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Perfecting the Art of the Interview

We asked dental professionals to weigh in with their experience to help you perfect the art of the interview!

What skills should candidates possess?

Name the top three personal traits every candidate should possess

Dentist 11 years’ experience: I look for honesty, the ability to adapt and learn, and willingness to do what is needed. You’re interviewing to join a team, so it is important to be willing to help with simple tasks along with the complex ones, so long as the team progresses as a whole.

What's does an ideal candidate look like?

What do you look for when interviewing candidates?

Dentist 11 years’ experience: Clinical skills and personality are important, but I also love for strong experience outside of the field. Experience outside of dentistry, like studying abroad, volunteering, or traveling. It may seem irrelevant but even a summer job in retail shows you know who to serve customers (patients). Another job that is great experience to have before you enter the field would be a job in sales. Sometimes patients can be hesitant or even afraid to get an important procedure done, so someone with sales experience might better know how to explain why the procedure is necessary.

What’s your #1 deciding factor between two equally qualified candidates?

Dentist 11 years’ experience: That is always tough. There are lots of must-haves, like being a team player, but chemistry plays a big part in my decision. I would choose the one who is most down to earth. After all, if I am going to be working with someone for 40 hours or more per week, it is important we have a good working relationship.

What can an intern do to increase his or her chance of being hired?

Dentist 11 years’ experience: Do your homework and get to know the clinic as much as possible. Learn their values and what they strive for. Are they a clinic that encourages prevention or do they take a more cosmetic approach? What are the work conditions like? What equipment and devices does the clinic use? How will you be trained to use the equipment? Also, treatment flow is very important because every clinic has a different process. If you’re thinking long term, ask about the possibility of training opportunities and attending courses that can help improve your skills and keep your career moving forward. Also consider the specifics of your job like hours, salary and holidays.