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Questions and Answers for your Dental Assistant Interview

By Remington College Posted November 9, 2017

After you've received your diploma in dental assisting you will hopefully be ready to take the next step towards your dental assisting career.(1) We all know that jobs are not just handed over to you! You'll need a strong resume and brush up on your interview skills if you're hoping to land the job that you want.

Questions to Expect and How to Answer Them

There is no way to predict the exact questions that an interviewer will ask you, but it's a good idea to anticipate a few common questions and decide how you will answer them before you go to your interview.

Here are some common questions and suggested answers:

What are your greatest strengths as a dental assistant?

You should think of this question as two-fold. Try and highlight some of your technical accomplishments like equipment that you have worked with or the tools that you are particularly skilled using. Then, explain the personal attributes that make you a good dental assistant, qualities like dependability, friendliness, and concern for other people.

What is your greatest weakness as a dental assistant?

This is where you want to turn a negative response into a positive. Instead of thinking about what you aren't good at, think about something that bothers you but isn't necessarily seen as a weakness to other people.

You could say something along the lines of, "I can be something of a perfectionist, but it is because I care about my work so much." If you're not a perfectionist, you can say something about your learning style since not everyone learns the same way. Perhaps you need to see how something is done before you can do it. Most employers see this less as a weakness and more as a unique characteristic that they can adapt to.

Can you work well during stressful situations?

Yes, yes, yes. Answering no to this question or giving a long-winded answer could cost you the job. Simply answer yes, and be ready with an example of a stressful job situation in which you acted calmly. Emergencies occur in any dental practice, so if you're still considering whether or not a career as a dental assistant is for you then you should be asking yourself this question!

Do you have any administrative experience

Depending on the dental practice where you're interviewing, you may be required to perform some administrative tasks. Even if you don't have experience using computer programs, you can still highlight other administrative skills like filing and faxing, answering the phone, scheduling, and customer service. If you do have experience with certain computer programs, then you can mention those

Why do you want to work in this practice?

Do your research before you go to the interview. You should be able to highlight at least one thing that makes their practice unique or desirable. If someone gave you a reference, its fine to mention them here, but don't just say "I know so and so." A better response would be, "So and so told me what a great workplace this is, and suggested I apply since I have the technical skills and type of personality that would fit well within your team."

Also, you should remember not to blurt out answers! It's perfectly acceptable to take a few seconds to think (not too long though) or to say, "I'm not sure. Do you think we could come back to that question?" Try not to do this more than once. Hopefully by reviewing these common interview questions beforehand, you'll find yourself so prepared that you won't have to pause or return to a question at all

(1)Please keep in mind employment cannot be guaranteed by any educational institution for students or graduates.