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Dental assistant hiring questions & tips

Dental assistant hiring questions & tips

Interview questions:

1.  What expanded duties did you do at Dr. ______'s office?

2.  What brands/kinds of cements/bonding materials are you familiar with?

3.  Per OSHA regulations how do you sterilize instruments?

4.  Explain how you handle a patient who shows signs of being afraid.

5.  What do you enjoy the most about being a DA?

6.  Are you wanting to stay a DA or eventually become an RDA?

7.  Why did you leave your old job? 

8.  What are your strengths? Weaknesses? 

9.  What makes you the top person for this job?

10. What made you decide to be a DA?

General tips:

1.  Hire for attitude. Train for the rest. Attitude = proud of and likes to work

2.  Some practice owners like to have their staff take the best candidate out to lunch and then have the staff give a thumbs up or not. There is a lot to be said for this method as the staff will take more responsibility for the new employee if they have some "skin in the game". 

3.  Group interviews help show how candidates interact in a group situation. 

4.  Check with dental reps. They often know people who are looking. 

5.  Your current staff can be of help. They may know others in the area who are looking. They can also use social media to get the word out. The downside is that friends working together can be an issue. 

6.  Call your sub list. Ask if any of them want a full time job.

7.  Check dental assisting programs including teaching and/or interning DAs yourself.

Want ad tip:

Do not list salary, etc. If too low, you might scare off some good prospective employees. Examples of recommended wording: 

a.  Salary based on experience. 

b.  Compensation based on experience, plus a comprehensive benefits package. 

c.  Strong base pay plus a lucrative production bonus plan.


Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue ad agency. After joining Cambridge as a speaker in the mid-1990s, Kevin went on to become Cambridge’s senior consultant and eventually CEO. Cambridge Dental Consultants is a full-service dental practice management company offering customized dental office manuals. Frustrated? High overhead? Schedule a chat with Kevin at 

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