New Grad Tips

Preparing for an interview

New Grad

So you’ve landed an interview for your first position as a newly graduated dentist. Great! But now what? Interviewing can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first interview with a dental practice. This is why you want to be sure you are as prepared as possible before going into an interview. At Heartland Dental, we want you to succeed and find the job that’s the right fit for you.

You want to be completely prepared, but you may not know where to start or what to expect. Allow us to share a few tips, so you are ready to interview for—and land—your dream job. This will also give you a feel for what Heartland Dental-affiliated offices are looking for when they are hiring a new dentist.

Bring the Right Materials

"At Heartland Dental, we want you to succeed and are here to help you find that dream job that's the right fit for you."

Roger Smith

Roger Smith,
Senior Doctor Recruiter at Heartland Dental

You don’t want to show up to an interview empty-handed. It’s a good idea to bring copies of your resume, especially if you’ve accomplished something new since the last time you sent the office your resume. You may be interviewing with more than one person, so have a few copies to share. You may find it helpful to bring your own copy to refer to as well. You should also bring copies of your dental credentials, as well as any certifications you have. It is always beneficial to bring a couple letters of recommendation to set you apart from other candidates. The office might have already asked for references, but another positive perspective of your character never hurts. It could be the thing that gets you the job!

Dress in Professional Attire

Always dress for an interview in business professional clothing. Your appearance will be the very first thing the employer notices, so you want to make a strong first impression. Dressing professionally lets people you meet know that you are serious about the position and can be viewed as a professional. For men, wear a suit, long sleeve shirt and tie. Also, wear little to no jewelry and have a neat, professional hairstyle. For women, a suit or suit skirt with a conservative shirt and shoes also works well. Likewise, you should also wear a minimal amount of jewelry and have a professional hairstyle.

Have a General Idea of How You Will Answer Questions

Knowing exactly what you have to offer the dental office is important and will help you immensely when answering questions during the interview. While it is impossible to know the exact questions you will be asked, you can still think through responses for predictable scenarios. Here are a few topics that you can expect to discuss:

  • Your own philosophy on dentistry, and how it reflects the office’s mission and goals
  • Your leadership style
  • Your ability to work with a team
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Past experience
  • Explanation of your specific certifications and specialties
  • Overall knowledge of dentistry and procedures

In addition to answering questions, you should ask questions as well! Make a list of questions beforehand. Bring it with you, and don’t be afraid to ask them during or at the end of the interview. This will help you know if the office is the right fit for you. Your body language and tone is equally if not more important as the questions you will ask and answer. Speak with passion, confidence, energy and positivity. Sit up straight, make eye contact and engage your interviewer(s).

Be Prepared for a Working Interview

It is common for dental offices to conduct a working interview, during which the candidate observes at the office for the day, and usually has the opportunity to perform treatment. If you are asked to come in for a working interview, make sure you discuss with the office what needs to be done before you arrive. You should be familiar with what types of services the office offers so that you are prepared to perform treatment. Ask the office about protective attire and whether it will be provided. Liability insurance is also important for a working interview, so be sure to set it up as soon as possible to guarantee coverage.

Interviewing can be a little scary, but it’s the only thing standing between you and your dream job. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare, using these tips to help you on your journey to the right job for you. The Recruiting Team at Heartland Dental wants you to succeed and is readily available to answer any questions you have about working at an affiliated dental office.