35 Dental Hygiene Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When applying for a job as a dental hygienist, it's important to review common interview questions a hiring manager may ask you. While you can expect questions aimed to get to know you as a person, hiring managers also ask questions related to your dental care experience. Knowing the types of questions interviewers may ask can help you prepare effective answers that showcase your candidacy. In this article, we list a variety of dental hygiene interview questions you may receive, including a few with sample answers.

Related: What Is a Dental Hygienist?

General dental hygiene interview questions

At the beginning of your interview, a hiring manager may ask questions to get to know you. They use these questions to get to know your personality, your career goals and who you are as a person. Here are some general interview questions you may receive for a dental hygienist role:

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Why are you leaving your current position?

  • What is your greatest weakness as a dental hygienist?

  • What interests you about working with us?

  • What skills do you think make you a good dental hygienist?

  • What is your favorite part about being a dental hygienist?

  • Where do you see yourself five years from now?

  • Do you have a salary range you're interested in?

  • What are your short- and long-term career goals?

  • What are you looking for in an employer?

Related: 41 Dental Interview Questions To Help You Prepare for Your Next Job

Questions about experience and background

Here are some questions interviewers may ask to determine how your experience aligns with the job requirements:

  • What interests you in a career as a dental hygienist?

  • How familiar are you with HIPAA?

  • How would your previous manager describe your work ethic?

  • What is your experience with educating patients on oral health?

  • Where did you receive your training as a dental hygienist?

  • How long have you worked as a dental hygienist?

  • What were your main duties in your last role?

  • Do you have experience administering local anesthetic agents?

  • What experience do you have interpreting diagnostic tests?

  • What duties do you expect to perform outside of providing dental care?

Related: Interview Question: "Tell Me About Your Educational Background"

In-depth questions

Near the end of an interview, a hiring manager may ask questions to evaluate your dental expertise and determine how you might react during certain situations. Here are some in-depth questions you may receive that relate to the role of a dental hygienist:

  • What do you consider the most important part about being a dental hygienist?

  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict with a client? What happened and how did you resolve it?

  • Share an experience where you identified signs of gum disease.

  • Describe the health education you provided that successfully improved a patient's oral health.

  • Explain your method for maintaining dental equipment.

  • Share an experience where you successfully developed X-ray film.

  • How do you calm anxious patients?

  • Tell me about a time where you shared a difficult piece of information with a patient.

  • How do you organize, plan and prioritize your work?

  • Describe a time when you detected swelling lymph nodes.

  • Tell me about a high-stress situation you handled. How did you resolve the situation in a calm manner?

  • Share about a time when your careful inspection of equipment and materials helped you solve a problem.

Related: 12 Tough Interview Questions and Answers

3 interview questions with sample answers

Knowing the types of questions an interviewer may ask can help you prepare thoughtful and strategic answers in advance. In addition, reviewing sample answers to common dental hygiene interview questions can help you reflect on your own responses. Here are some dental hygiene interview questions you may receive, along with sample answers to help you craft your own answers:

1. What is your greatest strength as a dental hygienist?

Hiring managers ask this to determine whether your strengths align with the company's needs and the job's duties. They also use it to compare your greatest strengths with those of other candidates. Use this question as an opportunity to share your best qualities and abilities as they relate to the role of a dental hygienist. Answer confidently and clearly to assure hiring managers of your strength as a candidate.

Example: "I believe my greatest strength as a dental hygienist is my attention to detail. I always review my work multiple times to ensure accuracy. I also believe my interpersonal skills are an asset to this job. Not only do I care about providing quality service to our patients, but I'm also committed to bonding with my coworkers so we can establish a positive work environment and provide our clients with excellent care."

2. Why should we hire you as a dental hygienist?

This question helps hiring managers evaluate your confidence in this profession. They also want to know that you're interested in the role and that you know what they do as a company. Consider what makes you a unique candidate. For example, you can mention any industry achievements, training or your ability to speak a second language. In addition, consider asking a family member or friend what makes you different from other candidates.

Example: "You should hire me as a dental hygienist because I'm highly dedicated to this field, I graduated at the top of my class and I already have demonstrated success in this career. I have the knowledge to help your clinic excel and provide clients with the best dental services. I also have a proven track record of adapting to changes in this industry with ease."

3. How do you educate patients about proper oral hygiene?

When interviewers ask this question, they're trying to assess your dental care experience. They also use this question to determine if your oral health philosophy aligns with that of their clinic. Accurately explain your oral care routine and emphasize your ability to encourage patients to take proper care of their teeth. In addition, highlight your ability to modify your teaching to meet each patient's needs.

Example: "I demonstrate the best brushing and flossing practices directly on a patient's teeth. I make every technique suits the patient's age and dental needs. Then, I let each patient practice while I supervise and provide corrections as needed. My hope is that each patient leaves the clinic understanding how to properly care for their teeth because of my teaching."

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