Tips for a Dental Hygiene Working Interview

You’ve nailed your first interview with a potential employer, and you’ve been asked back for a working interview! This can be a little overwhelming, but if you apply these little tricks, it will make a big impression that will definitely help get you hired.

1.     Before you start the day, look at the schedule. If you notice you have a new patient, make sure you know the office’s periodontal protocol. Do they want to focus on education after diagnosing periodontal disease and schedule the SRP for another day, or at least start one quad at that appointment? Where are the anesthesia and syringes? If your state doesn’t allow hygienists to give anesthesia, what is the system for getting patients numb in that office? These tips will make the transition from new patient to perio patient less stressful and have you look professional and hirable.

2.     Look the part when you show up. Make sure your scrubs are ironed, your shoes are clean, and make up is professional. Keep jewelry simple. You never know the office environment, so underdressed with jewelry is always better than overdressing. Bonus points in this area: Wear a nametag with credentials- these can be made online for about $10.

3.     Make sure your tray is clean and organized for the dental exam. This seems obvious, but when you’re in a new environment it can be a bit stressful, this little habit is easily be forgotten. Put the cleaned mirror, explorer and a fresh 2x2 together on one side of the tray and all the scalers, probes, and syringes on the other side. Throw away all trash, and wipe off the mirror so there are no visible streaks. It makes a huge impression on the dentist that you value his or her time by not wasting it by having them search through contaminated 2x2's and prophy paste to find the mirror and explorer.

4.     Have a pair of gloves out for the dentist at the exam. Again, huge time saver and makes a great impression.

5.     Have all the radiographs you need for the exam, and most importantly make sure they are diagnostic. You could spend hours making sure all the subgingival calculus is removed, but if a bitewing has overlapping contacts or cone-cuts, that is what the dentist will remember most. Make sure to ask the patient while taking bite wings if they have any problems, concerns, or toothaches to get a PA right away to save time and be ready for the exam.

6.     Be friendly to the other staff. Lots of offices ask assistants and receptionists after interviews who they think will work well with the office dynamic. If you didn’t introduce yourself, they may not even remember you, let alone recommend you for the job.

7.     Send a thank you to the office a day or two after the interview. It could be in the form of a note, flowers, donuts, or whatever you feel comfortable with. This will remind the office of who you are and that you’re serious about the position.

Now get out there and find your dream job!