There is more to Assessments than Just the Results


There’s even more to learn if you pay close attention

“Personnel Assessments” of all kinds are very much in the forefront today during the hiring process in both large and small companies. They measure everything from IQ to personality to behavior to how well the job candidates will work with others.

Utilizing profiles and assessments can be most beneficial in making the final hiring decision when the results are interpreted properly and understood fully. My questions to those of you that include such measuring tools are:

Do you feel you use these materials properly?


Do you take full advantage of the valuable information that can be extracted from such surveys?

You may be surprised to learn that there could be some additional hidden bits of information that you are missing.

Over the course of many years I have utilized and find great value in behavioral assessments. To me, they are often strong indicators of current and future performance, and can help you either move on with a candidate or choose to not pursue them.

Administering evaluation tools and then compiling and assessing the results are only a small piece of the value that they can deliver. I first developed an interest in such profiles back when I worked as a Practice Advisor, then later during my tenure as owner/developer of a dental placement agency franchise system. Disc Profiles were part of our interview protocols, which we administered to every job candidate that interviewed in each of our agency locations.

They worked well for a time until the pricing began to escalate and I felt that the cost to my franchisees was becoming prohibitive. Subsequently over time I created my own behavioral profile assessment that I call SELF. It has worked very well for me and my clients. It measures similarly to Disc Profiles, yet it “speaks” to the industry of dentistry and is not generic. I administer it via the internet by giving the job candidate an access code along with written directions.

Back in the day when I worked up close and personal with job seekers, I would be sure to make the most of the process and how I observed the applicant as he/she took the assessment. Did they ask additional questions even after I thoroughly explained the process to them? Did their body language indicate stress or show signs of being somewhat uncomfortable or uneasy? Were they fast at completing it or were they slow and methodical?

Today I have successfully managed to place many personnel remotely, and although I continue to administer my SELF Profiles, I have had to be creative with how I observe them as they complete the process. Because I am unable to visibly see them in action, I had to create a way of continuing to monitor this activity.

I call this one of my “check points”, and I have established many that I use throughout the remote hiring process. When it comes to moving them forward and setting them up for the SELF Profile, I will first let them know that I will “verbally” give them the directions over the phone and then as soon as we get off I will “send” them the written directions. Some that take my call are prepared with pad and pen in front of them ready for our phone interview and begin to frantically jot down the directions, even though I assured them I would be emailing them.

How do I know this? Well, I will ask if they are writing it down and many will say “yes”. Some will say “oh, let me get a pen and paper”, and other’s will say “I’m waiting for the directions from you”, still others will say “No, since I’ll remember what you’ve said.” Of course you know that the pro-active job candidate always wins! At least in my eyes this is the case.

I follow this up by asking them to roughly let me know when it will be completed and make note of it. I also ask that they email me that they are complete as soon as they have finished. So here I am in many cases 1,000 miles away from the job candidate, and I have already been able to assess whether they are proactive, if they follow directions, and if they are motivated (some will say “can it wait until next week?”).

Before I’ve even extracted the results, I observe the worthwhile information that I have already discovered.

So to those of you that are utilizing any type of assessment model, give some thought to what you might add to the process that will offer you some additional feedback and by all means, understand the purpose and value in whatever profile you choose to give. Also, keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what this person may or may not have to offer. Don’t ever base the hiring decision solely on an assessment!

The “Job Seeker” Vs. “The Career Minded Dental Professional”

InterviewBad InterviewGood

Identifying the strong job candidates

There are definitely many signs that point to the very different job candidates; and although many are easy to spot, there are some flags that can be hidden or impressions that can be misinterpreted or misread. I believe it is critically important to begin to recognize and pay attention to the differences.

When the “job seeker” calls in response to an ad for employment these are often the questions asked right from the get-go to the person answering their initial call:

  • How much are you paying?
  • Are there any benefits?
  • Are there any weekends or late hours?
  • Will there be a vacation and bonus?
  • Those applying for a business office position will also ask “Is this an Office Manager position?”
  • The hygienist might ask, “Do I have an assistant to clean my instruments and set up my room?”
  • The Clinical Assistant might ask, “Am I the only assistant?”

When the Career Minded dental professional calls, you might hear:

  • “I’m most interested in your job offering and based on your ad I’m anxious to pursue this opportunity.”
  • “I’m so excited to meet you, the team and the doctor”. May I set up an appointment?”

When the “job seeker” arrives for their initial interview–

  • They show up right on time or slightly late
  • They may or may not remember to bring their resume.
  • They may show up inappropriately dressed and possibly in heavy makeup.
  • They casually walk up to the front desk and quickly leave their name then sit back down.
  • They get out their cell phone and begin talking/texting, observing nothing around them.

When the Career Minded dental professional shows for their initial interview:

  • They are at least 15 minutes early and make sure to properly greet the team at the front desk.
  • They also make sure to point out that they are early saying, “I know I’m quite early, but I never like to be late.”
  • They extend their hand to the team members that might be available for a “Hello, my name is Suzie and I’m happy to meet you.”
  • They bring a very well-constructed/written resume and any letters of recommendation they may have in a neat folder.
  • They are dressed in business casual (even those applying for a clinical position).
  • They have moderate makeup on and went light on the perfume.
  • They have their cell phone off and neatly tucked away in their bag.
  • They have already checked out the doctor’s website and searched for any additional information she/he could find about the practice.
  • While sitting in the lobby they are checking everything out. Looking at any educational materials, possible pictures or postings that pertain to anything the practice might have contributed to the community, etc. They are watching the team dynamics and gathering what they can re the organization of the group.

When the job seeker is asked to step in to meet the doctor or the interviewer they rise from their seat and follow the escort in. They take a seat and barely acknowledge the person sitting across the desk from them. They then proceed to:

  • Answer question after question, but don’t ask anything back.
  • They are busy looking at the artwork, furniture or family photos and not looking at the interviewer. Proper eye-contact is important.
  • They don’t mention their strong points and what makes them a viable candidate for the position.
  • They basically sit there being “grilled”, contributing very little.
  • They let the interviewer know what they “need” to make, what they “have” to make.
  • When they are dismissed they say “Good bye and thank you” (nothing else) and depart.

When the Career Minded dental professional is asked to step in to meet the doctor or the interviewer they rise from their seat and say “Thanks so much, Suzie” (using the escort’s name if possible). They walk in and extend their hand to whomever is there to meet them and introduce themselves (if it has not been done already).

  • They present their resume, letters of recommendation, and any other important information to “impress” in a nice clean folder
  • They allow the interviewer to start the process, but when the time is right they too ask questions about the age of the practice, the culture of the practice, and what they are hoping they can bring to this position based on the information gathered.
  • They ask bright and pointed questions and make mention of their looking at the website and checking out as much as they could about the practice.
  • If the question “What do you want to make?” is ever asked they respond with, “I’d like the opportunity to prove myself and show you my value rather than to quote a number.”

The Job Seeker will wait to hear back from the office, or perhaps make a status call over the next few days.

The Career Minded dental professional will send a handwritten thank you note and follow it all through professionally and appropriately.

Perhaps you will look at the interview process and the candidates that apply, in a very different light now that I’ve pointed the differences out to you.