33 Dental Hygienist Interview Questions (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A dental hygienist is a specialist in preventative treatment for maintaining their patients' oral health. There are many technical and personal questions that an interviewer might ask a dental hygienist during a job interview. By reviewing several example interview questions and sample answers, you can prepare yourself for an interview for a position in this field. In this article, we discuss what a dental hygienist is, share some interview tips, provide example dental hygienist interview questions and list some sample answers.

What are dental hygienist interview questions?

Dental hygienist interview questions are questions a hiring manager or recruiter may ask you when you apply for a dental hygienist role. A dental hygienist is a qualified professional in the dental industry who provides oral care treatment. A hygienist focuses on dental hygiene and preventative treatment, rather than restorative treatments and oral surgery. Patients usually see a dental hygienist and a dentist during a dental check-up. Once the dentist performs a thorough oral examination, a dental hygienist typically conducts professional teeth and gum cleaning to help maintain patients' oral health and prevent potential infections or diseases.

A dental hygienist usually has several interpersonal and technical skills to help them conduct their duties. They often require attention to detail for examining patients and communication for explaining treatment plans. Their technical skills can include various dental practices and equipment competencies. A dental hygienist usually learns these skills through a recognised training program.

30 example interview questions for dental hygienists

Below, you can find 30 example interview questions about your personality and specific dental responsibilities:

20 example interview questions about dental practices

An interviewer may ask you several questions about specific dental procedures and common practices. The complexity of these questions usually depends on your level of experience and expertise. If you're applying for an entry-level position, you might receive questions about fundamental dental processes. If you're applying for a senior role, you might receive complex dental hygienist questions.

Below, you can find 20 example interview questions specific to dental practices:

  1. Can you describe your method for calming nervous patients?

  2. What do you believe is the most important skill for a dental hygienist?

  3. Have you ever breached a confidentiality agreement?

  4. What steps do you take to deal with an unsatisfied patient?

  5. How much experience do you have working as a dental hygienist?

  6. Do you believe it's your responsibility to teach patients about oral care?

  7. What is your favourite aspect of being a dental hygienist?

  8. What qualifications do you have in dental hygiene?

  9. What do you believe is the most challenging aspect of being a dental hygienist?

  10. Would you recommend dental flossing or water flossing and can you explain why?

  11. What is your greatest accomplishment in the dental industry?

  12. Can you explain your process for maintaining dental equipment?

  13. Are you familiar with x-ray technology?

  14. How do you plan and schedule your dental responsibilities?

  15. What's the most complex procedure you've conducted?

  16. Do you know how to detect common oral infections, such as swollen lymph nodes?

  17. Can you share an example of when your soft skills assisted you in conducting your duties?

  18. Can you list any ethical concerns when providing care to patients?

  19. Are you comfortable completing duties outside of normal hygienist responsibilities?

  20. What are your career aspirations as a dental hygienist?

Related: 5 Common Competency-Based Interview Questions with Example Answers

10 example interview questions about your personality

Regardless of the role you're applying for, an interviewer may likely ask you questions about your personal life. These questions might relate to your personality, aspirations, motivations, skills, strengths and weaknesses. An interviewer usually asks these questions to determine your suitability for the organisation's culture and working environment.

Below, you can 10 find example interview questions about your personal aspects:

  1. Why do you want to join this practice?

  2. What do you believe are your primary skills?

  3. Do you have any weaknesses?

  4. What steps do you take to improve your interpersonal skills?

  5. Do you actively take steps to advance your technical knowledge?

  6. Have you ever resolved a workplace conflict?

  7. What three words can you use to describe yourself?

  8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

  9. What's your motivation for becoming a dental hygienist?

  10. Why do you believe you're a suitable candidate for this role?

Related: 5 Communication Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

3 example interview questions with sample answers

Here, you can find three example interview questions with sample answers to help you prepare:

1. Why do you believe you're a suitable candidate for the role?

This can be a common question across most industries and it's relatively broad, so the interviewer might not be expecting a specific response. How you answer this question can depend on several factors, such as the skills mentioned in the job listing, the organisation's values and your dental expertise. It can be a good idea to avoid sounding over-confident in your response. Interviewers typically appreciate humble candidates.

Example: 'I believe I'm a suitable candidate for this role because I have several years of experience as a dental hygienist. The equipment I utilised in my previous role is very similar to the equipment this practice uses. I believe I don't require extensive amounts of training to transfer into this hygienist position. I also think I'm a suitable candidate because I share similar values to the practice, such as integrity, empathy and professionalism.'

2. What do you believe is the most important skill for a dental hygienist?

Your answer to this question is subjective, so there's technically no right or wrong answer, though some answers may be more effective than others. If you receive this question, it might be a good idea to state what you believe is the most important skill, but mention that other skills can be equally important. This can show your understanding of soft skills and their importance in a professional setting.

Example: 'I believe the most important skill to have as a dental hygienist can depend on the individual patient. From prior experiences, my attention to detail enabled me to identify diseases that I might have missed otherwise. With other patients, my most important skill was communication because it helped me calm nervous patients and ensure their comfort during a procedure. I believe it's more valuable to improve a range of skills as a dental hygienist, rather than focus on one.'

Related: 4 Types of Open-Ended Interview Questions (With Examples)

3. How do you plan and schedule your professional responsibilities?

If an interviewer asks you this question, they may try to identify your organisational capabilities and methodologies. Your answer to this question may be subjective, so the interviewer might not be expecting a specific response. There might not be a right or wrong answer, provided you can explain your reasoning logically. This question might be an excellent opportunity to display your time-management skills and knowledge of computer-based management systems.

Example: 'During my prior employment, I utilised a digital management system that helped me identify appointment times and availabilities. I used the management system to determine reasonable appointment allocations. I did this to ensure I had enough time to provide appropriate care to patients while minimising waiting times for other patients.'

Tips for answering dental hygienist interview questions

Below, you can find several tips for answering dental hygienist interview questions:

Research the hiring organisation

It's usually a good idea to research the hiring organisation before the interview stage. This can help you understand the primary values, morals and goals of the organisation. If you can identify these aspects, you can relate your answers to the organisation, which can show the interviewer that you've researched the business. This might display your initiative, which most interviewers can appreciate. Researching the hiring organisation can help you answer questions such as 'Why do you want to join this company?'.

Review the job listing

If you're in the interview stages of recruitment, you might have already reviewed the job listing to refine your job application. It might be worth reviewing it again to identify the primary skills and work ethics the hiring organisation is seeking. This can help you prepare answers that the interviewer may be expecting. For example, if they ask a question regarding your primary skills, you might list several skills that the job listing mentioned.

Determine the job technicality

It can be a good idea to identify the technicality of the role you're applying for. This can help you anticipate the questions you might receive. For example, an entry-level or junior dental hygienist interview might involve broad questions about dental procedures and processes. If you're applying for a role that requires extensive experience, you might receive complex questions about specific procedures.

Practise interview questions

One of the most effective methods for preparing for an interview may be to practice answering potential interview questions. You can identify several questions you might receive and prepare answers. This can improve the quality of your answers and allow you to answer a broader range of questions comfortably.

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