Are you preparing for a job interview for a Dental Assistant position? Familiarizing yourself with these common interview questions will help you have answers ready and feel more comfortable. It might also help to have a friend use these questions to give you a practice interview.
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
This is a basic interview question that can be tough to answer due to its open-ended nature. Instead of sharing hobbies or personality traits, keep your answers focused on your professional experience and education.
Example: “I recently completed the Dental Assistant Training Program at Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School, where I learned to work with patients, and assisted dentists in general exams and other procedures. I especially enjoy communicating with patients and helping to make their experience easy and comfortable.”
2. How much experience do you have as a Dental Assistant?
If you have prior experience as a Dental Assistant, tell them where you have worked, and how long you worked there. If you are new to the Dental Assistant field, tell them about your experience with ACI’s 180-hour internship, included in the Dental Assistant Training Program.
Example: “I recently completed a 180-hour internship at a local dentist’s office, where I got valuable hands-on experience in the responsibilities of a Dental Assistant. Now that I have graduated and completed my internship, I am looking forward to finding a full-time position and continuing my professional growth.”
3. What are some of your strengths?
When answering this question, it’s important not to brag. Simply discuss the areas that you feel you are strongest in.
Example: “My radiology skills are one of my biggest strengths. I feel confident when taking and processing x-rays. I am also good at communicating with patients and making them feel comfortable.”
4. What are some of your weaknesses?
When answering this question, do not put yourself down or say you are bad at something. Simply mention areas where you are looking to improve.
Example: “I am currently more comfortable with clinical tasks than administrative responsibilities, but I am good at communicating, so I am confident that I can adapt to that role quickly.”
5. Tell me about your computer skills.
When answering this question, be sure to mention your billing and coding training, as well as your Electronic Health Records training, as both are very important when employers are looking to hire candidates. It may be a good idea to take some notes to remind yourself of the specific computer programs you are experienced with.
Example: “I am trained in Electronic Health Records software, specifically the Example program. I am also trained in billing and coding, and have learned how to process claims with Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance companies. I am also experienced with all Microsoft Office programs.”
6. As a Dental Assistant, how will you ensure that you are following HIPAA guidelines?
It’s a good idea to brush up on HIPAA protocol before your interview, as it is an important part of a Dental Assistant’s job.
Example: “I was trained in HIPAA protocol during my Dental Assistant Training Program. At my internship, I learned to be careful about patient privacy, for example only using patients’ first names in the waiting room, making sure patient information was kept out of view of others, and making sure the exam room door was closed before any discussions took place.”
7. Are you experienced in front office administrative responsibilities? Are you comfortable on the phone?
It is common for Dental Assistants to do a combination of clinical tasks and administrative work. Be ready to talk about the office tasks you have been trained to do. This is another good opportunity to bring up your EHR and billing and coding training.
Example: “We learned many front office duties in my training program, with an emphasis on customer service and professionalism. I have been trained on billing and coding and Electronic Health Records, and I am comfortable talking to patients both on the phone and in person.”
8. Are you experienced with radiological tasks (exposing/processing x-rays)?
Performing radiological tasks is another important responsibility of a Dental Assistant, so share some details about your qualifications.
Example: “I received certification in radiation health and safety through the Dental Assistant National Board Examination.”
9. What is a difficult position you have been in at work, and how did you handle it?
Make sure your story is honest and describes a circumstance in which you handled a difficult situation with professionalism.
Example: “During my internship, I had to work with a child who was extremely nervous about having his teeth cleaned. I was able to calm him down, keep him comfortable, and talk to him throughout the procedure.”
10. What do you like most about the Dental Assistant position?
Answer honestly and pick an aspect of the Dental Assistant job requirement that appeals to you.
Example: “I enjoy working with patients and making their visit comfortable and stress-free.”
11. What do you like least about the Dental Assistant position?
This is a difficult question, as you do not want to complain about your job before you get it. Your best bet is to tell them that you don’t have a least favorite part.
Example: “There aren’t really any responsibilities of this job that I don’t like. I hope to gain new and different responsibilities as I learn more and become more experienced.”
12. Why do you want to work here?
It’s important to research a company before you interview with them. If this question comes up when talking to their recruiters, have a specific answer about what you can bring to the company. Avoid talking about personal motivations such as the good pay or easy commute.
Example: “Example Dental Care would be a good fit for me because I enjoy working with children. Working with the professional dental team would give me a great range of experience.”
13. Why are you the best candidate for this position?
Dental practice owners have a lot to think about, and want to make sure they have the best people for the job. When answering this question, you do not want to come off conceited. Simply reiterate your training and experience, and that you feel you would make a valuable member of the team.
Example: “I feel that my training, internship experience, and communication skills make me a strong candidate for this position. I am confident in all of the responsibilities in the job descriptions, and my personal skills will allow me to make patients comfortable during their visit.”