Check out the entire Pre-dent advice series from Dave:
- Travel to the Interview: If you apply early in summer (June or July), you will have some time to prepare for interviews, which start in September and August for most schools. If you apply later (in the fall), dental schools may call and offer you an interview immediately. Here are some things to think about: +Requesting time off: Interviews may not be on a weekend, so prepare to miss class/work
- Money: Interviews are not paid trips for dental school, so prepare to pay for road trips and/or flights, hotels, and related expenses. Try to schedule interviews in the same city close together. Find friends, alumni, or family to stay with. Try to plan some fun and sightseeing in your trips.
- Clothing: Both women and men will need to purchase professional interview wares…usually a new suit or tailoring will be part of your investment. Avoid funeral black! You will also be adding a briefcase, attaché, or matching bag to the outfit. If it will be cold, you will be adding a coat. Get a suit holder or travel bag for the transport. Have a belt to match your shoes. If you want to get creative, your shirt/tie will be the place – but not too crazy, as most dental schools are conservative environments.
- Behavior: These may be funny examples, but learn how to give a proper handshake, unbutton a suit before sitting down, and (for the ladies) how to discreetly change into flats. There are many more behaviors you will need for the professional setting, which you should start researching in advance!
- Interviewing skills: Using the school’s website, student doctor network, and advice from friends who have attended the interview day, you will have to research and prepare for each school’s interview. Some schools have high stress interviews, others low stress. Some interviews are in a small group format. Some interviews have dexterity tests. Prepare for this beforehand! I suggest having a thorough knowledge of each school, current events in dentistry in general, and questions ready to ask your interviewer. Practice with a friend and prepare some answers to common questions without being scripted. Preparation is key!
Whew! You have made it this far! Best of luck interviewing, waiting, and choosing a school. The process may seem expensive and stressful now, but remember that dentistry is an extremely rewarding career. There will be many more milestones to celebrate – Yesle’s blog does a good job covering them. Congrats on applying and welcome to the profession.
I wish all pre-dents out there the best of luck! Feel free to reach out with any questions!