Last week, the Faculty of Dentistry Universiti Malaya held interviews to select the next batch of dental students for admission into the 2024/2025 academic year. Last year I was a tour guide for the candidates, and this year I was also scheduled to be a tour guide as well, but for the parents of the candidates. Things didn’t go exactly as planned though. On day one I was called in to be a replacement panelist to interview the last round of candidates for the day. On day two they needed more volunteers to round off the last batch of candidates as well, and so I volunteered. In the end, I interviewed 12 aspiring dental students and while I’m sure it was quite an experience for them, it was also an experience for me as well.
I think the most memorable part of the experience was seeing how similar many of the candidates were. They probably had an idea of what kind of questions would be asked and practiced accordingly. I could tell that many of them had rehearsed for some of the questions. So when I heard what I thought was a textbook answer, I probed deeper and asked them follow-up questions they probably didn’t anticipate to try and separate the good candidates from the rest.
Having said that, it did appear that some candidates wanted a placement more than others. I expected them to perhaps be a little nervous and anxious, but these candidates actually did quite well in my eyes. Despite the nerves, they did their best to answer my questions. Other candidates on the other hand did not seem as nervous, and when I asked them questions some would only respond with short and superficial answers. Maybe they didn’t prepare as much as other candidates, or maybe they just weren’t that bothered? That could potentially explain why they seemed more calm.
I’m genuinely passionate about education. I love teaching, and I do my best to make sure my students do the best they can. Being part of the selection process for future undergraduate students lends to this passion, and I hope I’ll get more opportunities in the future to partake in these interviews.
3rd July 2024