What are the best questions to ask during an interview for a dental position?

Too many within dental offices hyper focus on technical skills when interviewing applicants vs attitudinal skills. When an employee leaves your dental practice, is it usually because of technical skill problems or because of attitude and team issues? More often than not, it has nothing to do with technical skills. So then, when interviewing why do we focus so much on these skills? Because it is easier!!

My suggestion would be to focus on the attitude of the applicant. I am a firm believer that you can teach just about any technical skill, but it is difficult to teach attitude. You either have it or you don't. So how best to screen for attitude issues? I will provide you a few examples to help you along the way.

Before I get to the questions, I want to also address the concept of checking references. Too many rely on quality references to measure and understand the character of their applicant. How many of you reading this at some point provided references that you knew were cooked? Every one of us has done this. Certainly we don't put down a reference that would be anything less than stellar. So what value is there in checking references? I say none! I ask for them to see if they provide them but have never called one. It is a waste of your time.

Do you also have the challenge of getting a ton of applications from people that have no experience? Yet another common challenge. Here is a quick tip: When you place your ad, put instructions when sending the resume to define the "M" in MOD in the subject line. This will weed out any applicants that don't know and have no experience. If you get resumes that ignore this step, don't even open them. Here is why. The person who does have experience couldn't even follow a simple instruction when applying. Do you think they will have the same challenge while working for you? Most likely. It will not only screen out people with no experience, but also those who can't follow instructions.

Now back to the interview questions. The power of good interview questions is not just the question, but the follow up questions. For example, "What made you pick a career in dentistry?" Very simple question to say the least. It will reveal a few things though. Did they get into dentistry by accident? Do they truly have a passion for their career? Most importantly, if they give you a very short simple answer, it will tell you about their ability to build relationships. If they can't engage you during an interview and share their passion, which will lead to building a relationship with you and a job for them, will they be able to do that with your patients? In my opinion, the greatest value in our teams is their ability to build relationships with the patients, to develop trust so the patients accept treatment. What could be more important?

If you ask questions like that one and then dig a bit more about their answers, you will learn about their Integrity, Character, Team work and many other traits that will help you make great decisions about them.

If you have questions and want to learn more, contact one of our coaches for help.

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