Ask The Right Interview Questions to RDH Candidates

Dental hygiene job interview questions

Dental hygienists are an essential part of any dental practice. Their role in providing top notch patient care is key to the success of many dental clinics. If you’re in the process of hiring a full time dental hygienist, there are several dental hygiene interview questions you should ask in order to identify candidates who may be a great addition to your team.

Here are a few questions you can ask a dental hygienist during an interview, along with good answers that can give you insight into their motivations, experience and expertise in the field.

What motivated you to become a dental hygienist?

The answer to this question can give you insight into the candidate’s personal and professional motivation as well as their passion for the field of dental hygiene. You may learn about what drew them to the dental field such as following in the footsteps of a family member who was/is in dentistry.

Ultimately, what you’re looking for here is understanding the candidate’s passion for dental hygiene and their commitment to providing high-quality patient care.

How do you communicate with patients about their oral health?

Effective communication is key to building trust with patients and helping them understand the importance of maintaining good oral health. A great answer would be that they tailor their communication style to each patient’s individual needs and preferences.

How will your experience and skills make you an asset to our dental team?

This will be the perfect opportunity for the hygienist to highlight their relevant experience and skills that would add value to your dental team. Discuss their educational background, certifications or licenses they hold, specialized training they have received and even interpersonal skills.

The goal here is to understand if this person will make a positive contribution to your dental team while delivering high-quality care to patients.

How do you stay current with new developments and technologies in the dental industry?

Dentistry is a rapidly evolving field, and it is essential that dental hygienists stay up-to-date with the latest research, techniques, and technologies. A strong candidate will be able to demonstrate their commitment to continuing education and professional development. Some of the answers you can expect are:

  • Taking continuing education courses
  • Reading industry publications and professional journals
  • Attending conferences and trade shows
  • Participating in online learning and/or social media groups
  • Joining professional organizations in the dental industry

At the end of the day, you’ll want to gauge whether this candidate will be able to provide the best possible care to your patients and ensure that they are practicing within the latest guidelines and standards of care.

If you were to hire someone for this position, what qualities and characteristics would they need to possess?

This question is designed to see how well-rounded a candidate’s overall view is on the position available. A strong candidate will mention things like:

  • A hygienist should have a degree and be licensed
  • Possess good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Have a strong work ethic and professionalism
  • Be empathetic and patient-centered
  • Pay close attention to detail
  • Have manual dexterity
  • Have physical stamina
  • Be a team player

Can you describe a time when you had to handle a difficult patient, and how did you handle the situation?

Dealing with difficult patients is a challenge that many dental hygienists will face at some point in their career. This is intended to help you gauge a candidate’s ability to remain calm and professional in challenging situations. You can also pose this question in a slightly different manner to see if they have any experience with elderly people or those with special needs.

A strong candidate will be able to demonstrate active listening, empathy, and problem-solving skills as tools they use to address patient concerns and diffuse tense situations.

What is your work style?

The ideal candidate will be able to work in a team environment and be open to learning from other members of the team. You want someone who can communicate effectively, so it’s important to ask questions about how they like working with others and what their ideal working environment is like. The answer to this question will help you weed out unfit candidates to avoid unnecessary drama at your dental office and maintain a healthy culture at your practice.

What does being a successful dental professional mean to you?

This question will help you determine if a candidate has what it takes to excel in their role as a dental hygienist. It opens an opportunity for candidates to tell you about their values and work ethic, which can give insight into whether they’re right for your practice or not.

Success as a dental professional involves building long-lasting relationships with patients and taking the time to educate them on the importance of oral health. A strong candidate will also mention continuously striving for personal and professional growth through ongoing education and training.

In conclusion, asking these questions can help you identify a dental hygienist who is committed to providing excellent patient care and has the skills and knowledge necessary to be a valuable member of your dental team. Listen carefully to their answers and ask follow-up questions to gain a deeper understanding of their experience and expertise.