The job interview process is the most effective way for dental labs to identify which technician is best for the job. That’s because interviews and bench tests provide the most direct opportunity to screen that candidate for exactly the types of skills and personalities they’re looking for.
Because of this importance, labs must take the time to refine and perfect their job interview process. This article will provide an overview of how to do so and tips on how to structure and improve your interview process over time.
What is the job interview process?
A job interview is simply a meeting between a job candidate and interviewer to determine if that applicant is the right person for the job. Interviews are a core pillar of recruitment and typically have the largest influence over which candidate is selected for the job.
Job interviews can vary significantly depending on the company, industry, and position. Typically, they involve meeting with the lab owner, manager and fellow team members.
Therefore, the job interview process is the start to finish workflow that dental labs use to screen and meet with technicians to determine suitability for the role.
It’s much more involved and systematic than a single conversation or phone call and leverages multiple layers of interviewing to refine decision making. Each company will likely have its own job interview process, which will likely vary depending on the role and seniority.
In general, lab owners and managers will need to determine the following when creating a job interview process.
How many meetings are needed to assess the technician effectively?
What is the laboratory looking for? I.e., personality, skills, values, etc.
Who will be involved in the interview process? This might be a recruiter, lab owner, lab
manager, and sometimes team members.
What skills will be tested? How will you measure success?
How will objectively be ensured? How will candidates be measured and compared?
To answer the questions listed above, it’s helpful to understand the job interview process’s common steps.
7 steps to the job interview process
The following steps outline what a very thorough interview process might look like from start to finish. We encourage dental lab owners and lab managers to review this list and focus on the stages that will be most important to the desired outcome.
Here are job interview process steps:
1. Screening interview
This is typically the first direct contact with the candidates. It aims to determine if they have the basic requirements to do the job. This is accomplished by asking questions to find out more detail about their resume items.
Screening is usually conducted to help shortlist candidates for more in-depth conversations.
2. Phone screen interviews
Phone screen interviews are used to narrow the pool of candidates and identify which ones should come for in-person interviews (or more in-depth interviews).
These are typically conducted by the hiring manager and go into slightly more detail about the technician’s background, experience, and skills. This is also an opportunity to screen for personality and potential cultural fit early on.
Some labs may also opt to use video interviewing at this or any other stage of the job interview process.
3. First in-person interview
Shortlisted candidates are then invited for in-person interviews at the lab. This is an in-depth interview that asks probing questions about the technicians skills, work history, availability, expectations, and ambitions at the company.
In-person interviews help hiring managers to get a deeper understanding of each candidate personally, allowing them to determine if they have the skills and personality that the dental laboratory requires.
4. Bench-test interview
Next comes a bench-test interview or assignment that tests the candidate’s skills and personality. The scope and structure of competency assessments will vary widely depending on the position.
Common areas to measure include:
Each shortlisted technician is given the same test and graded using a standardised format.
5. Final interview
After all of the steps above are completed, the candidate may be invited for a short final interview with the hiring manager. This is their chance to reaffirm their interest in the role, share any learnings or insights that might help the hiring manager, and ask any final questions they may have.
This is also an opportunity for the hiring manager to get one last impression of the candidate before a hiring decision is made.
6. Background check
Before an offer is made, the hiring manager may seek to conduct a background check. Depending on the role, this might include checking the candidate’s professional background, and criminal record.
7. Job offer
If the background check goes well, then it’s time to extend an offer to the candidate. Ensure this is done promptly to ensure that there isn’t a significant lag time between communications.
Be prepared to have additional conversations with the candidate around remuneration, benefits, and vacation time before final sign off.
The job interview process can be a fairly lengthy one, depending on the number of steps it takes to come to a hiring decision.
Therefore, it’s helpful to have a target job interview timeline to ensure that candidates don’t become disillusioned or disinterested.