Given today’s climate, dental hygiene job interviews can be pretty stressful. If your resume manages to grab their attention, you still have to survive tough job interview questions.
There are lots of potential interview questions you could get, but most employers tend fall back to the same old ones or something similar.
This week, we’ll share five of the most common job interview questions you could face and a little bit of strategy on how to answer them effectively.
1. Why did you leave (or are you leaving) your last job?
Usually, people leave jobs for multiple reasons – choose to share the one that is the least problematic and/or that doesn’t raise a red flag with the interviewer. Bonus points if you have a noble reason for leaving you can share.
For example, “I wanted to further advance my career” or “I’m looking for something a little closer to home,” are great responses.
I wrote an entire article about how to respond to this and you can read that here. I give lots of strategies for responding to it – one of those is to turn a potential negative into a positive, for example: “At times I can be a bit of a perfectionist” or “Sometimes, I am overly optimistic.”
Another option is to share something that is semi-unrelated to the job. For example, “I really dislike watching training videos. I am more of a hands-on learner, so I prefer getting my CE credits through live conferences.”
It’s not entirely bad to share a weakness that would be a problem for your employer, but keep it really simple and be ready to counter it with the steps you have taken to correct it, and then back it up with an example of success.
For example, “I have a hard time remembering names. But names are important to me and I’ve worked on this over the years and have created some triggers that have helped me recall patient names better.”
3. Why should we hire you?
Knowing some things about your potential employer is really important – do a little homework on them. Talk to people who know them, or visit their social media pages and website. Or you can ask them in the interview.
There are two ways you can answer this question – good and best.
- Good: Talk about your top three strengths, your personal brand. And then give an example or illustrate the top one with a story
- Best: Talk about their needs and then sprinkle in the strengths and how they address their needs.
When you acknowledge their problem, and then give them related reasons to hire you that counter those needs you are hitting at the heart of what they want to learn about you. If you simply share your strengths you run the risk of touching on things they don’t necessarily value as much as you do.
4. How do you handle a situation where a patient is not satisfied?
Think this through. How have you handled it? What’s the right way? Be ready to respond and think creatively.
Some may say, “I just try and be really nice to them and bend over backwards.”
That’s okay, but it’s better to be more specific and finish it with a story. For example, “I try to listen carefully and understand the core concern and help them resolve and talk through it. One day we had a patient come in that was really unhappy about our…”
Stories are powerful tools of persuasion because it’s not just theory or your idea, it’s putting the idea into action – making it more relatable and more convincing.
5. What questions do you have for me?
Too many job seekers use this as an opportunity to focus completely on the what’s-in-it-for-me (salary, benefits, etc.).
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important for you to walk away knowing that. But when you begin with a question that helps them see you are interested in helping them solve a problem, you will come as more the type of person they want to hire.
For example, “What are a two or three attributes you are looking for in a great hygienist?” This type of response gives you chance to follow up with them about how you are a great match.
The ultimate is ask questions that stimulate dialog. Yes/no or rapid responses are not as convincing you are a great candidate. Functional employers and employees discuss and solve problems together. If you don’t get that vibe, maybe it’s a red flag that this isn’t the best employer to work for. And interview or no interview, job or no job it’s important to find an employer you can feel comfortable communicating with.