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Whilst the number of dental jobs currently available has never been as high, it is still the case that there is much competition between candidates when looking for the best dental vacancies.

With many more qualified graduates arriving on to the scene it is often just as difficult for the surgeries to distinguish between budding young dental professionals, and so increasingly we’re seeing strategies being used which are taking some candidates by surprise.

It is probably advisable therefore that candidates are aware of these strategies, and surgeries who are struggling to choose between potentially ideal candidates be aware of the ways in which some surgeries are identifying ways in which an exceptional candidate can be distinguished from a merely excellent one! Oh that everyone was as lucky!

Unusual Dental Interview Techniques To Look Out For

Dental Recruitment Which Goes Beyond The CV

Whilst it is certainly the case that standard questions at interview will be required, much of this information is already included on the CV, and simply going through any past experience is unlikely to result in much new information becoming evident.

In fact we often find that it is not so much what is on the CV which helps determine the final choice, but the way in which candidates are able to express themselves, especially when faced with unexpected situations.

After all, no two days at a dental surgery are ever the same, with every single patient requiring a unique approach and an understanding of their concerns. Sometimes it can be the case that whilst new candidates come to interviews armed with an impressive knowledge of the subject, and a keen understanding of dental procedures and dental health, it is their approach to the individual nature of the patients which can be lacking.

This is why a growing number of dental surgeries are asking candidates questions which at first glance seem to have very little, if anything, to do with the job.

Case Examples Of Dental Interview Questions

For example, we know of at least one surgery which asks prospective candidates what their families think of their choice of career. Why would this be relevant? Of course, it’s often completely irrelevant, but that isn’t the point. The first thing to notice is the reaction of the candidate to the question.

In some cases candidates will be completely thrown, and won’t know quite how to respond. Candidates who do well tend to be those who are not flummoxed when presented within unusual question, or for their personal opinion rather than cold hard indisputable facts.

Candidates who demonstrate empathy also tend to do well, and of course these are traits which are essential in making sure patients feel comfortable and relaxed when they visit the surgery.

Another question we have heard being asked to dental candidates is how people tend to react to them when they enter a room. Again, this seems to have nothing to do with dentistry at all, but is obviously designed to say a good deal about a candidate’s self confidence.

Increasingly it is not just enough to have an excellent academic grasp of dentistry. Today it is important to be able to tell apart those candidates who would treat patients as cases, from those who recognise the individuality of patients.

Surgeries who may be struggling through almost identical interviews may wish to bear these ideas in mind, and for candidates hoping to grab one of the best dental vacancies in their area it is now essential for them to be fully prepared, including being as prepared as possible for those questions for which almost no preparation is possible!

Our advice is that if you are asked a question which catches you unawares, don’t blurt out the first thing which pops into your head. Take a moment, breathe deeply and think about it carefully.

Don’t try to be too clever with your answer, be honest, and try to ask yourself not just what the answer might be, but why you are being asked the question in the first place.


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