Want to know how to make every single dental hygiene job interview less intimidating while also improving your odds of landing the job?
It’s no secret, job interviews rank right up there among life’s most stressful moments. This week’s tip will help you handle it like a pro and get you better results.
The Big Tip: Document Everything!
The thing that sells employers better than charm or a dazzling resume is how well you are able to translate what you have done in the past to what a potential employer can expect from you in the future.
Relevant and clear examples of your experiences not only demonstrate what you’ve accomplished, they help an employer see more clearly what they will get when they hire you. But it’s really challenging when you are in the “hot seat” trying to recall all the specifics of how you made a difference for several of your patients.
A living folder of documents (be they electronic or paper) will give you a place you can store such information. This is a place to keep all your accomplishments, goals achieved, exceptional patient experiences and interactions, testimonials from patients and co-workers, techniques conquered, and skills refined.
Each year, you should audit this information and keep only the best of the best. That will help keep it fresh in your mind and will also cause you to seek out new opportunities that can be added to the file.
Then, as you prepare for interviews, pull out your folder and quickly review it’s contents so you can share some amazing examples with greater clarity (as though they just happened the day before), which will improve your ability to connect with employers and invite a higher level of trust with them.
Here are three types of things to document and save.
1. Relevant Quantifiable Accomplishments
Quantifiable accomplishments are actual numbers and sometimes (not always) an indication you have achieved success and are getting better. No one is perfect – everyone can grow in dental hygiene and that growth is sometimes manifest in numbers.
But it’s important to not fixate only on the number. Tell them how you did it – tie that success back to the individuals in your care. You might write or say something like the following:
“In the last fives years, I’ve worked really hard to build a strong relationship of trust with each patient by really getting to know them on a personal level and because of that my production has increased by 25%.”
That type of statement shows above all that you value each patient, but also helps you reveal what made it possible which hopefully or ideally is focused on the level of care and service you provide.
2. Challenges You’ve Overcome
Think about all the problems and challenges you’ve faced in your career. What did you do to resolve them?
Every office has conflicts and problems to solve so employers want to see how you adapted and responded.
It’s best if you are able to describe all different kinds – those tied to patient care as well co-worker or office environment challenges.
Try to think of ones that are common – for example, if you successfully handled a situation where a co-worker was not pulling their share or when there were personality conflicts. Every office can relate to those and the more creative the solution you came up with or at least the better you can describe it, the more likely you are to win over the potential employer.
3. Stories That Reinforce Enthusiasm in Patient Care and Industry
What is it that makes you so enthusiastic about dental hygiene? What’s the root of your motivation for working in this field? Write these things down so you can tell your story.
Everyone became a hygienist for different reasons. Employers want to get a sense of your passion for both service to patients and industry growth. They want to know you’re in it for more than just the money.
Along with the day or moment you decided to become a hygienist, share the other little moments in your career that reinforced that decision as well as the steps you have taken since then to become great at what you do.
Don’t let your fear of answering hard interview questions be your downfall! Keep an active file. To make this easy, make it a habit to document these things as they happen. Keep everything in the document, pull relevant examples, and review before you head in to an interview.