The New Employee Job Interview: What NOT to do….

I don’t know about you, but one of the few things I really *DO NOT* enjoy in being a business owner, or more specifically, a *Dental Practice Owner*, is interviewing for dental staff.

It’s such a rocky road!

Usually you’re in quick need of a replacement team member. So you’re intimidated by the clock running down.

You need to fill that vacancy quickly!

And for whatever reason you like, this is never a good scenario.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are the times when you interview for a new position yet to be created in your organisation.

And sometimes this is even more arduous.

Because you’re selling the invisible!!

You’re selling a position vacant of hope.

You hope there’ll be enough work to keep the new employee busy.

You hope the right applicant will buy into your plans of grandeur and expansion….

Whether it’s a new dental assistant role, a new dentist, or extra dentist being added to your office, or even a whole new start up office, you’re advertising a position of hope.

Same goes when advertising for a dental hygienist for the first time. As one of my clients is learning, that’s a real leap of faith. But that feeling, in itself, is a topic for another day.

What I really wanted to talk about today was the fantasy and the chores involved in interviewing, reading CVs, and checking references.

Years ago, I interviewed a lady for a front office position in my dental office. Let’s call her Karen.

Now Karen was working a few suburbs away, and actually for a friend or acquaintance of mine. [Let’s call him Bob]

This lady presented well, seemed qualified, and explained the reasons why she had frustrations with her current position at Bob’s. All valid reasons.

I agreed with her frustrations, and identified them as being caused by a cloudy or hazy “mixed” job description, and knew that that issue would not be a concern in my organisation.

Well turn the clock forward from that time about twelve months, and our front office lady Karen has just moved on, and I bump into my friend Bob, her previous employer, at a dental function.

When I mention to Bob that I we had had an employee, Karen, in common, he simply said to me words which ring in my head on a daily basis:

“Why didn’t you call?”

Why didn’t I indeed!!

Bob explained to me that had I have called him, he would have been able to share with me some relevant information that may have saved me some anguish.

And there in lies my point.

Usually CVs are a preparation of fantasy and embellishment.

And in this case I fell for the simple three-card trick….

But sadly, I’ve seen it happen in the reverse as well….

I’ve had prospective employers call me for references for past employees of mine who have overstated their roles that they had with me.

Yes! That’s right!!

And sadly, I’ve had other cases where friends have fallen for the same three-card trick that I had fallen for.

Where they’ve employed a former employee of mine without cross checking references back to me…

So what do you do? What can you do?

I’ve had two times in my career where I’ve employed  “golden” employees without success.

What’s a golden employee?

A golden employee is a candidate for a position, who has worked previously for a colleague, and whose references for the position have been verified by my colleague.

Glowing references.

Backed up.

Yet for one reason or another, the golden candidate has fallen short of the mark at my office.

Failed to deliver.


So it’s horses for courses.

And I really don’t know what the answer is.

Because often the answer is looking you back in the mirror.

Often it’s just you, too.

Like I said, often the employment environment or circumstances in your office are not ideal at the time you need to fill the position.

So you compromise.

You hire fast.

You dismiss valid points, that later shine back at you like brilliant warning lights…

That you ignored…

And you did.

And you shouldn’t have….

Gut feel can sometimes really be so right.

But it can really be so wrong too…

Unfortunately, I don’t have a golden pill for this.

But I sure know that I’ll never *NOT* call, where I can…


Correct interviewing techniques are part of  The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple easy to implement system that I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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