How much easier would you sleep the night before a job interview if you knew the questions you’d be asked in advance? 

In a perfect world, you’d spend less time worrying about the unknown, and more time on smaller details like practicing tone, body language, eye contact, and the art of conveying your answers with confidence and poise. Sadly, we can’t know exactly what will be asked ahead of time, but we do know what is asked more often than not.

Here’s a list of common interview questions you should always be prepared to answer:

  1. Tell Me About Yourself

You know yourself better than anyone else, so don’t overthink this question. Use this time to let your personality shine and grab the interviewer’s attention. Avoid getting too personal in your response and stick to things like your education, how you got started in the field, and the positions you’ve held up to this point.

  1. What Are Your Strengths/Weaknesses?

This is your time to brag (humbly, of course), but be strategic with your answers. Your strengths should be qualities needed specifically for the job that you are applying for. And don’t worry, being asked about your weaknesses isn’t a trick question. After all, everyone has them. The key is to focus less on your weaknesses, and more on how you’ve overcome them.

  1. Why Should We Hire You?

This is where you sell yourself, but try to avoid cliché answers like “I’m a hard worker.” Use this opportunity to not only showcase your strengths as an employee, but also show you’ve researched the company. Highlight your personal traits and skills, then show how they are tailored to what the company is looking for in a candidate. 

  1. Why Did You Leave Your Previous Employer? 

No, this isn’t an opportunity to vent about your previous boss. The dental community is very small and it’s never appropriate or professional to speak negatively about a previous employer, dentist, or coworker. Instead, consider mentioning career goals, new opportunities, or other changes such as relocation. 

  1. What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Money can be a sensitive topic, but don’t be too nervous about this question. Do your research and find out what the average pay is for the position and area. Try to decide on a reasonable salary, but take your years of experience and qualifications into account as well. This is your time to negotiate, so don’t sell yourself short.

  1. Do You Have Any Questions For Me? 

The interviewer has had their time to ask questions — now it’s your turn. This is an extremely common way to end an interview, so always come prepared with at least three to ask. Think of questions about the day-to-day life on the job, company culture, employee benefits, or anything else you want to know.

Having a response to these common questions should help you feel as prepared as possible for your interview. At the end of the day, you are interviewing the office just as much as they’re interviewing you. This mindset should help calm your nerves, so you can focus more on being yourself and having a genuine conversation with the interviewer. Good luck on your job search!

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