Nailing the Interview: 25 Questions you WILL get Asked

July 18, 2015


Dr. Elizabeth Fadoju


Congrats! You've applied. Now in preparation for all the interviews you are bound to receive, (positive thinking ONLY) here is a list of questions you just might get asked. Many of these came up on my interview, especially number 9, 10, 16, 17, and 25! The key, as cliche as it sounds, is to be yourself. They know your scores, have read your personal statement, but they have not had the pleasure of having a conversation with you. Be confident, but not too confident. Be genuine and sincere. Be prepared but not overly rehearsed.

I remember specifically my interviewer asking me what he should tell the selection committee. "I see that some of your scores do not align with the averages here at Columbia. What would you like me to tell the committee?" I responded, "Yes, please tell them that I am NOT average and admitting me here will mean more to me than it would to an average student." The interviewer hugged and gave me a kiss on the cheek and the rest is history...

My pre-clinic neighbor and pal, Mike Fogge is Mentorship Chair for the Student National Dental Association at Columbia. He came up with the following list of common interview questions to help out local pre-dental students. I asked if I could share this and he did not hesitate to say yes. Hope this helps!

1.      Tell me about yourself.

2.     Why are you interested in dentistry?

3.     What have you done to prepare for dental school/ a career in dentistry?

4.     Why dentistry and not medicine?

5.     Why do you think you're a good fit for dental school?

6.     What makes you stand out compared to the other applicants?

7.     What is your favorite course in college? Least favorite course? Why?

8.     What do you do for fun?

9.     Describe yourself using only 3 words.

10.  What would you say are your three biggest weaknesses?

11.  Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?

12.  What is it about OUR school that makes you want to attend here

13.  How many other schools have you applied to? How many have you interviewed at?

14.  What type of dental program are you interested in?

15.  What did you think of the school and the students during the tour?

16.  What do you think is the biggest challenge facing dentistry right now?

17.  What do you think you will like least about dentistry?

18.  Describe an experience you had where you learned something about yourself.

19.  Can you name the dean of the dental school?

20.  Name a situation when you had to make an ethical decision. What did you do>

21.  What is something you would like to improve about yourself?

22.  If you were stranded on an island and could have only one book, what would it be?

23.  If you could have dinner with one person from history, who would it be and why?

24.  If you could pass along one sentence to the selection committee, what would it be?

25.  Do you have any questions for me?