Advice from admissions officers

Interview Tips Part I (What to do in the Days Leading up to Your Interview)

Posted by Erica Wasserman on July 10, 2014

Interviews can be stressful, but they are also a great opportunity to find out if a school is a good fit for you. Make sure you read, “How to Prepare for Your Dental School Interview,” before reading this post; it provides great insight into the various formats used in dental school interviews.

During my time working in a medical school admissions office, I have picked up a number of helpful “Do’s and Don’t’s” for those heading into an interview. Check out the first part of my list below for guidance on what to do before your interview. Make sure to come back later for Part II: What to do on the day of your interview, Part III: What to do during your interview, and Part IV: What to do after your interview.

In the Days Leading up to Your Interview

Pick out a Professional Interview Outfit.

Since interviewers often see many candidates in a short time, they tend to hang on to a few key details about each person that really stand out to them, though not all of these details are necessarily about a candidate’s qualifications for dental school. If someone comes in wearing a fluffy pink boa with feathers in her hair, chances are the interviewer will remember her as “boa-girl” and forget all about her flawless academic record and great personality qualities that make her a good fit for their school. Don’t let this happen to you! Always come to an interview dressed professionally and conservatively. Don’t let your outfit determine your admissions decision.

Make a Travel Plan.

You never want to be late to an interview. Since this will most likely be the first or second time you have visited the school, make a concrete plan for how you will get to the interview. Check train times, book a taxi and allow enough time in case of traffic. Do your best to compensate for anything that might go wrong during your commute to the interview.

Do some Research

Many times, interviewers will ask specific questions about what prompted you to apply to their school. You want to be prepared to answer their questions. Make sure to research their curriculum and what programs and details set them apart from other dental schools. Since you are trying to convince the interviewer that you are a good fit for their school, make sure to answer that question for yourself before going into the interview. In this case, there is never such as thing as too much research. The more you know about the curriculum, school processes, teacher-student ratio and all other facets that make the school unique, the better prepared you will be for whatever comes your way during the interview.

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About Erica Wasserman:

Erica Wasserman Erica earned her master’s degree in Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, MA. She worked for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now part of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine) for several years before serving as the associate director of admissions for Ross University School of Medicine. Erica has served on committees tasked with rewriting the medical school interview process. With more than five years of experience conducting hundreds of medical school interviews, she has extensive experience working closely with the admissions committee to choose strong candidates.