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Myth Busters: No need to show up at that job interview

May 21, 2021
You're scheduled for a job interview, but something better comes along. No need to show up, right? This could not be further from the truth, and here's why.

Myth: I don’t have to show up for a job interview if I don’t think the job is worth it, or if I get a better offer in the meantime, right?


It’s important for you to show up every time you make an appointment for an interview. If you can’t make it, it’s good manners to let the potential employer know you won’t be coming. What’s with all the posts I see on social media of people saying they set up an interview with a dental assistant, and then the assistant didn’t show up? These potential employers often also comment that they aren’t able to contact the assistant by phone afterward.

Many people are nonconfrontational and avoid conflict by avoiding a situation. Therefore, some assistants just don’t show up if they don’t feel like it, and they don’t answer the phone so they don’t have to tell potential employers they aren’t taking the job. 

You are better than that! I know you’ve heard the saying, “It’s a small world.” In dentistry we really are part of a tiny community, especially in small towns where people all know each other. Someday in the future you may want that job at the office where you just didn’t show up for the interview. But wait, how do you explain why you stood them up? You have a responsibility to keep your appointment, just like your patients have the responsibility to keep their appointments.

When talking to someone on the phone about a job and they arrange an interview with you, you really shouldn't skip it. If you develop a bad feeling, or if you think you’ll get a better offer, just let them know. It’s not hard to pick up the phone and call, thank them for the opportunity, and then move on. You’re only as good as your name, and if your name has “no show” attached to it, then you’re sunk. Why would you risk doing that to yourself?

Also, how do you know you have a better offer if you haven’t even had the interview yet? It’s not always about the amount of money you’ll make. What about benefits, health insurance, free dental for you and your family, paid holidays, sick days, vacation days, uniform pay, a retirement account, bonuses, convenient working hours, and how close the office is to your home?

What about the work environment, the type of the people you’ll work with, and how the team is treated? How long have other team members been with the practice? Do your research, but you can’t make an informed decision without showing up for the interview and meeting the people. Don’t just automatically go for that signing bonus or higher pay. There’s more to a job than that! And you might even be surprised how much you like the office. Stop limiting yourself. Each interview is a lesson, so go learn!

Yes, I’ve heard that some people are staying home during this time when extra tax benefits are being offered. Their unemployment benefits are more than their actual pay would be. Let me ask you this—how long do you think those benefits are going to last? We’re experiencing a shortage in our profession and when the benefits are cut off and everyone goes back to work because they have to, you’re going to be scrambling for a job.

Plus, now you have a “no-show” reputation to contend with. Right now, pay is going up, and this is a great time to get a job. Offices are in dire need of assistants, and you can basically write your own check and ask for benefits, but you need to show up to get the job! Never be afraid to ask for what you want, but be willing to compromise. You may think you’re worth $50 an hour, but that’s not reality.

I am proud to be a dental assistant. I’ve worked hard and I’ve excelled in my career. I didn’t do it by not showing up for interviews and by avoiding potential employers. I’ve excelled by working hard and creating a good reputation for myself.

You also have the opportunity to create a great career. You are in control. Nobody can help you but you. Now, go out and get those job interviews!

This article first appeared in the Dental Assisting Digest newsletter. To subscribe, visit dentistryiq.com/subscribe.

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