University of Bristol Dentistry Interview Questions

The University of Bristol School of Dental Sciences interviewed 245 students in 2019-2020 and gave out 164 offers. This means that 1 in 1.5 people who took the Bristol Dentistry interview received an offer!

For some general information about the Bristol Dental School, check out this blog post: Bristol Dental School

The University of Bristol interview has an MMI set up, which takes about 90 minutes in total. In this guide we provide an expert insight into past University of Bristol MMI stations, the Bristol Dentistry interview day and tips for converting your University of Bristol interview into an offer! 

BRISTOL CLIFTON CAMPUS: Non-clinical teaching takes place in the Clifton Campus, shown above. Bristol is a highly ranked Russell Group University, with an array of awards from organisations including the Dental Defence Union and the Association for Dental Education in Europe, in recognition of its innovative approach to teaching.
BRISTOL CLIFTON CAMPUS: Non-clinical teaching takes place in the Clifton Campus, shown above. Bristol is a highly ranked Russell Group University, with an array of awards from organisations including the Dental Defence Union and the Association for Dental Education in Europe, in recognition of its innovative approach to teaching.

University of Bristol Dentistry interview in a Nutshell

Covid-19 and 2020-21 Bristol Updates

Usually, Bristol holds in person Dentistry MMI interviews in the university campus, however due to COVID-19 this year the interviews are online. The information in this Bristol Dentistry Interview article is still very useful for you to read in full, as Bristol Interview questions and themes are unlikely to change, even if the format of the interview has. Here are the key details for 2020-21:

• The Bristol dentistry interview will be online via Zoom. The interview will last for 20 minutes, with two interviewers.

• Bristol has provided two tasks for you to prepare before your Dentistry Interview.

Matchbox task: In advance of your interview, we would like you to prepare a matchbox of maximum dimensions 12 cm x 6.5 cm x 2.5 cm. Please demonstrate your manual dexterity by personalising your matchbox and place five things inside that you would bring with you to the University if you were to join us in the autumn. Be prepared to discuss the relevance of these items and your personalisation choices with your assessors at the interview. This will be your way of letting your assessors get to know you, therefore these items are not expected to be dental-related. If for any reason you are attending this interview at a location other than your home (eg to access reliable Wi-Fi), please do not put any items of value (monetary or sentimental) in the matchbox, in case these are lost or damaged.

‘Tell me How’ task: One of your interview questions will ask you to give instructions on how to do a task of your choice. You can prepare this answer in advance. The task needs to be something simple that you can explain verbally within five minutes, without any props. When giving your instructions, please assume that the assessors have little or no knowledge of how to do your chosen task (for example, how to do the laundry, how to make a sandwich or other simple food dish, etc). As the task is your own choice, you should not discuss this with other interview candidates (to avoid overlap of answers). You may practice with family members if you wish. 

The 2020-21 Bristol Dentistry Interviews will be running on the following dates

  • 9 December 2020
  • 13 January 2021 (includes Gateway to Dentistry)
  • 3 February 2021 (includes Gateway to Dentistry)
  • 10 February 2021 (includes Gateway to Dentistry)
  • 24 February 2021

What is the Bristol Interview style?

There are 7 MMI stations with breaks in between each one. Bristol interviews are normally held from December to February.

What are the common topics covered at the Bristol Dentistry interview?

  • Motivation for Dentistry
  • Manual dexterity
  • Role play
  • Dental technology advancements 
  • Data interpretation

How many people were interviewed in 2019/20 at Bristol?

245 candidates.

How many interviewed applicants received an offer from Bristol?

164 offers were given out, out of 245 people interviewed, so around 1 in 1.5 people interviewed received an offer.

At Medic Mind we’ve helped many students secure offers from Bristol and other medical schools. If you’re applying to Bristol, we can do a high quality 1-1 mock with you with an Bristol tutor and realistic stations uniquely for Bristol. 

List of Recent University of Bristol Dentistry Interview Topics

ThemeBristol Example Questions
Motivation for DentistryWhy Dentistry?
How would you suit the course?
Work ExperienceWhat you learned 
Can speak about any placement
Communication & Role-PlayActor, might be medical or non-medical
One observer present
Personality & SkillsListening skills
Manual dexterity
Data interpretation
NHS Hot TopicsKnowledge of current technologies and advancements
Medical EthicsGDC guidelines 
4 pillars
(do not need to know either of these in depth but it’s good to use them in answers)
OtherWhy Bristol?

If you wish to practice Bristol MMI mocks, here are some sample questions:

  • Practice “Matchbox Task” used in 2020-21 online interviews (information above).
  • Practice “Tell me How Task” used in 2020-21 online interviews (information above)
  • What were the 2 most important things you learned from your work experience and why are they important?
  • Speak to your friend about their recent car crash.
  • What would you do if you caught a colleague drunk at work?
  • Why do you think that you are suited to Dentistry?
  • Why do you want to live and study in Bristol?
  • How are you suited to this particular course?
  • Chat to this patient about his worries about the operation that you will be performing on her tomorrow.
  • Which advancement in dental technology has interested you the most recently? Tell me more about it.
  • How have you developed manual dexterity skills?

To learn more about Bristol university and it’s Dentistry course, read through the official course page: Official Page

Insider Guide: University of Bristol Dentistry Interview Day

How did the Bristol Interview day work?

At the start of the interview, you are invited to sit in a small room, where a presentation is given. Bristol is very proud of both their city, and their university. The presentation covers a mixture of the history of the city of Bristol and information about the University. It is important for you to pay attention here, as they will ask you questions about the presentation throughout the MMI. Once the presentation is over, you are taken to a large room where the MMI takes place.

Once this is completed, you are given a tour of the Dental School by students.

What do you have to bring for the Bristol Dentistry Interview?

The dress code is smart and professional, so try to wear what you might wear for a job interview.

You must take a suitable form of photo ID with you for verification and the work experience form, which the university should email to you in advance.

For more information about the day, check this page: Bristol Dentistry Interview

What is the setting for the University of Bristol interview?

The MMI took place in one large room, where stations were spread out and organised in a circuit. Everyone moved in a clockwise direction, and there was more than one circuit going on in the same room. 

How do you receive information for the Bristol interview questions?

I was given a card which told me what the station was about, and what I would be tested on during the station.

Read the information twice over to ensure you completely understand what the station is about, and what you will have to do. Think about possible questions the examiner may ask you and structure possible answers in your head. 

What were the University of Bristol MMI interviewers like?

The examiners were quite friendly overall.
In stations where you were struggling, examiners would try to prompt you and direct your answers to what they were looking for. They spoke to you in an encouraging manner as opposed to grilling you. 

Did the University of Bristol MMI interviewers ask a lot of follow up questions?

Examiners mainly stuck to the list of questions in the instructions.
In a station where I answered all the relevant questions and there was time to spare, the examiner engaged in friendly chat to fill time.

How long is the actual Bristol MMI?

About 1 hour long for the interview itself.

What do you advise for the day? (Accommodation, Travelling)

Staying in Bristol overnight allows you to wake up in the morning and take some time to relax and practice.

It takes away the stress of travelling on the day of the interview, so I would highly recommend this, especially if your interview is in the morning. 

How long did it take you to hear back after your Bristol interview?

2-3 weeks, but this varies between candidates.

EARLY PATIENT CONTACT: As a dental student, you will gain a wide range of experience through hospital and community-based clinical placements including at Bristol Dental Hospital and at South Bristol Community Hospital, shown above.  As you progress through your dental training, you will provide primary dental care to the community under the direct supervision of a highly qualified dental teaching team.
EARLY PATIENT CONTACT: As a dental student, you will gain a wide range of experience through hospital and community-based clinical placements including at Bristol Dental Hospital and at South Bristol Community Hospital, shown above.  As you progress through your dental training, you will provide primary dental care to the community under the direct supervision of a highly qualified dental teaching team.

Top Tips for the University of Bristol Dentistry Interview 

1. Learn about the course structure and teaching style at the Dental School.
The examiners could expect you to explain why you would be suited to the course, or tell them why you have chosen to apply to this particular course.

2. Research the city of Bristol so that you are able to tell the examiners why you would like to live there for the next 5 years!

3. Use the preparation time wisely.
Before each station, you have 2 minutes of reading and preparation time, which you should use to think about possible topics for your answers.

4. Learn the GDC guidelines and 4 pillars because it will be really impressive if you can incorporate these into your answer if it is relevant.

5. Look into dental technologies and dental news in general, as you may be asked to discuss a topic related to this.
For some example answers to NHS questions, have a look at this page: NHS Questions
It’s not quite all about Dentistry but these answer formats could still be really useful for you!

Covid – 2020 Changes for the University of Bristol Dentistry Interview

Is the Bristol MMI different this year?

All interviews at the University of Bristol will be held virtually this year.
More information can be found here: Bristol Interviews

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