Jennifer Steadman with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors" with the AADOM logo

You’re looking to hire your next great team member, but so is everyone else!

The hiring process can be extremely time-consuming, especially when candidates don’t show for their scheduled office interviews.

Cut down on no shows and attract better candidates by mastering three important phases in the hiring process prior to in-person office interviews: the job ad, phone interview, and post-interview.

1. Your job ad

Your initial job posting is the first communication with potential candidates.

When creating your ad, make sure it catches the reader’s attention by highlighting benefits, community involvement, or your great office hours.

Once you have their attention, list specific requirements of the position and any licenses or certifications that are necessary.

When closing your ad, include a call to action by requiring the applicant to answer a question when they submit their cover letter. By doing this, it allows you to gain insight about the candidate and also see if they are able to follow direction.

For example, “If you are interested in becoming part of an exceptional team, submit your resume and tell us what your favorite thing about dentistry is, at the top of your cover letter.”

You may be surprised at how many people do not answer your question or even submit the cover letter you requested. This eye for detail is an effective way to narrow down candidates before conducting phone interviews!

Where to post your job ad

Before posting your job listing, look back to see where you’ve posted ads in the past and where the most qualified candidates came from.

If you have a great social media presence, you might want to post your opening on your social media accounts.

If your team is active in the local dental community, ask them to spread the word and share your job advertisement to their pages and any groups they’re in.

2. Preparing for phone interviews

You took a great deal of time to construct an attractive job ad. Now, you have a plethora of qualified candidates who applied and even answered your question in their cover letter.

The problem is you don’t have time to interview all of them in person. Now what?

Conducting phone interviews can provide you with powerful information about the candidates before taking the time to sit down with them face-to-face.

Prepare a few questions to help you understand their background and why they applied for the position, such as:

  • “Why did you choose a career in dentistry?”
  • “What makes you an ideal team member?”
  • “What made you apply for the position with our team?”

Conducting phone interviews

Without even speaking to the candidates, they can tell you a great deal about themselves:

  • Do they answer the phone in the middle of the day? If they wrote on their resume that they are currently employed, you may not expect them to answer their phone.
  • On their outgoing voicemail, do they state their name and message clearly with a positive, professional, and upbeat tone?
  • After leaving a message, do they call you back in a timely fashion? What time of the day do they call? If you called the candidate late morning and they call you back during their lunch break, they are serious about the position!

Ask all candidates the same prepared questions. Take notes on what they said and how they said it.

When concluding the phone interview, thank the candidate for their time and ask them to go to your website to learn more about your practice and your team.

Do not schedule the in-person interview… yet!

3. Post-interview

Review all candidates to narrow the list down to your top five.

Call those five individuals and ask if they had any questions after your initial conversation.

To show your interest, mention something from their phone interview that made a positive impression on you.

Ask if they had an opportunity to review your website and if they have any questions about your team values or mission. They may tell you that they enjoyed your conversation or acknowledge something from your website or social media accounts.

Remember, if a candidate does not have any questions, this does not mean they are not a good fit for your team or that they are not serious about the position.

By adding this key step in the interview process, you can eliminate no shows because you gauge their interest prior to taking the time to meet with them in person.

As a dental practice manager, your time is very valuable.

Don’t schedule in-person office interviews until you are sure the candidate is interested in the position with your team and that you’re interested in them.

By mastering these phases in the hiring process and completing your due diligence, you can lessen the chance of office interviews no shows and maximize the possibility of hiring your next great team member!

Remember, this is just the beginning. In-person interviews are also extremely important.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks!


Meet the Author

AADOM Author, Jennifer Steadman, in a yellow blazer and white topJennifer Steadman, BSDH, RDH, FAADOM, is the Director of Affiliations and Business Development for a growing DSA, Dental Support Alliance, New England Dental Partners.

She specializes in business operations, team development, and communication.

Her career has evolved from dental assisting to a dental hygienist and dental practice manager to her current role as director!

Her goal is to empower dental professionals to hone into their strengths and become a positive light in the dental community.

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