Southern Illinois University Dentistry Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Southern Illinois University Dentistry Key Information

Alongside at least an absolute minimum of three academic years – 90 semester or 135 quarter hours – of undergraduate course work SIU expects the following level of shadowing experience and extracurriculars:

• For shadowing, you ought to have shadowed both a general dentist and a specialist. 

• For your extracurriculars, you should be active in sports, academic enrichment programs, clubs, research, volunteering and further work experience.

The interview is separated across two days, with two one-on-one 30 minute interviews and discussions, a tour, and an evening with current dental students. 

Interviews take place from September to March of an application cycle. 

Southern Illinois University Dentistry Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)

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Southern Illinois University Dentistry Past Interview Questions

Motivation and Insight into Dentistry

  • What is a non-science class that you took that will help you succeed in dental school?
  • Do you expect to be well-off in this profession?
  • Why not Medicine?
  • Why SIUE?
  • What qualities do we look for in an applicant, in your opinion?
  • What was your favorite class in college?
  • Is SIU your top choice?
  • How would you improve public health dentistry, and expand clinics?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • What do you imagine for your future practice? Do you plan to stay in the area?
  • Why SIU and what do you expect from it?
  • Where do you see the direction of dentistry going?
  • Where do you plan to practice?
  • Do you have any research experience?
  • What classes are you taking next semester?
  • Where will you be in ten years?
  • What do you know about SIU Dental School?
  • Why do you want to become a dentist?
  • What distinguishes you from other candidates?
  • What component of your application do you want us to overlook?
  • Where do you want to practice?
  • What will you do if you aren’t accepted for the upcoming class?
  • In Alaska, they are adopting a program where students go to Australia/New Zealand for two years to be trained to provide dental services in remote communities in Alaska. Do you think that this is a good practice and should be adopted throughout the rest of the United States?
  • Why apply for dentistry now?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • Why are you interested in SIU Dental School?
  • What is something we should know about you that we can’t find on your application?
  • Why dentistry?
  • What types of volunteer work have you helped with?
  • Why are you here?
  • Do your  GPA and DAT reflect you academically?

​Ethical Scenarios

  • If you were to go back to a situation and act in it differently, how would you act? What would you have done differently?

Communication Stations​

  • Tell me about a time that your communication skills served you well.

Southern Illinois University Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers

Why are you interested in Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine?

My interest in Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine is rooted in its commitment to providing a comprehensive dental education that emphasizes both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The school’s curriculum is structured to ensure a deep understanding of the fundamental aspects of dental science, an essential foundation for any aspiring dentist. Additionally, Southern Illinois University is known for its focus on hands-on clinical experiences, allowing students to apply their learning in real-world settings. This balance between rigorous academic training and practical application is crucial for developing the competencies required in modern dental practice. The school’s dedication to fostering clinical excellence and ethical practice aligns with my aspirations to become a skilled and responsible dental professional.

How does the curriculum at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine align with your educational goals?

The curriculum at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine aligns with my educational goals by providing a well-rounded approach to dental education. The program is designed to cover essential areas of dental science, ensuring that students develop a strong foundation in the core aspects of the field. This foundational knowledge is crucial for understanding complex dental conditions and treatments. The curriculum’s focus on clinical training and hands-on experiences in the later years of the program prepares students for the practical aspects of dental care. This comprehensive approach to education, combining theoretical knowledge with clinical application, is exactly what I seek in a dental program. It prepares me not only to excel in technical skills but also to understand the broader context of patient care.

Reflect on the importance of clinical experiences in your dental education at Southern Illinois University.

Clinical experiences are a pivotal aspect of my dental education at Southern Illinois University. These experiences are essential for translating theoretical knowledge into practical skills. Hands-on clinical training provides the opportunity to work directly with patients, which is invaluable for developing proficiency in various dental procedures. It also helps in honing critical skills such as patient communication, diagnosis, and treatment planning. Engaging in clinical practice under the guidance of experienced faculty allows me to gain confidence and competence in a real-world setting. This aspect of the curriculum is crucial for preparing me to become a capable and confident dental practitioner who can effectively address a wide range of oral health issues.

Discuss how your education at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine will prepare you for the diverse challenges of modern dental practice.

My education at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine is designed to prepare me for the diverse challenges of modern dental practice. The curriculum’s comprehensive nature, encompassing both the theoretical and practical aspects of dentistry, equips me with the necessary skills and knowledge to address various dental conditions. The program’s emphasis on hands-on clinical training ensures that I am well-prepared for the realities of dental practice, enabling me to develop proficiency in a range of dental procedures. Additionally, the exposure to different patient demographics and oral health issues during clinical rotations is crucial for understanding the complexities of patient care. This holistic approach to dental education is essential for becoming a versatile and competent dentist in today’s dynamic healthcare environment.

You find that a peer is not obtaining proper informed consent from patients. How would you address this situation?

In this scenario, I would first approach my peer privately to discuss the importance of obtaining proper informed consent. I would emphasize the ethical and legal implications of not fully informing patients about their treatment options and the potential consequences. If the behavior continues or if I feel the issue is not being adequately addressed, I would bring the matter to the attention of our faculty or the appropriate ethical committee at Southern Illinois University. It is crucial to handle such situations with professionalism and discretion, ensuring that patient rights and safety are upheld. As future dental professionals, we have a responsibility to adhere to ethical standards and ensure that our patients are treated with respect and given all the necessary information to make informed decisions about their care.


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