Mentor Advice ForumCategory: QuestionsHow should I prepare for a dental hygiene program interview?
Christina asked 11 months ago

Hello. I have applied to the dental hygiene program and have passed phase one of the application process. Phase two is the interview and a writing sample. I have no idea what questions they will ask or what the written piece is about. What advice do you have as to how I should prepare for the interview to increase my chances of being accepted to the program? Also, I have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and worked as a teacher for ten years. Does this give me a “leg up” so to speak, compared to the other candidates?

3 Answers
Pamela Overman, EdD, RDHPamela Overman, EdD, RDH Staff answered 11 months ago

Dental hygiene programs have limited enrollment. Faculty members want to make sure they accept individuals into the program that will be a “good fit.” They want to know candidates have researched the profession and know the pro’s and con’s of what is involved in being a dental hygienist. They are looking for individuals who truly want to be in a helping profession. They are looking for future leaders of the profession. They want individuals who are ethical, thoughtful, and problem solvers. And, they want individuals who will be able to manage the demands of a challenging curriculum. Every program will likely have different questions but they will all be aiming at identifying that candidate who will fit in well with their mission and goals.

Rachel C. Kearney, RDH, MSRachel C. Kearney, RDH, MS Staff answered 11 months ago

Congratulations on getting invited for an interview! It is almost impossible to predict what questions will be asked during an interview or a writing prompt, but I would suggest looking at the program’s website. Look for its core values, various activities that students engage in, and to learn more about the program overall. In addition, I would think about the skills you have that may be unique to you. I think your background in elementary education provides you with many skills and experiences that you can apply in dental hygiene. Questions are best answered with specific examples from your own experiences, so think of some things that you may have worked on, challenges you have faced, how you problem solved in the past, and be ready with specific examples. I wish you the best of luck, you are entering in to an exciting and rewarding profession.

Jacquelyn L. Fried, RDH, MSJacquelyn L. Fried, RDH, MS Staff answered 11 months ago

It gives you a total “leg up” as dental hygiene focuses so heavily on education. Second, you should prepare for your interview by knowing as much as you can about the institution to which you are applying. You need to be able to articulate your goals re obtaining the degree. I would also suggest that you be clear on what you hope the program can give and what you see as your strengths and weaknesses. Re strengths, they can help add to your desirability and show how you feel you can add to the program and to your fellow students.