Two men in suits shaking hands in an office setting

4 Dental Interview Questions to Ask New Hires

Date: Jan 3, 2019

Author: Lisa Knowles, D.D.S

If you're in charge of hiring new employees for your practice, preparing a list of dental interview questions can help you find the best fit for your office.

Think back to the interviews you've had over the course of your career. Did you spend hours rehearsing your answers and preparing for every possible question that could be thrown your way? Now that you're further along in your career, it's your turn to sit on the other side of the table.

Did you know that preparation is equally key when you're the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If you're in charge of hiring new employees for your practice, preparing a list of dental interview questions can help you find the best fit for your office.

Areas of Expertise

For any interview, areas to explore typically fall into four categories:

  1. Can this person do the job?
  2. Can this person work with the current team?
  3. Can this person learn, grow and develop?
  4. Is this person dependable?

You may require multiple interviews to find satisfactory answers to all your questions. If your dental practice tests candidates' clinical skills, you can use the initial verbal interview to first determine if they would be a good match to work alongside you and your colleagues.

Sample Dental Interview Questions

What specific questions should you ask? To start out, it's best to put the interviewee at ease. Stress is uncomfortable for both parties, making a professional conversation difficult. You can start with small talk or with straightforward questions like, "What were your responsibilities in your last job?" The Harvard Business Review suggests sending candidates a list of the topics you plan to discuss beforehand so that they can enter the interview feeling confident.

Next, you can move into an in-depth conversation with the following questions:

1. What have you learned from your years of experience in other positions?

This question helps you understand how introspective the person is about their own capabilities and development. If something on their resume catches your eye, you can ask them to speak to a specific skill or past job.

2. What skills would you bring to this team? How would you fit with our practice?

This offers insight into how a person might function as a member of your team. Do they know in which areas they need help and in which they excel? It also helps you to see if they did any research about your practice environment. If they did, their initiative signals an interest in your business and a willingness to adapt to your office culture.

3. Where do you see yourself in a year? In five years?

Teaching someone about your office operations is time-consuming and arduous. You want to hire someone who plans to stick around for a while and sees dentistry as a long-term career. Keep in mind that some countries have legal restrictions surrounding the types of interview questions you are allowed to ask, so check your local regulations before you conduct an interview.

If the answers seem satisfactory and are answered honestly, move on to situational questions like ...

4. Was there a time you disagreed with your boss? How did you handle this?

This question can give you an idea of how a person confronts or avoids conflict, and how that person responds to authority.

If candidates tell you about a time they acquiesced to a supervisor's questionable decision, they may not be willing to speak up to help avoid mistakes. If they recount a shouting match, on the other hand, their answer might reveal difficulty resolving and handling stress.

An ideal employee communicates effectively with all coworkers, from office managers to head dentists. Carefully considered questions for prospective employees can help you find a match who has the qualities your practice needs.