Job Interview For Dental Office

Tuesday Tip from Pride Institute: Conducting a successful dental office job interview

Dec. 17, 2013
To find the right person for your office, follow these easy tips

by M.L. Wheaton, RDH, MA, Pride Institute Consultant

So, you’re looking to hire a new member of your team. Whether this is a clinical team member or a front office administrative member, the decision to invite someone to join your dental family is a huge one. It’s certainly worthy of a systematic approach and warrants involvement by many members of the team.

First, always start with what you want — make sure to have a job description and be sure you’re clear as to the personality type that will complement the team. What are the educational requirements, the previous experience necessary, and other KSA's (knowledge, skills, abilities). And one of the most important “A’s” is attitude! With your vision in mind, fashion your help wanted ad and prepare the team to respond to the resumes you will receive. A team with knowledge of the criteria for hiring can determine your "short list."

Armed with your short list, start interviewing. Your tip for today is a list of 10 things to during this process:

1. Be on time for the interview — This is a time to make a great first impression. Who wants to accept a position in a practice that runs late?

2. Review your vision with candidates and ask for their thoughts on how they would personify that vision — Candidates want to know your philosophy of care and your culture in the practice. When they hear this they will know if they are a “fit” for the practice.

3. Ask about their KSA's and how these would help them excel in the position — It’s hard to assess the other "A" (attitude) here as most candidates show up to their interview with a great "can do" attitude.

4. Encourage them to talk more than you do — You want great verbal skills, so give them the opportunity to shine.

5. Ask about teamwork situations to help determine how they interact with fellow team members — How do they successfully resolve conflict?

6. Invite candidates who have had a successful first interview back for a second opportunity (either a working interview or a luncheon).

7. Involve some or all of your team to engage in conversation and present specific questions for them to cover.

8. Debrief with the team to get their input.

9. By all means, call the references — Even if you don't get much information, it’s worth a try as this is where you might gain information on the other “A"!

10. If not hiring this team member, have the courtesy to call either personally or send a note informing them of your decision. If you do choose to hire someone, offer the position in order to set in motion the start dates and planning for their introduction into their new dental home.

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Tuesday Tips from Pride Institute are provided weekly on their Facebook page as well as in this column in DentistryIQ. To ensure you don’t miss any of Pride Institute’s proven methods to take your practice to the next level, visit, and like them on Facebook.