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Landing the Job: Interview Tips for Aspiring Dental Assistants

March 11, 2015

Many people dread the interview process. This might be due to a fear of unexpected questions, the possibility of rejection, or anxiety about saying the wrong thing. However, the interview is a necessary step for landing a great job. Dental assistant courses will equip students with all the necessary skills to land a rewarding position at a dental clinic – but of course, a successful interview is a mandatory first step to getting your foot in the door.

Here are some sure-fire ways to ensure your job interview is as successful as possible:

Showcase Your Positive Attitude

Dental assistants communicate with patients daily, and therefore must maintain a pleasant, kind and caring attitude at all times. During an interview, the hiring manager will be looking for these qualities, so use this as a chance to showcase your personable and likeable traits! For example, remember to smile, look your interviewer in the eye, and don’t sit with your arms crossed in a defensive way.

If available, bring in letters of reference from previous jobs—especially if these jobs highlight your interpersonal skills and experience with clients.

Dentists and dental nurses

Ask the Right Questions

Interviews can be quite stressful, and sometimes asking questions on the spot can be challenging—especially when your nerves get the best of you! To ensure that you have time to ask the right questions, keep any inquiries regarding pay, vacation time and personal days for after you have been hired. Instead, you might ask questions such as what qualities the clinic is looking for in a dental assistant, or how many patients are typical in a day.

Be Flexible

It’s important to demonstrate flexibility during an interview, as this will show the interviewer that the position is important to you, and that you are committed to your work. A dental assistant might work either full-time or part-time—but demonstrating your flexibility with scheduling will only make you a more desirable candidate.

What Can You Bring to the Table?

One of the first things that might be discussed in your interview is what skills you’ve gained from your dental assistant training. These will be more technical in nature, and focus on the everyday duties of a dental assistant. However, don’t forget to highlight your soft skills. For example, if you held down a part-time job while attending dental assistant school, you’ll know a thing or two about multi-tasking and meeting deadlines.  And if you’ve had experiences that helped develop strong interpersonal skills, don’t be afraid to mention that you love working as part of a team – great for collaborating with your colleagues at the dental office and making patients feel welcome and comfortable.

Be Prepared to Work

In a dental assistant interview, you might actually be asked to perform certain dental techniques from your training, so that the dentist hiring you can observe your skill level. Your interview could also involve meeting with the rest of the staff, so that the interviewer can see how well you get along with other employees. It’s extremely important to be prepared for hands-on work during an interview, so you can demonstrate your skills to the best of your ability.

Do you know any other tips that might be useful in a dental assistant job interview?

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