Dental Receptionist Interview Advice

A dental receptionist job interview can be seriously underrated, in terms of potential difficulties. The dental receptionist is the primary administrative worker in a dental practice and handles a large amount of the basic work of the practice, and most of the client contacts. This job involves a range of functions:

  • Keeping dental records: This is a critically important function, and it represents a real legal obligation as an issue for dental practices. You should be familiar with basic filing and record keeping, preferably with an understanding of the requirements of dental records and related obligations.
  • Liaison with dental service providers: Dental prosthetists, dental hygienists, and specialists are all part of the professional and business associations of dental practices. Referrals, ordering of services, and other issues relate to the receptionist position as liaison work.
  • Equipment and materials ordering and issues: Another business relationship related area. The dental equipment and materials are central to the operation of the practice or clinic. The receptionist makes and receives orders.
  • Accounts: Payments and receipts, records, invoicing, and related basic business practices. This isn’t difficult work, but has to be done meticulously because of the high level of active accounts involved.
  • Client service: In some cases patients need to be rescheduled to meet sudden demands. Dental patients may be in pain or under stress. They require a good level of service with minimum fuss and proper attention to their needs. Dentists need to be advised promptly of emergencies or patients in pain requiring anesthesia before the dentist can see them.

The Interview

Interview questions will be primarily functional, rather than behavioral-style interview types. It’s advisable to research the job requirements in detail and familiarize yourself with the needs of the position. Remember that this is a communication-based job. Your answers need to be very clear, proving your ability to communicate effectively and understand instructions.

Interview Questions

Please note that these are all primary requirements of any dental practice, and researching these issues is a good introduction to the subjects, especially if you haven’t worked in a dental practice before.

1. A patient has a dental emergency and is in pain. What do you do?

I get the facts of the case from the patient, and inform the dentist immediately. I inform the patient of the dentist’s response, and arrange the schedule accordingly, informing affected patients of the delay if necessary.

2. What do you know about keeping dental records?

I’m aware that these records are required by law to contain full information regarding the identity of the patient, diagnoses, examinations, X rays, records of treatment and any prostheses, medications, referrals, and any relevant medical information. They also contain a full history of treatment provided.

3. What experience do you have doing customer accounts?

I’ve done customer accounts for small business, including bank reconciliation, record keeping, issuing of invoices, following up late payments, and bookkeeping.

4. Have you worked with a medical or dental appointment schedule before? 

I’ve worked with another business which was based on a daily schedule of client appointments, and I’ve kept appointment books. I’m aware that rescheduling may be required, and that some dental procedures can take extra time.