Top tips on how to prepare for an interview

Receiving an invitation for a job interview means that the employer has seen potential in your CV, and you are one step closer to securing your dream job or getting the placement position you need as part of your Dental Nurse Diploma course. In any case, it is your opportunity to show, that you are the perfect candidate and why the practice or workplace should hire you instead of others.

You can be certain, there will be many other applicants, all eager to secure the position offered and they will all have different skills or personalities, so it is important to make sure you are well-prepared to stand out from the crowd.

There are many important things to consider when preparing for an interview.
We want to share our top tips to help you prepare for your job interview.

Research your future workplace:

Do they have a website where you can do some research about them?
What is the size of the practice (is it a small practice or a large organisation with multiple practices in different locations?)
How many Dentists or how many members of staff work there?
Do you know anyone working at this place, who could provide you some key information?
What treatments or services do they offer?
Are they specialists in a particular field?

It is also useful to check if they have social media pages to see how they engage with their clients or customers.
Do they take part in charity work or events, and does this resonate with you?
Think about if there is something that interests you about this particular workplace.
It is also useful to find out how many interview stages they have, who will be interviewing you, and what their position is in the company.

Research and plan your journey before the interview:

Know where exactly the interview is taking place and check how you can get there (bus, taxi, car).

How long does it take you to get there, so you know what time to set off to not be late.
If you drive, make sure you check the car park availability at the place or options nearby.
Check what the traffic is like, especially around the time of day you have your interview, so you can calculate extra time on the actual day to make sure you will be on time.
Do a test run to get there so you are familiar with the location and the journey.

Prepare yourself for the interview – the first impression matters:

Dress to impress – but make sure it is appropriate and looks professional.

Check what you are planning to wear on the day, make sure all is clean and ironed.
Check your nails are short, clean, and tidy; consider what would be required in this role or this working environment. For example, in a practice environment, hand hygiene is a must and as a Dental Nurse, your nails need to be short and free of any nail varnish.

Remember, the first impression counts, therefore, consider to reflect what you wish to accomplish, show that you understand what it takes to work in this environment
Practice regular breathing exercises days before your interview and on the day, to help your remain calm.
Practice introducing yourself and go through your bio in front of a mirror, to build up confidence; you could even ask a friend to practice with you.

Prepare for the actual interview:

Consider questions you may get asked during the interview and how you would respond to them

Here are a few sample questions you might get asked:

Why do you want to become a Dental Nurse?
What skills do you feel you need to become a Dental Nurse?
What skills do you have that would make a good Dental Nurse?
How do you handle stressful situations,  can you give an example of a situation you experienced and how you handled it?
How do you add value to this team / to this practice?
How do you plan to manage your learning around your work?
What is your long-term career goal?
Why have you applied for this position?
Tell us more about you. What do you enjoy in your spare time?

Consider questions you could ask as well, demonstrating that you are genuine about becoming part of their team.

Here are a few examples of questions you could ask:

What do you expect from me in the first 3 months?
What does a typical day at your practice look like?
Do you have an induction programme?
Do you provide opportunities for students to stay on after they qualify?
Do you provide support for qualified Dental Nurses to progress in their career? (e.g. do they pay for CPD training, provide time off to attend courses…)
Do you provide uniforms ( multiple sets)?
How do I compare to other candidates in the application process?
Is there anything else you need from me?
What is the next step and when will I hear back from you?

Make a list of items you want to take to the interview:

(Prepare them the day before, so you are not rushing on the day)Pen / notepad
A copy of your CV for your own reference, in case they ask for more details about it
A list with your questions
Any documents you prepared, e.g. if you were given a task to complete for the interview
A bottle of water

On the day of your interview:

Don’t be late! Be on time, but not too early (max 10min before your interview)
Be yourself
Smile, and if you are nervous, do not be afraid to let them know
Be honest
When you get asked questions, listen carefully, take your time with answering them, and don’t be afraid to ask back if you are not sure about a question.

Preparing for a job interview will help you to feel more confident and also feel more in control. Doing your research to find out more about your potential new workplace will help you remain calm and demonstrate that you have come prepared when answering any questions they may ask about their practices or procedures.

Remember, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail (Benjamin Franklin), therefore start with the end in mind!

Visualise being successful, imagine how it would feel to be part of their team, and remember to stay positive!



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