Finding a Job as a Dental Assistant - Part 3
So far we've taken a look a some very important steps that you can take in order to get your foot in the door as a dental assistant. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2, make sure to take a few minutes to get up to date.
Today we need to talk about what to do once you have made it that far, the all-important job interview.
When you show up to an interview, it's your time to shine. It's time to show your potential employer that you are the right candidate for the job. A dental assistant is an integral part of the dental office team, because dental assistants are often the ones that greet patients, make them feel comfortable, spend time talking to the patient, and educate the patient about dental health and hygiene.
If you keep those things in mind, the role of a dental assistant, you will have a good idea about what you want to show your potential that you are capable of.
Here are some things to consider:
Smile! A smile and friendly, enthusiastic attitude really go a long way toward showing that you will be welcoming and accommodating to patients and that you will be willing to work with a team.
Be punctual. It is wise to show up early. Allow time for traffic and other unforeseen circumstances. It would be much better to show up 20 minutes early and sit in the car to collect your thoughts and then walk in calmly, than to rush in at the last minute flustered; or worse yet, late.
Dress appropriately. If you know that it will be a working interview, make sure to wear scrubs and close-toed shoes that cover your whole feet. Also, read our post on personal appearance.
Listen well. One of the most important skills to master in life, and as a dental assistant, is the ability to listen to the person you are interacting with. Not thinking about what you will say next, but actually listening to what the other person has to say. Listening is hugely important in an interview. You want to show that you are thoughtful and that you actually care.
Communicate clearly. Make sure to speak clearly and use standard English (or standard Spanish, Mandarin, or whatever language you may be interviewing in). This does mean that you need to wax eloquent or try to use big words or show off all of the things that you've studied. It means that you need to speak clearly, without mumbling, and that you should avoid unprofessional slang and a excessive use of the words, like,um, you know, etc.
Ask questions. Remember that it's not just the employer seeing if you would be the right dental assistant for the job, it's also about you seeing if they are the right dental practice for you and your specific set of circumstances. That means that you need to ask questions about anything that you may have doubts about or that you may be curious about.
Stay calm. This can be difficult for some people, but do your best to stay cool and calm. This is where listening can be really helpful. That may sound strange, but if you are busy really listening to what someone has to say and about your role as a dental assistant, you won't have time to start feeling nervous.
Follow up. Getting back in touch with the employer can be a helpful way to show that you are genuinely interested and also to remind them of who you are. Sometimes just hearing your name again can be an advantage to getting you moved to the top of the pile of resumés. With that said, don't badger or annoy with repetitive phone calls or emails; you don't want to come across as pushy either.
Stay tuned for more ideas and pointers!