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Dental Assistant Interview

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 20th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
Have you progressed in your dental career, as expected?
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How to Answer
Career progression can be a touchy subject, especially if you feel that your career hasn't progressed as well as you would have liked. Talk to the interviewer about your career progression and what you would like to see in the future.
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Top 25 Dental Assistant Interview Questions with Full Content
Have you progressed in your dental career, as expected?
Career progression can be a touchy subject, especially if you feel that your career hasn't progressed as well as you would have liked. Talk to the interviewer about your career progression and what you would like to see in the future.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Overall, my career has progressed a touch slower than I would have liked. I have held a couple of positions that didn't offer the growth and learning that I was expecting; however, I have bounced back nicely. I feel that this particular position would take my career exactly where it should be."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am pleased with the progress of my dental career. I am proud of my accomplishments and the path my career has taken so far."
What procedure do you use to sterilize dental equipment?
The interviewer wants to know if you are aware of the fundamental procedures you would have to perform as a dental assistant. Do your homework, beforehand!

As cross-infection is possible in any dental surgery, so, a designated area or "clean" room is present for receiving, cleaning off debris, disinfecting, sterilizing and storing all sterile dental equipment.

The manual way to clean the instruments is by scrubbing, using a chemical or detergent agent, rinsing very thoroughly with clean water, and avoiding any splashes.

You could also mention that using automated equipment can prove more efficient as the instruments eliminate the need for soaking or scrubbing beforehand. This method also prevents the dental assistant from being exposed to contaminants.

To reduce injury; gloves, face-masks, and gowns must be worn at all times. To impress the interviewer, you can always finish answering this question by saying that many organizations across America insist on long-handled brushes to keep the hands away from sharp instruments!
Rachelle's Answer #1
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I was trained to manually sterilize dental equipment by the method of pre-soaking and scrubbing utensils using a chemical agent. I am also versed in the importance of proper protective equipment such as gloves, a face-mask, and a gown."
What are your salary expectations?
The compensation question can be tough to answer. It's always best to start with what you are currently earning and then discuss what your future compensation goals look like.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am currently making $40,000 per year plus benefits. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As I am new to my career and this industry, I am happy to negotiate my earnings based on your typical salary for this role."
What has been your best experience thus far, as a dental assistant?
This question is assuming you have had previous experience working as a dental assistant before. If you have, tell them about your best experience, ensuring to showcase your attributes in care and compassion.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"A patient came into the surgery absolutely petrified to see the dentist and having the treatment done. I took their hand and stayed with them every second they were in the dentist's chair reassuring them it would be fine. The best part of this experience was when the patient walked out of the surgery, thanking me for making them feel so comfortable."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As I am new to my career as a dental assistant, I would say that the best experience so far has been my practicum with Clinic ABC. I was able to lean a great deal from the dentist and also the dental hygienists. Feeling so welcome and accepted in this industry has by far been my favorite experience."
What are three key traits a dental assistant needs to have?
The interviewer would like to see the types of traits you value the most. Likely, the characteristics that you mention while answering this question are going to be traits that you have. When answering this question, focus on your daily routine, personal skills, and organization skills.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I think being able to work well in a team, clearly communicate, and consistently provide excellent customer service are incredibly important traits to have as a dental assistant. Rest assured, I would bring these traits with me to this role."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Through my dental assistant education, I learned that the best key traits to have include a keen eye on safety, hygiene, and good bedside manner."
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