Here are a few helpful resources for a practice owner or practice administrator preparing to interview associate dentist candidates. For more up to date tips and helpful information, follow up on our Facebook fan page, Twitter, or on our blog. A candidate version is available here.

Before the interview:

• Be sure to check all licenses for disciplinary actions.
• Will the candidate be relocating? Know the advantages of your area.
• Have answers to these commonly asked questions.
• Plan your questions to include a balance of technical, experience, behavioral and opinion questions.

Sample Interview Questions

• What attracted you to my position?
• Where have you worked?
• How long have you been in each position?
• What would your current boss say that you do well?
• In what areas would he/she say that you needed to improve?
• How often have you been late over the last year?
• In which insurances did you participate?
• What was your average production at that office?
• What lead you to look for other positions?
• What kind of notice period do you have to give?
• Do you have a restrictive covenant that would keep you out of this area?
• Are you right handed or left handed?
• Are you familiar with the equipment used in this office?
• What are your clinical strengths?
• What do you prefer to refer out?
• In what areas do you have interest in further training?
• How would you describe your practice philosophy?
• What days are you available to work?
• Are you interested in eventual partnership or ownership? How soon?
• What are your income expectations?
• What motivates you?
• If you have ever been in an office with a light schedule, what did you do with your free time? What did you do to help fill the schedule?
• Which of your strengths and achievements do you feel best distinguishes you from other candidates I may speak with?
• What do you like the most about this position? Least?
• Now that we have spoken are you interested in pursuing this position further?

Be sure to explain what the next step would be and when they can expect to hear back from you.

After the interview:

• Check references before considering an offer. Here is how.

• If you feel that you have found the best available match, move quickly to get a commitment.

• Before making an offer, be sure that you know the current market standard. Income potential varies from community to community. Here is an excellent resource for understanding that your associate should be able to earn: are offering market values:

• Make sure that your contract is complete: Employment Contracts – What a New Dentist Should Know.

Other factors to consider when writing up a contract include:
Restrictive Covenant
Compensation Considerations


Make your expectations clear from the beginning.

Make them feel welcome.

Posted by Morgan Pace.

Morgan Pace is the Southeastern U.S. Account Executive and Senior Recruiter for ETS Dental. He can be reached at or 540-491-9102. ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States.

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