You just finished a solid dental hygiene job interview. Now comes the waiting and wondering. Are you done marketing yourself – no way!
There are a few more things you can do to help win the job.
Thank You Card
Have you ever thought about sending the employer a thank you note after your interview? You should because most won’t do this and it adds a level of professionalism to your image. Here are a few guidelines:
- Get it out fast: If possible, drop it off later that day or the next morning – that adds one more point of contact or reminder of how personable and friendly you are to the front office. If you can’t hand-deliver it then send a quick e-mail thank you note, or send one in the mail. Time is of the essence – give them as little time as possible between the interview and your note.
- Hand-written: Writing it with a pen shows you took a little extra time and effort. However, if you have especially sloppy handwriting (it’s okay if it’s not perfect) consider typing it as that could distract from what you are trying to communicate.
- Professional stationary: Again, you want to give the impression that you go the extra mile in everything, so if you have a nice stock of thank you note stationary (check your office supply store) it communicates a higher level of professionalism.
- Business card: If you have a business card (and it’s advisable that you do), include one with the thank you note.
What should you write? This all depends on how the interview went, but you want to keep it very brief. Here are a few examples:
- You feel like you might be lacking in a key area: Focus a comment or two on your biggest strength. Draw their attention away from the weakness. If you are certain you will not get an offer, take a gamble and address it, coupled with how you will make up for it. Example: “I recognize I only have one year of professional experience, but I also have four years of dental assisting in my background and worked closely with the hygienist observing and learning during that time.”
- You didn’t say everything you wanted to include: Sometimes there are things you wish you would have been asked about because you had something really strong to say. Example: “I think I would be a great fit in your office as I’m excellent at building patient relations, and even have several friends who already go to your practice.”
- You feel really good, that everything went near perfect: If you feel your interview was good then reinforce your strengths. Example: “Thank you for the opportunity to interview with you today. You mentioned the importance of finding someone nurturing for your patients. My co-workers have said, my strengths include treating patients like family. I think you have a wonderful office, and I would love to help continue the success you have achieved.”
Most of the time when you go into an interview you don’t know everything about a potential job or employer. But after spending 20-30 minutes with them at the interview you can learn quite a bit that maybe your resume and cover letter don’t emphasize. This is where a Post-Interview Summary document can prove useful.
It’s hard to tell you exactly what to put into it because you won’t know until you interview, but here are some suggestions to watch for:
- Each question an employer asks has relevance to them. Are there things not in your resume or cover letter they asked about?
- Did you notice on your way in any special equipment or software they use not addressed in your resume or cover letter?
- Did you pick up on anything in the casual conversations and interactions you had with the employer or staff?
Things you noticed and heard that maybe aren’t emphasized as heavily in your resume or cover letter as they seemed to be when you were there are the things you should include in the Summary. You could also include any testimonial of a person they know.
The Summary is also simply a great way to show how you are different. Very few people will send a thank you note, but almost nobody will take the time to send a Summary. As a bonus this week, I am including here a FREE Post-Interview Summary Template to help get you started.
Working Your Network
If you haven’t done this already, take a really hard look around at your friends and family. Is there anyone who has any kind of connection to this office? Could be a patient, a friend-of-a-friend, or even a former employee there. Any connection could help you out by making a personal phone call or written letter to the office vouching for how great you are.
This kind of influence is extremely powerful if you have it and so it’s worth spending some time to figure that out. Sometimes you can get on Facebook and see some potential connections.
There are so many things you can do to land a great dental hygiene job – thank you cards, Post-Interview Summaries and working your network are only a few you can do after your job interview. Think through your own situation to see if your unique circumstances might call for some additional ideas to stand out and land a great dental hygiene job.