Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2017 09 Augerthumb92817

4 questions to ask the interviewer during a hygiene job interview

July 21, 2023
Job interviews are not just for those doing the hiring. Dental hygienists should also ask their possible employer questions. What should they ask?

Interviews are often viewed as a time for potential employees to “sell” themselves. However, it is also an opportunity to interview your potential employer. When the right questions are asked during an initial meeting, expectations from both parties can be clearly identified. Employees who understand the culture of the office, what is required of their role, and how to properly communicate with their employer, enjoy greater success in the future.

4 questions to ask during an interview

1. “Why did you pursue a career in dentistry?”

Asking this question will allow you to identify if you share common goals and passions. From this conversation, you will have a better understanding of what motivates the doctor. Additionally, this question can set the platform to learn about the doctors’ vision for the office in the upcoming years.

2. "Can I please see the schedule?”

Ask to see the schedule to help you identify how patients are booked with both hygienists and doctors. Perhaps the doctor is responsible for providing exams for three hygienists at the same time, while maintaining their own schedule of working from two chairs. Scheduling in this manner could easily create chaos without proper systems in place. The way patients are scheduled affects the quality of care we provide our patients.

You might also want to read: 4 tips for nailing an interview for a dental hygiene position

3. “I would welcome the idea of a working interview. When would that fit best in your schedule?”

A working interview will allow you to determine the office culture and patient population. Working chairside in the office will allow you to determine if the environment is in alignment with your ethical standards.

Imagine this scenario. The interviewer has told you every appointment is 60 minutes. However, the doctor takes 20 minutes to arrive for an exam. This would mean patient treatment time is only 40 minutes. There may be lack of team work, poor dentistry, or drama in the office that would encourage you to continue your job search. Additionally, the technology, or lack of, in the office will be identified and may be something you can discuss during the interview process.

4. “Tell me what you do to encourage team development?”

Understanding how the doctor invests in the team’s growth is important to set your own expectations. Perhaps the team closes the office multiple times a year to learn from a clinical and business coach. Determining if the doctor encourages the team to attend conferences, provides CE courses, and inspires the team to grow personally and professionally is important to ensure your own career expectations are met.

Interviewees should view interviews as an opportunity to learn about the doctor, team, and office culture. Asking questions during an interview will allow the interviewee to determine if the office meets their own clinical standards. Arriving equipped with your interview questions will allow you to stand out during the interview process, while establishing expectations between you and your future employer!

Originally published in 2017 and updated regularly