Management Monday: Interview tips – part 2

This weeks blog is a follow up  from 2 weeks ago.

This time I am focusing on the interview itself. Over my 16 years of 0600images-17employing staff in dentistry the interview process has changed vastly. To find the person that matches your business has to be an involved process, the less you ask the less you know and that to me means you are taking an unnecessary risk. If you employ the wrong person then this will cost you both in time and money, neither of which any of us have time to do. The investment it now takes to train a new staff member, only says to me it is worth taking every plausible effort in the interview to make sure that you are getting the best match. So here are my top tips on what you should be covering in an interview:

1) Explore CV/Application – (ice breaker) – Make sure you ask direct questions about a persons C.V, I like to see what how a person builds on what is in there C.V, to test it is relevant and that it is not something that has been added in for effect.

2) Practice Walk – Optional – I like a practice walk, it relaxes the person you are interviewing, the team get a chance to meet the candidate informally and if the candidate is savvy they will reference something they have seen on the practice walk in one of their answers in the interview stages.

3) Clinical Interview – A must with every candidate who is being employed as a DCP. Questions have to be relevant and on the clinical level needed. My advice here is if you don’t know how test clinically then get the dentists to set the clinical questions and give you a set of answers. This way all you have to do is cross reference responses with what you should be hearing. You need clinical questions for Dentists, Dental Nurses, Hygienists, Therapists, Clinical Dental technicians and Treatment Coordinators.

4) Customer Service interview – This is one of my main focuses and will denote whether a person is employed. Customer service is all about how a candidate is going to communicate with our patients and with my team. I want candidates to make me feel like they care about the a patients experience and that they enjoy working with people. From a team perspective I am looking for team players, people who are respectful and are willing to follow our systems. Lastly I am looking at what a candidate knows about our brand and how they feel they will fit into our team.

5) Maths Test/Computer skills test – These two tests are really important. The maths test is vital for the patient care team/reception and also for Treatment coordinators. From a patient experience and understanding of maths is key and is an eye opener. Set basic arithmetic questions and percentage based questions. Computer Skills are vital – I dictate notes as a bare minimum, this allows me to check speed, grammar and sentence structure ability and spellings. I also test treatment planning and base charting for nurses. Do take nerves into account but too many people recruit nurses and then find their computer skills are no where near adequate and therefore this really slows training. It is also important in all roles as everyone should have basic computer skills now.

6) Situational questions – These questions are in addition to the clinical interview and need to be added for Dentists, hygienists, therapists and specialists. Give a detailed scenario with a prescription, information about a patient, MH and base charting/scores information. Then ask the candidate how they would approach the situation and how they would communicate this to the patient and the treatment they would carry out.

7) Terms and conditions – Go through the terms and conditions of employment, the next steps if they were successful and what they would need to provide i.e 2 references subject to employment, GDC checks etc…

8 ) Questions and Answers – It is always nice to round off an interview by asking for any questions, most candidates will have a few questions, make sure you take time to answer them as this will be important to if they accept a position if offered.

For more help on interviews and other HR concerns I am holding a 2 day HR masterclass in July with the Dental Nurse Network sponsored by Henry Schien on the 22nd and 29th of July 2014 in London.

If you wish to know more or book a place click this link to the Dental Nurse Networks website





Providing dentists and their dental team with business development and training programmes to increase results with proven successful methods.
Visit the website today!

Contact us for expert advice on your practice's needs.
Sign up to our monthly newsletter: