There are two questions of job seekers ALL employers have. It’s game-changer information for them, but they will rarely ask straight up.
Maybe they feel these questions are too obvious or perhaps they are silently sizing you up. Whatever the case, keep these in mind as you answer each interview question. Very likely, they will be the deciding factors for your employment.
So let’s dive in to these two very important factors to make sure you are answering then decisively.
Relationships with Employer and Staff
While most employers are great at running the business, they sometimes struggle with personnel management – especially small businesses. I believe most mean well, but it’s a common complaint I hear.
Keep in mind, there are some absolutely outstanding employers who are very skilled leaders and wonderful with employee relations. I hear those stories, too.
But all employers, good and bad, want to surround themselves with a great team. A team that works and plays well together. This is critical to the performance of each person’s duties, and the chemistry that environment creates for customers.
Running a business is stressful, even if it’s lucrative. Employers simply won’t take a risk on someone who doesn’t fit with the existing team. They want someone who is personable, adaptable, and likable. They are searching for an employee who makes everyone around them better. Extra points if they are charismatic and articulate, and thus able to serve as a mentor.
Relationships with Patients
This might seem like a no-brainer but it’s important to mention because employers won’t hire someone who will potentially offend any customer. Again, they have a lot invested in their business. Offended patients damage that.
Everyone on the team, especially small businesses, have some level of contact with customers. Employees know that and are guarding against it constantly, especially with new hires.
Before you are offered the job they have to trust that you are going to always represent the office professionally and respectfully. And, above that, do everything to ensure clients have a great experience. They want to know you will deliver over-the-top service that inspires loyalty and grows the customer base.
Answering Their Questions About Job Seekers
So how do you communicate your ability to fit in and handle customers well? How do you convince them? Especially when they aren’t really coming right out and asking these questions.
The most important strategy is that you are fully aware of these two questions. Look for every opportunity to showcase your ability to do that. This list below is just a starting point. Think about your own situation and how you can communicate your relationship-building skills.
Your summary or “About Me” section, at the top of your resume, should address both of these points very succinctly. Tell them you what they can expect if they hire you.
A cover letter is a great place to talk about relationship skills. It’s really just an expanded summary of the About Me section of your resume, blended with an outline of how you match their qualifications.
A testimonial sheet is a document that includes quotes of comments co-workers, employers, and patients have given about you. These work well because it’s not YOU promoting you, it’s OTHERS. And that lends a higher degree of credibility with those looking to hire you. You should seek lots of testimonials so you can use the best of the best, those that talk about relationship-building skills.
CAR Sheets are basically a series of short-form case studies. These case studies are not a discussion of clinical cases, but rather cases of how you have successfully handled challenging interpersonal relationship issues. CAR stands for Challenge – Action – Response. Each one only needs to be about three to five sentences (a paragraph).
I’ve mentioned many times over the years the importance of an online presence for your professional information. This could be your own personal website or possibly a LinkedIn profile page. Video resumes are also becoming a valuable tool. Just like the others mentioned above, be sure to intentionally address your patient and co-worker relationship-building skills.
Finally, come to your interview ready to share great stories, examples, and experiences. Information employers need will be anything that demonstrates you are a complimentary co-worker to teams you have worked with in the past. Your CAR Sheet, mentioned above, is a great resource for this information.
Your ability to answer the unspoken questions about job seekers, showcasing your relationship-building skills with co-workers and patients is critical. Of course, other technical and soft skills should be presented, but how well you work with co-workers and patients will likely be the deciding factor in nearly every office.
So, be intentional in your efforts to bring these things to the forefront in all your materials and interviews. This will greatly enhance your marketability greatly improve your chances of landing a great dental hygiene job.
Doug Perry is an expert resume writer and job search coach. He and his wife, Tracie, who is a dental hygienist, created GetHiredRDH in response to the challenging dental hygiene job market and have helped thousands of dental hygienists through tips and individual services. If you need individual, click here to contact Doug.