3 tips for that all-important interview

Escape the Career Maze into Career Success with the Dental Coaching AcademyGreat news - you finally got the interview you were hoping for. But now what?  Is this the perfect next step in your career?  Bob Hughes PCC, Career Coach and Director at the Dental Coaching Academy, offers 3 tips for that all-important interview.



The first thing to remember is that whilst, of course, it’s a great opportunity to showcase your skills and experience, there is also a responsibility on the potential employer to sell the job to you.
There’s often an assumption that the interview just a one-way sales pitch from you.  That can make the process more intimidating than it needs to be.  You have the option to turn the job down doesn’t look right to you.

I did hear a great story recently of an organisation that found what looked on paper to be the Perfect Candidate for the role. The candidate arrived and, before the interview started, he said he had a few questions to ask them, so as not to waste everybody’s time if the fit wasn’t good. The candidate had been researching the company on

And, by the way, if you haven’t found this site already, I strongly recommend visiting and do some research on prospective employers. It’s like TripAdvisor for the workplace.

Anyway, the Perfect Candidate asked some questions, expressed himself dissatisfied with the answers the company had given him, and walked away.

As an interviewee, you have more power than you think. That power gives you a degree of control. Having control in any situation can give you reassurance and confidence.


The second thing to remember is that you are being interviewed by people who are probably interviewing lots of other candidates day.  So anything you can do to make their job easier will stand you in good stead.

Most interviews these days are based around questions designed to assess your experience of various tasks.

Questions usually start with “Tell me about a time when…….”  and the end of that question might be about teamwork, project management, crisis management - whatever the role involves.
“Tell me about a time when you had to take over an underperforming team”


Rather than launching straight into the story, if you try to structure your answer in a logical way, you will be making the job of the interviewer much easier. There is an acronym that can help you here – SARA.

  • SITUATION: Start by describing the Situation you found yourself - not what you did, but a brief description of the problem and what led to your involvement in it
  • ACTIONS: Now you can talk about the Actions you took - and not just what you did, but why you did it
  • RESULT: Then, what was the Result of taking those actions.
  • AFTERMATH: Finally, and okay this is a bit forced to make the acronym work, what was the Aftermath. By this I mean what learning did you take away from the event.

This makes it okay to describe something that was not a complete success, because there is likely to be more learning from that.  Stop in fact, if every example you give shows you to be perfect: most interviewers would get a little suspicious at ‘over perfect’ people!


I hope you find these tooltips useful for your interview and interesting for your career development.  I would appreciate any feedback, any questions or any experiences you have to share.  Just contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Our job is to support your career success – helping you achieve more in the dental profession – whichever route you choose.  Here at the Dental Coaching Academy, we run workshops expanding on the topic of career development, so you can take the next steps in your successful dental career. If you want to know more, click here for the next open course dates, or contact us for details.