Job Interview Tips

The interview is a key step in securing the dental assistant job you’re aiming for. This is your chance to showcase your skills in person, rather than just on paper, and really demonstrate to your potential employer what you are capable of doing. Follow these tips for giving yourself the best chance possible during your job search .

Job interviews are largely about presentation, and your verbal and non-verbal messages will be important. Pay attention to how you answer questions, and be sure you don’t preface what you say with words like “uh” or “um.” Be concise with your answers, as rambling will not be perceived well, and try to sound as confident as you can. Remember, too, that eye contact is important. If you are in a room with more than one interviewer, look at all of them so nobody is left out of the discussion.

On a similar note, don’t check the clock or your watch during the interview; doing so can make you seem uninterested in the job being offered.

Take some time before the interview to assess yourself personally so you will be able to answer the questions presented to you. Think about your skills and accomplishments. Decide what sets you apart from others looking to win the same job. Be familiar with your résumé so you can answer the interviewer’s questions without having to look down at your paper.

As you progress through the interview, keep in mind that the conversation should be a two-way street. It’s up to you to have some questions ready as well (around three should suffice). You might want to ask more about the company, what your job in particular would entail, or the type of people with whom you will work. Be cautious, however, in the questions you choose to ask, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has advised. Don’t ask a question whose answer could be found on a company’s website. Also avoid questions about job benefits and salary until you receive a formal offer from the company.

Although it’s important to practice and think about how you will conduct yourself during your interview, you must give thought to other aspects of the process as well. Be sure you arrive with any necessary materials. An extra copy of your résumé could be required, or you might need to bring your job application to the interview. Have references prepared and be certain to ask permission of everyone you have listed as a reference (double-check that your references will put in a good word for you, too). In some cases, a prospective employer might need you to bring in a copy of your college transcript to ensure that you have indeed completed necessary coursework or earned the degree required to hold a certain position in the company.

When your interview is finished, thank all who were involved for their time. This is a good opportunity to indicate your interest in the position as well. If you’d still like the job after speaking with your potential employer, say so. On the other hand, if you have decided you’d rather not have the job, you could say that, too. An employer who is truly interested in you as a candidate might be willing to help resolve any concerns you might have. Talk to your interviewer about when a final decision will be made regarding the position available, and about whether you may follow up at a later date. Having this information will help you know when to anticipate receiving an answer without becoming a nuisance to the company. Remember, the impression you leave during the interview will be important. Make every effort to present the best image of yourself possible.

Last Updated: 05/05/2014

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