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Top 25 Dental Hygienist Interview Questions
Question 1 of 25
Why do you want to work for our company?
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List of Dental Hygienist Interview Questions
  1. Why do you want to work for our company?
  2. How did you manage your time among school, work, and or other activities?
  3. What is your experience working with children?
  4. Describe your ideal work environment.
  5. What is the most challenging aspect of this role for you?
  6. How can you help with the oral health needs of this office?
  7. If you could do anything different in your education, what would you do?
  8. If you are stressed, what signs occur and what do you do about it?
  9. What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good hygienist?
  10. How do you prioritize when given multiple tasks?
  11. What do you like most about being a Dental Hygienist?
  12. What are your greatest strengths?
  13. What will you do if you have a client that refuses to floss or take care of their teeth?
  14. What experience do you have performing tasks outside of your role as a hygienist?
  15. How would you handle a situation where the patient was not satisfied?
  16. Give me an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision.
  17. How have your previous experiences visiting the Dentist influenced you as a Hygienist?
  18. How do you feel about educating patients about home care?
  19. How would your coworkers describe you?
  20. Describe your average day as a Dental Hygienist.
  21. What do you think are two major ethical issues facing dentistry today?
  22. Tell me about yourself.
  23. What is your weakness?
  24. Which do you recommend to patients, water flossing vs string flossing?
  25. How do you handle a patient who is scared or uncomfortable?
Author:
Contributing Author
Heather Douglass
HR Specialist/Recruiter
Dental Hygienist Information
May 14th, 2017

As a Dental Hygienist you are a licensed dental professional who specializes in preventive oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene. Common procedures performed as a Dental Hygienist are prophylaxis, scaling and root planing for patients with periodontal disease, taking of prescribed radiographs, dental sealants, administration of fluoride, and providing instructions for proper oral hygiene and care. You also educate patients on how to develop and maintain good oral health. You give advice to patients on how to select toothbrushes and other oral-care devices.

As a Dental Hygienist you are detail oriented. You follow specific rules and protocols, such as infection control procedures when helping dentists treat patients. Dental Hygienists 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 Hygienist 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 Hygienists should be able to listen to patients and other healthcare workers. You follow directions from a dentist so you can help treat patients, perform tasks, such as taking an x-ray. As a Dental Hygienist you have excellent organizational skills. Keeping the correct tools in place for a dentist 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. Bring a copy of your license and any additional certification you may have If you are certified to perform expanded duties such as independently diagnosis health problems and provide some treatments, such as application of fluorides and sealants be sure to mention it during the interviewer- this could set you apart from the rest of the candidates!
Dental Hygienist User Submitted Interview Answers
Question 1 of 25
Why do you want to work for our company?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Physical therapy, I love the human body and I would love to help people have better health and feel better.
2.
Run an animal shelter or book store.
3.
Something in the medical profession. I wanted to definitely be a healthcare provider, dental was just where my heart took me.
4.
I would be an interior decorator.
5.
Work in the health field still. Probably in community health- promoting healthy lifestyles and educating the public
Question 2 of 25
How did you manage your time among school, work, and or other activities?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Time management was key to my getting through university. Being able to keep up with work, societies and social activities I kept myself organised by having a personal diary and an annual calender.
2.
A planner. I don't think I could have made it this passed semester with out my planner. I wrote down goals and what I needed to get done. My mom instilled in me that school comes first and everything else is second so if that meant giving up a weekend with my friends or a shift at my job that's what I had to do.
3.
I make a list and prioritise each task on level of importance.
4.
I make a list and prioritise each task on level of importance.
5.
I am honestly pretty good at managing my time. One of my biggest pet peeves is being late or missing out on something like class or work. So I always have everything scheduled, babysitters planned way in advance and back up babysitters at the ready.
Question 3 of 25
What is your experience working with children?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Iam a hands on person, I learn quick by watching how everything is done and by asking questions.
2.
Hands on and a researcher; I like to read.
3.
Practical and visual learner.
4.
I am a visual and kinesthetic type of learner. I learn best when I can picture the process of things as well as doing a hands on experiment.
5.
I am more of a hands on learner.
Question 4 of 25
Describe your ideal work environment.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have learned to adapt with every kind of worker, but my best work is with those who care about their job, and work hard.
2.
Enthusiastic, positive, hard working and helpful individuals.
3.
I work best with those who are outgoing. Those who enjoy what they are doing.
4.
Team players, outgoing, supportive hardworking.
5.
I enjoy being around upbeat, happy people.
Question 5 of 25
What is the most challenging aspect of this role for you?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
The things I will dislike most is the early hours lol. It can be difficult sometimes to wake myself up.
2.
The lack of progress of periodontal disease in individuals.
3.
Being away from my daughter.
4.
Cleaning rooms.
5.
Physical pain.
Question 6 of 25
How can you help with the oral health needs of this office?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Yes being very careful and precautes.
2.
Yes, Iwould treat them as every other patient. Good cross infection must be an essential skill for all Hygienists.
3.
Yes. It's against the law not to.
4.
Yes. I would treat them the same.
5.
Yes. It is unethical to refuse treatment to a patient who has AIDS. Seeing that their needs for oral hygiene are a little more critical than someone without out AIDs.
Question 7 of 25
If you could do anything different in your education, what would you do?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
If I could start everything differently. I would picked hygienist as a career sooner because now I know for a fact it is the perfect career of choice for me and my future.
2.
In high school I wish I would have tried harder my freshman and sophomore year. During that time I do not believe I took my education seriously.
3.
Taken it more seriously when I was younger.
4.
With my current A level results I would have taken gap year after my A levels. During the year I would retake some exams to increase my overall grades, gotten some dental nursing experience and applied for the Dental Hygiene and Therapy course straight away rather than doing degree in dental materials.
5.
I would have gone to college straight out of high school. I probably would have done something that is more relative to music.
Question 8 of 25
If you are stressed, what signs occur and what do you do about it?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I get a terrible headache usually. If it gets bad I will take IB proffin.
2.
When I'm stressed, I tents to look tired, but I love being actively whether that means hitting up the gym and lose some sweats.
3.
I like to play sports, like volley ball, baseball and basketball.
4.
I manage stress very well and it is not easilyvisible.
5.
If I'm stressed I become a bit grumpier and loose some sleep so when that happens I talk to my family and that helps to lessen the weight of my stress. I also take a bit of down time just to allow myself to relax for a bit.
Question 9 of 25
What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good hygienist?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Organization, cleanliness, determination, and patience.
2.
Good Personality, friendliness and well rounded knowledge.
3.
Hardworking, committed, gentle.
4.
Good skills, polite, humble, friendly, confident.
5.
Being a good listener and being able to communicate well. Being friendly, trust worthy and patient. Those are the qualities that I think make a good hygienist.
Question 10 of 25
How do you prioritize when given multiple tasks?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
People who aren't willing to work as a team- either those who wont allow others to help- bossy, controlling- or those who insist on being carried by the group.
2.
Leadership personalities can clash with my own at times. But usually if I put my own pride aside great things happen when I work with these types of people.
3.
People who are lazy or rude to patients.
4.
I manage to work with all sort of people.
5.
Complainers and gossipers. I am not there to deal with any drama. I am there to work.
Question 11 of 25
What do you like most about being a Dental Hygienist?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Working with young children and creating friendships with my clients.
2.
Knowing your good at what you do, and having the same people come back to you for years. I would love to see the familiar faces as well as new faces that may have been advised to come. Making that connection with people in an environment that you feel comfortable in doing would be very rewarding.
3.
I will like working with all of the different people. There are so many different personalities out there, and I will learn to adjust to the many different people that I am working with.
4.
Sackings, teeth whitening s, dealing with children and teaching them dental care.
5.
I think I will like almost everything to do with being a hygienist but mainly interacting with people everyday will be one of my favourite things.
Question 12 of 25
What are your greatest strengths?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I work very well under pressure. I usually end up being a top performer at any place that I work.
2.
I love my chosen career and I am already a qualified dental nurse.
3.
1) confidence 2) making clients feel comfortable and wanting to come back
4.
cleaning teeth and customer relations
5.
Thoroughness and time management. An example of this is.......
Question 13 of 25
What will you do if you have a client that refuses to floss or take care of their teeth?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Advise seeing them regularly for example on a 3 month recall rather than a 6 month or yearly recall and educate them on the importance of good oral hygiene.
2.
Educate them on what will happen to their teeth if they do not take care of them. Explain to them how expensive it will be to fix them when they start to have tooth infections and aches.
3.
I am persistent and I will convince my patient.
4.
Just continue to encourage them to do so.
5.
Educate them of the possible outcomes of poor hygiene.
Question 14 of 25
What experience do you have performing tasks outside of your role as a hygienist?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am currently taking business classes. I hope to emphasize in business.
2.
I was a member of FBLA in high school. Also, I worked at a ice cream parlor over the summer, where I dealt the business side of the food industry.
3.
No, i dont.
4.
I do have multiple different work experiences. I have worked in dental offices. I have also worked in a frozen yogurt shop during high school, and I worked with my dad cleaning barbeque pits during the spring and summer months. I also work at a recption hall occasionally where I cook and serve.
5.
I do business studies a level, I help run accounts for my family business.
Question 15 of 25
How would you handle a situation where the patient was not satisfied?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I think it is very important, if not more, to work with indigent patients than the educated and wealthy, because of the lack of education and awareness on the importance of oral hygiene. It would be our duty as health care providers to treat and see patients regardless of their backgrounds and status.
2.
The only problem I could imagine with indigent patients is the fact may have poorer hygiene, in this case I would treat them like any other patient and inform them on the importance of keeping up with that. As I stated before, I would never turn down a patient, unless my boss told me to.
3.
I am there to help anyone and everyone in need.
4.
I am fine with that. Those patients can be the ones that need the most help.
5.
It is not something that phases me, as a professional I have no right to judge a patients life style or life choices.
Question 16 of 25
Give me an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I am known by my peers, teachers, employers, and family, as a very bubbly person. I am always laughing at myself and others around me (but only if appropriate timing).
2.
Yes, infact I think having a good sense of humor can help lighten up any mood.
3.
Humor is a huge role in my life. I try to get at least one good laugh in every day. I laugh at myself all the time, probably more so than other people laugh at me.
4.
I don't take myself too seriously and can have a laugh at the right time and place.
5.
There are times to be serious, and times to joke. There is always a time of day to add a little joke in to make someones day better. I can laugh at myself and my mistakes because no one is perfect.
Question 17 of 25
How have your previous experiences visiting the Dentist influenced you as a Hygienist?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I've never had a bad experience at the dentist. I am fortunate enough to say I've never even had a cavity!
2.
Prolonged treatment. Be honest.
3.
I can remember one time when I had braces, the assistant that came to adjust my wire obviously didnt know what she was doing. She was pushing and pulling all over the place and couldnt figure out what was wrong. I kept thinking I dont want this lady again. I learned from that experience that I want to make sure I know what im doing at all times, and if I dont, I need to find help so I dont make my patient uncomfortable.
4.
I spit up Versed all over an assistant when I was 3 because they wanted to papoose me to do treatment on a small cavity. I still remember the nurse telling me about the experience in a negative way. I learned that you have to stay positive to patients.
5.
When I first went to the dentist the dentist wasn't very friendly so he scared me quite a bit so I didn't open my mouth for him. This was the only bad experience I've ever had with a dentist as we moved soon after where the dentist was much friendlier.
Question 18 of 25
How do you feel about educating patients about home care?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I was a missionary in Nicaragua for a short term mission twice in my life time. This experience was incredible and one I will never forget.
2.
ER at Martin North and Humane society.
3.
Yes, As a class we did a rotation in the United Methodist Homes, caring for the elderly patients there who are in great need of dental services and care.
4.
No, but I would love to get involved with a dental charity and do what I could to help serve.
5.
I have volunteered at our local fish and loaves community services, helping prepare grocery bags of food for families in need.
Question 19 of 25
How would your coworkers describe you?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Bubbly, a leader, positive, and very organized.
2.
Humble, caring, helping, easygoing,
3.
Determined, accountable, friendly and a good listener. They would definitely say that I always have a positive attitude.
4.
Determined, outgoing, active.
5.
Well rounded. Independent and fearless. Hard working.
Question 20 of 25
Describe your average day as a Dental Hygienist.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I've always been very interested in the mouth. I enjoy learning everything about it, especially the muscles in the mouth.
2.
No, I just really like picking at things.
3.
Teeth whitening I find very interestina and checking that good oral health is mantained.
4.
I like to examine xrays. I find it very interesting.
5.
Not that I can think of at this moment.
Question 21 of 25
What do you think are two major ethical issues facing dentistry today?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Dentists who are in it just to make money and don't think of the interest of the patient.
2.
Access to dental care in indigent communities. Also, the fallen economy and not being able to afford dental care or dental insurance.
3.
Considering it more as a business, Access to dental care in rural areas, Cost.
4.
Rushing through patients and over charging for services.
5.
Not having Dental insurance and people not having proper DH education.
Question 22 of 25
Tell me about yourself.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I was raised in Pak. I come from a family that works hard I m a first generation American college student I worked in Pak as a professional Want to learn American ways of doing dentistry.
2.
I have an associate degree on biology/ pre-medicine. I want to have my bachelor degree on dental hygiene.
3.
I'm a very creative and friendly person who is quietly confident. I love being in the company of people and learning more about the world and human body. I love spending time with friends and family during my down time. I am also a very hard worker and love to rise to a challenge so can be quite competitive.
4.
Strong, determined and focused.
5.
I graduated dental hygiene this past year. I am in the process of completing my undergraduate degree via distance and online education. So I will have a degree and diploma by 2013. I have always had a passion for oral health, because unfortunately I had alot of caries as a kid. Now that I am a dental hygienist, I educate and promote dental hygiene as much as I can to those who are in my chair, because I feel so strongly about it.
Question 23 of 25
What is your weakness?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
My weakness would be that I am a perfectionist. Usually if I dont perform as well as I would like, it makes me very critical of myself.
2.
My weakness is being upset with me when I do not do something perfect or make a mistake.
3.
My weakness is being emotional.
4.
As stated previously, when I notice others around me not pulling their weight I will pick up their slack. This is a result of my avoidance of confrontation at all cost.
5.
I am a major perfectionist but that just means that I care deeply about doing whatever I set out to do to the best of my ability.
Question 24 of 25
Which do you recommend to patients, water flossing vs string flossing?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I would definitely recommend string flossing because even though water flossing can remove food particle from your teeth, it will not remove buildup from between the teeth and it should not substitute flossing and brushing.
2.
String flossing and if possible water flossing to go with it.
3.
I believe both are great techniques. Those with more inflamed gums or poorer hygiene I would recommend water flossing. String flossing is a quicker more efficient way to floss for patients with good hygiene.
4.
String flossing, it's more accurate and can clean better than water flossing, in my opinion.
Question 25 of 25
How do you handle a patient who is scared or uncomfortable?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Socializing with patients will probably be my favorite part of the job.
2.
To a certain degree yes, but only about the general topics, nothing personal.
3.
I do. I would enjoying getting to know a patient and interacting on a daily basis because you can build relationships and see them as they progress while they are being comfortable with you.
4.
Yes in a friendly yet professional way that does not pry to much into their personal life or reveal to much about my personal life.
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Prepare for your upcoming dental hygiene interview with these practice questions! Created on February 18th, 2016

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