I live in a small state with many hygienists and very few jobs. I recently applied in an office and the initial interview was a “group” interview, they have since called me in for a working interview. My question is how do I make myself “stand out” from dozens of hygienists? I’ve been trying to get myself ready by catching up on some literature and reviewing on things I haven’t necessarily used in a while, in case it came up. The practice is everything I’ve been wanting and waiting for, getting the job would be amazing!
The fact that you have been called back for a working interview bodes well for the first impression that you have made. So feeling confident about your skill sets and prospective employment will help to secure the position. Positive attitude and smiles go along way! My husband and I have a dental practice in Stowe, Vermont. When hiring, we initially request a “group” interview (our associate, my husband and myself).. If the candidate dental hygienist passes the established benchmark for the interview, we then ask for a day of “shadowing” of all of the dental hygienists in the office. The candidate is paid for his/her time as if working in our office. This allows us to view the candidate in many ways. Those that are distinguished from other candidates accomplish this by the way they stand, their professional appearance, their vernacular, their listening skills, their expediency to “pick-up” on software, their response to instrumentation implementation (ultrasonic and manual) if slightly different from what they are used to, and their communication with the entire staff. By shadowing, the candidate can see, hear and understand the tenor of the office, and we can determine just how engaged the candidate really is. If for your “working interview” you are asked to see patients and you are evaluated during that time with the patient, try to employ all of the aforementioned, deriving from your previous professional practice experience. You mentioned reading current literature which is an excellent way to insure your are up to speed with protocol and product line. The AAP 2011 Guidelines for Comprehensive Periodontal Therapy is an excellent springboard for insuring expertise. Finally, in our practice, once the dental hygienist passes the shadowing experience, and, because of my previous experience as a clinical instructor and educator, I meet with the now hired dental hygienist for a morning workshop reviewing our dental hygiene protocol more specifically in an attempt to standardized our patient delivery. Current literature reading is a continued requirement for our dental hygiene staff. It may behoove you to gently bring something new you recently read to that first “working interview” acknowledging that you are keeping pace with the current practice of dental hygiene. I hope this helps and best of luck with acquiring the position you so desire. Lucinda B. McKechnie RDH, BS