Interview tips for dentists: how to detect great employees

A successful dental practice requires great employees who can work together in delivering excellent service to clients. Hiring the right people for various jobs can be a long and tedious process, so many dentists rush through the process and end up regretting their choices later. Sometimes, practice owners just focus on technical skills and competence and engage the person who looks best on paper. However, the difference between a good and a bad employee is often not knowledge but other personal qualities such as motivation, commitment, values etc.


Such attributes can be difficult to gauge in an interview and downright impossible for anyone without good interviewing skills. Nevertheless, here are a few tips that you can follow to conduct interviews in a way that will allow you to detect who will be the best fit for your practice.


1. Have a list of important questions

Not all interviews will proceed the same way and very often, the answers given by a candidate will lead the conversation in a different direction than what you had planned. Still, you need to have a list of questions that you can ask every candidate such as experience, skills and successful projects etc.


2. Ask open-ended questions

Try to keep the number of questions that require a one word answer to a minimum. Encourage candidates to talk about themselves, their expertise and their previous work experience. This allows you to concentrate on the person’s body language and you are more likely to get informative responses rather than trying to come up with questions of your own. Also be sure to ask them about their style of working, what motivates them to do their job etc. which can give you a better idea of their suitability for your practice.


3. Encourage questions from candidates

It is not enough if the person you’re interviewing just gives answers to your questions. Ask them if they have any questions about you and your practice. Any person who is actually interested in the job will no doubt inquire about details such as the kind of patients you see, the challenges your practice faces, other members of the team etc. On the other hand, someone who just asks about benefits and hours may not be committed to a long-term career with your clinic.


A critical issue to keep in mind is that there are certain questions related to age, marital status etc. you cannot ask since they may be interpreted to be discriminatory. Other than that, asking open-ended questions and allowing candidates to talk about themselves can make it easier for you to hire the right person.



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