So you have finished your dental hygienist studies and your good grades have secured you an interview. Good grades and attending top dental schools in Canada will not land you the job – you need to demonstrate to the interview panel that you are an all-round individual. Other than dental hygiene knowhow, the interviewers will also be testing your honesty, communication, interpersonal and other social skills, your ability to handle pressure, and other factors.
The whole interview process can be nerve-wracking and you must be properly prepared. Knowing the common dental hygienist questions and preparing for them adequately will increase your chances of success.
1.What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is the most common of the ‘common interview questions’ across all genres. The question about your weaknesses should be taken just as seriously as the one about your strengths. Pick a weakness and spin it so that it comes out as a strength. As an example, you could say that you are a stickler for details and then describe how you expect this can help the practice. Avoid talking about weaknesses that would impact your ability to do the job and highlight the steps you are taking to deal with the weaknesses you mention.
Talking about your weaknesses bring you out as being honest. However, always give more time to your strengths when answering the question. Take the opportunity to shine and to highlight why your strengths will be beneficial to the practice.
2.Describe a difficult situation you have dealt with in the field and how you handled it.
This is another common ‘common question’. The interviewers will be trying to gauge your ability to handle frustration. When picking the situation, focus on the dental field such as dealing with a difficult or abusive patient. Highlight how you bent over backwards, practiced restraint, and listened to accommodate the patient. If you do not have a good example, you can always come up with something (but make sure it is believable).
3.Do you consider yourself a team player or a lone ranger?
Demonstrate that although you are a team player, you are also an independent thinker who requires minimal supervision and who is a creative problem solver. While it is important to be on the lookout for the best interest of the dental practice and your colleagues, the interviews will favour someone who can be trusted with any responsibility.
4.How would your relatives or friends describe you?
This is an offshoot of the previously common question “how would you describe yourself?” The interviewers will be looking to determine what you think about yourself. Take the opportunity to highlight your positive attributes such as your patience, your empathy, or your attention to detail. Keep your response light, upbeat, and interesting.
5.Why do you want to work for us?
The interviewers will be trying to gauge your interest in the job and in the practice. Research about the practice before the interview. Highlighting the specifics of the practice and exactly how you want to assist is guaranteed to impress the interview panel.
6.Are you comfortable educating patients about dental home care?
Take the opportunity to show off your grasp of what you leaned in dental hygienist school and your ability to bond with patients. Describe how you will be giving accurate yet personalized at-home dental care advice.
7.What questions do you have for us?
Even as you ask what’s-in-it-for-me questions such as the benefits you expect, take the opportunity to ask questions that will stimulate dialogue and to follow up on previously asked questions.