As a prospective hire for practice, you’re likely to be hit with a number of unexpected questions. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with the most common dentist interview questions you can expect to face at the interview:
- How do you approach exams with new patients?
- How do you handle difficult patients?
- How do you aim to educate patients about oral health?
- How do you comfort patients experiencing fear over a procedure?
- How do you manage your time effectively?
These questions can leave you stumped if you’re not ready for them, even if you have the beforehand knowledge of how to answer them.
Always refer back to your education, prior work experience, and your interpersonal skills when answering questions about your profession.
Demonstrate your empathy and professionalism in dealing with patients and your commitment to exceptional dentistry in the practice.
Sometimes, it’s not enough to have an impressive resume. You need to show your hiring manager that you’re able to:
- deal with conflict,
- handle high-pressure situations,
- and work in conjunction with other technicians, hygienists, and dentists to deliver exceptional patient care.
Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers
1. How do you approach exams with new patients?
This simple question is intended to make sure you know your stuff.
When you answer, make sure you draw on your education as to the proper methodology of conducting an introductory exam, but also rely on your empathy.
A patient should always feel welcomed and respected, especially in a medical environment.
I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming several new patients to the practice, and my goal is always to make them feel appreciated and understood.
Building trust is an important part of my process, and the more comfortable a patient is with me, the more likely they are to internalize my oral health recommendations.
My standard oral examination involves procedures searching for gum and tooth problems, as well as screening for oral cancer.
2. How do you handle difficult patients?
Conflict is inevitable in practice, and your employer will undoubtedly want to know what your game plan is for handling patients who don’t respect your medical opinions.
I always prioritize customer service and aim to empathize with patients who are struggling to understand or appreciate my recommendations.
In answering their concerns, I try to be extremely clear, deliberate, and fair, always taking on their concerns.
In the end, my goal is to reach a compromise that satisfies both the customer and the practice.
3. How do you aim to educate patients about oral health?
Another important part of a dentist’s job is educating patients about managing their own oral health.
Providing sensible, actionable advice should be part of your skillset as a dentist.
Helping my patients take charge of their oral health as a part of their overall health is a strong passion of mine.
My goal is always to take a proactive approach to dentistry rather than a reactive approach.
In other words, all patients should understand how to properly take care of their oral hygiene, as well as know when they should see a dental professional.
I take great enjoyment in helping patients feel confident in their oral health routines and encourage them to stick to those routines whenever I can.
4. How do you comfort patients experiencing fear over a procedure?
Many people have a fear of dentists, and there are certainly some dental procedures that cause people anxiety.
When that happens, your response should be one of empathy, not of insistence.
Validating their concerns and gently pressing them towards a medically sound course of action is a tricky tightrope to walk, but it’s a challenge your employer will expect you to face regularly.
Many patients understandably get anxious when faced with a procedure they don’t want to follow through with.
My response is always empathetic in nature, always validating their fears and making sure they never feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a procedure.
My goal is always to thoroughly explain the procedure so that there are no surprises, communicate about the necessity of the procedure, and ultimately allow the patient to exercise their autonomy over any oral health decisions.
5. How do you manage your time effectively?
Time management is an important skill as a dentist, and you’ll be expected to juggle numerous responsibilities as you go through each and every day.
Demonstrate to your employer that you’re detail-oriented, focused, and committed to delivering on-time patient care.
My goal is always to treat each individual patient with the time and respect they deserve.
In light of that, I try to have as prepared for my procedures and examinations as possible so that I can complete tasks in a timely manner.
I also try to implement in-practice communication systems that help all staff stay on target.
See also: Orthodontist Interview Questions
How to Prepare for Dental Interview Questions?
Preparing for your dentistry interview can be absolutely nerve-wracking, especially if you have no idea what your potential employer is going to ask.
It’s important, nevertheless, that you try to preempt some of your hiring manager’s questions so that you can prepare an answer.
These five questions are likely to come up in some form or another, so put some conscious thought into your education, your work experience, and, most importantly, the “why” that drives your actions.
Your goal as a dentist should always be to exude professionalism to your patients, as well as remain empathetic to their needs and concerns.
Infuse this mentality into all of your answers, and you’ll be more than ready for your interview.
See also: Why Do You Want to Be a Dentist
Conclusion: Interview Questions for Dentists
Dentist interview questions can be difficult to answer, but with a little foresight, you’ll be well on your way to answering each and every question thrown at you succinctly and clearly.
Doing so will not only demonstrate that you’ve put some thought towards your role as a dentist but also indicates that you’re taking the interview seriously by thinking ahead about the questions.
Review each of these questions and sample answers as you need to excel in your future interview.
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