Interview Scenario Series – The Administrative Department

SetTheStage HireMe

Setting the Scene

Conducting interviews is a real drag for darn sure!  You’ll never hear anyone say “I really enjoy the interview process” no matter what side of the desk they’re sitting on. The techniques I will share should not only serve as a guide to make the most of the time spent with the job applicants, but they will change the way you conduct your interviews from now on.  This should not only enable more effective hires based on acquiring some very valuable information, but will also alleviate the stress level for the interviewer and probably for the job candidate as well.

My hope is that the thousands of hours I spent interviewing prospective dental hires and the information I pass on to you will serve to save you some frustration, angst, and anxiety. The role-play videos that I periodically post will help you to better evaluate job seekers. Just the manner in which the candidates react to the questions posed will open your eyes and suddenly be more revealing and valuable to you once you know what to look for.

The tricks of the trade and the little suggestions I offer should make a marketable difference in the way you perceive the candidates. How they present, as well as how they respond to the scenario questions will play a big part in your decision to move them forward in the process.  It’s the “situational” questions that will make a tremendous difference in how you interview your prospective new employees and more so, the information you garner from speaking with them.

You’ll often read or hear me mention that it is most important to consider “hiring for attitude before aptitude”.  This is a mantra I have learned to believe in and am conscious of with every interview I have ever conducted.  It should be one of the main things you focus on as you move forward to conduct yours.  We always say “some things can NOT be trained and attitude is one of them”.

Granted, the interviewing process can be most stressful for the person being interviewed.  Many candidates almost go into shock; they clam up or perhaps begin to babble, not saying much of anything out of fear.  Their reaction to this “drill” can cause the candidate to not present an accurate impresson of themselves.  First and foremost, it is critically important to assist the job applicant in trying to relax, get comfortable, and most of all not to feel threatened or awkward.  This can be accomplished by making this simple statement “I know this is not fun for you, the interview process is one thing almost all of us are frightened to death of, including me.”   Somehow making this declaration changes the tone of the interview and 9 out of 10 times will immediately relax them.

The video clip I am offering is that of an appropriate scenario question for the candidate that is interviewing for an administrative position. The question not only reveals “how” the candidate would resolve the challenge in question, but also how she reacts to the question as she imagines herself in this moment.  The “demeanor” that surfaces from envisioning this particular situation is quite interesting and so very telling.

What did we learn from presenting this scenario to this particular candidate?

  1. She immediately exhibited “signs” of irritation at being interrupted. Why? This is an extremely critical reaction and one that occurs often.
  2. She envisioned herself as maybe a bit of an “elitist”, taking her role (and I’ll bet her title) and putting it ahead of what needed to be accomplished.
  3. She didn’t answer appropriately in that the VERY first thing would be to remove the irate patient from the reception area and out of the range of others.
  4. This is an example of an “attitude” that is not one that we would want to encourage or cultivate within our team.

More scenarios will follow that apply to other dental positions.

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