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.



6 thoughts on “The “Job Seeker” Vs. “The Career Minded Dental Professional”

    • Thanks Dr. Hall,
      So much of these “signs” are so visible and yet we tend to miss so many of the really BIG ones…..Perhaps we would have less “wrong” choices and more “right” ones if we paid close attention. It’s not always about what they know, but who they are.
      I appreciate your feedback very much.

    • Thanks Linda,
      It’s unfortunate that sometimes the doctor is so anxious to find someone (let’s get this position FILLED) that one or two of the “signs” will conveniently pass him/her by. It’s so much smarter to identify these red flags early and simply move on rather than to make exceptions and excuses when the writing can be seen clearly on the wall. This is one of the reasons the turnover rate for employees is so prevalent in our industry.

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