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Dental Hygienist Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 22nd, 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
What is your experience working with children?
View Answers
How to Answer
As a dental hygienist, you are likely going to work in a family-friendly office. If you are a more experienced hygienist, share your experiences where you worked with kids in the office. You can also mention your exposure to working with children in another career space.
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Top 25 Dental Hygienist Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
What is your experience working with children?
As a dental hygienist, you are likely going to work in a family-friendly office. If you are a more experienced hygienist, share your experiences where you worked with kids in the office. You can also mention your exposure to working with children in another career space.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Before becoming a dental hygienist, I worked as a nanny. I have always enjoyed working with kids. As a hygienist, I get to see kids often, and they can be challenging when they are afraid or anxious. I have learned how to comfort them and teach them fun ways to care for their teeth."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"While completing my practicum, I worked in a family-friendly dental clinic. Many kids came through. I found that I was great with helping them to stay calm during their procedure. They love the little stickers and toys they get as a reward after their visit, which is always so cute to see."
Anonymous Answer
"I have had numerous babysitting jobs during my high school years. I even continued to babysit when I was in college. I also performed on a dance team where I had a little one who was assigned to me that looked up to me as we competed. I love working with kids and enjoy the smiles they share."
Rachelle's Answer
This is an excellent answer that showcases your ability to work around children but also your willingness to be a positive influence. Well done :)
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2.
What is the most challenging aspect of this role for you?
When addressing challenges, talk about how you can overcome them. Better yet, talk about how you anticipate problems and strive to prevent them. Working on your feet, and with your hands, all day can be taxing. Being in a customer-facing role is also challenging. Presenting measures to combat these types of challenges shows you are proactive, so take this as an opportunity to show your strengths in the face of challenges.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Since this job is so physical, days where I see a high volume of patients is difficult. I'm careful of my hands and wrists to make sure I don't injure myself over time. I am very healthy, practice yoga and do a lot of stretching."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe the most challenging aspect of this role will be to remember all of the medical language associated with the role of a dental hygienist. I am taking control of this by studying a couple of hours per night."
Anonymous Answer
"I think it's the ergonomic, especially with a full day job. It can be tricky sometimes. I'm very careful with it, especially with my neck and back, and to avoid chronic fatigue. I usually go to the gym regularly to stretch and strengthen my body."
Rachelle's Answer
This job is certainly tough on one's body, so it's wonderful that you are sure to care for your health by stretching and strengthening.
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3.
If you are stressed, what signs occur and what do you do about it?
This question is meant to check your self-awareness. Do you realize when you are stressed? What stresses you out the most? Respond in a way that shows your understanding of stress and how it affects you. Be careful to reveal that you cannot handle stress. You absolutely can. Sharing a weak moment doesn't show you are weak. It shows that you are human and affected by stress just like everyone else. Focus more on how you cope with stress than how stressed out you get. Knowing your triggers is key!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I enjoy working in the fast-paced environment of a dental clinic, but it can be stressful to keep the pace. I have noticed that when I get too wrapped up in going through the motions with each patient without taking a break I can feel my heart rate go up and I feel anxious. At this point, I know I need to take a step back and go outside for some fresh air. Since I've learned my limitations, I am getting better at communicating with my team when I need a minute to recoup."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."
4.
What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good hygienist?
Think about your daily responsibilities. If you are new to the profession, think about what you can anticipate based on your observations. What type of personality does it take, to be a successful dental hygienist, and which of your strengths make you most effective at your job?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel that a dental hygienist should have great people skills, be organized, and always have an eye on safety. I plan to bring these skills, and more, to my role here."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Some essential qualities of an excellent hygienist:

- Enthusiastic attitude
- Detail-oriented
- Patient
- Energetic
- Attentive
- Friendly
- Knowledgeable
- Professional"
Anonymous Answer
"I believe the most important qualities that a good hygienist should have are great people skills, organization and being attentive to your patients’ needs."
Rachelle's Answer
Try to dig a bit deeper as most candidates, regardless of industry, choose to answer with these qualities. I have added an answer below that will better position you against other candidates.
"A great dental hygienist will be empathetic and understanding, as many patients are nervous at the dentist. It's also important to be careful and detail oriented, as the mouth is a small space to work. Being positive, confident, and professional are other important qualities that I hold as well."
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Anonymous Answer
"Being empathetic, friendly, and attentive to patient's needs. When patients feel comfortable, they would like to come back and refer their relatives and friends to come."
Rachelle's Answer
These are very important qualities, indeed. It may be nice to express the ways in which you display these qualities yourself in the workplace.
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5.
What do you like most about being a Dental Hygienist?
Think about what makes you excited to go to work every day. Is it helping people? Is it educating them about healthy habits? Identify the thing you love most about your job and then give an example.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I like teaching people good habits to keep their mouths healthy. Whenever I work with small children, I make extra effort to help them understand the importance of good dental hygiene. I show them pictures of the difference between a healthy mouth versus gingivitis, tooth decay and some of the other issues that can occur."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I think that the most interesting part of being a dental hygienist is going to be working with such a diverse range of people. It will feel great to help others to learn healthy habits."
Anonymous Answer
"It enables me to help people as young as two years old and as senior as 80 years old. A great position to help prevent more severe health issues by regular check-ups, oral health education, preventive procedures, and so on. When they came back with better oral health and maintained it well, I fell glad."
Rachelle's Answer
Dental care is very important work, and the interviewer will be happy to hear the pride in your responses!
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