About the CDA Structured Interview

What is the CDA Structured Interview?

A CDA Structured Interview is a competency based interview developed by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) for use by certain dental schools as part of their admissions process. Competency based interviews have a different focus than panel interviews as they assess the individual as a whole rather than focusing on accomplishments and future plans. This format consists of a series of questions used to assess non-cognitive qualities including sensitivity to others, self control, tact/diplomacy, integrity, judgment and analysis, conscientiousness, and communication.

The Format of the CDA Structured Interview

The format of the interview is structured such that all applicants respond to the same questions from a list developed by the CDA. It is important to note that competency based interviews are not intended to test specific knowledge in the field of dentistry. Instead, interviewers evaluate a candidate’s thought process and his or her ability to translate learning to new situations. As such, there is no right or wrong answer to the questions posed in a competency based interview, but the manner in which a candidate structures his or her answers will have a significant impact on the outcome of the interview.

Preparation is essential for success!

How well you perform during the actual interview and whether you will ultimately succeed in gaining admission to dental school is in large measure linked to the preparation you do in advance. The most effective strategy to prepare for a competency based interview is to anticipate the types of questions/scenarios you will face and to practice your answers.