It is important for dental schools to select students who will complete their degree and progress on to become the dentists of the future. The process of selection should be transparent, fair and ethical and utilise selection tools that select appropriate students. The interview is an integral part of all UK dental schools student selection procedures, however each school uses different methods and multiple mini interviews are becoming increasingly popular with UK schools, with 10 of the 14 now using them. We have been looking at whether different interview methods used in selection predict academic performance in dental students. We have compared interview data from Newcastle Dental School; who have a traditional method of interview and Cardiff Dental School, who use multiple mini interviews to select, with student performance in academic examinations in Year 1 of the respective schools. Interestingly interview performance at either institution did not correlate with year 1 examination performance; however the interview remains an integral part of the admissions process. Ultimately schools need to be comfortable with their admissions procedures in attracting and selecting the calibre of students they desire. We are now going to look at performance in clinical years and relate this to interview process.
Results from this work have been submitted to the European Journal of Dental Education (Title: Does a selection interview predict Year 1 performance in Dental School? Robert McAndrew, Janice Ellis, Ruth A Valentine).