As with any career, as you search for a job as a dental assistant you will have to undergo an interview process. While you’ll certainly receive plenty of interviewing advice from your parents and friends, having a successful dental assistant interview may require a bit of a different approach.
Be prepared to show your skills
Unlike a traditional interview, dental assistants may be asked to demonstrate their skills. While having a great education will get you the interview, showing that you have what it takes to be an excellent dental assistant will get you the job. Don’t be intimidated if the dentist asks you to do some hands-on work – you’ve trained for this!1
Demonstrate your communication skills
Dental assistants work closely with both dentists and patients, so the ability to communicate clearly and effectively is key. You can show your capabilities during the interview by listening attentively when the dentist is talking and showing enthusiasm when you give your responses.2
Get ready to answer questions
As you prepare for your interview, it’s a good idea to think about what questions you may be asked and prepare your answers. You will likely be asked specific questions about the job experience you’ve included on your resume and if you know how to perform certain techniques (you may be also be asked to demonstrate your know-how). If you practice your answers, you will be able to respond more thoughtfully and honestly to the interview questions. Be sure to show your passion for dental assisting throughout the interview.
Be ready with letters of recommendation
Although your interviewer may not ask to see them, it’s a good idea to bring letters of recommendation from your instructors and former employers. Talking about your attention to detail and work ethic is one thing, but hearing it from a trusted source is another. Interviewers will appreciate having access to the opinions of other professionals when deciding whether or not to hire you.
1 Houston Chronicle, ‘What Should I Expect During an Interview for a Dental Assistant Position?’ 2013
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Dental Assistants,’ June 26, 2012