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Dental Assistant interview questions

Use these Dental Assistant interview questions to guide an effective interview process. Look for important qualifications to discover the best candidates.

dental assistant interview questions

Dental Assistant Interview Questions

Dental assistants have a dual role, both administrative and related to patient care. Requirements vary per location — sometimes a high school diploma is enough, while other times they need to graduate from an accredited training program. A CPR certificate is necessary in most cases.

The role can be simple or more complex, depending on regulations. Beside administrative and sanitation tasks, qualified dental assistants are allowed to 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).

If you’re looking for RDAs or EFDAs, dedicate some time during the interview to assess their technical expertise. Key soft skills are attention to detail, organizational ability and people skills. Make sure the person you’ll eventually hire can take instructions and communicate effectively. Quick thinking and enthusiasm can always make a difference.

Operational and Situational questions

  • What do you do once 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 handle it?
  • How does your approach towards children differ than towards adults?

Role-specific questions

  • What’s the importance of a dental assistant’s job?
  • Do you have any administrative or customer service experience?
  • What precautions should you take when using x-ray equipment?
  • How often should you sterilize instruments and equipment?
  • What’s your experience with lab tasks?
  • Do you know how to prepare a teeth mold?
  • What do you do for your oral hygiene?
  • How do you feel about working under close supervision?
  • Are you computer savvy? What software have you used for your job?
  • How do you ensure the office is organized?

Behavioral questions

  • Tell me about a time you had to deal with an upset patient
  • Give me an example of a time you explained a dental procedure to a patient
  • Recall a time you received criticism by your supervisor. How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever had a disagreement with a supervisor or dental assistant? What did you do to resolve it?
  • Tell me about a time you were praised about your work in the dental office

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