To set out on your path to becoming a dental assistant and earning a dental assistant salary, you first step will be to find openings in your area and begin setting up interviews for those dental assistant jobs. However, finding a rewarding dental assisting position begins, as all jobs do, with the interview process. The job interview is not always the most enjoyable part of the job hunt, but by following a few simple tips, you can great increase your chances of success and at the same time, prepare yourself to go into the interview with confidence.
Begin With Practice Interviews
We all know the typical interview process looks like. We submit a cover letter and a resume to an employer and then hope to get called in for an interview. Once we attend an interview, we start off with some small talk about the job and ourselves, answer a series of questions posed by the employer, and then follow up by discussing any questions that we might have for the employer about the job. However, while most dental assistant job seekers know almost exactly what to expect in an interview, very few actually practice the interview beforehand. This is a critical step in order to appear prepared and confident in the interview for a dental assistant position.
To begin with, you can find a number of lists of potential interview questions online from sites such as Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com. Once you have found a list of potential interview questions, go through them and give some thought to your answers, using past experiences as frequently as possible for reference. After you’ve given some thought to those answers, you should actually practice answering the questions aloud just as you would in the interview.
Understanding Behavioral-Based Interviews
Additionally, you should prepare to answer questions which are behavioral-based. An increasing number of employers, including those hiring for dental assistant openings, are beginning to phrase questions which count on you to actually refer to past work or educational experiences as opposed to just providing hypothetical answers. The best way to prepare for behavioral-based interview questions is to write a list of 5 or so past experiences from school or the workplace, and decide how those experiences fit into the potential interview questions. Remember to stay on-target and positive with your responses.
In addition to practicing the interview itself, you need to prepare for getting to the interview on time, bringing what you need, and being dressed appropriately. Nothing can cause more anxiety leading up to a job interview that rushing to get there on time. Know the location of the interview, exactly how long it will take you to get there, and what you plan to wear. Also plan on bringing along a few copies of your resume for interviewers and yourself.
Don’t Discuss the Dental Assistant Salary During the Interview
While it’s highly likely that you will want to know the dental assistant salary for the position for which you are interviewing, the first interview is generally not the time to discuss this. While the dental assistant salary associated with the position is important, asking about it early on in the interview process indicates to a potential employer that you are thinking more about your pay than proper patient care.
By properly preparing for the interview process, you’ll be on your way to finding a great position and a rewarding dental assistant salary.