Career Compass

How to hack residency interviews


During my senior year of dental school, I had the opportunity to travel to eight GPR interviews. They were scattered across the country from the East coast to California. So in order to balance dental school and interviews, I had to hack it with these tips!

Travel Essentials

1. Use the  Tripit App: This is a lifesaver, you can easily have your travel itinerary, car rentals and reservations all in one application.

2. Pick ONE Airline: I used Southwest for 90% of my travel and by the end of interviews I had earned a few free trips in travel points! Don’t forget to download the app for your favorite airline- you can check in and have an electronic boarding pass ready to go.

3. Airbnb and Booking: These are great resources to find cheap stay during your travel. Also, remember to call ASDA friends who live in the area, there is always a free couch for a friend.

4. Plan interviews back to back! For example, I would travel  from Baltimore to Pittsburgh to San Diego and then Palo Alto. I purchased one-way tickets from city to city to save time and money.

Quick Tips

5. Bring a CV with photograph: Two of my colleagues Jason Watts and Casey Lynn had great ideas during interviews; they used a condensed CV with their photograph on the first page. Check out the example below!

6. Pack healthy snacks: I loaded my purse with small packs of almonds, dried fruit leathers, protein bars and granola. Some places will provide lunch and others will not. Having healthy snacks will give you the energy you need to crush your interviews without breaking the bank.

7. Bring a water bottle: Carry a reusable water bottle with you. You will easily save time and money in the airport not having to purchase water!

8. Use Excel to stay organized! Brainstorm and figure out exactly what you are looking for in a GPR, and make those the columns on the spreadsheet (ex: digital charts, orthodontics). Call and ask to speak to the residents once you get an interview, most of your questions can be answered before you get on a plane. One spreadsheet included:

  2. Email/Website
  3. Location
  4. Pay
  5. Start date
  6. Assistant Ratio
  7. # of Residents
  8. Place Implants (Y/N)
  9. Restore Implants (Y/N)
  10. Perio Surgery (Y/N)
  11. Endodontics (Y/N)
  12. Orthodontics (Y/N)
  13. TMD (Y/N)
  14. IV Anesthesia (Y/N)
  15. OR Cases (Y/N)
  16. Comments: In the comments column I would write notes immediately after the interview about my experience. Finding the right GPR is like finding the perfect mate, when you know, you know.

9. Thank you notes: I carried a few thank you notes, postage and a list of GPR addresses. On the plane ride home I would write a thank you while the interview was fresh. This is a great way to make an excellent impression and use your time wisely!

For more life hacks to help jump start your school year, check out ASDA’s past Life Hacks Week posts. If you have hacks that you’d like to share with your peers, leave comments in the section below!

~Dr. Erinne Kennedy, MPH, Nova Southeastern ’15

Erinne Kennedy

Dr. Erinne Kennedy is an Ohio State University graduate and comes from Middleport, Ohio. She graduated from the Nova Southeastern University’s College of Dental Medicine in 2015. Dr. Kennedy loved everything about dental school, especially being involved in organized dentistry. While in dental school, she was involved with ASDA as a local vice president and national contributing editor. After dental school, Erinne attended a one-year general practice residency at the VA Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Erinne has a passion for giving back and is currently working toward a dental public health specialty at Harvard University in Boston, MA. Her love for writing and communicating continued after dental school when she became a blogger for igniteDDS and alumna writer for ASDA. Currently she serves as a contributing editor for Dental Product Review and is on the junior editorial board for DeW.

In her free time, Dr. Kennedy enjoys exercise in all forms: yoga, weight lifting, group exercise classes and running. Dr. Kennedy‘s professional affiliations include: The American Dental Association, The Massachusetts Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry.

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