How to shine during your dental nurse interview
Step 1- Research the practice
This is so important and there are many reasons why. They may ask what you know about the practice in the interview and your knowledge will show how interested you are in the dental nurse job in their practice. You may be able to bring up in the interview that you like certain aspects of the practice e.g. types of treatments they do, specific good feedback they have received, awards they have won. It may help prepare you for some questions you want to ask them at the interview. Gives you a feel for the type of practice it is and an indication of whether you and the practice are a good fit (remember, a good work environment requires that you are a fit for them, as much as they are a good fit for you). Researching the practice may help you relax before entering as you feel like you already know them a little. Good places to research a dental practice is on their website, Google/NHS reviews, CQC website and their social media feed.
Step 2 – Look professional
What you wear gives an indication of how serious you are about the dental nurse job opportunity. I always advise my interviewees to dress smart/professional and keeping things like hair, jewellery and makeup close to what would be expected of a dental nurse. This will help the person interviewing feel like you are ready for the role and potentially help them imagine you in the dental nurse role already. Even if your interview is on Zoom or another video platform – don’t minimise the effort you need to take. Dress professional and smart. Step 3 Practice answering questions out loud. The more you do something, the more natural it becomes. It is difficult to replicate the exact feeling you will have at the actual interview, but try answering the following questions out loud: What made you want to be a dental nurse? What do you enjoy about being a dental nurse? What are your strengths? Why should we hire you? How do you deal with fast-paced, stressful work environments?
-Are you talking too fast?
-Are you speaking clearly?
-Are you remembering to smile?
-Do you look at your feet the whole time?
-Adjust and try again.
You will soon feel comfortable and confident answering whatever question may be thrown at you.
Step 4- Prepare logistics
It makes a good impression if you are extra prepared for an interview. Plan to be 5-10 minutes early at least (if you’re too early, walk around the neighbourhood and get to know your potential new work location).
Bring a copy of your:
-CV (in case they don’t have it to hand and offer it to the person interviewing you)
-Enrolment letter to an NEBDN Dental Nursing course.
-GDC registration certificate, if qualified
-Hep B vaccinations, ID and 2 references.
Dental nurses need to be organised and be prepared for what may be needed during their working day – preparing the above also shows you have these skills.
Step 5- Be confident and friendly
Usually people walk into the dental practice, politely say they are here for an interview and take a seat. However, what you may not know is that often the reception team will feedback to the person hiring. Have you heard the old saying “people work with people they like”? You may be shy or nervous, but what if you did something different than most people?
What if you walked in, came to the front desk, complimented them (eg. on how nice the practice looks/their awards/the person’s hair/how they spoke to the patient before you etc). Then you asked a question (eg. how long they have worked there/how they like working in dentistry etc) that led to a little conversation with the front desk team, before you were brought in for the interview. Finally, on the way out you remembered to say goodbye to the reception team and that you hoped to see them soon. Well, you may just find that all your interview preparation has paid off.