When you work the Front Desk at a Dental Office, you’ll need to know how to put patients at ease.
Interviews can wreak havoc on your nerves, but knowing what you should say to the interviewer beforehand can help boost your confidence. When you’re interviewing for a dental receptionist position, keep your answers focused on how your skill set can fit the office’s needs because combined with a cheery personality, this can help you land the job. Dental offices typically want a receptionist who can greet clients, answer questions and keep the office organized so stress your skills in these areas.
You will typically interview with the Office Manager so try to put yourself in her shoes during the interview. She needs a superstar at the front desk and someone they can count on to handle the daily stresses of the job, is able to multitask, and feels comfortable working side-by-side with others.
Tailor your answers to stress how your skills fit with the position’s description. For example, if you previously worked as a receptionist but just not in a dental office, talk about dealing with confidential documents, your fast filing skills and your ability to juggle the clients standing in front of you along with those calling on the phone. The ability to multitask is crucial.
Explain the steps you would take or have taken in the past if you have experience in a medical or dental office to keep patient records confidential. Dentists fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which provides strict guidelines on how patient information is handled. Discuss how you would close an open file when a person approaches your counter. You should also explain how you would go about contacting a patient, stressing that you would never leave private information on voice mail or with a third party. While you’re discussing privacy issues, you might also indicate that you’re aware of dental office etiquette and would always speak quietly and directly to a patient, rather than speaking loudly so that everyone in the waiting room can hear.
Provide concrete examples of how you’ve handled combative situations in the past. Patients can sometimes lose their tempers over a long wait, the cost of the dental procedure, or because they’re in pain and are in need of emergency treatment. As a part of the front office staff, part of your job is calming the patients and reassuring them while also knowing when to ask for help from another staff member if necessary. Make it clear that you know how to handle delicate situations, offering the best customer service possible.
Talk about your teeth. Explain how important dental hygiene is to you and your commitment to maintaining that. As the first person the patients see, your teeth must live up to a dentist’s standards — he can’t have a receptionist with bad teeth greeting customers. Along with good oral hygiene and a winning smile is appropriate dress. It is appropriate to arrive to the interview nicely dressed for a good impression.
Ask questions that show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework and you’re familiar with the needs of the particular dental office at which you’re interviewing. For example, if the practice includes an orthodontist, you might ask about the various types of technology the office uses for teeth straightening. If it’s just a general dentistry office, you might ask about their sedation techniques. However, while it’s a good idea to ask a question or two about the practice, you don’t want to take up the interviewer’s time with questions to which you can find the answers by simply going to the practice’s webpage.
In summary, when a dental office is in need of a new staff member they are looking for a particular skill set to fulfill that role. Being a member of the front office team is a difficult job, so you need to show the interviewer you are capable of handling the challenges that will come your way. Emphasize that you can multitask and are willing to do whatever is necessary to keep the front desk running smoothly. At the end of the interview, a wise final touch is to ask to return for a working interview so they office staff is able to witness your capabilities.