If you’re at all interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, then you may start out as a pediatric dental assistant.
But before you can get there, you’ll need to ace your interview, which may include questions regarding your dentistry skills, certification, rapport with children, strengths, weaknesses, and thought processes regarding the workplace and coworkers.
Answering these questions honestly and with insight into the practice you’re interviewing for can go a long way.
So can advance preparation, such as reviewing potential questions and answers, and asking a friend to help you with a mock interview.
Luckily, we’ve compiled this guide to the seven most common questions found in pediatric dental assistant interviews.
With dentist supervision, this job allows assistants to learn the ropes by working with children as young as infants and as old as teenagers.
A pediatric dental assistant will often complete dentistry tasks such as sterilization, patient advising, taking x-rays, and impressions.
Continue reading to learn more about how these duties can inform the questions you may be asked in a pediatric dental assistant interview.
In this article, we’ll share example pediatric dental assistant interview questions along with explanations of why those questions are so common.
We’ll also share example answers that you may use to inspire your own potential answers.
Pediatric Dental Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
In a professional, medical field such as dentistry, it’s not uncommon to be asked questions about:
- professional certifications,
- hands-on experience,
- and specific examples of working with child patients.
The following seven pediatric dental assistant interview questions are examples of what you can expect in an interview to be a pediatric dentist’s assistant.
1. Do you have any radiological experience?
While this question may at first seem off-course, it’s quite standard in an interview to assist at a dentist’s office.
Pediatric dental assistants may be required to perform dental x-rays of patients at times.
Therefore, the interview is your chance to show that you have the experience, as well as the certification to take x-rays according to current safety and health standards.
I acquired my radiation certification in 2020 and have taken pediatric dental x-rays on several occasions at the last practice I worked at.
See also: Interventional Radiology Nurse Interview Questions
2. What part of the pediatric dental assistant job interests you most?
Even if assisting is just a stepping stone towards your career as a dentist, you need to prove to your potential employer that you can enjoy and succeed as an assistant first.
See also: Why Do You Want To Be A Dentist
You may not like every aspect of being the right-hand man/woman.
However, choosing a specific interest will show the employer areas where you might be of great benefit to them.
I particularly enjoy the assistant work because I get the chance to build rapport with patients who may be nervous at first.
I take pride in being a comforting yet professional presence.
See also: Why Do You Want to Be a Dental Assistant
3. Tell me about a past difficult experience with a patient.
A classic interview question prompts you to reveal your hands-on experience while also sharing your problem-solving methods.
Don’t just make up a scenario – everyone has likely had a time when a job was challenging, requiring critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
I once assisted the dentist at the last practice I worked at.
See also: Dentist Interview Questions
This patient had contamination OCD, which made the appointment difficult for her to endure.
I spoke with the child’s mother before continuing, so that I could find out ways to accommodate her and make the experience as smooth as possible.
See also: Dental Hygienist Interview Questions
4. Are you certified in pediatric dental assistant work? If not, why?
You must have proper certifications to work as an assistant for a dentist.
If you answer yes to this question, explain when you got the certification and which association you got it from.
If you answer no to this question, be prepared to provide a plan of action showing that you intend to acquire certification before the job start date.
Example answer 1:
I got my pediatric dental assistant certification last year through the ADA.
See also: Why Should We Hire You Dental Assistant
Example answer 2:
I am currently undergoing education to receive my certification, which I should receive in March of this year from the ADA.
See also: Oral Surgery Assistant Interview Questions
5. Are you comfortable performing administrative tasks?
In addition to working directly with patients and the supervising dentist, assistants may also be required to spend some of their time taking office calls, completing paperwork, etc.
See also: Medical Administrative Assistant Interview Questions
Be prepared to be flexible, but be honest in your answer about your versatility in the office.
I am just as comfortable in the exam room as I am in the office, where administrative duties may be required of me at times during an assistantship.
See also: Tell Me About Yourself Dental Assistant Interview
6. What is a weakness of yours that you feel I should know about?
Nobody wants to talk about their shortcomings in an interview, but you should always be prepared to do so in an intelligent manner.
The employer may want to see if you can find a positive spin in your most negative qualities.
Or, they might simply be looking for valid reasons not to hire you.
I am not the most qualified when it comes to taking dental x-rays.
Although I do have my radiation certification, I don’t have a ton of experience.
That said, I look forward to new opportunities to expand my hands-on x-ray experience and become highly competent in that specific task.
See also: Dental Receptionist Interview Questions
7. Why do you want to work here, specifically?
The answer to this question is a chance to show that you’ve done your research.
By showing that you know a bit about the practice or the supervising dentist, you show that you care to be a team player and a valuable member of the business.
I was a patient here myself as a child.
I saw firsthand the level of care and quality given to all patients, and that is something that I want to be a part of as I pave the path to my own dental career.
See also: Why Do You Want to Be a Dental Hygienist
Conclusion: Pediatric Dental Questions
Hopefully, our guide to pediatric dental assistant job interview questions has given you a clear idea of what you can expect on the big day.
These seven common questions require interviewees to draw on personal experience, answer honestly, and think critically in order to get the job.
Best of luck with your upcoming interview!
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