Whether you’ve already completed a dental assistant program, or you are still attending vocational school, landing a job as a dental assistant can be exciting. It offers you the hands-on experience that you require to become part of the dental field. One of the first steps in getting a job as a dental assistant is setting up for and completing job interviews. The job interview is a crucial step to starting a career and it is important to come prepared for the job interview.
Your Resume and Why It’s Important
Before you send out applications to your local dental offices, make sure to create a high-quality resume. The resume highlights your strengths as a dental assistant, including education and experience. Dental offices will look for awards and certifications to weed through all the resumes they get for each position. Even small achievements should be noted on an application or resume because they help you to stand out from the crowd. Keep in mind that dozens of people will be applying for the same job. You need to stand out and be ready to perform at a job interview.
How to Send Out Applications
There are many ways to send out applications. Online job sites are a good place to start, since they often list dental jobs in your local area. If you are looking to obtain a job quickly, don’t hesitate to stop into nearby dental offices to fill out applications. The more applications you send in, the more likely you will receive call backs for job interviews. Provide the employer with a valid phone number so they can schedule a job interview with you.
Ways to Stand Out During an Interview
Being a dental assistant requires skills and knowledge about patient care, dental procedures and infection control. Employers look for good workers to assist in their dental practice who are a good fit with their current employees. There could be dozens of other people applying for the same job, so stand out in a way that makes it difficult for the employer to pass on an interview with you. Things to remember before a dental assistant job interview include preparation, respectfulness, passion, employer knowledge, demeanor, arriving on time, preparation for non-dental questions and standing out from the competition.
Before going to meet with the job interviewer, you will need to prepare any paperwork and information that the employer will require. Preparing for this step is crucial to standing out from the competition. Preparation also means giving yourself time to get ready in the morning, since you want to look your best at the job interview.
The way that you act and speak while meeting with the employer says a lot about your personality and ability to interact with patients. By showing respect during the dental assistant job interview, the employer will see that you can work with colleagues and patients. Part of being respectful is listening to what the employer has to say, waiting to speak and being polite.
Along with having an interest in the dental field, employers are looking for someone who is passionate. They want a dental assistant who gets up in the morning and is ready to solve problems in the medical office. At the same time, providing care and help to patients of varying needs. Always let your potential employer know that you are passionate about your career and that you look forward to assisting them with patients.
Get to Know the Employer
Before going to the job interview, do research on the dental office. This might involve looking at their website or reading reviews written by patients. Not only does this give you an idea about your potential employer but gives you a chance to learn about the dental office’s passion and commitment. You can then use this to your advantage during the dental assistant job interview.
One way to stand out to a potential employer is to be professional at all times. Remember, no slouching, scratching, yawning or eye rolling. Even something as simple as yawning while meeting with a dentist or office manager can hurt your chances of getting the job. Your body language says a lot about you and how you will act working in the dental office.
Arrive on Time
Give yourself adequate time to get to the office. Also, enough time to get ready in the morning. Being late for a job interview can mean an automatic denial of your application and the inability to land the job.
Prepare for Non-Dental Related Questions
Be prepared for the dentist or job interviewer to ask non-dental related questions pertaining to your life, personality and past work. How have you dealt with an unhappy customer in the past? What would you do if an emergency happened? What are your biggest strengths? These are all questions to prepare for when going to a dental assistant job interview.
Stand out From the Competition
If you stand out from a crowd by being unique, it is difficult for the employer to forget you. Being unique could be something as simple as the way you are dressed or the way that you smile. It could also mean the difference between a dental assistant that comes in with a passion for the job instead of one who just wants a paycheck.
What to Expect After the Job Interview?
After you’ve met with the job interviewer, several things could happen. If a dental office is in need of an immediate replacement of a dental assistant, they may offer you the job on the spot. However, if you do not get offered the job right away, don’t feel discouraged. Offering a job on the spot is not necessarily the norm. Most dental offices will meet with several applicants to make a final decision on who to hire. It could take several days or even weeks to hear back from the dental office about the job interview. Keep in mind that your first job as a dental assistant might come with a learning curve. With time, diligence and practice, you will become a great fit for a dental office.
Interested in learning more about how to interview for a dental assistant position? Do you need to become a dental assistant first? The Dental Assistant training program at Meridian College provides extensive hands-on training including a school externship at a dental office where you will assist the dentist in treating actual patients.
Contact Meridian College today to learn more about becoming a dental assistant.