Online Dentistry Interviews: Common Pitfalls
Advice & Insight From Dentistry Interview Specialists
Not focusing adequately on non-verbal communication
Although a video interview means that you are not in the same room as your interviewer, you are still visible. This means that many of the same subtle non verbal cues can be picked up on. Be especially aware of making gestures off screen, or fixing or adjusting something that is off screen. Remember to frame yourself so that your head and shoulders are visible on the webcam. Avoid small repetitive motions, or fidgeting. Actions like touching your face or nose, or scratching your head, become far more obvious in a video interview, as the viewing window is much smaller than in ‘real life.’ Try to adopt a position that minimises your ability to fidget, yet remains neutral – like folding your hands in your lap.
Not seeming interested
It’s far easier to appear ‘low energy’ on video than it is in real life. That means that you should make an extra effort to show that you are engaged, enthusiastic and excited during a video interview. Watch out for things like speaking in a robotic or monotonous voice, looking bored, disinterested or unengaged, or looking away repeatedly from the camera. You should act as if you are in a room with your interviewer – no distraction should get in the way of your conversation, and your attention should be fully focused on them.
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Not making correct eye contact
Students frequently fail to make eye contact during a video interview as it may seem like a secondary concern when compared to an in-person interview. However, it is still vitally important. You should look directly into the webcam to signify that you are making eye contact, rather than looking at the screen. A good way of showing attentiveness is to look at the screen whilst listening, and to look into the webcam whilst talking.
Watching yourself instead of the interviewer
Similarly to the difficulties with making eye contact during a video call, this is an exclusively virtual problem. Record yourself doing a virtual mock interview, and see if you catch yourself watching your own video feed. Many people will find themselves increasingly watching their own feed over their interviewer, and this will become a distraction for both parties. If you find this to be a problem, try to turn off the 2-way video feed, or alternatively to move your own video feed to a less obvious or obtrusive area of the screen.
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Not dressing professionally
As it’s a virtual interview, many people may be tempted to dress less professionally than they might during an in-person interview. However, you should remember that your head and shoulders will be visible, meaning that you will still need to look professional. Additionally, dressing as a future professional will make you feel the part more – this should be seen as one of the steps toward becoming a dentist, so dress appropriately.
Not removing distractions
You should thoroughly make sure that any and all potential distractions are removed from your workspace before you commence your interview. This means your mobile phone, tablets, an open window – anything that could disrupt you. It also involves speaking to your other family members (or whoever will be present in the same area during your interview) and ensuring that they will not disturb you for the duration of the interview.
Eating or drinking during your interview
Much as in an in-person interview, you may want to sip on a glass of water to relieve stress or tension. This is perfectly understandable, but you should take care to avoid snacking or drinking anything other than a glass or bottle of water – and limit yourself to occasional sips. Drinking too often might give the impression that you are more interested in the water than your interviewer.
Not having a professional username or profile picture
This may seem obvious, but should be borne in mind to avoid any embarrassment. As we begin to use Zoom and other such software platforms more and more to socialise with family members, it becomes increasingly likely that your username or profile picture might be more amusing than professional. Bear this in mind, and if necessary change your profile name and picture to something that appears more professional and suitable for an interview.
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