Preparing for the interview is just as important as the interview itself. Your level of interest and commitment to the practice in which you are applying to work will show based on how much you prepare for the interview. Keep in mind, the owner-dentist may be looking for an associate who wants to eventually transition to practice ownership; therefore, your research and knowledge of the practice is paramount to demonstrating that you are the ideal candidate.
Find a friend or get in front of the mirror and role play the questions you might be asked or that you wish to ask about the practice and the owner. You may know what you want to say, but if you don’t practice out loud, it may be difficult to convey your message effectively. Work on your body language and expressions. Make sure to smile, sit up straight, make eye contact, keep arms uncrossed and face the interviewer squarely. Open body language demonstrates confidence and respect.
For more interview tips, read How to Prepare for Your Interview
The following are questions the practice owner may ask of you followed by questions you might ask the owner. Being prepared to answer and ask these questions will help both parties determine if the working relationship is a good fit.
Questions the Owner Might Ask
To Assess Experience/Skill Level
To Assess Patient/Time/Team Management
To Assess Motivation/Goals/Desire To Learn
To Assess Leadership/Interpersonal Skills/Communication
Questions for the Associate To Ask
Most of these questions are appropriate to ask in an interview, yet some may simply be questions to ask yourself as part of your evaluation of the practice. During the associate interview, you may not have time to ask all of these questions. Consider narrowing the list to those issues most important to you. Some of these questions address confidential topics or information. The practice owner may ask you to sign a nondisclosure agreement before providing such information to you during the interview process.
Practice Production/Collections/Patient Flow
Procedure Mix and Dental Benefit Plan Makeup
Large Group Practice or Dental Service Organization Interviews
There are a number of advantages and differences in large group practices (LGPs) and dental service organizations (DSOs) of which the associate candidate should be aware.
Differences Among LGPs
Working interviews may be beneficial in the decision-making process and are very common. They allow candidates to practice in the clinical setting and provide the opportunity to observe how the practice owner conducts the office. It’s also the best way for practice owners to observe your technique and see how you interact with patients and staff.
Before the working interview
During the working interview
After the interview