How I'm Doing the Dentistry Interviews: tips for dental MMIs
Updated: May 23, 2021
It feels like only yesterday I was writing about the UCAT. Man, they were tough times- glad they're over. I'm pretty sure it has only gotten easier since then. I realise it's been a while since I've posted. So much for my consistency is key mantra. To be fair I have been extremely busy (and lazy) but I've decided to start writing during these Christmas Holidays. I also realise these posts are slightly out of order (I will do some posts on PS stuff and uni choice in the near future) but this is currently what I'm focusing on right now and I hope this can be some use to people. Right now, the only things on my list are interviews and A Levels. Shouldn't be too bad.
Last year, I was certain that interviews would be my downfall in getting into dentistry but from several mocks and one actual interview (!!) they don't seem too bad. I have also been pretty bad at giving presentations and public speaking so I was sure I would be awful at the interviews- my response to the classic question 'what is your greatest weakness' is public speaking lol. Nevertheless after one mock I became so confident I would do fine to the point of cocky.
What was the spark for this change? An email from Bristol University saying I had two weeks until my interview. Having done no interview prep, god this was stressful. I skipped two days of school for the first time in my life and was just grinding through interview questions until then. This would really test Parkinson's Law. However, I can say that with appropriate preparation it's really not that bad. Even for an introvert like me. Later I'll talk about what I actually did to prepare. But yeah, preparation is really key here, even more so than mocks IMO.
Another piece of advice: smile :)
Very cliche I know. But, as someone who doesn't smile and talks like a robot, a smile will not only give the interviewer a good impression but also make yourself feel better. Also on the robot point, show your enthusiasm and passion in your voice! Apparently interviewers love that. And also, since interviews are 99% likely to be online this year, the only 'body language' you really have is your voice.
People say don't prepare answers. I say do prepare answers.
Literally write down every single question that you might get asked and answer them and learn them. A caveat though- only bullet point the answers. This just makes sure it doesn't sound like you're reading off a script.
The website I'm using here is called RemNote. It's basically Roam Research plus a few more features and more oriented towards studying- a post on this soon- highly recommend.
The best thing about this is that it helps you link ideas so it's easy to adapt answers to questions you haven't prepared for. If you look at the top right corner of the image, it says #stress. RemNote lets you tag pages and puts them all in a single database. Now I have loads of questions and answers under the tag of stress so even if I haven't specifically prepared an answer for a question on stress, at least I'll have a couple of ideas. See my review of Remnote here.
That's basically all I have to say. Feel free to contact me for advice (both giving and receiving!) Thanks!!