Get ready for your Sydney dentistry interview
Starting today, Thursday, July 30, 2015, Sydney Dental School applicants will be undertaking multi-mini interviews for admission into the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program for the 2016 intake.
As part of the application process, interviews are mandatory and are often a cause of unease with prospective students. Like a job interview, it is best to exhibit a professional, competent, and likable personality—like we needed to tell you that! But, to help you out, OzTREKK has compiled some interview tips!
Prepare your equipment
On the day of your interview, you must log into Skype and be ready at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time. Your interview will likely last at least 45 minutes; however, you should allow at least one hour in addition to this time in case there is a delay, or there is a need to clarify a matter. Internet and computer glitches often come at the most inopportune time!
You should use the most reliable method of connection available for your interview (e.g., a wired computer connection, where possible.) Wireless connection can be used, provided that it is sufficiently reliable to complete the interview process. Imagine beginning your interview with shady internet connection—yikes!
Can’t attend your interview at the specified time? You must contact the Admissions Office as a matter of urgency. The Admissions Office will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your needs, but cannot guarantee that an alternative interview time will be available.
Do you need to bring anything to the interview?
For verification purposes, you must bring photographic identification (passport or driver’s license) to the interview. Have it ready, at your computer, to show at the beginning of your interview. Now is not the time to go fishing through your purse or digging in your wallet.
Please note that if you do not bring photographic identification to the interview, the Sydney Dental School reserves the right to cancel your interview. In that event, your application for admission to the Sydney DMD in 2016 will be deemed to have lapsed, and will not be considered further.
What should you know?
Don’t call them, they’ll call you. Please do not contact the Admissions Office or any of the interviewers via Skype at any time. The office will be running many interviews over a period of time, none of which can be interrupted.
Prior to your interview day, you will be sent a “Contact request” via Skype from the Admissions Office, which you should accept as soon as possible.
Position yourself in a way that your face can be clearly seen on the camera. Don’t sit with a strong light behind you. When discussing the question with the interviewer, please look directly at the camera on your computer. Have your photo ID ready to be shown to the camera.
In the event that the connection fails during your interview, please do not try to contact the Admissions Office or your interviewer. Faculty staff will try to re-establish the connection via Skype or call you on the contact number you provided at the interview booking stage to sort out the issue. You may be re-interviewed for that station at the end of the entire 45 minutes.
What to expect
The multi-mini interview (MMI) is an assessment of applicants’ personal and professional attributes. It is designed to test your reasoning and problem-solving skills in a range of areas that the Sydney Dental School considers important in entry-level students, as well as your values and commitment.
The assessment is conducted through a range of different authentic scenarios that test specific characteristics. There will be 5 stations of 7 minutes each, with a turnaround time of 2 minutes. Each station samples different aspects of professionalism according to a carefully designed framework.
At the commencement of the interview, the first interviewer will appear on the screen. Say hello to him or her. Once the bell rings, you will be sent the first scenario via ‘Instant Message’ on Skype. Read the first sentence of the scenario aloud to the interviewer.
What exactly are they looking for in a candidate?
Sydney Dental School will be looking for the following skills and attributes from applicants:
1. Knowledge relevant to the question.
2. The capacity to draw implications from that knowledge.
3. Insight into their own attitudes and views relevant to the issue.
4. Insight into other people’s attitudes and views relevant to the issue.
5. Ability to formulate an approach to address the issues that takes account of 1–4.
Additional tips and things to get you thinking
Now, we don’t guarantee that you’ll be asked about your shortcomings, but it is recommended to have an overall sense of “who you are” and a level of comfort with yourself and your knowledge before heading to an interview. Here is a list of tips and other things to get you thinking about the types of questions they may ask, and to help get you prepared:
- Don’t have Skype? Get it. Learn about it. Be prepared to know how it works. Especially learn the instant messaging button as this is where you will read the interview questions.
- Be yourself. Putting on an act to impress people is rarely successful, is usually transparent, and is most often a turnoff.
- Dress appropriately. No one wants to see you just out of bed, in a T-shirt, or wearing exercise gear. You are interviewing for a professional degree!
- If you are invited to ask questions, have some! Be prepared to speak about yourself and your interests outside of dentistry.
- No note-taking permitted!
- Take a deep breath. The interviewers are people, just like you. They understand that you will be nervous and will factor that in when they interview you.
- There won’t be any breaks. Use the washroom beforehand. You may have a glass of water on hand should you need it.
- The questions are not “black and white,” “right or wrong.” The interviewers are interested in your passion for dentistry, your thought processes, your communication skills, and your personality. They want to know what you think and who you are, not what edentulous means (they already know that!).
- Familiarise yourself with the Sydney Dental School. Find out who is in charge and understand the faculty structure. What is the dental school known for? Why is that a good fit for you?
- Turn. Your. Cellphone. Off.
- What makes you stand out from other applicants? (But don’t brag!)
- Don’t lie. Answer questions as honestly as possible.
- Do you have weaknesses? What are they? Are you working on them?
- Know the dental profession—its past, its present, its future. This shows you would like to invest your life in the profession.
- Where do you see yourself 5, 10, 20 years from now?
- Be prepared to talk about your undergrad degree.