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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Dental Assistant Interview Tips: Questions and Answers

July 21, 2022

If you’re gearing up for an interview, congratulations. You’re one step closer to becoming a dental assistant. To ace your interview, you’ll need to anticipate some of the questions you’ll be asked and rehearse your responses.

Every interview is different, and each interviewer may have a different approach to the interview process. However, understanding the company and the role can put you in an excellent position to secure the next round of interviews.

This quick guide will outline some of the most common interview questions for dental assistants as well as actionable tips so you can answer each question correctly.

Dental Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

If you’ve landed an interview, the hiring manager or recruiter believes your training and experience make you an ideal fit for the role. The interview is a chance for you to expand on your abilities, connect with the interviewer and demonstrate the qualities that make you the best candidate.

Here are some of the most common questions an interviewer may ask you and how you could answer them, based on your individual experience and situation.

“Tell me about yourself.”

This standard interview question is asked in nearly every interview. It can be challenging to answer due to its open-ended nature. When an interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself, you should focus your answer on your professional experience, education, and anything else that would qualify you for the position.

“What is your dental assistant experience?”

The interviewer will want to know about any prior experiences as a dental assistant with this question. You can use this opportunity to highlight any of your previous dental assisting roles and how long you worked there. 

If you’re new to the dental assisting field, you can cite any externships and training you’ve completed. You may want to discuss any credentials or licenses you’ve earned.

“What is your experience with dental practice management software?” 

A dental assistant may be asked to record patient medical history, schedule appointments, and help patients with billing and payment. These tasks generally require the use of dental-specific software. If you’ve used a dental-specific management system, you’ll want to outline your degree of proficiency.

“How would you prepare for a patient’s arrival?”

As a dental assistant, you’ll be responsible for preparing patients and the dental work area. For this question, you’ll want to show you have organizational skills, the ability to multitask, and your dedication to maintaining a smooth operation.

“What’s your experience with radiology?”

A common responsibility for a dental assistant is to take and process x-rays. The interviewer may ask you about your familiarity with radiology. You may want to consider earning a certification in Dental Radiation Safety or express your interest in earning it during an interview. In the Dental Assisting program at SJVC, you can earn a certification in Dental Radiation Safety.

“What are your strengths?”

This is another standard interview question. You’ll want to highlight your best qualities without boasting or comparing yourself to others. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the ways in which you would be a good asset to the team.

“What are your weaknesses?

On the other hand, the interviewer may ask you to detail your weak points. You don’t want to offer negative information that can hamper your chances of getting the job. Also, you don’t want to say, “I’m a perfectionist.”

The best way to answer this question is to highlight a specific weakness and how you’ve overcome it or explain the process you use to help overcome it.

“Why do you think you’re the best candidate for this job?”

To best answer this question, you’ll want to reiterate your strengths and experience as they relate to this role. You can use this time to mention any other accomplishments that would make you the best candidate for the job.

“Do you have any questions for me?”

Generally, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview. The worst thing you can do is say that you don’t have any questions. Doing so may make the interviewer think you did not sufficiently prepare for the interview. 

You should come prepared with a list of questions to ask the interviewer. If the company has a website, spend some time researching and generating questions. You can also ask any questions you may have about anything the interviewer mentioned during your interview.

Kickstart Your Career as a Dental Assistant

Becoming a dental assistant is a great entryway into the dental field. To ace the interview, you should research the company, anticipate and practice interview questions, and dress appropriately.

If you want to learn more about becoming a dental assistant, check out our Dental Assistant Career Guide. This comprehensive guide covers the general responsibilities of a dental assistant, skills needed, how to become one, career outlook, and much more.

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