1. Why are You Interested in this Position?
This is a common opening question assessing your interest in the particular job and intentions once you get the chance. Tell the interviewer why you applied for the specific job and convince them that you will deliver. You can also sell yourself by mentioning whatever you intend to contribute to the office.
I love what dentists do. I plan to pursue dentistry once I can fund my education. As for now, I would like to offer my services here as I have firsthand witnessed the excellent work this clinic does. I have had my teeth fixed here a couple of times, and I am happy with the results. Therefore, I would love to ensure that everybody else who comes to the clinic is satisfied with our services.
2. Mention the Roles that Dental Office Managers Do
Do you know the mandates of a dental office manager? The interviewer wants to see if you understand what a dental office manager does and whether you can deliver. You can refer to your previous job experience or the detailed job description. Ensure that you only mention the related roles.
A dental office manager manages all the financial aspects in the office, schedules client appointments, manages insurance claims, implements procedures and policies, takes care of marketing and public relations, supervises and appoints staff, and prepares budget expenditures.
3. What are the Qualities that a Dental Office Manager Needs to be Effective?
Do you know what it takes to be an excellent dental office manager? The interviewer wants you to mention some of the skills, attributes, and abilities needed in this position. Make sure that everything you list is role-related to convince the hiring manager that you know what your job entails. If possible, mention some of the qualities that have helped you reach wherever you are.
A dental office manager should be highly organized, given the nature of their job. They have to be efficient and strong time managers, friendly to the team and patients, exude strong leadership skills, and socialize with the patients. They must also have vast experience using some of the standard dental office management software such as Dentrix.
4. What is the Main Challenge that You Faced in Your Last Role? How Did You Manage It?
The interviewer is testing whether you are a problem solver or not. As a manager, you will encounter lots of issues in the office that will need your attention. Ensure that you highlight your problem-solving skills and convince the interviewer that you are up to the task. Also, mention an experience that is related to the role you are interviewing for.
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When I joined my former workplace, the other office assistants weren’t happy. They had bonded with the former dental office manager and couldn’t, therefore, stomach the thought of a new one. I could see it from their faces and gestures even though they didn’t say it to me. I held a meeting and convinced them that I wouldn’t interfere with their way of work provided that they did their level best and attended to their roles. I managed to lower their tension, and we soon bonded.
5. Briefly Describe Your Experience
Interviewers and hiring managers love people who are experienced in the role they are interviewing for as they don’t need excessive training. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t secure a chance if you have no prior experience. By calling you to the interview, the interviewer knows that you have the potential to deliver regardless of your inexperience. Be honest and talk proudly.
I am from finishing my associate degree. I don’t have any dental office management experience. However, my mother is a dentist, and I spent lots of time around her office after finishing high school. I familiarised myself with the roles of those in the office, and particularly with that of her dental office manager. I am optimistic that I will be good to go with just a little training.
6. Describe Your Daily Routine
How does your day look like? What are some of the roles that you perform daily? This is particularly easy to answer if you are experienced in this job or have held a similar position elsewhere. All in all, ensure that you read the job description to help you determine what your day will resemble once you get the job.
My day as a dental office manager revolves around scheduling client appointments, taking care of marketing and public relations, implementing procedures and policies, and managing insurance claims and every financial aspect in the office. I also supervise the existing staff and appoint new ones, especially for short-term clients.
7. Mention a Strategy and Mindset Required for this Role
Do you know and have everything it takes to be good at this job? Do you have a way of going about your duties that will ensure success? What about a set of beliefs or mental perspectives that will help you live up to the job description? Whatever you mention should be related to the job, and prepare for any follow-up question that may be asked from your answer.
The best strategy that any dental office manager or manager, in general, can adopt is effective delegation of duties. People should be given tasks based on their abilities and skillset. One must therefore know all the employees and their capabilities before task delegation. A dental office manager must also have a focused mindset to avoid costly mistakes while going about their duties.
8. What is the Main Challenge that You Foresee in this Role?
The interviewer expects you to have conducted a level of research to help you identify some of the challenges you will likely face in the clinic. From everything that you have gathered, which is the main one? Be honest. You can also turn around this question and use it as a chance to sell yourself.
I have always managed five or fewer people in my former roles. From the job description, I will be managing more than ten people, which, even though I can handle, I will have to adjust fast. However, I know that I have all it takes to deliver and record excellent performance if given a chance.
I am looking forward to working with you and proving myself.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated in this Job?
Dental office management comes with its fair share of challenges that you must face. The interviewer, therefore, wants to know what keeps you going despite all these challenges. Be careful not to give material reasons such as money or the benefits of being a dental office manager. If possible, your primary focus should be on intrinsic motivating factors.
I believe that I am a self-motivated individual. I usually go out of my way to deliver and achieve success. I love the fact that I can push myself to do better every day. I also draw my motivation from past achievements, which comes in handy whenever I am facing challenges. It reminds me that I have successfully overcome several challenges, and these too shall come to pass.
10. Mention a Time that You Failed in this Role. What Did You Learn?
The interviewer wants to know if you are an accountable person. Can you admit that you made a mistake and learn from it? Remember, making a mistake is not the end of the road. All you need to do is obtain valuable insight from the experience or situation and improve where you went wrong.
I once failed to solve a conflict between two office employees which saw one of them quit. He was the best secretary that we had worked with at that time and the office took a considerable loss. I tried to reach out to him, but he had already found a new employer, just like we had expected. This experience taught me the importance of timely deliberations. I nowadays solve conflicts the moment I notice them.
11. Why Do You Believe that You are the Most Suited for this Role?
The interviewer has given you a chance to sell yourself. This is where you mention some of your most outstanding qualities and abilities to the interviewer. Make sure that you talk proudly of yourself and convince the hiring manager that you can deliver better than other candidates.
This is my seventh year in dental office management. I have served in several institutions, managing lots of diverse employees. I have also worked with lots of dental management software such as Dentrix and therefore have vast experience in many management tools.
12. What is Your Greatest Achievement?
The interviewer wants to know some of the most notable highlights in your career. Mention an experience or occurrence that you hold dear.
My most outstanding achievement was landing a job with one of the biggest dental offices in the country despite having no experience. The hiring manager believed in me, and I did not disappoint. I got one of the best recommendations after.
13. Can You Manage More than One Employee in the Office Setting?
The interviewer expects you to have excellent interpersonal skills that will help you perform management roles. You should have experience overseeing a few staff members in the dental office setting and the ability to take initiative. Convince the interviewer that you are up to the task.
I can effectively manage employees in the work setting. I have over a decade of experience managing staff in dental offices. At one point, I was in charge of 10 dental office workers. I can inspire and motivate them to give their all and implement critical changes to streamline business practices, saving the office time and money.
14. Could You Please Mention the Preparations You Underwent in Regards to this Role?
The interviewer wants to know about your background, skills, and abilities that will help you deliver once you get this job. Remember, part of your work includes handling different administrative tasks overseeing billing and supervising the dental staff. Show professionalism, ability to be organized, and excellent communication skills.
I undertook a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, which earned me my first job as a dental office manager. I learned how to use Excel and different HR software programs, which helped me manage several administrative processes. I also had to learn proper organization and communication techniques, which are essential skills in this job. I have greatly improved over the phone and in-person communication with patients, staff, and different vendors.
15. Could You Mention Some of the Common Tasks You Were Mandated with in Your Former Job?
There are everyday tasks that dental office managers person such as managing office budget, coordinating staff meetings, communicating with clients, etc. You should show the interviewer that you have vast knowledge of the job description and experience completing different tasks.
I performed several everyday tasks in my previous role. I created and monitored the budget covering expenses, completed payroll duties, and coordinated meetings. Other mandates included hiring and scheduling part-time employees, communicating with clients, and offering reports to the dental practice owners.
16. Can You Mention Some of the Dental Office Software You are Familiar With
A dental office manager should be proficient in using different software and interpreting them to others. To be on the safer side, make sure that you have vast experience with Dentrix and any other standard dental office software program. Also, show high levels of proficiency required in the dental office setting.
I am familiar with several dental office software. I particularly love using Dentrix, which I have expert-level proficiency in. I have used this software for the last five years and therefore know it inside out. ( You can mention any other additional software and show your proficiency)
17. Mention Your Experience with Dental Billing Codes and Information Management Systems
The interviewer expects you to enter dental billing codes seamlessly as patients check in and out. Even though most companies have people doing that, you still have to be familiar with billing codes and information management systems. Show familiarity with these codes and convince the interviewer that you can handle all office duties.
I have over six years of experience in dental office management. Even though some of my previous employers had people handling the billing codes and information management systems, I am proficient in both of them. I managed them personally in my first three years of work.
18. Can You Mention Some of the Dental Office Management Certificates and Degrees that You Hold Currently
To be considered a qualified dental office manager, you have to complete a certificate program or an associate degree in dental office management. Your answer should capture a formal dental office management training, show that you have completed a certificate or associate degree program, and portray advanced knowledge of office procedures and job duties.
I believe that I am highly qualified in this field. I decided to take advantage of my thirst for education and pursued an associate dental office management degree. I majored in dental terminology, dental health, and safety, as well as billing codes. All these majors have greatly helped me in my job as a dental office manager.
19. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
The interviewer wants to know why you decided to terminate your contract with your last working place. It will tell the type of employee you are and whether you will stay in this new workplace. Give a satisfactory answer but do not badmouth your former employer or workplace.
My last workplace helped me advance significantly in my career. I learned lots of things that I believe set me ahead of the rest. However, I wanted new challenges and a different working environment where I could grow. I, therefore, decided to leave to give someone else an opportunity asI look for new ventures.
10. Mention Your Greatest Strength
The best way to answer this question is to mention a quality needed in the job you are interviewing for. Mention a strength that will convince the interviewer you deserve this particular position. Reread the job description, understand your mandates and link your qualities to what is required.
I believe that my greatest strength comes from my management abilities. I know how to work well with others and inspire them to give their all. My interpersonal skills help me get along with my subordinates, which is needed for effective management.
These are some of the questions that you will come across in a dental office manager interview. Ensure that you do your level best to convince the interviewer that you deserve the position. Also, remember that first impression matters. Therefore, work on it.