Once the resume and cover letter writing is over, you need to turn your attention to the interview. This is an important part of getting a job. You need to be able to answer questions well and exude confidence if you want to impress the hiring manager and be a memorable applicant. Without any preparation, you will likely flub the meeting and miss out on the job opportunity.
Preparation does not have to be a strenuous activity. You can review basic questions and best practices designed to give you a foundation in forming answers to normal queries. However, these basic skills may not be enough to really wow the employer. You should also look at common dental assistant interview questions so you can gain industry-specific knowledge to really set yourself apart from the competition.
6 Dental Assistant Interview Questions & Answers
1. What are your long-term career goals, and how will being a dental assistant help you achieve them?
I am currently pursuing my associate's degree in dental hygiene, so my long-term career goals include becoming a dental hygienist. I believe becoming a dental assistant will help me achieve this goal because of the hands-on experience I will be able to get. The position will help me gain a deeper understanding of oral health and the inner workings of a dental office.
2. Have you recently pursued any professional growth opportunities?
I think attending workshops and reading industry-related publications is an important step in staying up to date and growing professionally. To that end, I recently obtained my certification from the Dental Assisting National Board, which required I become CPR certified as well. This extra certification helped me grow professionally because it expanded on my technical and medical knowledge needed to do this job well.
3. Why are you interested in working in the dental field?
I had to have a lot of dental work done as a kid. I was missing my lateral incisors, and because of the shape of my face, my dentist determined it would be better for me to get dental implants rather than shifting my canines over and reshaping them. This meant I had to spend the majority of my teen years with a retainer that had my lateral incisors wired onto them. As a kid, it can be embarrassing to have to remove your teeth before you eat. After going through the braces, grafting, implantation and all of the other aspects of this procedure, I felt a sort of kinship to dentistry. I knew I wanted to join the dental industry so I could help shape the life of someone else as my dental team had shaped mine. I want to become a dental assistant so I can get an expert knowledge of the industry and oral health.
4. What do you think is the most valuable skill for a dental assistant to have?
I think it is important a dental assistant have strong interpersonal skills. Yes, it is helpful for a dental assistant to be organized and good at communicating, but being friendly and patient is more important. Dental visits can be stressful, so the assistant is looked to for comfort. Not only does a dental assistant have to interact with patients, but there also has to be a close working bond between hygienists or dentists and the dental assistant.
5. How have you gained your knowledge of dentistry?
I gained my knowledge of dentistry through the coursework required for an associate's degree in dental hygiene. I also got on-the-job training at my last dental office. I am currently trying to amplify my knowledge of dentistry by pursuing my certification from the Dental Assisting National Board.
6. Do you have other experience working with a dentist? If so, how did you get along?
I do have past experience working alongside a dentist. I have three years of dental assistant experience, and that was all at the same office. I got along really well with the dentist at the office. Our chair-side relationship was strong because I was able to get everything ready for him when he needed it. I used my organizational skills to ensure he had the tools he needed when he needed them. I was able to learn a lot about dentistry and office life when I worked with him.
By reviewing these and other common dental assistant interview questions and answers, you may find yourself able to give articulate and confident responses.