Published On : August 24, 2010
You have worked diligently to conduct a thorough job search and to prepare a top-notch resume. As a result, you landed an interview for your perfect job and you need to ensure that you make a great first impression. At the initial interview, you will be asked about your past experience and why you would be a good fit for the position. This is the time to highlight your skills and discuss why they should hire you over the competition. This first face-to-face will help the hiring manager determine whether it is worth asking you back for a follow-up interview.
In order to ensure that he or she will want to meet with you again, you will need to do your homework. Preparing for the interview is almost as important as the interview itself, because you will know what to talk about in order to be invited back. In addition to engaging general best practices, you need to showcase specific examples of why you would be perfect for the available position. The following dental assistant interview tips will help guide you through the essential points to help you be successful.
Dental Assistant Interview Tips
Showcase Your Organizational Skills: A dental assistant must be very organized and efficient. They need to make sure that the correct tools are in their right place for either the dental hygienist or dentist for proper treatment. When talking about your skills and experience, reassure the hiring manager that you are able to keep things arranged in an orderly and systemic manner. Along with keeping different equipment organized, you may also have experience working with patient files, so discuss how you were able to help with record keeping.
Discuss Certifications and Licenses: Depending on your state, there may or may not be formal requirements in regards to specific certifications or licenses. Even if the position you are applying for does not require anything, it is very important to discuss any special training or education you have in the interview as it will help set you apart from the other applicants. Certain certifications, such as for coronal polishing, may also set you up for possible advancement in the future. Mention if you have training to work with radiography equipment and/or if you are certified in CPR.
Demonstrate Your Attention to Detail: Being detail-oriented is an important skill for dental assistants. Specific protocols and rules, such as infection and sanitation control procedures, must be followed at all times. Each state also dictates what duties assistants are allowed to complete, so you must keep track of these. In regards to dental assistant interview tips, you can talk about your attention to details, but you should also demonstrate them. This includes arriving on time, and preferably early, for the interview. Also bring along extra resume copies, your list of references, and paper and pen to take notes. Turn off your cell phone and make sure you look polished. These may seem like subtle touches, but a good interviewer will take note.
Exhibit Your Interpersonal Skills: Because you are working with patients and dentists all day, you need to be able to interact well with others. Discuss how you have helped calm patients who have been in a lot of pain or who have high anxiety about being at the dentist. During the entire interview, be friendly, upbeat, and outgoing so that your interviewer can experience firsthand how great you get along with others.
Ask Questions: Even if you feel that the hiring manager has thoroughly covered the position and what will be expected, it is important to ask a few questions. This can make a huge difference in how serious the interviewer feels you are about the job. Skip questions about pay and benefits or about something obvious that you can find out on your own. Ask about the company's culture or about the skills or qualifications that make a successful teammate.
Making a strong first impression during your interview is vital if you want a chance at landing the position. Following these dental assistant interview tips will give you a head start on being prepared for highlighting your strengths and showing how you would be an asset to the organization.