University of Minnesota Dentistry Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

University of Minnesota Dentistry Key Information

The University of Minnesota provides the following tips for those considering applying:

Firstly, you should have started preparing in High School with STEM courses and AP courses. Gain real world experience through observation of patient care and procedures in dental offices, labs and clinics. You should have at least 100 hours of shadowing in multiple clinics. Have a range of volunteer experiences over a length of time, showing care in the community. Show that you have leadership and organisational skills, and the ability to work with a variety of people. You should also look into pursuing research experience. Try to take diverse courses at undergrad. 

The interview is one hour, and is closed file. Expect a one-to-one interview, which is structured in format (i.e. the interviewer has a guide on the questions to ask). Interviews are conducted virtually via Zoom. 

University of Minnesota Dentistry Key Application & Interview Statistics

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University of Minnesota Dentistry Past Interview Questions

Motivation and Insight into Dentistry

  • Tell us about a time when you came up with a solution for something.
  • Tell us about an impactful volunteering experience. Why was it impactful?
  • Name a time you had a crisis and how did you resolve it/deal with it?
  • Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline.
  • What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your life?
  • Why didn’t you do more shadowing?
  • Tell us about a time when you helped an underserved community.
  • What are your long term goals with dentistry?
  • If you suddenly had a huge project assigned, how would you handle it?
  • Do you want us to tell anything to the admission committee?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Tell me about a time you did more than what was asked of you.
  • Tell us about your biggest failure.
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Why the University of Minnesota?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Tell me about a time where you had to solve a problem with a creative solution.
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • What is the biggest appeal of dentistry on the scientific side?
  • How do you respond to stress and how will you cope with the school and balance your personal life?

​Ethical Scenarios

  • Did you ever make a promise and break it?
  • Tell us about a time when you made a mistake.
  • Tell us about a time when you saw someone who was being mistreated.
  • What was the last time you apologized to someone?
  • Name a time you tried helping somewhat but they were dissatisfied with your work/response. How did you handle it?
  • Describe a situation when you displayed empathy.

Teamwork Tasks

  • Tell me a time you failed and how it affected others.
  • Tell us about a time when you held a leadership position.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to work with a group of people different than you.
  • Tell us about a time when you had to step up between two parties to resolve a problem.
  • How have you found working on a team before?
  • Tell us about a time where you had to work with people from a very different background than you, and what you learnt from the experience.

Communication Stations​

  • Tell us about a time that you had to deal with a difficult person.

Minnesota Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers

Why are you interested in the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry?

I am attracted to the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry for its commitment to a comprehensive dental education that integrates both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The school’s curriculum, which emphasizes a balance between academic rigor and clinical experience, aligns with my goal of becoming a well-rounded dental practitioner. Additionally, the University of Minnesota’s focus on using innovative methods and technology in dental education is particularly appealing, as it ensures that I would be equipped with the latest skills and knowledge required in the rapidly evolving field of dentistry. The school’s reputation for excellence in dental research is also a significant factor, as it opens avenues for me to engage in cutting-edge research during my dental education.

How does Minnesota's dental curriculum align with your educational goals?

Minnesota’s dental curriculum aligns seamlessly with my educational goals. The curriculum’s focus on foundational sciences and clinical skills from the early stages of the program is precisely what I am looking for. Learning basic differences between health and disease in the D1 year, followed by more advanced studies and clinical experiences in the D2 year, provides a well-rounded educational experience. This progression ensures that I build a solid foundation in dental sciences, which is crucial for my goal to become an effective and knowledgeable dentist. Additionally, the emphasis on developing practical skills through clinical rotations and patient care experiences will prepare me for the real-world challenges of dental practice.

Reflect on the importance of early clinical experiences in your dental education at Minnesota.

Early clinical experiences are crucial in my dental education at Minnesota, as they provide an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings. These experiences will enable me to develop my clinical skills, improve my patient interaction abilities, and gain confidence in performing various dental procedures. Starting clinical experiences early in the curriculum allows for a smoother transition from learning basic sciences to understanding their application in patient care. This hands-on approach is essential for me to become a competent dentist who can effectively diagnose and treat patients. Engaging in clinical activities early on also ensures that I am well-prepared for the more complex clinical challenges that I will encounter in the later years of my dental education.

Discuss how you plan to engage with the community and use your skills learned at Minnesota.

Engaging with the community is a key aspect of my plan to use the skills learned at Minnesota. I intend to participate in community outreach programs and volunteer services that the university offers. These opportunities will allow me to apply my dental skills in diverse settings, helping underserved populations and gaining a deeper understanding of public health dentistry. This hands-on experience is crucial for developing a holistic approach to patient care, focusing not only on treating dental diseases but also on promoting oral health and preventing dental problems. By engaging with the community, I aim to enhance my clinical skills while making a meaningful contribution to public health, which aligns with my goal of becoming a socially responsible dental professional.

How do you plan to incorporate research into your dental education at the University of Minnesota?

Incorporating research into my dental education at the University of Minnesota is a key part of my academic plan. I intend to take advantage of the university’s strong research focus by participating in ongoing research projects within the dental school. This involvement will provide me with an understanding of the latest advancements in dental science and how they can be applied to improve patient care. Engaging in research will also help me develop critical thinking and analytical skills, which are essential for evidence-based dental practice. My goal is to contribute to the field of dentistry through research, potentially focusing on areas such as dental materials, oral health disparities, or innovative dental technologies. This research experience will be invaluable in preparing me for a career that not only involves clinical practice but also contributes to the advancement of dental science.

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