Step 4: Interview Day
Before you start your interview day, relax! You should look at the interview as an opportunity to exchange opinions, information, and views. Interviewers are people. They all endured the same process, and they understand how you feel. Also, don’t forget that you’re evaluating them too and some of the control belongs to you.
The interview day normally consists of six parts: a welcome from the admissions office, information sessions on the curriculum, financial aid, etc., a lunch (usually with students), a student-led tour, at least one interview, and a wrap-up session. At most schools, you will have two 30-45 minute interviews with a member of the admissions committee, dentist from the community, faculty member, student, or administrator. When you first arrive at the school, you’re likely to receive your personal schedule of events.,
You should treat every interaction during the interview day as if that person is evaluating you, so act accordingly. This even applies to the dental students you meet. Make sure to get the students’/ faculty’s emails to keep in touch and ask questions in the future.
The Interview is a Two-Way Street
The interview is a time for the admissions committee to check you out as a possible student; however, you should also approach the interview day as chance to determine whether or not you would want to attend that particular dental school. Based on information you have found on the school's website, identify the aspects of that program that you wish to learn more about. Don’t ask anything that can be easily researched by going on the school’s website; instead, ask probing, in-depth questions. Always answer "yes" when your interviewer asks you if you have any questions for him/her. Take the time to think of the questions that shed further light on what is important to you.
At the end of the interview, many interviewers will often ask you if there is anything else you'd like to say before ending the interview. You should definitely use this opportunity to say something that you think should be said but didn't have a chance to say during the interview. If you don't have anything specific to add, use this time to reiterate your main points.
Travel and Accommodations
You should decide how you will travel to the school well in advance of your interview date. Schools often send a list of hotel names/accommodations nearby, sometimes with a special discount for the interviewee. Click here for advice on planning your travel and hotel bookings.
Schools may offer you the opportunity to stay with a student host. Staying with a student may be a good opportunity for you to get an inside scoop on the school’s personality; however, only do this if such accommodations are comfortable to you. If you are interested in staying with a student host, you may contact the admission office to inquire.
Try to arrive at your destination the night before the interview in order to familiarize yourself with the area and the school. This allows you to avoid travel delays and will give you the opportunity to unwind and get a good night’s sleep. It also allows you to explore the neighborhood in which the school is located. Figure out if this is an area you’d be comfortable spending the next four years of your life.
Your appearance will be the first impression you make on the interviewer, so dress conservatively. Decide on your attire well in advance of the interview. Perfume or cologne should be used sparingly, if at all. Men should wear a suit and a tie. Women should wear a suit, dress, or skirt and blouse. Be aware of possible distractions like dangling earrings and plunging necklines. Shoes should be close-toed. If you have a hard time walking around in high-heels, you should also bring a pair of comfortable shoes for the school tour.
One suit or dress should be enough to get you through the interview season. You don’t need a new outfit for every interview unless you want one. If you have a bunch of interviews in a row, arrange to have your outfit dry cleaned.