Preparing for the job interview is one of the most critical steps for those pursuing job positions as an orthodontist.
Orthodontist interview questions may range from queries about:
- your interest in the specialty,
- your performance under pressure,
- your interest in the practice,
- and your diagnostic methods, among others.
Employers will ask these kinds of orthodontist interview questions to determine what your specific skills and potential weaknesses may be in the workplace.
They also tailor their questions to determine your goals and motivations, including how those goals would make you a good fit for their office.
To prepare for your orthodontist job interview, you should be familiar with common questions you may be asked and how to go about answering them.
We’ve created this guide to orthodontist interview questions and example answers.
With our guidance, you can start thinking about how you might answer questions like these in the context of your skills and experience.
Keep reading along to the end as we highlight seven of the most common questions in orthodontist job interviews.
And keep in mind that other questions may be asked, depending on where you’re interviewing.
Orthodontist Interview Questions and Answers
The following seven orthodontist interview questions are likely queries in a job interview.
As you consider your answers to questions like these, remember to draw upon your unique experiences to help you stand out from other candidates.
1. What made you choose the orthodontics specialty following dental school?
Becoming an orthodontist is a lot different than becoming a dentist.
This medical specialty involves working with patients with abnormal jaws and teeth, and it takes extra training to get to a point where you can diagnose and treat these issues.
When an employer asks this question, they want to find out if you have a real passion for the specialty that could make you a good orthodontist.
They may even try to sort out those who chose the profession for the potential paycheck.
Following dental school, I chose to pursue orthodontics training because I understand firsthand the need for this specialty field.
I suffered from extreme pain due to my teeth alignment as a child, and I benefited greatly from having a good orthodontist.
See also: Why Do You Want to Be a Dentist
2. Can you describe how you dealt with a challenging experience during your residency?
There are several variations of this question, but the main point of it is to figure out how well you work under pressure.
Employers want to know if you can prioritize, reflect, and draw on other critical thinking skills that could make you a great orthodontist despite challenges.
During my residency, I was working with a patient with a disability.
While the patient’s disability created some unique challenges in the exam room, I asked them questions regarding their preferences and comfort to accommodate them as best as possible.
3. Why do you wish to work at this practice?
This question is typically asked to find out if job candidates have done their research before applying.
Employers want to know that you have some knowledge of their orthodontics practice, its history, and its values.
As a child, I was a patient of this practice, where I eventually had braces put on.
My siblings all went to this practice, and we each received excellent care.
I am inspired by the values of this practice and feel that they align with my goals in orthodontics.
4. How do you go about diagnosing new patients?
Diagnostics is an integral part of an orthodontist’s job, and it even involves thorough diagnostic processes to arrive at the best treatment plans.
By answering this question, you are demonstrating your knowledge of diagnostics and even providing examples of firsthand experience.
I will use an example to explain my diagnostic method.
In my residency, I had to diagnose patients based on their x-rays.
I consulted their medical history, dental history, and even the opinions of my colleagues before arriving at a proper diagnosis.
5. How do you approach situations where patients are dissatisfied or uncomfortable?
It’s not uncommon for orthodontic patients to be nervous or apprehensive in the exam room.
You may also experience patients who aren’t happy with the results of their orthodontics treatment for one reason or another.
Your ability to appropriately react to these situations will set you apart from other job candidates as the most professional.
If a patient is nervous about getting braces or other orthodontic equipment, I explain thoroughly how the devices work and what they can expect.
When I do this, they are more comfortable with the treatment plan.
When it comes to unhappy patients, I actively listen to complaints, engage in constructive conversation, and ask questions to find out how to improve.
6. Which types of orthodontic equipment are you familiar with, and to what extent?
To work as an orthodontist, you must know how different kinds of braces, retainers, expanders, and other treatment equipment work.
Answering this question shows the employer you have experience working with a wide range of products.
During my residency, I helped fit patients with various braces, from Invisalign to lingual and traditional metal braces.
I also worked with several types of retainers and am comfortably familiarizing myself with others going forward.
7. How do you help patients stick to their treatments?
Children especially can have difficulty maintaining their daily routines without incentives or assistance.
If you know how to guide patients to do their “homework,” then you can be a much better orthodontist.
I like incentive programs for younger patients to help them stick to their routines.
One example is handing out retainer schedules and giving them prizes like stickers when they return to the office.
Conclusion: Interview Questions for Orthodontists
Hopefully, the above seven orthodontist interview questions and example answers have given you an idea of your interview.
Answer these questions with specific examples and highlight your unique skills.
Best of luck with your upcoming orthodontist interview!
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