Shadowing a Doctor

July 29, 2016

unusual medical careers (4)

Being prepared is the key to a successful interview. Good preparation goes beyond finding the right clothes to wear and checking the route to make sure you’re on time; the most important to think about before a dental school admissions interview is what kind of questions to expect, and how to answer them.

“Tell us something about yourself.”

It sounds like a simple, straightforward question, but remember, the interviewers will be looking for a meaningful answer that demonstrates why you are a good fit for this career. This is not the time to launch into stories of your childhood or your family history.

“Why would you like to become a dentist?”

“I want to help people” may sound like the most appropriate and most succinct answer, but is overused to such an extent that it’s lost all meaning. Be honest, be specific and most important of all, be convincing about what motivated you to choose this career path.

“What are some of your passions or pastimes?”

There’s no wrong way to answer this particular question. We all have different passions and enjoy different hobbies. Your reply will give the interviewer a deeper insight into your personal interests. Don’t invent something you think will score points: it won’t. Your passion will only come across if you’re talking about something you truly enjoy, so be honest and forthright when answering.

“If you see a colleague stealing or acting unethically, what would you do?”

Interviewers ask this question to assess your ethical viewpoint and moral compass. Be careful when answering; you don’t want to come across as a vigilante, or someone who is loyal to their colleagues no matter what. The interviewer does not want to hear that you’ll keep quiet about the situation, but they will want to know how you would deal with it sensibly and appropriately.

“What do you consider is your biggest strength?”

This is another question that has no correct or incorrect answer, as every individual brings different strengths to the table. One person may be an excellent communicator while another may be a better leader and a third may excel at soothing peoples’ anxieties or problem-solving. Whatever you mention, try and tie it into a career in dentistry.

“What are your personal weaknesses?”

No one is perfect so brushing off this question or bragging about your perfection by saying “nothing that I know of” could be a deal-breaker. A little humility can go a long way. As always, be honest about your weaknesses. Don’t name a long list, just one or two are fine. When discussing your weaknesses, it’s a good idea to talk about your action plan to overcome them.

These are only a few of the most commonly asked questions. Take time to read up on some more and formulate appropriate replies that come across as genuine and more importantly will convince the interviewers that you have what it takes to forge a career in dentistry.

Want to give your dental school application and interview the edge? Consider coming on one of our placements, which not only gives you a great overview of the role but also shows your dedication to the admissions panel.



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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.