Dental Assistant qualifications to look for
Dental assistants work with patients and also take on an administrative role. Qualified dental assistants may also perform procedures like coronal polishing or sealant application and operate x-ray equipment. Tailor your questions according to what you’re looking for; unlicensed, registered (RDA) or expanded functions dental assistants (EFDA).
📌Don’t forget: Check local legislation as licensure/education/certification requirements vary per location.
If you’re looking for RDAs or EFDAs, dedicate some time during the interview to assess their technical expertise.
Keep an eye out for candidates who have:
- Organizational skills
- Strong communication skills
- Good people skills
Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your company's mission.
Role-specific interview questions
- What’s your experience with lab tasks? Please describe.
- Why is your role as a dental assistant important to the practice?
- What do you do for your oral hygiene? What do you tell patients to do at home?
- Do you have any administrative or customer service experience? Please explain.
- What precautions should you take when using x-ray equipment? What questions should you ask patients prior?
- How do you feel about working under close supervision? Or do you prefer to work autonomously?
- How often should you sterilize instruments and equipment? What is this procedure?
- Do you know how to prepare a teeth mold? Walk me through the process.
- How comfortable are you with computers?
- How do you ensure the office is organized? What are your responsibilities before you end a shift?
Behavioral interview questions
- Tell me about a time you were praised for your work in the dental office. What was it for and how did you respond?
- Give me an example of a time you explained a dental procedure to a patient. How did you make them feel comfortable?
- Tell me about a time you had to deal with an upset patient. How did you handle it?
- Recall a time you received criticism from your supervisor. How did it help you grow?
- Have you ever had a disagreement with a supervisor or a dental assistant? How was it resolved?
Problem-solving interview questions
- How do children differ from adults when you’re working with them?
- What is the next step after a patient is seated on the dental chair?
- You’re leading a patient to the treatment room when they begin to panic and want to skip their appointment. How do you calm them down and make them feel comfortable?