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Pediatric Dentistry Residency Interview Questions

35 Pediatric Dentistry Residency Interview Questions and Answer Examples to Help You Prepare for Your Residency Interviews.

Pediatric Dentistry Residency was written by on March 2nd, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 35

How will you adapt to the major changes you will experience when transitioning from dental school to our Pediatric Dentistry Residency program?

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

The dental industry is experiencing more rapid changes today than it has over the past 100 years, and your ability to handle and adapt to change will be vital as a pediatric dentistry resident. Transitioning from an academically-based dental school to a practice-based residency will also be a major change. Your interviewers want to know that you can embrace change and see it as an opportunity for overall improvement.

Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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35 Pediatric Dentistry Residency Interview Questions & Answers

  • Adaptability

    1. How will you adapt to the major changes you will experience when transitioning from dental school to our Pediatric Dentistry Residency program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The dental industry is experiencing more rapid changes today than it has over the past 100 years, and your ability to handle and adapt to change will be vital as a pediatric dentistry resident. Transitioning from an academically-based dental school to a practice-based residency will also be a major change. Your interviewers want to know that you can embrace change and see it as an opportunity for overall improvement.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Convey to your interviewers that you are confident in your ability to join a new environment and succeed from the first day. Talk about a time you had to adjust quickly to change in the past. Pick an example of a time you faced a change, either in your schooling or the workplace, and your response was constructive. Explain how the change directly impacted you and tell the interviewers how you maintained a positive approach during the transition. Explain that you fully understand that your future success as a pediatric dentist will be reliant on your ability to change with the times to provide the best care possible to your patients.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Having talked with a few upperclassmen from my dental school who entered various residency programs across the country, they've all told me that being able to adapt to major changes in residency was the key to success. I am fully ready for this challenge and will come to your program with an open mind and a positive attitude to learn from some of the best pediatric faculty in the world. During my transition to dental school, I went from 16 credit semesters during my undergraduate program to 60 hour weeks in dental school. I was willing and ready to put forth the effort then and am ready to work harder now."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. When you experience a setback in your work, how does it emotionally affect you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks in their work different differently. In the pediatric dentistry field, those setbacks can be amplified. Your interviewers want to know that you would join their training program with the right mindset, even when things don't go as planned.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your main objective as you answer this question is to discuss how you typically cope with setbacks healthily. Your interviewers want to hear that you focus on the task at hand to make a situation right rather than letting your negative emotions take over. Give an example of a time you suffered a setback in your work and show how you kept a positive attitude in your efforts to make the situation better.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be disheartening, especially when it involves a project that I have put a lot of time and effort into. I understand that setbacks happen often and to everyone. If I experience a major setback, I like to take a few moments to internally debrief, get some fresh air if possible, or discuss what I could have done differently with a mentor. Then, I move on. Rather than dwell on my mistakes, I choose to learn from them and move forward to improve."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

  • Behavioral

    3. Our pediatric dentistry residency can be incredibly stressful and demanding on our residents. How do you manage high amounts of stress?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Many studies have been conducted in recent years that prove dental residency training has a high level of stress and burnout. This is especially true in pediatric residencies The long hours and learning materials packed into a short period can take their toll, and your interviewers want to know that you would have the tools in place to work through the heavy workload and stressful times if you were to match into their program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Talk to the interviewers about your ability to manage pressure while remaining professional. The best way to do this is by thoroughly discussing the tactics you used to manage the day-to-day stress in dental school. Describing the tactics you used and providing proof that they worked throughout your dental school will assure your interviewers that you will come to their program ready to succeed.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I handle stress very well. When you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I faced the daily stresses of dental school, I focused on the task at hand each moment and made sure to not get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful. I also use tools like Google calendar and OneNote to juggle many activities at once. While I plan on dedicating myself to my dreams for the next two years, I know that leaving work at work and taking the time to recharge with family and friends is important as well and I won't forget to do that as a resident with your program."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

  • Behavioral

    4. Have you put any thought to how you will work effective with angry, upset or sad pediatric patients? How will you successfully manage these situations?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      During your pediatric dentistry residency, you will for the first time be the direct oral caregiver for pediatric patients and that patient population will be 100% of your focus. The interviewers want to know that you can professionally handle the inevitable situations with angry or upset patients or family members.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      As you answer this question, you ideally want to highlight your ability to remain patient and rational in the face of conflict. Focus on the positive action you can take to provide a great resolution for kids that are struggling during their visit. Some techniques to keep in mind are playing games to make a cleaning or procedure fun or utilizing a TV show or movie to keep them occupied during your work with them. You also want to assure your interviewer that sedating a child should be the ultimate last measure in any situation that doesn't normally call for it.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    5. How will you respond to feedback and constructive criticism on your work as a pediatric dentistry resident in our program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      By joining a renowned pediatric dentistry residency program, you will be venturing into a program with top-of-the-line faculty whose main mission is to ensure that you are fully trained, educated and ready to hit the ground running post-residency. At times, the faculty of the program you are interviewing with will be critical of your work, and your interviewing team wants to know how you would handle this critique.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Not all feedback will be delivered in a friendly, easy-to-absorb manner during your time as a pediatric dentistry resident. Don't hesitate to talk about a time when you received feedback or criticism that was hurtful or surprising. Discuss how you reacted productively. Explain to the interviewers that you were able to take the criticism and learn from it.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    6. How will you motivate yourself to keep going on the most difficult days during your pediatric dentistry resident?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The grind of a two years pediatric dentistry resident is real and there will no doubt be days that you will want to wave the white flag. It is essential that, during these times, you can remain on task and focused even when your motivation levels may not be high. Your interviewer would like to know that you would come to their programs as a highly diligent and disciplined resident, even on the most stressful of days.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Nobody is wholly motivated 100% of the time and your interviewers understand that. You need to assure your interviewers that you can quickly get yourself back on track when things get tough during residency. The best way to assure them of this is by trying to bring up an example of a time you did just this. As you answer, make the challenge clear and explain how and why you kept a level head in the situation. To seal your answer, explain what the positive result was and why it was important to you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    7. Have you ever received a negative review from a patient or customer? How would you handle negative feedback from a pediatric patient's family?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Everyone has had a negative review from someone at one point in their career. As an aspiring pediatric dentist, you will be working with many concerned parents and a lot of them aren't hesitant to let you know if they think your service wasn't anything but excellent. What your interviewers would like to see is that you can bounce back professionally from a negative patient review as a pediatric dentistry resident.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Prior to your pediatric dentistry resident interviews, think back to a time when you received negative feedback or constructive criticism from a patient or customer that you worked with. Your example could be from dental school, college, or any job that you've held. If the review was warranted, discuss what you were able to learn from the experience or the feedback that you received. This is a question where you can be open or honest with any mistakes that you made, as long as you can show that you took it as a learning opportunity moving forward.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    8. As a new pediatric dentistry resident, would you be able to handle direct patient care with little supervision?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your venture into pediatric dentistry residency will likely be the first time you work one on one with pediatric patients as the key decision-maker. Your interviewing team asks this question to ensure that you have the ability and desire to work independently as a trainee with their program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Prove your ability to work confidently with little supervision while not being overconfident. As a pediatric dentistry resident, your work with patients will be scrutinized and used as a learning opportunity, so let your interviewers know that you are aware of that. Speak with modest confidence in your ability to work with patients with little to no supervision.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Communication

    9. Talk about some of the ways that you would build rapport and trust with your pediatric patients. Why is this important?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As you've made the difficult journey through dental school, you've learned the importance of building rapport with your patients to help ensure a long-term relationship. As you venture into pediatric dentistry residency and a future practicing as a pediatric dentist, working with confused, vulnerable, and scared kids bring a whole new necessity for building trust with your patients. Your interviewers want to ensure that you will come to their program with the ability to do this from the start.


      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      With pediatric patients, building trust and rapport doesn't necessarily mean getting the patient to like you. But more often than not, building solid trust with pediatric patients comes down to positive communications and a harmonious relationship during your time together. There are many great methods and tools to building trust in your work with patients, so be sure to think of what will be your go-to methods. These can include but are not limited to, using words of encouragement for positive reinforcement, expressing interest in the child, making small talk, and using toys (or other props) to make them more comfortable.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Communication

    10. How would you handle communicating bad news to a pediatric patient and/or their family?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Providing hard-to-handle diagnoses to patients is a vital skill that any dentist needs to possess. When working with pediatric patients, this skill becomes much more vital in communicating to the family of a young patient or to both the patient and family of an older patient. Your interviewers ask this question to be confident that you would join their pediatric dentistry residency program with the ability to handle these difficult conversations in a respectful, yet straightforward, manner.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Whether it is providing a difficult diagnosis to a parent or educating a teenager that doesn't take their oral health seriously, the conversation won't come easy. Assure your interviewers that you will join their program as a person that can handle these conversations comfortably by stressing the importance of educating patients/families and doing so in a respectful manner. Be sure to stress the importance of taking an empathetic approach with your patients when difficult actions need to be taken.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Communication

    11. How would you rate your communication skills on a scale from 1-10, and why would you give yourself that rating?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Success as a pediatric dentist requires great communication skills. Your communication will come in many ways, shapes, and forms with your staff, your patients, and their families. Your interviewer asks this point-blank question to hear your own personal assessment of your communication in hopes that you will speak confidently to your ability to communicate effectively that you work with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      First, on a scale of 1-10, give an honest evaluation of your communication. You ideally want to try to avoid giving yourself a 10 as nobody is perfect. You do not want to come across as overly confident or someone who has no room for feedback and improvement. Alternately, avoid giving yourself too little credit. You do not want to paint the picture that you are a communication dud! Try to remain in the 7.5-9.5 range while staying honest and accurate. As you answer, be sure to focus on your ability to communicate effectively with your pediatric patients, the faculty you will work with at this program, and all colleagues within a practice.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    12. What role do you feel most comfortable taking on in a team-based environment?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The success in any dental practice in regard to great patient outcomes and satisfaction comes down to a true team effort from the entire care team. In asking this question, your interviewers truly want to understand the role that you naturally take on in a team environment to get a sense of what type of pediatric dentistry resident would be joining their greater team. Since you will be training to be the dentist in charge, they'll ideally be wanting to hear that you are willing and ready to take charge in a respectful manner when needed.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you tend to naturally take the lead on a team, you can let the interviewer know, but avoid sounding overbearing. If you usually like to generate new ideas and allow someone else to execute them, share your creative side but express that you prefer for others to take the lead. No matter which route you take to show your best level of comfort, make sure that you don't pigeonhole yourself into only being one type of team player during your time as a resident.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    13. What do you feel is the most concerning topic facing the pediatric dental industry today?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As you look to leap from dental school into a renowned pediatric dentistry residency program, your interviewers will want the best of the best for their advanced training program. A question like this allows your interviewers some insight into your passion for the pediatric dental field.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Being an aspiring pediatric dentistry resident means that you need to take a keen interest in current events by closely following the challenges the dental industry faces. Before your interview, put some serious thought into a question like this so you can come to your interview prepared to speak confidently on the topic. Discuss why you feel this is a primary concerning issue, and be sure to ask the interviewers what they see as the most concerning issue in the dental field today. This is an opportunity to start a very insightful conversation, so take advantage of it.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    14. Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond to provide great service.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      In a successful dental practice, customer service is vital to the long-term success of the business and it is delivered in many ways. As a pediatric dentistry resident, great customer service comes from your ability to be respectful, positive, and encouraging with your patients. Your interviewers pose this question to ensure that you will join their pediatric dentistry residency willing and ready to provide the best service and care possible to all patients and families.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      You need to go beyond 'service with a smile' when answering this question. Make sure the example that you give is memorable! This question offers you an excellent opportunity to be a stand-out candidate, so be sure to dig deep in discussing a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty. As you answer, be sure to reiterate that you understand the importance of providing great service to your pediatric patients.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    15. How do you best learn something new within a short time and retain it for future use?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      In the grand scheme of things, two years of training and learning in an intense pediatric dentistry residency training is a very short amount of time to learn and retain all of the nuances of a successful pediatric practice. In asking this question, your interviewers want assurance that you can learn new skills under pressure and put them to use quickly in the direct care of patients as part of their program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Show your interviewers that you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn every new skill possible. Come to your interview prepared to talk about how you best learn and retain new knowledge and how you will translate classroom learning into patient care as a Pediatric Dentistry Resident. Talk about times you did this successfully during dental school.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    16. How will you successfully interact with some of the demanding faculty and ancillary staff in our program as a pediatric dentistry resident?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      You may need to work with difficult to please faculty and other staff in your pediatric dentistry residency program. Your interviewers want to see that you can interact professionally and constructively with others, even if they have a challenging personality or work style.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      The goal of your response is to show the interviewers that you work well with a range of individuals. Your answer should assure the decision-makers that your communication style will be an excellent addition to their team of dental residents. Don't hesitate to give an example of a time you had to work with a challenging person during dental school. If you give a direct example, be sure to outline the situation, describe why it was vital that you communicated successfully with this person, and explain the actions you took to build a healthy relationship with the individual. Explain to your interviewers that you are aware that some of the staff you will work with will have high expectations of you and that you are ready to meet those expectations head-on.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    17. Have you applied to any other pediatric dentistry residency programs?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The application and match process for a dental residency program is a transparent process in which all parties know how the system works. The intent of this question is for your interviewers to hear where you rank their program on your list of desirable pediatric dentistry training programs, especially if they find you to be one of their top candidates.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Be honest and upfront with your interviewers about the other programs that you applied to and interviewed with. Don't hesitate to let your interviewers know that their program sits near the top of your wish list and talk about why from a personal and professional level.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    18. We will be talking with several great applicants about joining our pediatric residency program. Why should we choose you over another prospective resident with the same qualifications?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Every match season, your team of interviewers interviews the best and brightest dental students to match into their pediatric dentistry residency program. Each of these talented candidates likely has stellar grades and the drive and potential to become a practicing dentist. Your interviewers want to hear your best sales pitch on why you are the best candidate to join their pediatric dentistry residency.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, put some serious thought into what makes you a unique candidate for this pediatric dental residency program. Knowing that competition is annually the most fierce for the pediatric subspecialty, you want to give your best sales pitch to your interviewers. Recent volunteer work, a personal connection to the training program, a personal story of winning in the face of defeat, an additional advanced degree, or proof that you are willing to go above and beyond to further your education and future career as a pediatric dentist can all present you as a standout candidate. No matter how you answer this question, be sure to speak with passion and desire.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    19. If a career in pediatric dentistry was not an option for you, what career path would you have chosen?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers will use questions like this to get to know you beyond what they've seen on paper. They already know the skills and knowledge you will bring to the table. Understanding your personality and interests will allow them to select the right students to bring into their pediatric dentistry residency program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      This hypothetical question will give the interviewers insight into other topics that interest you. There is no right or wrong answer here, so be sure to speak from the heart. As long as you can answer the question with some passion about that field, your interviewers will take note.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    20. If you could name just one person, who would you say has been your biggest inspiration in your life?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question is designed to ensure that you will come to this pediatric dentistry residency program as a motivated individual who is inspired to succeed. In proposing this question, your interviewers will be looking to hear why a particular inspiration has had an impact on your life and career.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your life's inspiration can be a mentor, a family member, a friend, a celebrity, or an author. Talk to the interviewers about who has been the biggest inspiration in your life and why you would call them your biggest inspiration. If possible, try to link the inspiration they've had on you to your future success as a peds resident for the next two years.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    21. We would like to get to know you on a more personal level. Outside of dentistry, what are your interests?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      While this isn't a make-or-break question, your interviewers ask about your hobbies and interests for a couple of reasons. First, having hobbies and interests outside of work or school is an important part of maintaining a healthy work|life balance during pediatric dentistry residency. Second, learning about your interests will help them prepare for how you will mesh with the staff and other trainees in the program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Talk openly and honestly with your interviewers about the activities that interest you outside of the dental field. This is an open-ended question that you can take in many different directions, but some possible answers can include physical activities that keep you in great shape and activities and interests that stimulate your mind in new ways.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    22. If you matched in our pediatric dentistry residency, what would you wish to accomplish in your two years training with us?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Like many others before you, you could have gone directly into practice following dental school. But you didn't, and you are pursuing an advanced residency in pediatrics for a reason. Your interviewers would like to better understand your expectations of their pediatric dentistry residency program and what you hope to gain from their training.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your answer will help the interview panel to better determine if you are a fit for their residency program, so you should put serious thought into your reason why this training program is ideal for you. Describe what you want to learn and accomplish during your pediatric dentistry residency training and take accountability for your growth as well.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    23. What drives your passion for a career in pediatric dentistry?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers will be tasked with the difficult decision of determining who to select for their pediatric dentistry residency program. The interview panel would like to understand what drives you in your pursuit of a career in dentistry, and specifically why a pediatric focus. Your core passion is what will keep you going on the toughest of days during residency training and your interviewers want to hear about that fire within you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      It is okay to share a personal story when answering this question. Discuss what initiated your interest in attending dental school and what is further motivating you to pursue advanced training in pediatric dentistry. Whatever drives you, make sure the interviewers can feel your passion!

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    24. What do you feel is the single most important quality a pediatric dentist should possess?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      While pediatric dentistry requires outstanding general dentistry knowledge and skills, subspecializing in this area with success takes a very special person with specific attributes. Your answer to this question indicates that you are aware of what extra skills and qualities lead to success in working with children in a dental practice. Your interviewers will also likely assume that you possess the quality that you choose.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is an opportunity to give a unique answer and sell yourself to your interviewers, so dig deeper than "strong attention to detail" or "strong communication skills." Some potential ideas could include an unrelenting drive to succeed, an empathetic approach in all that you do, excellent communication skills that children relate to, or the ability to persevere in any situation. Speak with confidence and passion as you sell yourself in your answer to this question.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    25. What was your DAT score prior to entering dental school? Were you happy with it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Before dental school, you had to take and pass the Dental Admission Test. Because the test measures aptitude in biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry, dental schools use it as a good measure for success in their program, and your interviewers for this pediatric dentistry residency simply want to hear your score and if you were happy with it.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Answer this straightforward question quickly and succinctly. Be open and honest about your score and talk about whether or not you were happy with the result. If possible, give a brief reason why you were or weren't happy with that score.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    26. What are your ultimate career goals in dentistry?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers want to hear two things about you. First, they want to know about your plans and if you have intentions of joining an existing practice or starting your own. They also want to know what your ideal practice looks like and that you've put some thought into this before applying to pediatric dentistry residency programs.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before your pediatric dentistry residency interviews, put some thought into your future career plans. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer to a question like this. Your interviewers will simply want to hear that you have put some thought into this, so be open and honest about your career goals in the field. Since you are taking the time and effort in pursuing training in pediatrics, be sure to include pediatrics in at least a part of your ideal future practice.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    27. Tell us something that we would not know about you from reading your application materials and references.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Throughout your application and interview process with any pediatric dentistry residency program, the interviewing team will be able to get a good feel for your clinical skills by asking you specific questions about your knowledge and speaking with your references. This question gives your interviewers some insight into who you are personally to see if you will be a great fit for their program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      While there are many ways you can answer this question, be sure to highlight something unique or special that will be memorable for your interviewing team and give them insight into who you are as a person. You are not obligated to discuss personal matters like your relationship status.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    28. What do you feel is an area of weakness that you would like to improve on during your time in pediatric dentistry residency?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Being a true professional in dentistry takes a great sense of self-reflection and self-knowledge. Your interviewers want to hear that you can identify your biggest weakness coming out of dental school and have a plan to improve upon it as a pediatric dentistry resident with their program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Pick a weakness that is not a core skill for your success as a future peds resident. Be candid in your answer, acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure to have an action plan in place for improving this weakness. However you answer, don't be afraid to be frank with your interviewing team to show your honesty.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Education

    29. What clinical or knowledge-based strengths would you bring to our pediatric dentistry residency program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Being asked about personal strengths is common in any business or industry. For a graduating dental student looking to join a peds residency program, this question is a bit more pointed and intentional. In proposing this question to you, your interviewers want to hear what you feel is your top clinical or dental knowledge-based strength that makes you the best candidate to match into their training program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before your interviews with pediatric dentistry residency programs, be sure to put some serious thought into the personal strengths that make you an excellent fit for the program you are interviewing with. As you think about your strengths, focus on the dental-specific skills you possess that prove your ability to thrive and learn in the dental specialty in which you hope to train. Feel free to talk about any interpersonal skills, as long as you can prove why that skill makes you a great candidate.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Education

    30. What was your favorite course during dental school?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Learning more about your favorite courses, personal preferences, and professional areas of interest will allow your interviewers to better understand where your passion is within the field of dentistry. More so, they'll want to hear that this course had a direct influence on your reason for pursuing a pediatric dentistry residency with their program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Perhaps you had a great professor in a particular course or excelled in a certain area during your time in dental school. Briefly discuss what your favorite course was, and be sure to explain the reason.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • General

    31. What do you know about our pediatric dentistry residency program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewers will likely be interviewing an excellent pool of candidates for their highly competitive pediatric dental residency program, so a question like this is an opportunity for you to stand out. If you are lucky enough to land an interview, be sure to research the school and program as much as you can. You don't need to be an expert on their entire history, but your interviewers want to hear that you are knowledgeable about their program, culture, and recent accolades.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, the best thing you can do is research the school and the program through their website. There, you may find news articles, program events, or contributions the program has made to its community. If possible, identify the mission and values of the school so that you can speak confidently on what their program stands for and what sets them apart from other similar training programs.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Operational

    32. What sources would you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem as a pediatric dentistry resident with our program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Pediatric dentists face complications with patients on a daily basis and the ability to be resourceful is vital. As an incoming pediatric dentistry resident, the importance of this ability is multiplied. Your interviewers want to know that you would come to their program with the ability to think outside the box and take on challenges when faced with a patient program. Better yet, they want to know that you aren't hesitant to ask a faculty member or senior resident for assistance in a decision-making process so you use it as a learning situation moving forward.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      You want to reiterate a couple of key points to your interviewers as you highlight your ability to join their program as a great problem solver. First, discuss the resources at hand that you would consult to help you work your way through the complication. Then, reiterate that you are willing and ready to swallow your pride and ask for help. As you do this, let your interviewers know that you are focused on the coming two years as being a learning opportunity for you as a resident with their program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Scenario

    33. Let's say you are caring for a teenage patient who is in desperate need of flossing on a regular basis, and they tell you that they already know how. How would you proceed?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Many younger dental patients do not understand some of the basics of proper oral care. Your interviewers ask this question to determine if you would make sure the patient understands how to floss rather than simply taking the patient's word for it. Simply put, this scenario gives your interviewers the chance to see just how much you prioritize patient education.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Describe in detail how you would verify that the patient understands how to use floss properly and regularly. Talk about the importance of ensuring that every patient you work with is educated on their condition and the treatment you give them moving forward.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Scenario

    34. What steps would you take if you suspected a patient was being subjected to abuse?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a pediatric dentist, there may come a time when you suspect a child has been intentionally abused by a family member or friend of the family given the nature of your work in their oral care. Your interviewers are looking to hear that you would join their pediatric dentistry residency aware of the mandatory reporting laws in most states and that you would take the proper steps in reporting the suspected abuse.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      The ADA recognizes that child abuse injuries happen in the head, neck, and mouth area 65% of the time and that pediatric dentists are often on the frontline of reporting suspected abuse. As you answer this question, reiterate to your interviewers that you are aware that you are not obligated to prove any abuse or neglect to a child, but that you simply are required to report your suspicions to the proper authorities.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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  • Situational

    35. When a problem comes up in your pediatric dentistry residency training that requires a quick solution, how will you respond?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      During your two years of training as a pediatric dentistry resident, you will be in many situations where the day is busy and you have to come up with a quick patient care solution. Your interviewers need to be assured that you would join their program with the complex problem-solving skills required to succeed.


      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Problem-solving skills take practice, experience, and confidence. Walk the interviewers through your process when it comes to making quick decisions. Perhaps you go with a gut feeling. Maybe you have read case studies that you lean on in these instances. As a resident in training, you'll also want to let your interviewers know that you would always look for advice from faculty.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on March 2nd, 2022

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