Let’s face it. When it comes to dental practice management, hiring good employees is the vital first step. After all, you can’t exactly manage a practice if you are stuck with an unmanageable team. However, finding that hygienist, assistant, or office manager can be a real bugaboo. You may live in an area with a dry hiring pool, and it is tempting to snap up the first person who applies for the job. Alternatively, there may be a large number of potential employees. Even then, finding the one that you want to work with can be a challenge. People always put their best foot forward at interviews. How do you know that their interview persona will match their daily workplace personality? As a dental coach, I see these problems on a regular basis. Below are five interview questions that can help you identify – and keep – reliable, hardworking team members.
What is your past experience?
Ok, so this first question is pretty obvious. The important thing is what you do with the answer. Never, never just take an interviewee’s word for it. Check all references – even if the potential employee has a long job history. You should also call the State Board to make sure that this person does not have any complaints or violations lodged against them. For even greater security, you could obtain a background check. When you take extreme precautions during the hiring process, you can avoid costly and even dangerous mistakes for your practice.
Why do you want to work here?
You don’t want to hire someone who is just looking for a job until something better comes along. You want a team member who is excited about your practice and what it stands for. When you ask this question, look for individuals who have specific answers about you, your office, and your unique technology or treatments. If an interviewee has a vague answer that could apply to any dental practice, he or she is probably not the person for you.
Are you willing to do X, Y, and Z?
If you have followed my past blogs, you know that specificity is my mantra. Before interviewing a potential new hire, you should have a clearly defined role for this job. You should know exactly what your hygienist or assistant will be doing on a daily and weekly basis. That way you can ask about a person’s experience with each of these tasks.
Will you work with me for a day?
NEVER hire someone without working with them for a day. This will allow you to gauge the individual’s working style. A person could be a skilled clinician, but if your personalities do not mesh, he or she will not be a good fit. This trial day will also give your other team members a chance to interact with the potential new hire.
Can I call you by the end of the week?
Perhaps you think you’ve found the “perfect fit.” It’s tempting to hire that individual on the spot. You don’t want someone else to snatch him or her up. This is huge mistake. Never hire immediately. Give yourself several days to check references and ask your team for their opinions. You should also step back and analyze the interview. Were there any red flags you may have missed in your eagerness to find an employee? Just as you would never rush a clinical procedure, you should never rush the hiring process. Careful consideration could save you a lot of time, stress, and money in the long run.