The Interview

(Free Dental Interview Questions Below)


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Our Free Dental Interview Questions will give you an insight into complexity of Dental Interviews.

The entire guide is suitable for those who have panel or MMI interviews.

We have selected some FREE dental interview questions from our website for you to use.

Over 200

Interview Questions

Background & Motivation Teamwork & Leadership Miscellaneous Questions Role Play Scenarios
Knowledge of University Depth & Breadth of Interest The NHS & GDC Ethical Scenarios
Personal Insight Empathy & Communication Ethics & Law Communication Scenarios

Tell Me About Your Greatest Achievement

It is worthwhile using this opportunity to demonstrate what you have accomplished and how you have learnt from the experience. Consider a hobby or interest that uses one or more of the following specific skills, and consider how it links back to medicine in your answer:
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork and being a team player
  • Dealing and coping with pressure
  • Organisation
  • Multi-tasking
  • Academic achievement
With your answer, you should convey your commitment, dedication and willpower required to accomplish such a great feat. For example:
“I see my greatest achievement in the rugby tournament we played in last year. It’s one of our greatest achievements because of the enormous amount of effort and passion each individual put in. For this tournament, I was the vice-captain and I took my role to be one of motivating and igniting passion in the rest of the team. It required leadership, teamwork and a kind of mental strength that I did not know I could unlock until that point. The tournament began in a “group stage” before a knock-out phase. We lost our first game because we were not prepared mentally and showed poor focus. It took a lot of resilience to bounce back from our first defeat.
The team captain and I held a meeting after the first game to refocus everyone and put the previous game behind us. We decided to briefly discuss the mistakes we made in the first game, and then put our focus onto moving on from our previous mistakes and building with a win in the next. As a team, we vowed to commit 100% of our efforts and fight for each team member. There was a unity and togetherness that is very rare in sports; each player was willing to sacrifice themselves for the team.
The team implemented a strategy that played to the strengths of each individual, and we were all happy to execute it. We managed to go on an undefeated winning streak and won the tournament. The leadership and teamwork we required remind me of a dental team as I look back in hindsight; sometimes, things don’t go to plan, but you have to pull together as a team to do what is best for everyone (including any patient within the surgery).”
This is a fantastic answer because it clearly begins with what their greatest achievement was. It then goes on to qualify why they believed this was their greatest achievement. Throughout they have reflected on the small changes that were made and how this led to the overall result. It then ends with the implication that this will have in dentistry, which helps link the answer back to selling yourself as someone that will make a great dental student in the future.

What Surprised You About Medicine During Your Work Experience?

This is a question that often throws interviewees by surprise, and therefore usually elicits a poor range of responses. A good answer to this question will highlight how you did not just ‘attend’ your work experience, but were inquisitive, asked questions and processed your thoughts and emotions during this time. The key to answering this well is good preparation and thinking about your experiences, and what it was that struck you from them. Your answer should highlight any surprising fact that you may have picked up throughout your work experience.
An excellent answer will then go on to explain how this may alter your view or perception of Dentistry in the workplace. There are a range of different topics that are commonplace in answering this question. Some of these topics include, witnessing the importance of a particular trait within dentistry, others could be the resilience of patients, the techniques used by dentists to consult and treat patients or even attitudes of healthcare professionals within the workplace.
Here is an example of a model answer:
“I realised that dentistry is far more diverse and complicated than I previously imagined. Before I began my work experience, I had little understanding or appreciation of the necessity of exceptional communication and teamwork between allied health care professionals to achieve optimal patient care. During daily checkups and treatment, I witnessed how the dentist relied heavily on the awareness of the nurse; they implemented 4-handed dentistry, which made the most efficient use of the team in order to treat the patient as safely and effectively as possible. Their care and communication allowed each patient to be considered in a holistic manner, and all of their social and dental issues looked at as one. I witnessed the benefit that this input had first hand when there was an elderly patient who was considered dentally fit, but due to a conversation regarding his social embarrassment about his false teeth, the dentist realised he was able to improve the patient’s confidence with a new set of dentures. Discussing the various options, the patient decided to visit a local prosthodontics consultant for their provision. From this, I learnt the importance of the wider team in managing patients in an effective and safe manner. I will always do my best to consider the social status of patient’s that I encounter in the future, as these have such a tremendous bearing on the well-being of a patient.”
This answer clearly states what the interviewee learnt from their work experience and why it surprised them. They then went onto explain the implications of this, and how it will impact their future perceptions and interactions with patients.

What are the Likely Long Term Implications of COVID-19 on the NHS?

This is an extremely open-ended question, and you have the opportunity to pursue many avenues of answer. As a general guide, we have outlined the likely long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the NHS. You should try to avoid discussing financial implications in great detail, as assessors want to see your understanding of the NHS system in relation to healthcare and patient well-being.
The first long-term complication is in regards to the virus itself. At the current moment of writing, no successful vaccine exists for the virus; thus, it is likely that hospitals will have to employ long-term measures for continual treatment of patients with COVID-19. This may include dedicated wards for COVID-19 patients only, or entire isolated sections of the hospital building. In turn, this will continue the stress and strain on the NHS as discussed above. Logically, it is likely that much NHS funding will be directed towards research and experimentation for a potential vaccine, which could redirect funding from elsewhere in the NHS – this would have its own complications, but as it is a matter of financial and political discussion, focus should not be spent there in great depth. Should a vaccine be found and successfully approved, the following long-term implication is that the NHS will have to redirect efforts to distributing the vaccine to as much of the population as physically possible; this means that hospitals, GPs and other health professionals will be focused on administering the vaccine, beginning with high risk groups, to allow normality in society once more.
There is also a likely long-term implication on routine and other urgent care within the NHS outside of COVID-19. First and foremost, all ‘routine’ appointments and operations were cancelled for the foreseeable future; this means many patients are left in the middle of treatment or in pain as a result of treatment being cancelled. The doctors and nurses on these wards and clinics have been redeployed into Intensive Care Units (ICU) and COVID-19 wards, with their sole focus on helping deal with the demand on the NHS that COVID-19 has brought about. Once these clinics and operations are allowed to resume, these doctors and nurses are likely to still be required on the COVID-19 wards, meaning that there will be staff shortages on other wards. In addition, there is likely to be an extremely long waiting list and backlog of patients that will need to be attended to. There will be implications as to how patients will be seen – will it be “first come first serve” or will there be a system required for fairly organising patients to return?
Regardless of this, the face of routine medicine will most definitely change in the long-term too; there are likely to be far fewer face-to-face consultations, and any that do take place will be carried out under heavy PPE to avoid risks of transmission. This will raise long-term implications within the NHS that doctors and healthcare professionals may not be able to build the trust and rapport through normal communication, and may need to resort to other measures, such as videos, pictures and other diagrams – it will result in a big shift in the way medicine was traditionally undertaken.
On a wider view, the NHS will likely reduce their focus on “fringe” healthcare such as domiciliary visits to carehomes and those unable to leave their houses. This will result in this portion of the population having longer waiting times to be seen by a medical professional, which could in turn lead to further health complications for them. Again, on a wider viewpoint, the NHS may choose to nationalise the COVID-19 response in the long-term; sites such as The Nightingale Hospital, for example, may become the central COVID-19 hub for all of South-East England. The NHS may choose to refer all COVID-19 cases to one specific site in order to allow normal function of other hospitals to resume. This will undoubtedly have a financial impact, but it will also stretch the thin NHS staff across multiple sites, making their jobs harder and more stressful.
Finally, it is a good idea to try to link the situation back to Dentistry, too. It is important to acknowledge that Dental practices have been shut for almost 2 months, meaning there will be a backlog of patients with problems such as broken teeth and infections, resulting in pain and other serious problems. They should be prioritised and dentists should be helping these patients first. Following that, patients who are high-risk for dental problems or are deemed “vulnerable” should be invited for appointments so that dentists can ensure they are dentally fit. Once these has been seen, the focus should then be on the remainder of patients who require routine checkups or aesthetic treatment. This will create a long delay and problems with waiting-times for patients.
Furthermore, dentists and nurses are at extremely high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work; they are extremely close to the patient’s mouth, with aerosol sprays being generated from using drills and other instruments, which can spray viral particles into the air. The team must be equipped with full PPE of the highest standard in order to ensure their safety.
For more information on COVID-19 and how it affects your application, please visit our COVID-19 Tab.

Your friendʼs mum has asked you to talk to him as his progress and grades are dropping in university. Talk to him and find out what is going on.

 

This can be an extremely difficult scenario because you must be acutely aware that you are having a conversation with a friend who is also likely the same age as you. You must use appropriate language, tone of voice and empathy to connect with the individual.

 

Your friend will likely be shy, embarrassed or closed-off when you attempt to discuss the matter, and you should not be surprised if you are unable to get any information from him/her initially. Start the conversation by being honest and explaining that his mum is worried regarding the progress and university grades. She asked you to talk about this but that you had noticed the recent drop in grades, too, and wanted to discuss it. Let him know that you are only there to support him and help him, not to judge or alert anyone else. As much as possible, this conversation will remain between the two of you unless you desperately need to ask for help from someone else.

 

The actor will likely remain closed off and saying “nothing’s wrong” until you probe further – let him know you have noticed he hasn’t attended lectures, has seemed down lately and as a friend, you are concerned and worried. You want to help. Eventually, the friend will open up and explain his situation – it may be a very valid situation such as feeling homesick, or in trouble with the use of drugs. Whatever the situation, you must acknowledge it and empathise with the difficult situation he is going through. Use phrases such as “I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you…”, or “this must be very hard for you, what can I do to help?” or “tell me what I can do to help you..”. Let him know that you will support him through it, and if he wants, all of his other friends can be of support, too. Gently remind him that the university and Dental School also offer support (where appropriate) and will be on hand to guide students through the difficult course.

 

Finally, if it is an issue which risks patient safety (such as alcoholism that means he is attending clinics drunk, for example), then you must remind him of his duty as a dental student and future clinician, and that if he doesn’t alert the Dental School himself, this would be one of those situations where you would be forced to inform them because it involves the safety of others.

 

Agree a plan of action together; will you arrange daily or weekly catch-ups to see how your friend is doing? Will you arrange an appointment with a senior member of the Dental School? The examiners want to see a proactive approach to dealing with a problem and like to see a plan of action to help your friend.

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The personal statement is one of the most crucial aspects of your university application; it provides each candidate with the opportunity to impress and intrigue the university interview panel and stand out as a unique individual. Without an interesting personal statement, you will not be given an interview, and therefore no chance of successfully being offered a place at dental school. Whilst each statement must be personal, as the name suggests, we have dedicated this section to decoding what universities are impressed and unimpressed by, how to stand out amongst thousands of applicants, and how to have the best chance of securing an interview.