You’ve put the time in and completed your dental assistant training. Now you’re ready to secure your first position. Interviewing for your first dental assistant position can be intimidating. Most likely you’ll be interviewing directly with the dentist who owns the practice, and although you don’t have prior experience, you’re going to be under pressure to stand out from the crowd of other applicants.
Take a deep breath…Can you ace your dental assistant job interview and prove that you are the best candidate for the job? Of course you can! Here’s a list of five common interview mistakes. By avoiding these, you’ll put yourself ahead of the other dental assistant applicants and with a bit of self confidence and self marketing skills, you’ll receive that phone call confirming that you are the applicant who got the job!
Top 5 Dental Assistant Interview Mistakes to Avoid
- Showing up late – This certainly seems like a no-brainer. After all, you know that you will be interviewing with the dentist who owns the practice and you need to put your best foot forward. Most applicants who are late for their interview have the best of intentions, but arrive late for their all important first impression just because they fail to Mapquest the location or time traffic incorrectly. Do yourself a huge favor. Go the extra mile and drive to the interview location the day before your dental assistant interview. By doing so you’ll not only be sure of the location, but you’ll also have the extra peace of mind you’ll need on the day of the interview. Also, plan on leaving so that you will arrive at your interview location at least 20 minutes early. It’s much better to sit in the parking lot for 15 minutes, than frantically trying to beat traffic, hoping you’ll be on time.
- Lack of Availability – Many new applicants make the mistake of trying to negotiate their interview time. Keep in mind that the dental office you are applying to work for is generally open between 8 am and 6 pm. Expect to have to rearrange your schedule in order to attend your job interview. Even if you are currently employed in another position, find a creative way to take the necessary time off to show up for your dental assistant interview. If you try to change the time of your interview, regardless of how polite you are, it’s going to send the wrong message to your potential new employer.
- Not Dressing Correctly – An interview is an opportunity to put your best foot forward. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your attire doesn’t matter, even if you’ll be wearing scrubs when you actually land the job. Wearing an appropriate business outfit will show that you are serious about your new position.
- Answering Interview Questions with One Word or Very Short Answers – Most of the time, unless you are interviewing with a human relation department professional, the person who is interviewing you isn’t a hiring professional; especially if you are interviewing with the owner of the dental clinic. They will most likely ask “leading” questions in an attempt to allow you to answer and elaborate on your skills. During the interview process, you are on center stage. Although you shouldn’t be overly chatty, don’t make the mistake of answering questions with simple yes or no replies. Use this as an opportunity to discuss your skills, your training, your personality, and what you think you can bring to the table as the new dental assistant.
- Not Writing a Follow Up Letter – By writing a follow up letter, thanking the dentist for the opportunity to interview for the dental assistant position, and assuring him or her of your interest in the position, you can often put yourself ahead of other applicants. Many times, more than experience, dentists are looking for enthusiastic, dedicated individuals who are eager to work.
We hope this article has encouraged you to excel during your dental assistant interview process. If you’ve recently aced your interview and landed a great position, leave a comment and let us know how you did it. Keep checking back to get the latest news, details, and information for your dental assistant career.