It’s a pretty standard procedure to chart information about each patient you see, but that same practice is useful in your job search, too.
Every job interview you go on is useful in two ways. First, they give you information about that specific office that may be useful in a follow up or working interview – specific protocols discussed, names of employees you meet, and just an overall sense of their unique personalities and culture.
Secondly, you get the opportunity to assess how you did. Most people won’t go on more than a few dozen job interviews in their entire life, and they pretty spread out or clustered. So it makes sense that you take a few minutes after each one to evaluate how you did so you can improve for the next one.
This week, I’ll share some tips about charting your job interviews.
I realize this isn’t exactly in your control, but my main point is that the more you interview, the more you can improve your skills. It makes sense, but our mentality is such that we would rather interview less and that just doesn’t make sense from a performance standpoint. But consider this: If are a really good interviewer, you are going to get a better shot at better jobs.
So how can you interview more? There are a few things you can do. First, don’t turn down any interview invitation. You may feel inclined to turn one or two down when you feel like you would rather continue with a certain office or don’t think you are a good match. But I know of lots of people who perceived one thing about an office and ultimately changed their minds after they interviewed.
Secondly, mock interviews are hard to simulate the real thing but if you have a friend that can work with you on that, do it. And then, lastly, consider applying and interviewing for jobs outside dental, even if the chance you would take it would be remote – you really never know. The experience and repetition of interviewing will help you stay relaxed and prepare you well for the back and forth exchange that is so critical to landing the job.
And for those that say “I really don’t have time” I would respond by saying this is your career, your livelihood, your passion, the place where you spend lots and lots of hours – should that not deserve an extra effort to ensure you are getting the best job for you, a job that you love? I think most would agree that job searching, while a huge tax on your time and mind, deserves extra attention and extra focus so that once you have landed it you have the freedom to enjoy all the other facets of your life. Because let’s face it, when you have a crappy job it tends to spill over into everything else!
Three Key Takeaways
Ask yourself three questions immediately after your interview:
- What areas was I most prepared for?
- What areas was I totally unprepared for?
- Where my expectations about this office confirmed or were there things that were different?
Re-Assemble the Interview
Immediately after the interview, write down the specific questions you were asked – I would drive away and then pull off and do this before you mind gets clouded with other things. You may not remember them all word for word, but even if you can re-assemble the flavor of them that’s helpful. Type them up and add them to a master list of questions you get asked – this becomes part of your prep for the next interview so it’s important to keep them where you keep your resume, cover letter and other job hunting files.
Side Note/Tip: Can I just insert here also a pitch for getting a free cloud service with box.com or dropbox.com. There are lots of others, too, but these are great places to store personal files. They are backed up and very secure – so I would recommend obtaining a free account with one of those services and storing all your career files in them. I basically run my business with gethiredrdh.com on my free box.com account and find it extremely easy to use and great because I can access resumes from anywhere in the world as long as I have an Internet connection.
Deeper Critique of the Office
Did they measure up to what you want in your next job? Were the staff friendly, did they have a philosophy and culture that compliments yours? Could you see yourself working there in 5, 10 years or longer? How did the employer respond to YOUR questions?
Evaluate not just on responses, but other things like eye contact and body language. I know some people who are easily annoyed by certain noises even (for example throat clearing or other ticks). If the employer has those issues, will it frustrate you over time?
Trust Your Instincts
Finally, this is really important and people don’t trust themselves nearly enough, in my experience. Your intuition is not perfect but often it can tip you off or create a small red flag of warning… if you are feeling not-so-great about an interview there could be something non-verbal going on that you can’t quite put your finger on that wasn’t right or inconsistent in your mind. If you aren’t walking out excited and hopeful, is this really the right job for you? Think about it carefully!
If you didn’t accurately chart your patient well following their visit, how would you ever expect to be of much help to them the next visit. Those records help you build and improve on your service to them. Likewise, job interview charting does the same thing so take it serious and take the extra steps to ensure each interview gets better and better so that each job offer you get is better and better. Your owe to not just your current situation but really your entire career as a dental hygienist.