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Dental Assistant Interview Questions

25 Dental Assistant Interview Questions
Question 1 of 25
Have you progressed in your dental career, as expected?
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.

Answer Example
"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."
Entry Level Example
"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."
Experienced Example
"Overall, I am satisfied with my career progression within the dental industry. Everyone, including me, hits roadblocks or setbacks, but I have been able to push through them and stay on track."
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Question 2 of 25
What procedure do you use to sterilize dental equipment?
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How to Answer
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!
Answer Example
"clean"
Entry Level Example
"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."
Experienced Example
"Sterilization methods have changed over the years so, for that reason, I am well versed in both manual and automated serialization. In my current position, I work in an office that uses a high tech automated system, which is what I prefer. Which method do you use in your office?"
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Question 3 of 25
What are your salary expectations?
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How to Answer
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.

Answer Example
"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."
Entry Level Example
"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."
Experienced Example
"I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $48K plus benefits. I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."
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Question 4 of 25
What has been your best experience thus far, as a dental assistant?
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How to Answer
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.

Answer Example
"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."
Entry Level Example
"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."
Experienced Example
"Every day brings new opportunity for learning and helping new clients. Overall, I would say that my best experiences surround the times when a client is nervous about their procedure, and I can help calm their nerves. I am especially skilled in helping kids to feel comfortable."
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Question 5 of 25
What are three key traits a dental assistant needs to have?
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How to Answer
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.

Answer Example
"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."
Entry Level Example
"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."
Experienced Example
"I believe that a dental assistant needs to have excellent documentation skills, the ability to make a client feel comfortable, and a strong sense of safety. These are all traits that I possess and will bring with me if hired."
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Writers for Dental Assistant Answers and Questions

Heather Douglass
Heather Douglass has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates. She has a knack for resume writing. You can find her on twitter at @heatherinidaho.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 02/14/2011
Last modified on: 08/20/2018

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About Dental Assistant

May 14th, 2017

Dental Assistants assist the dentist to provide more efficient dental treatment. Dental Assistants perform many tasks, ranging from providing patient care and taking x rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. Your duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices where you work. A few duties you may have as a Dental Assistants is to prep the patient for treament, sterilize instruments, pass instruments during the procedure, hold a suction device during a procedure, exposing dental radiographs, take impressions and fabricate provisional crowns. You serve as the Dentists extra set of hands so the Dentist can focus more time on the procedure.

As a Dental Assistant you are detail oriented. You follow specific rules and protocols, such as infection control procedures when helping dentists treat patients. Dental assistants must be good at working with their hands. You generally work in tight quarters on a small part of the body, using very precise tools and instruments. As a Dental Assistant you must work closely with dentists and patients. Sometimes, patients are in extreme pain and mental stress, so the assistant should be sensitive to their emotions. Dental assistants should be able to listen to patients and other healthcare workers. You follow directions from a dentist or dental hygienist, so they can help treat patients and do tasks, such as taking an x ray. As a Dental Assistant have excellent organizational skills. Keeping the correct tools in place for a dentist or dental hygienist to use when treating a patient is very important during the procedure.

To prepare for your interview we recommend you bring a letter of recommendation from the dentist you work for. Having a colleague speak highly of you and recommend you will help during the interview. If you are licensed, registered, or certified bring a copy of the documentation. If you are certified to perform expanded duties such as coronal polishing be sure to mention this during your interview- this could make you stand apart from the rest of the candidates.