There’s a reason people get anxious about job interviews – they’re intimidating! But, when you come prepared you feel confident, and confidence wins interviews.
Today, let’s review these simple yet important confidence boosters so you can knock your interviews out of the park.
Arrive On Time
The most important of all job interview best practices is punctuality. Plan your trip so that you can arrive at least five minutes early (keeping traffic and time of day in mind). It’s a huge red flag to an employer when someone is late.
It could be for legitimate reasons, but they may still hold it against you. Make sure you have the office phone number so that if it looks like you will be late you can call.
If a great smile is really important for non-dental hygiene job interview best practices, imagine what it means in the dental industry. Keep the smile real, natural, and relaxed – practice in the mirror before you go.
There’s an art to conversational eye contact. Train your eye movement so as to avoid fully staring at someone the whole time or always looking away. But you also don’t want “crazy eyes” that are shifting around too much.
This, too, is something you can refine in front of your mirror or with friends. Find a comfort zone and watch how others do it to try and adopt best practices.
Be Prepared to Share
There are two specific areas of information you will need to be prepared to share:
- Preparedness to share about you, and
- Preparedness to share about them.
Sharing about you is easier, but both are important.
The best way to answer job interview questions is through stories and examples. Stories are powerful persuaders; they resonate and foster more human-like interactions that build trust. It’s one thing to say you know how to build relations with patients, quite another to share how you do it.
But you also need to prepare to share about them. What do you know about their office? Do some homework on them so that when they ask you what you know about them, it’s obvious you took the time to understand them. Never be in the position to confess you know little or nothing.
Proper Dress and Grooming
Far be it from me to tell anyone how to dress – I enjoy variety and individualism as much as anyone. But when you go to job interviews you’ve got to consider the thought process of the interviewer. Dress and grooming communicates that and so a modest and conservative approach will never be wrong.
A sit-down job interview is not a casual meeting. You will be judged poorly if you don’t come dressed and groomed well. This also includes footwear, makeup, perfume, and even accessories. These are all very important in making a great impression.
Remember, others in the office are watching you. When you arrive and how you conduct yourself while you are waiting to be interviewed matter. Often times, doctors will ask front office personnel how you seemed while waiting. Consider casual interactions while you wait as part of the interview.
If the opportunity is there, try to engage others in the office with a smile, a “hello” or even small talk. If you see they have a nice shirt or outfit, compliment them. Compliment them on their office decor or even the weather. Small talk helps everyone relax and they appreciate the friendly gestures.
On the other hand, if they seem busy, try not to interfere. Be sensible, sensitive and respectful.
I would even avoid texting or appearing overly engrossed in your phone while you wait. That can be a bad signal if the previous person was let go for too much phone time. Most employers have had bad experiences with employees spending too much time on Facebook or the Internet so don’t give any hint that will be a problem for you.
Extra Job Interview Best Practices:
While those seven job interview best practices are most important, the following are also worth mentioning:
- Work on your handshake (firm – no death grip or fishy feel)
- Know exactly how to get to the office, possibly even alternate routes
- Get lots of rest the night before
- Eat before you go (it’s hard to hide a growling stomach)
- Avoid eating or drinking on your drive over (assume it will spill)
- Bring an extra printed copy of your cover letter, resume, and testimonial sheet
- Invest in some breath mints (nerves can bring up stomach acids)
- Play music or something that makes you happy, something with a relaxed, enthusiastic, or optimistic sound or message on the drive over
- Arrive early enough to go through breathing techniques that will lower your pulse and help you speak without a “shaky voice”
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.