5 most important considerations when interviewing

Dress to impress

Recruiters and hiring managers will tell you that the first impression they get of a candidate is often made within the first 10 seconds of the interview… even before a single word is spoken!  So, looking Professional and Polished even if you are meeting in a casual environment like a Starbucks can make or break the rest of the interview.

General “Do’s and Don’ts”

  • Tattoos should be covered and facial piercings removed.
  • Don’t come with bright colored hair, heavy makeup, large jewelry,
  • NEVER come to an interview in jeans, shorts, sweat pants.
  • ALWAYS demonstrate confidence, good eye contact firm handshake and a nice smile.


  • Wearing a skirt, dress or a suite is best but you have other options if you are unable to acquire these.
  • Invest in a pair of classic black dress slacks as they are an essential part of any woman’s interview wardrobe.
  • Once you have a good pair of dress pants, it’s easy to dress them up, or dress them down.
  • Pair your dress pants with a button-down shirt or a blazer for a formal look, or with a sweater for a business casual look.
  • Peep-toe heels with a moderate heel height are good. If you’re looking to dress down your look, add a pair of ballet flats or loafers instead of heels.
  • NEVER – Stilettos heels…or too revealing tops…they are a big No No.


  • If the position is in management wear a suit and tie. If you don’t have one try to borrow one.
  • If it is an auxiliary position dress pants with a button-down shirt a blazer or a sweater is good.
  • If you have facial hair…make sure it’s trimmed
  • Make sure your shoes are polished It’s frustrating how many applicants with good credentials shoot themselves in the foot by not using common sense in what they wear including when meeting with the hiring consultant. It’s critical to remember that Consultants are representing their client too and will be looking to see if you are someone that they recommend for an initial interview with the practice owner. This is the first step to that new position so make it count!

Strengths and Weaknesses

“Tell me two of your Strengths and two of your Weaknesses”

You need to be prepared to answer questions during your interview and it’s amazing how many applicants get tripped up by these 2 questions that are almost always asked.

Preparation is key. Take the time to thoroughly read the job posting so you can align your strengths with the requirements of the position. At the appropriate time you might say, “I saw that being experienced with… is one of the requirements of the position. I received training in that system during my last position and was familiar with the issue and how to restore the system quickly resulting in minimal downtime for the practice.” Your strengths are not meant as a bragging point but rather how they will help the practice you are hoping to work with. And it’s ok for you to have weaknesses…everyone does. In fact, if you answer with, “I don’t think I have any.” Well you can expect to get what we call the 15 minutes “Courtesy” interview.

Think of a couple areas or things that you can improve upon in relation to the position. It could be personality things, like being more direct, handling confrontation, not being as talkative. Don’t use the word “Weakness” instead talk about the areas that you are “working to improve upon”. These can be positioned in a positive manner such as. “One of the areas I have been working on has been ……. I felt I could improve in this area by taking a course in…….and by doing this make myself more valuable to the team.” Whoever you’re interviewing with wants to know that they are with a person that recognizes the areas they are strong in as well as areas they could improve upon and have self- initiated the necessary measures to improve themselves.

Ask Questions

Understand the position that you are interviewing for so that you can be prepared with relevant questions and thoughtful answers. Asking good questions gives you the opportunity to find out if the position is right fit for you and demonstrates to your interviewer your sincere interest. Relating back to a question that you were asked earlier shows the interviewer that you have been listening. If you can find out the practice name you can research the web and demonstrate to the interviewer that you are knowledgeable about the practice and not just “looking for a job” but a long-term relationship /career that you can grow with.

Never use inappropriate slang words or make references to religion, politics, or sexual orientation.

During your initial phone interview…Ask questions of the person you are talking to! If your questions are good and thoughtful and not like, “How much vacation time will I get…?” you may help the interviewer decide that you are THE candidate to move on to the “working” and perhaps final interview!

Interview etiquette

  • Go on Google Maps and locate the meeting location. Doing this allows you to plan for heavy traffic or construction delays possibly making you late.
  • Always arrive early. If you will be late call and let them know. Arriving early allows you to relax and get your thoughts and materials (resume, question sheet, Reference list) together before going in.
  • If your interview is at the practice location understand that the interview starts when you enter the lobby and go to the front desk and introduce yourself!
  • All eyes are on you so just sit politely and smile. DO NOT start texting or calling your friends on your cell! Cell phone use during office hours is one of the #1 issues in almost every office so put it on silent! Auxiliary personnel are also checking you out and will report their impressions later so behave and give them nothing but positive things to say.
  • Check out the surroundings. Is the practice up to date and modern? What was the receptionist like? Did they seem up beat and organized or stressed? In other words…what was your impression of THEM? You want to take in as much as you can as your decision should be based on the entire picture.

Show Up

Never No- Show to an interview. Whether you’ve decided to take another job or maybe the position is too far, not the fit you were thinking or you changed your mind, always call and cancel or reschedule. The Dental community is a small one and you don’t want to hurt your chances with the next opportunity or burn any bridges!