Interviews for dental jobs are notoriously tricky. Here are ten commonly asked questions with answers that will really impress the recruiter!
1. 'Give an example of an idea you had that was implemented in your specialist dental field.'
The key word here is, ‘implemented’. Anyone can have dozens of good ideas but they don’t count for much to an interviewer if no-one ever actually acted on one. Prepare a story about one of your ideas that was progressed through to implementation and was a quantifiable success.
2. 'Do you have experience in this particular dental field? If so, what experience do you have?'
This is an easy enough question to answer if you have lots of experience in the area concerned. If you’re looking to change direction into a new field, you might have to apply a little honest creativity. Perhaps you’ll need to show how your strong people skills can be applied to internal management roles etc.
3. 'What are your weaknesses?'
This is a very common question and is always challenging to answer. Don’t say that you’re perfect – nobody is! Answers like, ‘I’m a perfectionist’ or ‘I expect others to be as hardworking as I am’ just sound false. Think of a genuine work-related weakness; preferably a small one and mention it. Go on to emphasise what steps you’ve taken to overcome this minor issue and improve it.
4. 'What challenges do you hope to find in this role?'
This question is designed to allow the interviewer to see what you want from your next job and whether you would fit well in the position they are recruiting for. The best way to tackle this sort of question is to discuss how your skillset and experience could be utilised to best effect in the role. Mention that you find challenges extremely motivating and describe examples of challenges you’ve faced in previous jobs and how you overcome them to achieve a successful outcome.
5. 'How have you resolved a conflict with your boss or a senior colleague?'
This is an awkward question to answer honestly. Don’t say you’ve never had a conflict with anyone – most of us have. The key here is to explain how you reacted to conflict and what actions you took to resolve it. For example, explain that your disagreements have always been minor ones and you always find it best to fully understand the other side’s perspective so that you can come together to work out a satisfactory conclusion.
6. 'What do you know about our company?'
This is an easy one to answer if you’ve done your homework. Research the company website, its LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and Google the business to see what other information you can find. Include information in your answer about how long the company has been trading, what their mission statement is and how this relates to your own personal values.
7. 'What makes you want to work for us?'
The interviewer is looking to see how you would fit with the company’s culture, values and vision. Make sure that you highlight the organisation’s strong points in your answer and say how your own ideals and ethics fit in with this.
8. 'Why should we give you the job?'
This question tests whether you have read and absorbed the job and person specifications for the role. Match your skills, experience and personality with what they are looking for and give examples to set you apart from other candidates. Try to come across as dynamic, confident and motivated; these are qualities valued by interviewers that will set you apart from the crowd.
9. 'What salary are you looking for?'
This is a horrible question and one that’s definitely loaded. Don’t give a direct answer. Instead, ask what the range is for the position. If the interviewer won’t provide this information, just say that your requirement will depend on the details of the role and give a wide range of what would be acceptable to you.
10. 'Do you have anything you’d like to ask?'
Always ask a question – if you just say, ‘no’, it can appear that you’re not particularly interested. Avoid asking about salary, holidays, perks etc. Focus more on things like how you can best make an early contribution to the company; ask for more information about in-house training courses, induction programs and the like.
These are some of the most commonly-asked dentistry job interview questions. Do your research into the company, know the job and person specifications thoroughly and prepare your answers so that you are not caught off-guard at the interview.
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