances are, if you have been invited for an interview, you?re just an inch away from getting in! Now you need to nail the interview to make sure that the school knows they need you in their program!
The most important thing about going to a dental school interview, or any interview, is to be prepared. What does this mean? Well it means that you need to learn where you are interviewing. Every dental school has things that are unique to that school. For example, USC teaches using a method called problem-based learning. Another example would be UOP. While most dental schools are 4 years length, UOP is 3 years. It?s important to research the program at each school so that you can prepare some questions to ask, and also so that when you are asked questions, you will have a better answer. It will also show that you are interested in the school, and this is important!
You need to be friendly! Not overly friendly?if you aren?t generally a talkative person, don?t use the day of your interview to become overly chatty. All I mean is that you need to show that you are easy to mesh with. Smile, be confident, and be friendly. When you are asked questions that you weren?t expecting, smile, take a second to think of an answer, then answer with confidence! I had one interview where I felt so interrogated with all of the nonsense questions they were asking me. For example: ?When do the swallows return to San Juan,? or ?what are the countries that surround Italy.? Although these questions were unrelated to dentistry, dental school, and everything dental related, I knew that they were testing my ability to think on the spot. They weren?t really looking for what I was saying, they were looking to see how my brain worked, and they were reading in between the lines. I had no idea when the swallows flew into San Juan (I didn?t even know that was a thing), and that wasn?t a problem. They saw how I dealt with the question and that I didn?t cave under the pressure, and that’s all that really mattered. No matter how brilliant you are, interviews are awkward. Make sure to breathe and answer the questions to the best of your ability and be honest.
Now it?s time to talk about the dress code! You must dress for the occasion; After all, you are going to a dental school interview. The staff wants to know that you put effort to look your best and that you care about getting into dental school. This doesn?t mean that you have to wear the most expensive clothing, and get your hair/makeup done. This means that it needs to look like you spent time getting ready for your interview. Remember that if you?re not prepared, someone else will be.
Make sure your hair is presentable. Ladies, you should have your hair out of your face. You can still wear it down, but pull your hair out of your face. Gentlemen should have a fresh shave and your hair done. As far as makeup goes, I would stick to the ?no makeup, makeup look.? Glitter eye-shadows, and smoky eyes (my fav look) should be saved for outings with your friends and family. Also, a nude lip is probably best. I love colored lipsticks (esp reds) but you look more professional and polished with a nude lip. (light pink is also okay)
Clothing is definitely important. You don?t need to spend $1000 on a suit. They are not judging you on how much your clothing costs. They just want to see that you are put together and look professional. You do, however, need to wear a suit. The suit should be dark (black, grey, or navy), and should fit you very well. Ladies, feel free to wear pants or knee-length skirts as part of your suit, and it?s your choice if you want to wear panty hose or not.?? Black tights are also an option. For those men out there that like to be creative with their socks, don?t get too creative. Do not wear the trendy ?no show? socks, or brightly colored socks. You don?t know who is interviewing you. Some interviewers are okay with brighter colors, and sometimes the more seasoned interviewers are very conservative. You should stand out in other ways, not with your clothing.
When it comes to your top, error on the side of being conservative! Most people wear a white blouse underneath, but you can wear a colorful shirt if you like, I know I did! Make sure that your top is wrinkle free, tucked in, and that nothing is showing (you know what I mean). Men, you need to wear a collared shirt.
TIP: make sure you practice sitting in your outfit. Make sure it?s comfortable, that your skirt isn?t riding up, etc.
When it comes to your shoes, wear something comfortable and clean looking. Your shoes should be closed toe. I like heels because they look more professional, however, flats are also acceptable. If you are wearing a heel, wear a low heel. It looks more professional and it?s also more comfortable. You will be doing a lot of walking during your interview, and you want to make sure you are comfortable. Men, closed toe dress shoes are a must!
Subscribe below to get a list of 28 of most commonly asked questions and help answering them for your interview!