Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2017 07 Job Interview 1

Proven tips for a successful dental assisting interview

July 18, 2017
Interviewing for a dental assisting job can be stressful. But it doesn't have to be. Following these few easy steps will take away some of the worry and help you make the best impression possible.
Peter Cargill, DentReps–The Dental Jobs Site & DR Recruiting

Interviewing for a dental assisting job can be stressful. But it doesn't have to be. Following these few easy steps will take away some of the worry and help you make the best impression possible.

This article originally appeared in Dental Assisting & Office Manager Digest. Subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter here.

You may have found a dental job that looks great on paper, but to succeed at applying for that job you need to ensure you’re adequately prepared for the interview process. Dental jobs are currently very competitive, so as a candidate you need to stand out from the crowd.

Dental assistants might be overlooked for skill sets that are outside of their clinical knowledge and ability to assist. But I’ve always been a huge proponent of hiring someone for the right fit. This does not always mean hiring based on an assistant’s clinical skills, although these are important. Personality and a willingness to learn are extremely important attributes as well.

How do you make sure a potential employer learns about your talents and skill sets during an interview? Here are some tips to help you stand out from the crowd:

Do your research

Showing up for an interview at a dental office without first doing some research about the office will likely lead to interview failure. A simple Google search about the practice will go a long way toward learning some of the necessary information that you’ll need. Go to the dental office’s website for a wealth of information. Look for any awards the office has received. You can also gauge if a position is suitable for you because you’ll be able to see how long employees have been with the pracatice. If they’ve been there for many years, you can probably assume it’s a good place to work.

What should you wear?

During your research, you can see how formal or informal the dental office is. The last thing you want to do is turn up for the interview over- or underdressed. Make sure you do the research well in advance so you have time to shop for a new outfit if you don’t have the right attire for the interview. For more information on what is professional dress for an interview, visit DentReps and search for “professional attire.” You will find a professional stylist that helps job seekers dress just right!

Arrive early

Research has proven time and again that if a candidate is late for an interview, the person will often not get the job. It’s important for you to research where the interview is taking place and how you will get there. We recommend using Google Maps, which tells you how far and how long it will take to get to your interview. Download the directions on your phone, or better yet, print them out and take them with you. Arriving early will enable you to take a few deep breaths and relax for a moment before going into the interview.

Be yourself

People often feel compelled to act in a different way when they’re being interviewed, but it is important to act natural. Having worked with both employers and job seekers, and closely with assistants for 15 years, we as dental recruiters interview a whole spectrum of candidates. Those who interview well are those who show confidence and act like themselves.

Most interviewers hire someone who has a good personality and is someone they feel they can get along with, so be sure to be friendly and engaging in your interview. Also, most candidates focus on impressing the interviewer. But remember that it’s also their job to impress the people they are interviewing. They should want you to know that working for them will be a good experience. Job interviews work both ways.

So, do you feel ready to interview? If you’re looking for vacancies in the dental industry, check out and search for positions in your area. Good luck!

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Peter Cargill is an entrepreneurial executive leader and founder of DentReps, The Dental Jobs Site, and DR Recruiting, Dentistry’s Recruiting Solution. Peter has spent the past decade primarily in the dental industry, both domestically and internationally. He has a MBA from Boston College and Loyola University Chicago and a BA in Business from Stonehill College, as a well as an Executive Certificate from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza School of Business. Peter is also a volunteer at Boston Children’s Hospital and is certified to work with children of foster care and adoption.Contact [email protected] or call (781) 987-1365.