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5 Things to Avoid the Day of Your Job Interview

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I recently went through some mock interviews with new dental hygienists and real interviews with individuals applying to be my assistant.

spillIt’s made me reflect on all the interviews I’ve been in on over the years and some of the interesting experiences they have given me. So this week’s tips are five things you want to avoid the day of your job interview.

1. Lack of Rest

I know it’s easier said than done, but it really does make a difference. There have been countless studies that show lack of sleep while driving is akin to drinking and driving. Obviously, you mental capacity just isn’t as focused when you haven’t had much sleep. Do your best to get what your body needs (you know what that is).

2. Being Late

Plan your trip so that you can arrive at least five minutes early. It’s a huge red flag to an employer when someone is late. It could be for legitimate reasons, but they will still hold it against you. If you see you are going to be late call the office and let them know – that will actually bode well for you to do so because you are that type of person.

3. Poor Handshake and Little or No Eye Contact or Smile

There are some social norms employers expect and want from professionals they hire. Practice your handshake, eye-contact, and smile as those are three of the more noticeable traits in someone you interview. Body language and level of enthusiasm, along with voice tone and speed aren’t too far behind. The best advice is to simply seek balance in all of these things. Too much is weird, but so is too little. Find the balance by getting feedback from your family and friends as it’s sometimes hard for us to judge ourselves adequately.

4. Bringing Food or Drinks

Guaranteed you are going to spill them in the car ride over because that’s how Murphy’s Law works. The only exception would be some bottled water – anything else you are just asking for trouble.

5. Negative Thoughts and Feelings

This, too, can be tough. But it’s really hard to not have that affect you and your interview responses. You want to be at the top of your game and it’s really hard to get there if you are distracted with negative things.

I had a dentist tell me a hygienist applying for a job ran over a dog on the way to her interview with him. She wisely rescheduled. I would recommend that, too. But if you are only mildly negative or feeling down, bring some music that pumps you up on the way over. In fact, I would recommend that no matter how you feel.

The Number One Way to Find RDH Jobs

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I need to be careful not to give you all the wrong idea.

Job boards are extremely important – lots and lots of hygienists find jobs that way. They are easy to use, convenient and often packed with features. You can’t ignore them.

networking_1But there is another way to find RDH jobs too many seekers ignore or haven’t cracked yet.

It’s called networking and referrals.

According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 70 percent of all jobs filled are done so without even advertising the job. That means people are talking and referring – are you getting in on this channel?

If you’re not, you are missing out on possibly your greatest career tool. Consider some additional research by, in that referred employees get hired faster (about 1-2 weeks faster) and report higher satisfaction and tend to stay longer.

So get in on the action…

  • Find out when your local component meets each month and join them
  • Amp-up your participation with the group to include volunteering with them
  • If there isn’t a group close by consider starting one
  • Re-acquaint yourself with previous employers and co-workers
  • Use social media to foster and create new local relationships (ie LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, even Pinterest!)
  • Focus extra attention on the network closest to you (within the radius you are willing to work)
  • Don’t think of this as a quick strategy, rather a career mindset. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. You won’t likely land a job quickly doing this, but it will pay off eventually (possibly when you need it most).

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Punctuating Your RDH Resume with Clarity


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What’s Your Unfair Advantage?


The other day I was at the store picking out some fruit (apples). There were several varieties on display and dozens to choose from of each variety. My family likes the Gala variety and they are inexpensive, so I often go for those when I’m the one shopping (Tracie and I trade off). At first […]

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7 Things to Dump From Your Dental Hygiene Resume


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Answering 10 Tough Interview Questions

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Wouldn’t it be great if you knew the exact questions you were going to get at your next job interview? There’s no way to predict that, of course, and so you just need to stay on your toes., a career development site, tracks job interview questions as reported by its users. It’s interesting to […]

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How to Create the Perfect Dental Hygiene Resume


Nobody is perfect, but given the tight job market, your resume should be close to it. To begin, let’s talk about your first decision when creating a resume – the format  (how it’s organized). There are two basic types of resumes and a third that is really just a hybrid of the first two. They […]

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Get Hired RDH #32: The Great Picture-On-Your-Resume Debate


One of the most frequently asked questions I get from hygienists has to do with putting their picture on their resume. It makes sense on a lot of levels – many feel a measure of vulnerability by doing so. Let me be clear – putting a picture on a resume is a personal decision. I […]

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Get Hired RDH #31: Are Your References Any Good?


We’ve written and talked in the past about the value of having someone besides you talk about how great you are. Third-party validation can be done in a couple different ways – the traditional list of references you provide on your resume or “upon request” and what we’ve dubbed a Testimonial Sheet you add to […]

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