Tips for landing that next hygiene job and red flags to watch out for.
Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Times are changing. Now is the time to prepare for your future career move. That looks different to everyone. Whether this is your first hygiene position or you are a seasoned pro I've gathered some tips on things to look out for at your next interview.
I am old school. I always recommend making a good first impression. Arrive early, If you are on time you are late. I personally wear professional attire. I ensure my tattoos are covered, my jewelry is low-key, and my clothes are free of any lint. I always take a spare copy of a printed resume for the interviewer. Think before you speak ensuring your responses are clear and to the point. Never speak poorly of another office. Be confident and know your worth!
Questions to consider for the interviewer:
- Is there a uniform allowance?
- Is there a production bonus system in place?
- Who is your OSHA officer?
- How did your office handle the pandemic?
- What is the turnover rate?
- What is your office's policy on annual reviews for employees?
- What is the benefits package like? Is there a waiting period for those benefits to start?
- What is your periodontal protocol?
- How often are your hygiene instruments replaced?
- Is there any reimbursement for continuing education classes?
- What is your average hourly production for a hygienist?
- How much time is allowed for recall, perio maintenance, and new patient appointments?
- What software do you use for clinical management and imaging?
- Would I be responsible for any housekeeping duties?
- Who is responsible for providing/reviewing treatment estimates?
- Who is responsible for scheduling treatment?
I know this seems like a lot, however, this data provides you with an idea of what will be expected of you daily and also help you decide on an hourly rate. If there are no benefits offered you would want to ask for a higher hourly rate to help cover those costs. If there are great benefits offered this would likely drive your hourly rate down. It's good to know these things before they ask for your rate. If they share the average hourly production for their hygienist that gives you even more data to figure out where you should be (30-40% of hourly production).
Things that raise red flags:
- Offices that still use paper charts.
- Offices with no digital or social media presence.
- Offices that offer no benefits.
- Offices who tell you their former hygienist rarely used the Ultrasonic scaler.
- Beware of offices overcompensating you, I know it sounds great, but there is always a reason.
- Beware of offices using PPE that says "not for medical use".
- Beware of group interviews with consultants. Personally, this has never worked out for my benefit.
- Beware of accepting a job without completing a paid working interview. This is as much for you as it is for them. You need to see the quality of the equipment and care coming out of an office before you accept an offer.
- Offices that make you take your vacation time when the dentist is on vacation.
- Operatory setups that aren't ergonomically friendly. Always work in a room that is set up for your dominant side.
- Offices that make you clock out when a patient fails to show for an appointment. This is illegal in some states.
- Offices without a patient tardiness policy or broken appointment policy or fee. They aren't training their patients to respect their time or yours.
It's crazy out there! Stay informed, maintain good eye contact, and ask appropriate questions. Remember to request a written offer with all of the details.