Impressing in interviews

Let’s face it – nobody likes interviews. It is probably up there with taking your driving test, having blood taken and, oh yes, going to the dentist, on the list of things people would rather not do.

However, if you are going to progress to the next level of your career getting through an interview and coming out successfully on the other side is essential.

But how do you do this? Good question. While many people will profess to have the blueprint for achieving the perfect interview, in truth it very much depends on the individual.

And that doesn’t just mean the individual who is applying for the job, but the individual employer and practice too, which all have to merge together to ensure the perfect outcome.

Of course, a lot about job hunting is luck. It is about being in the right place at the right time and clicking with the right people.

In saying all that, it isn’t just about luck and it’s surprising how much luckier you get when you have done some research and planning before an interview. Indeed, there are many factors you can manoeuvre into place to ensure you have the best possible chance of making a good impression.

Many of these are common sense but the following can act as your personal checklist to refer to before any interview you will be attending in the next few months.

Armed with this information and a sprinkling of cosmic fairy dust, you should be on your way to the perfect job in no time at all.

Dress code

It’s really important you think carefully about what you are going to wear to an interview well in advance.

It is no good waiting until the night before or morning of the interview and then panicking because you don’t have a clean shirt or shiny shoes. Decide on something smart and make sure it is freshly washed and pressed.

First impressions are very important and if in doubt about how smart to go always dress up for interviews rather than dressing down. There is nothing worse than feeling under-dressed in a room full of other candidates who have clearly made the effort.


This is one occasion when you cannot afford to be late, so plan your route, how you are going to get there and give yourself plenty of time.

Turned up an hour early? It doesn’t matter. Get a coffee and use the time to check through any questions you have for the practice owner.

Remember if you are late for an interview it speaks volumes about your professionalism in the workplace.


Talking about questions, make sure you have prepared some and remember to ask them during your interview.

Asking relevant ones shows that you are interested in the post and the practice and encourages a free-flowing conversation between yourself and the practice owner.

It also gives you the opportunity to find out everything you need to know about the job and stops there being any nasty surprises lurking for you if you accept the position later on down the track.

Be nice

It may seem obvious but put on your happy face from the moment you enter the practice. Don’t just save it for the practice owner. Actively try and get to know the dental team, as they will be your colleagues too.

Also, at many practices they now have a say in who gets the job.


Okay, so you don’t have to approach an interview like you would an exam but be prepared that some practice owners may want to test your clinical and academic abilities as well as getting to know you as a person.

Therefore, make sure you know your stuff.

Equally, if you really don’t know the answer to a question, make sure you say so.

It shows that you are willing to ask for help when you need it, which will reassure any potential VT trainer.

Know your interests

Whether they be personal hobbies like surfing or travelling or clinical interests like oral surgery or endodontics, have something to say about them, giving reasons why you enjoy doing them and what your experiences are.

For an interviewer there is nothing worse than a candidate who doesn’t know their own CV.

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