Congratulations! You landed an interview with a great company, and now you’re headed to the in-person interview. In the past, landing an interview would almost always guarantee a hire, but now it just means you made the hiring manager’s “shortlist” of top candidates. In order to secure the job offer, you need to stand out and ace the interview, leaving a lasting impression on everyone involved in the hiring process. Here are some interview tips to help you stand out.
As you prepare for this potentially life-changing meetup, several questions are likely running through your head, like:
- Do I really need to tell them the reason why I left my other job?
- What do I say to make them remember me?
- What questions should I ask?
- What can I do to stand out from the other candidates?
The good news is, proper planning and research will go a long way toward helping you feel confident and prepared no matter what questions you are asked. In addition to thinking through your own ambiti0ons and reasons for applying to this new position, consider the following items as you gear up for the conversation ahead.
Plan Ahead: One of the best things you can do before your interview is to learn about the dental practice you might be joining. Check out their website, their Google reviews, and their social media pages to get a sense of what is important to them and what services they offer. For example, is their practice focused on family dental services, cosmetic services, or is it periodontal focused.? Once you know what they focus on and value, you can tailor both your resume and your talking points to things that will be most relevant to their company.
Role Play: Regardless of how you feel about this process, role-playing can be a very effective way to boost confidence and to prepare mentally for the upcoming conversation you will have. Try using some of the questions provided below. Simply write down your answers and then practice speaking them out loud. Feel free to revise your answers as needed – bonus points if you are able to get a friend or family member to quiz you!
- “Tell me about yourself” (try to hold your responses to 2 minutes).
- “Why should we hire you”?
- “Tell me of a time you were assigned a project by your employer and how you felt about it.” “What was the end result?”
- “Tell me of a time you had an issue with an employer or coworker.” “What did you do?” and “What was the end result?”
- “What are some of your accomplishments to date?”
- “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
- “What have you done towards your professional development in the past 5 years?”
Eye Contact: Maintaining good eye contact with your interviewer not only shows interest but that you are an empathetic listener. Failing to keep good eye contact can make you appear distracted, untrustworthy, or disinterested in the interview.
Be Positive: Avoid negative comments about staff members or about past employers. This can be a difficult line to hold, especially if you are asked why you are leaving your current place of employment and your reason is, indeed, a negative one. If this is the case, try responding with a “compliment sandwich.” Say something good about where you previously worked, then find an honest yet not overly negative way to describe why you left, followed by another positive.
Ask questions relevant to the interview: If you have done your research, you should come to the interview armed with data on the company mission and services, allowing you to ask questions like, “are you considering adding (insert service here) to your practice service offering list in the future?” or “how can I bring added value to your company?” Asking questions like these helps you seem interested and invested in the company’s future.
Some excellent questions to consider include:
Encourage feedback: Encourage the interviewer to share information about their practice. Some questions you might ask are listed below. Please remember these are only guidelines; some questions may or may not be appropriate for your interviewing situation based on your assessment during the “adapting to the interviewer “section:
- What would you like the next person who fills this position to do that has not been done yet?
- “What are some of the objectives you would like to see accomplished in this position?”
- “What would you like to have a successful candidate accomplish in the next 3 months?”
- “What advancement opportunities are available for the person who is successful in this position?”
- How would I be evaluated in this position, if I were to be offered the job?
Ask for the job: If you truly have your heart set on winning this job title, then ask for it! When the interview draws to a close, make sure to thank the interviewer for their time, and then say something like:
“I am not sure if I have formally asked for the job yet, but I wanted to take a moment and do so. , I would love to work here and I would be honored if you chose me to be your next (fill in the job title).”
Send a follow-up card or letter: This is a part of the interview process that is often overlooked, and it is a great way to solidify yourself as a thoughtful, intentional, friendly candidate. Sending a “thank you” note after a job interview can mean the difference between a job offer and a phone call that reveals “sorry, we hired someone else.” If you really want to stand out in the sea of job candidates, drop a handwritten note in the mail the same day you have your interview – that way they receive it within 2-3 days.
Above all else, remember to be yourself. Smile, don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments and find ways to engage with the hiring manager on a personal level. They are hiring based on personality and culture fit just as much as they are hiring based on talent and skills. Stand up tall and walk into the interview with confidence and you will do great!