Job Interview Dad

5 tips to getting that dream job in the dental practice

Sept. 24, 2013
There are some simple tricks to a good presentation

Fired! How many times I have heard those words? (Move over Donald Trump.) It doesn’t bother me anymore. But, let me tell you a secret. Even when things like this happen, you can land that next job quite easily. (Wait a minute. Are you doubting me?) It is all about the S-P-I-N and what you want. (OK, so this time I wanted to hit that shoe sale instead of coming back from lunch and I blew off my patients. But hey, can you blame me? It was a 50% sale!) Maybe this wasn’t my smartest move, but we all make choices, and mine was for a killer pair of shoes!

Some dental folks wonder how I land so many jobs in this industry. Hey look, it isn’t like I’m lazy or something. I am one incredibly hard worker, and I’m always on the prowl for that sugar daddy to help me become a lady of leisure. But, I gotta pay my bills while I wait. (Things never happen on my timetable!) So, I will help you with a few pointers on how to nail that job interview. (As for keeping the job, well, we can leave that to some other expert, as that isn’t my true talent.)

First, stalk your prey. When you have an interview lined up, turn to the Internet. Google everything you can possibly can about your interviewer and dental practice. Ask if there is someone else you will be meeting with when the interview is scheduled. Ask what their job titles are. You need to do your due diligence, (fancy words for stalking). Go on LinkedIn and Facebook and ask your friends if they know anything about the practice. (Gossip isn’t an ideal source of information, but it’s good to know as you gather your Intel.)

I had a BIG interview with this fancy dental practice here in Ohio a couple months ago. I found out the dentist was in the Hall of Fame when he was in middle school for basketball. You better believe I found a way to bring that up in the interview. (Hint, guys want to relive sports memories over and over again.) I landed that job. I didn’t last long, but that’s another story.

Second, take a look at yourself. When you are going to an interview, take it up a notch. Look professional. Don’t let it all hang out, if you know what I mean. For example, if you have a tattoo, you might want to cover it up. (I wear a long top so no one will see my tat.) Some folks don’t understand our fascination with art, and that is OK. You can convert them once you’re hired. But keep in mind that some folks get nervous when they see tats.

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Third, wear a watch and be on time. (I know, generational issue. Who wears a watch in this day and age?) Trust me on this one. It’s important for you to be early, not on time. Things happen. Traffic backs up. You get lost. Plan to get there 20 minutes early and wait outside if necessary. If you know you’re going to be late, call and let them know you’re stuck in construction and apologize. If you let them know ahead of time, it’s forgivable.

Fourth, look them straight in the eye and shake hands firmly. How many people shake your hand, and their hand feels like a limp noodle? (That is so gross!) The confidence that you exude in your handshake makes a huge first impression.

Fifth, smile and be positive. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a rotten day. It doesn’t matter if you hated your last job. DON’T say anything negative about the last practice. They don’t want to hire a negative person. Figure out how to spin it. We’re talking about having a paycheck. Unless you already found your sugar daddy and are just working for kicks, take this seriously. Smile. Tell the interviewer that you really enjoyed where you were working, but that you’re looking for a new opportunity and that you want a chance to grow and take on more responsibility. Tell them you’re a hardworking go-getter. Don’t outright lie. Just don’t dwell on things.

These tips work for me. This is how I get in the door and dazzle them. It’s all about communication skills. Practice role playing with your mother or dog. Practice how you would answer a basic question such as, ”Why did you leave your last job?” (You better have an answer for that one or you are doomed.)

If you want to brainstorm about how to answer the tough questions, email me at [email protected]. Talk to you again soon.

Lisa Newburger, LISWS, aka Diana Directive, provides humorous ways to deal with difficult topics. Find out more at