Interview question are what programs you applied to

Discussion in 'Dental Residents and Practicing Dentists' started by rarm1, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. rarm1

    rarm1 Senior Member
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    PASS does not provide the #, type, or names of programs you have requested they send information to.

    A common question programs ask at interviews is “how many programs you applied to and to which ones.” That is asked for several reasons.
    1. Are you over confident that you applied to only their program.
    2. Who are their competitors to attract you, what information might they tell you as to why they are a better choice.
    3. What area of the country are you interested in.
    4. Some programs want to see you thought pattern, i.e. applying to many programs.
    We ask the question also. We want to see if the candidate thinks we are a sure thing, which generally turns us off. We generally only ask “about how many” and “what locations” and “are there any questions you have that will help you compare us to them” or “call us if those questions develop.”


    Hope this helps, if there is another common question let me know.

    If there are any other questions, just e-mail me or call.
     
  2. Elipar

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    I've had this question asked of me, and I talked to a program director who indicated he always asked it. However, no one seems to know what to make of the answers. For every answer, you could look at it positively or negatively. It seems to depend on how other equally subjective questions are answered, and the overall "vibe" of the answers.
     
  3. Matrix1

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    what do you mean when you say "We want to see if the candidate thinks we are a sure thing" ?
     
  4. oralsurgeryJI

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    Meaning, if you only applied to that place you are obviously thinking you are getting in there. So it comes off as arrogant.
     
  5. Huggies

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    So if I tell the PD that I'm applying to every single program in the country will they think, I don't think very highly of myself as an applicant or that I really really really want to get in and don't care where I go as long as at the end I get my certificate (aka I'm very dedicated to the field):oops:

    Everyone here talks about applying to the "right" schools, but honestly, how am I supposed to know who will like me?
     
  6. atlanta478

    atlanta478 "Open wide"
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    A better question that could be asked:” What programs invited you for an interview? “. Let say, if you're applying for pedo, and Cincinnati and Columbia invited you or if you're applying for ortho and you were invited by UW and Loma Linda, the interviewer could look at you with more interest.
     
  7. OG1

    OG1 OrthoGunner #1
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    Not necessarily true. I was asked how many I applied to when I interviewed at the postgrad program I got into. I applied to 30 programs and I told them that plainly, but then said that I had very good reasons for doing so. They seemed surprised that I applied to that many, but after I explained my reasons they seemed to respect the decision. Just be prepared to explain yourself and they will probably understand.
     
  8. rarm1

    rarm1 Senior Member
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    What I meant, is that some are so sure they will get into the program, they only apply to that program. That can turn some interviews off.
     
  9. rarm1

    rarm1 Senior Member
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    that is correct
     
  10. rarm1

    rarm1 Senior Member
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    that is very true... try visiting some programs between late Jan and May... when the residents have completed 1/2 a year. You can speak to the attendings and get a feel for the place. You must like it to get a "good" year/education.

    You don't have to mention more than "I applied to several around the country"
    "some in the surrounding states" They should not ask you to name all 20-100 programs you applied to... It is often hard to remember my own name or what I ate for breadfast<g>
     
  11. rarm1

    rarm1 Senior Member
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    Yes... be yourself, be honest.

    Our first question to candiadates is "tell us about yourself"
    to allow the candidate to relax.. only they know the answer and they can tell us as much or as little as they want.

    Act well mannered and remember want ever you say may led to a follow up question... be ready to clarify
     
  12. DrTacoElf

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  13. Matrix1

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    some places asked me to name some programs I interviewed at already and they wrote them down. Do you think that they might call these places? Do the program directors at different institutions talk to each other about applicants?
     
  14. rarm1

    rarm1 Senior Member
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    I will answer this in several parts

    1. Notes taken during interviews: They are to record info so the attendings will remember them when they make decisions. Somethings the comments have nothing to do with the question asked. the may include - seems mature, has good answers, seems honest, will fit into the programs, etc and also the negative side.

    2. Other programs: often it is to see what the students are interested in... who they are competing with. We asked the question as well as how the students heard of us. (I thank those we interviewed for mentioning SDN, it has gotten some of my attendings interested in mentoring on line and answering questions on procedures and pvt practice- we will see if they follow through). Many mentioned web sites. So our committee will review our web site and compare with other programs the candidates mentioned. They want to make it more attractive and informative.

    3. To we call other directors: Most program directors know each other. We belong to and go to many of the same meetings - Special Care Dentistry (hospital dentistry - this years meets in April in Balt. - great place for students to see Hosp dental topics presented, often residents are presenting table clinic so you can speak to them) ADEA (this year in Phoenix in March)
    Greater NY Meeting (resident fair).

    We often talk. Often we might recommend a candidate that will not fit into our program but will be great for theirs. For instance... where traveling or relocation may be hard but the student wants a residency... we may suggest to the candidate to apply to that program.

    The only time directors may exchange negative comments is when the student commits legal acts like the wrong grades or transcript. Believe or not, PASS sent out the wrong info. The student applied in his senior year, then a year later... it was a "new person" PASS checked and voided the entire application.

    We often talk after the new residents start.

    4. To we talk to faculty: YES, often we call the universities to speak to faculty we know, from any department, including their residencies... (not knowing if the student applied there) These verbal info is often better than letters. We often ask for them to suggest students to apply- both before applications, and afterward is a spot is open. Comment: if you want a program - ask some of your faculty.

    I hope this answers some of your questions
     
  15. rarm1

    rarm1 Senior Member
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    Here are some more questions based on my comments:

    1. Is it a good idea to have faculty call the program which i really would like to go?

    First, when I mentioned faculty – I called them even before we decide to interview… helps me give the benefit of doubt to the student… to see why grades may be down. I just finished talking to a faculty member about the ADEA meeting, but I also asked if he has any students that might be interested in a residency. To clarify the interviews, I sometimes call a faculty member

    Second, often faculty and deans call me. A chair of a department called me about a student who had bad grades, he explained the reason, and asked if I would consider them… they became one of my best residents. I can name more examples. I get more calls to see if I have an opening especially in May. I also get calls from faculty I know, telling me that a student really enjoyed the interview… it helps… especially if there is no pressure.

    2. Is it ok to email programs after interviews and tell our top ones that they are our top program or first on our list?

    We get many letters after the interviews… some just thank us, some say how much they like the interviews… some say we are the top choice…
    All of these are read… and shown to committee. The emails/letters do not hurt.


    Hope these help
     
  16. texas_dds

    texas_dds Senior Member
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    i hated this question because you want to make the interviewer feel as if you want to be their resident - BUT you dont want to sound fake. i think i fared well by answering that question in terms of the school i was at:
    ie - well, I have interviewed at a few places, but I feel like this program would be a good fit for me because.... (reputation, distance from family, etc. whatever the case was in that place)

    if they really pressed for details, i would tell them the "top" places i had been to (in my case, UW, Baylor, Iowa) and the reaction was generally good.

    later, i was the interviewer. and i asked this question too - hehe. mostly i wanted to see if this person was going out on a limb by coming to a different part of the country (but were planning to stay near home) or were they the kind of person that would be excited to venture out of their comfort zone. i liked the adventurers.
     
  17. rarm1

    rarm1 Senior Member
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    that was an excellent answer... and good insight... we look for residents who want us, will fit into the "team"
     

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