Once you have successfully finished a dental assisting program how do you search for the right job and have a successful, stress free interview? The American Dental Assistant Association (ADAA) in a recent article gives some tips that can aid in this search. They reccommend a good place to start looking is online, such as places like Careerbuilder.com or Monster.com, because they are based on geographic locations. Some programs give assistance in searching for jobs, such as our program at Practical Dental Assisting of Oregon. Another great tool is if you are a member of the ADAA you can search for positions according to state. We would additionally recommend starting a profile on a professional site such as linkedin so other dental professionals can find you as well.
The ADAA additionally gives a few factors to consider when you are looking for a position that works well for you. The first is to consider if you are wanting a full time position, part time position, and if you want to work at one or more offices. Also if you are considering a full time position it might be important to figure out if the office provides benefits, as most part time jobs will not.
Dressing for an interview might not seem pertinent, but it definitely is in the dental field because it is conservative and appearances create a lasting first impression (whether it be good or bad). The ADAA recommends wearing business pants or a business skirt that is at or below the knee, darker colors, a simple professional blouse that's light in color and will match the pants or skirt, as well as having an appropriate neckline and sleeves. Shoes should match the dark pants or skirt and heels should be a low or mid heel, as well as keeping any jewlery that is worn simple. This will show that you're professional, put together, and serious about your career.
Now during the interview make sure to smile and make eye contact, ensuring the interviewee that you are paying attention and are interested in what is being discussed. Although you might be nervous, try not to fidget, and sit with uncrossed arms and legs to signal that you are open and focused. Be prepared for common interview questions and have an answer ready, as well as providing concrete examples of how you would add to the staff. It is also important to ask questions of the employer as well. While a formal, verbal interview is important you should also request a working interview. The most important thing in regards to an interview is to be prepared!
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