Lots of you ask us what type of questions are likely to come up in interviews and how you can prepare yourselves for some of the more probing questions… Here are a few pointers that should help you on your way:
Much as in any interview scenario whether it be for a university application, a job in finance or a job in a management consultancy firm, they will try to group their questions based on what they view to be key qualities in the individuals applying. For example, in dentistry they are likely to target 4 key areas:
1.) Communication Skills
2.) Evidence of commitment and interest
3.) The realities of dentistry
- Be prepared for them to ask the flip side of a question, so rather than “What qualities make a good dentist?” don’t be too surprised if you’re asked “What qualities in a person would be undesirable as a dental professional?”, or instead of “What has led you to want to become a dentist?” they may ask “What , if any, are the negative aspects of working as a dentist?”
- Prepare some answers. They may not be perfect for the question asked but if you have in mind a few well constructed answers to the big questions related to dentistry you can always tailor them to the question in hand on the day. This means writing them down (bullet points only) and thinking through the wording. You can be the most articulate person in the world but if you haven’t considered your answers you won’t come across all that well. A string of words without solid content are no good.
- Get clued up on current affairs in dentistry. Start searching the web and newspapers for dentistry related advances in science, changes to legislation in dentistry, news articles and examples of ethics in dentistry. These are the types of things that will set you apart from the rest. Here is an example of CAD/CAM technology being used by dental technicians:
- If you’re not already aware, make sure you get to know all about dentistry in the UK. Potential career paths (ie not just general dental practitioners), NHS contracts, fields of research in dentistry.
- Basic knowledge of routine dental procedures, basic oral anatomy and basic science of the body. They might try and catch you out by asking what is involved in root canal therapy, or what your understanding of the term occlusion is, what organ is affected by hepatitis or what are the ideal properties of a dental material. Simple if you have them in mind, a real stumbling block if not.
- Know your dental school. For each university you get an interview to, you should carefully research their course and ensure that you can field any questions regarding its structure and have a good reason for why you wish to study there instead of other institutions.
- Be original. Whatever answers you give try and add your own personal spin. These people are sick to death of hearing the same old answers, draw upon your personal experiences and be earnest and genuine. They’ll appreciate it.
- Prepare a few insightful questions of your own. At the end of every interview you will be asked if you have any questions. Of course we would all love to get out of there sharpish but don’t just say “No” and leave. Make sure you ask at least two questions at the end of each interview. See it as your opportunity to turn the heat up on them! Ask something that makes them think….
I’ll leave you with a few ideas on what they might ask you at the interview:
- “Why do you think its important that dentists communicate effectively with their patients?”
- “How do we get our patients to trust us and why is this important?”
- “Why would you like to be a dentist?”
- “What might be the challenges of practising dentistry in deprived areas?”
- “What qualities do you think a patient would value in a dentist?”
- “If you were trying to put someone off doing dentistry what would you say?”
- “Can you tell us of a time when you have worked well in a team?”
- “What makes the difference between good and bad teamwork?”
These are the sort of questions we will prepare you for on our mock interview days. Drop us a line if you’re interested in finding out more (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sorry for the essay. Hope this is helpful.