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Do You Or Don't You

60% Of You Have Been Blessed to Have a Mentor in Your Career

Here’s how their relationships work.

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Yes: 60%

  • Mr. Greg Rodriguez has been a positive influence with his history and knowledge of the eye care field. He has an open communication, and still serves as a mentor to any “new” hire. — James Masser, Rocky Mountain Eye Center, Pueblo, CO
  • My mentor was years ago. She taught me a lot when I first went into optics. Nothing formal, just always explained the why and how whenever she assisted me. — Cassandra Brackmann, Danville Family Eye Care, Danville, IN
  • Someone there to look over your shoulder, guide you, advice when necessary, but allows you to make your own choices and decisions. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • He passed away in 2001, but he was an OD I met in Missouri. Always there to encourage me, in optics as well as life in general. Miss you Doc! — Gail Bailey, Eye Care Clinic, Grand Rapids, MN
  • I worked for him for 20 years. he taught me everything I know and then I bought him out. — Chani Miller, OD, Park Eye Center, Highland Park, NJ
  • She’s actually my grandmother, so she’s pretty much always available for any questions I may have. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • When I had one our relationship was just as teacher/student with give and take. — Jessica Brundidge, Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC
  • Carefull listening, asking the right questions, being respectful in debatable situations. — Steven Gouveia, Target Optical, Seekkonk, MA
  • I’ve never really had a one-on-one mentor. It’s mostly finding someone that I admire or respect and research about their lives and read their material, books, etc. to see how I can apply their teachings/ideas into my life/work. — Josh Bladh, Dr Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Worked for him 20+ years ago. He recently retired. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • I would not necessarily call any individual a mentor. However, I am inspired by others, who have excelled in Customer Service. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • When I started, I had no optical experience. She trained me and has taught me everything I know over the last four years. — Andrea Schall, Armstrong Eye Care, Kittanning, PA
  • I worked better when we were in the same state so we don’t see each other as much but anytime I needed guidance, she was always then to lend an ear. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Touch base on issues and concerns. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • He was a natural teacher and recognized the spirit of entrepreneurship in me. He shared those tips and tricks that you only learn from experience. He’s retired now but will always be there if I pick up the phone just to talk it out. He was adamant that you NEVER stop learning and now I know why. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • My mentor has been an amazing asset throughout my career: sounding board, job finder, drinking buddy and giver of advice! — Stacey Nutting, The Eye Doctors at CNY Eye Care, East Syracuse, NY
  • If I ever have a question all I have to do is call/text and he’s right there available whenever I need him. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Dan is my SCORE mentor he helps me look at the business aspect. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • I try to take something from everyone I’ve worked with even if they have been doing this less time than me. I really like to learn one new thing a day. I have many many mentors over the years in business and in Life. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Mutual admiration and respect with a healthy dose of realism and coaching. True Talk, no lip service in this relationship. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • I got into this business by helping the overwhelmed optician in the optical owned by the doctors I worked with. She taught the basics and things I did not learn when I finally enrolled in the Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing program. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • I have always chosen to be sponge around people more seasoned than myself. I have made sure that those people knew of my admiration for them. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • It was 38 years ago, but it worked great because most of what I know and can do now is because of him. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char,OD, Orange, OR
  • My mentor is retired but she was a wonderful teacher as well as a friend. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • It worked well he was my older brother. He was an Ophthalmologist and he brought me into the business and we became partners. He taught me that you never really win an argument with a customer/patient. A lot of what I learned from him was what not to do. He was a great guy and the world’s worst negotiator. So, I learned how not to negotiate from him and many other things. — Bob, McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • My mentor was always there to listen and give advice. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • I have several mentors that I call my gurus. I have attended lectures and gone to meetings with them. There is after hours conversations and email exchanges whenever a question arises. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Yes, we support each other. — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • I would have to say that would be my sponsors that I had when I did my apprenticeship. Everything that I was taught in their business I brought to my own business. I basically feel that they were my what I call optical parents and I run my business the way they ran their business to this day in my shop is actually I feel an offspring of their store similar decor I even use the same receipts we used when I work there over 25 years ago. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • He is an OD that is ten years my senior and has been hugely successful in Optometry. I have always asked him about various business decisions over the last 50 years. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • I’m our practice the LDO’s seem to mentor each other. We have all grown strong in different areas of our craft and help enhances each other’s weaknesses. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • I have been blessed to have an OUTSTANDING mentor in my career, who is a Master in Ophthalmic Optics and also a former Optical Dispensary owner. He has given me a lot of insights into my profession and also a solid friendship with someone who understands what my concerns are and cheers me on as I try to make myself useful. — Pablo E Mercado, LensCrafters, Alpharetta, GA
  • I had some early advice from my father although I likely didn’t follow most of it & Andy Gurwood was a big help instilling confidence & skills to practice optometry while I was a student. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Great to use for bouncing things off, ideas, troubleshooting etc. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • I’m a member of my local Rotary Club and there are many business people who have become good friends and business mentors. Priceless relationships. I ask advice and they lift me up! — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • He gives me advice and answers the many questions I have. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • When I first started out in this industry, as a young 17-year-old, the manager of the location I worked at took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew. We became very good friends, even outside of work, and he taught me not just about the optical world but many life lessons as well. While our paths have since taken us in different directions, I still think of him fondly when I do daily tasks like a re-string or remember some of the fun we had like attending Cher’s farewell tour! — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • It was many moons ago but I still do things, based off his influence and teachings, to this day. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • My boss. He’s been an optician for 30+ years and know so much! He has taught me everything I know. — Vicki Thompson, Grandville Optical, Grandville, MI
  • I had a mentor for over twenty years! I initially started teching at his office as a teenager. He guided me throughout college and OD school. Now, I’m the 20-year veteran. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • I could call and ask him business related questions because he had practiced for years and he would ask me clinical questions on new techniques and tests. — Kimberly Riggs, OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Well when your mentor is your mother, the mentoring truly never stops. We’ve worked together for 30 years although she’s only been paying me for the last 5 (since I joined the practice) and while our learning and teaching styles differ drastically, we make our way to answers sooner rather than later. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Help with Business decisions. — Jeffrey Safarik, OD, Newport Mesa Optometry, Costa Mesa, CA
  • No longer living. — David Saxton, Kern Optical, Gulfport, MS
  • It is the good folks on Optcom list, ODWire and ODs on Facebook. It works by exchange of ideas and experiences. As a solo practitioner, it is good to learn from them. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD
  • Just someone I worked with over 20 years ago, but I consider him a mentor. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Family. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • When I first started, under an old-school optician, I learned a lot of tricks and techniques. She is long gone but I think she would be proud of me. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI

No: 40%

  • It was I who was expected to mentor and oversee the associates. — John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • Never needed. — Greg Kyser, Gallery of Eyewear, Marysville, WA
  • Didn’t have the opportunity. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Haven’t found someone that is very helpful. — Katie Rutledge, Arnold Family Eyecare, Imperial, MO

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Do You Or Don't You

When It Comes to Facebook Friend Requests, 65% of You Hit ‘Decline’ on Patients

Limited mixing of business and pleasure (or politics) here.

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Yes: 35%

  • I only friend so they don’t feel offended. I greatly limit what patient see on my FB. — Haley Menge, Hi-Line Eye Care, Glasgow, MT
  • Our doctor is not very active on Facebook and nothing is political, so anyone that adds him is accepted. — Kenny Meyer, OBC Insurance Billing & Credentialing Specialists, Macomb, IL
  • Only patients that I actually know! I don’t think any have “friended” me until they know me well, so I’ve never run into the problem of trying to limit what they see. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • I have nothing to hide. — Bret Hunter, Sports Optical, Denver, CO
  • I do not like to, but I do. I have decided to seldom post personal pictures. — Charlene Gordon, Family Eye Care, Monroe, LA
  • It is important to me that my personal page is a place that I can connect with friends and I am open to people who are friends and are ALSO patients. I need to have a friendship outside of the office to become Facebook friends with someone. — Deborah Bosner, Northwest EyeCare Professionals, Columbus, OH
  • It really depends on the patient. If I know them from other things, then yes. For example, I have patients that volunteer with the non-profit I chair. I will friend them. But if I have only had encounters with them in the office, then no. — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • No limit, some become friends. — Sabina Krasnov, i2ioptique, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Only a very select few whom I consider family. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • If and when I friend a patient, they are already a real friend. — Robert M Easton Jr OD FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • I would if they were about my age and they were likable. But, honestly, it’s never happened. — Bart Parker, OD, Vision Source-Fox Optical, Lake Worth, FL
  • I live in a super small town so being in business is almost like being a celebrity; people think it’s cool to know you. It’s kind of hard to say no to people. I don’t limit what they can see. I only pretty much post pics of my cat anyway. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Many long term patients have become good friends. And I don’t post anything I wouldn’t want a patient to see anyway. — Kenneth D. Boltz, OD, Dublin, OH
  • Only if I know them real well. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • It honestly depends on the patient, but I don’t put anything on my personal FB that I wouldn’t want a patient to see so I’m happy that they want to connect. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Be an open book. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • I do very little on my personal Facebook page so it does not matter. I live in a smaller community and see people out around town all the time anyway. — Kristina Swartz, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • I don’t limit what they can see. I just make sure I don’t post things I wouldn’t tell them in person. Vacations, birthdays, kids pics … no “dirty laundry” on FB. — Andrea Schall, Armstrong Eye Care, Kittanning, PA
  • A happy customer is a good customer, being friends with them is exposure for the business. No limit on what they see. — Jocelyn Anderson, National Vision Inc, Riverdale, GA
  • We are a small town, and we have nothing to hide! — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • If they have gotten to a point with me where they feel they could send a friend request, then why not? I don’t put anything on my FB page that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with people seeing. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Not everyone who asks is accepted as a Facebook friend; I have to know them quite well. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • No .., but if they have become friends, all is good. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • I have been in this industry for 21 years now and have only worked at three different offices. I have patient friends that can remember when I planned my wedding over 15 years ago and when I was pregnant with both of my sons (now 11 and 13!!). Some patients have become very good friends! But I definitely have a hard think on their personality before I click the “accept request” button! — Renee Berry, Nappanee Family Eyecare, Nappanee, IN

No: 65%

  • I do not personally do Facebook. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • It is too personal for a patient to know my private thoughts and family and friends. — Jessica Brundidge, Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC
  • My personal Facebook is totally blocked, only used to get Facebook access. All interaction is done on our business Facebook. — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • I do not accept these friend requests. I do not address it with the patient, I just ignore it. If they actually ask in person, I tell them I need to keep professional and social separate. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD
  • I’d like to keep the relationship professional. — Chris Lopez, OD, Roberts Eyecare Associates, Vestal, NY
  • Many of my friends have joined my business page but not vice-versa. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • I do not address it. If they are not close outside of work friends I just don’t respond. Most people don’t even remember they sent the request and I feel it is good to keep an arms distance from patient friends who are not yet friend friends. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • I have accepted a few personal patient friend requests but mainly try to steer them to my business Facebook page. My personal page is a battleground of politics and religion which are like Voldemort and should not be spoken about at work. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Hasn’t happened yet, but I try to keep my private life, well, private. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • I tell them if I am not invited to your kids birthday you are not in my personal circle. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary Inc, Allen Park, MI
  • I’ve never received one, but I struggle to leave work at work as it is, and I keep my Facebook circle very tight. — Erin D’Elia, 3 for 1 glasses, St. Catharines, ON
  • I feel Facebook is very personal and only use it for family and friends. We do have a Facebook group we use to communicate with staff at work but this is a secret group that patients can’t see. We had to make it secret because patients kept requesting to join daily. Which makes us consider having a Facebook group sometimes for the practice. — Diana Canto Sims, OD, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • Pretty sure no one ever tried, but if they did, I just wouldn’t respond. I only friend people that I consider within an inner circle and delete plenty of friend requests. — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown and White Plains, NY
  • Our office has a Facebook page. That is enough for me. — John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • Luckily, I don’t usually have to address the issue as I do not have my last name on my FB page so patients cannot easily find me. I like to keep my personal and professional life separate. — Erika Tydor, OD, Shoreline Eyecare, Shoreline, WA
  • No. I am way too honest on Facebook. I call it like it is and if you don’t like it then f**k off. And yes, I can cuss like a sailor when I’m pissed off. — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center For Vision Care, Monroe, CT

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Do You Or Don't You

With Only 37% Answering ‘Yes,’ Sending Holiday Notes Seems to be a Dying Tradition

But some of you have gotten creative, sending Thanksgiving cards or texts patients can respond to.

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Yes: 37%

  • Secular. — Charlene Gordon, Family Eye Care, Monroe, LA
  • Both secular and non-religious. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • I sent cards that fit my relationship with my custfriends (customer/friend). — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Secular. — Cassandra Brackmann, Danville Family Eye Care, Danville, IN
  • Secular. We want to share our celebration and good wishes of the season and the New Year but we do not want to offend anyone who may not share in similar traditions. — Deborah Bosner, Northwest EyeCare Professionals, Columbus, OH
  • Secular by email. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • We send Thanksgiving cards. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Just a standard well wished holiday email for those with emails on file. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Text from weave. People love it and often text back. — Kristina Swartz, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • Secular. Only because I don’t think the company we use for the postcards has a religious option. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Secular, we focus how grateful we are for the relationships we build with our patients. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Some religious cards to new customers and people we have not seen in a while. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Secular with a hint of religious. I feel our office keeps with a flair of both without being over the top on either. — Susan Frein, Ames Eye Care, Ankeny, IA
  • Non-religious. Usually some type of cute or funny card. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Non-religious. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Iconic Eye Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • Religious but not overtly. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • We have a notecard designed specifically for our clinic to send to patients for any reason/occasion. It features custom artwork and metal sculpture featured in our clinic. We also give gift packages of those notecards to our patients to use. — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • Not sure, whatever my practice management software sends! I guess I need to pay more attention to that aspect although my staff may know. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Secular. Typically we use it to send out a “customer appreciation coupon” and advertise upcoming trunk shows. — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • We send both. — Deanna Phillips, Clemmons Family Eye Care, Clemmons, NC
  • Secular. — Caitlin Bruno, Binyon Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • Non-religious. — Tabitha Fuller, Thomas Eye, Palmetto, GA
  • Secular. — Robert Hillman, Hillman9, Waltham, MA
  • Cards are “Happy Holidays and Happy New Year” so it covers every religion and those that might not celebrate are not offended. — Anja Jakupovic, OPTIK! European Eyewear, Saint Petersburg, FL
  • Secular. — Leisa Shack, Westcliff Optometry, Newport Beach, CA
  • Religious. — Renee Berry, Nappanee Family Eyecare, Nappanee, IN
  • We have done both. — Selena Jachens, Urban Eyecare & Eyewear, West Des Moines, IA
  • I just tend to send out little “thank you for supporting the shop” notes if anything; something that could honestly be sent at any time of year but might mention how gift certificates are a great gift for any occasion! — Siobhan Burns, The Eyeglass Lass, New London, CT
  • We do for one office but not the other. The ones we do are to a small group of local businesses and are religious but not over the top. The main limit to not doing more and at both offices is the cost. Not sure what the ROI really is on it. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN

No: 63%

  • We really only do postcards for exam reminders and sometimes cards for patient that have spent a large amount of cash or thank you for being a patient if there was a circumstance that was unusual. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Too much contact can be just as bad as too little, people get burnt out. — Steve Geis, Metro Eye, Milwaukee, WI
  • Not religious but we do decorate for the holidays. We celebrate all. — Cindy Harmon, Sonoma Eyeworks, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Lazy. — Alexander Saper, Great Glasses, Houston, TX
  • People hate that stuff. It’s spam. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • I always make super creative Christmas ads for the local paper and social media. I decorate and LOVE Christmas time but I am not religious and don’t want to offend anyone. I just want to keep it easy too. I honestly don’t have the time or energy to send cards. I can barely get it together to send cards to my family. — Nancy Revis, Uber Optics, Petaluma, CA
  • It is sadly a tradition that has gone by the wayside. Very few send personal cards anymore. We think communication should be pertinent to a message. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • I got to be honest, laziness. — Ted A. McElroy, OD, Vision Source Tifton, Tifton, GA
  • No, just not enough time in the day. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • It would be lovely if we could. There’s just not enough time or manpower to do it. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • It’s me and a part-time secretary…no time for that. Although, we do send hand written thank-yous to every first time buyer, ones that have returned after a few years absence, and condolence cards when there’s a death in the family. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • I never saw any benefit to it. — Kimberly Riggs, OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Time and staffing. — Chris Lopez, OD, Roberts Eyecare Associates, Vestal, NY

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Continue Reading

Do You Or Don't You

While the Majority of You Do Not Conduct Working Interviews, Those of You That Do Ensure a Cultural Fit

And many who don’t, haven’t because they are one man shows of boast impressively long staff tenures.

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Yes: 35%

  • We have them answer phones, interact with patients and staff. We like to get a feel of their personality and make sure that they mesh well with the rest of our team. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • It varies; for the most part we want to determine interest and whether or not the candidate feels they can perform the job. Math tests can be important dependent on position as well. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • We have them read a script in Spanish because being bilingual in Spanish/English is required in our practice. — Diana Canto-Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • Answering a phone properly, greeting a patient properly, computer software capability, auto lensometry, auto refraction, topography, history taking, and handwriting are all part of the first days of the interviewing process. Our staff has stayed with us 20-30 years. — Robert M Easton, Jr., OD, FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • I’m not looking at the task so much as we are looking at how they interact with the team. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • I allow the candidate to shadow a seasoned employee for an hour or so while watching for the way they interact with patients when they walk through the door. Someone who really wants to be with us and has a love for the industry will be easily realized! — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • First and foremost, math testing including a written test, and can they make change without batteries. As well as verbal skills, demeanor, and decorum. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Candidates shadow the position for a half day. We are looking for a personality that fits our tight team, and someone who asks thoughtful questions and isn’t afraid to jump in if a patient asks them a question, even if it’s to say, I’m not sure! — Caitlin Bruno, Binyon Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • We ask them to perform simple tasks that relate to what job they will be doing. We’re more interested in judging their personalities though. Skills can be taught and refined. Personality can’t be fixed. — Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA
  • Service. — Chris Mark, OptiMark, Des Moines, WA
  • The candidate shadows for the day. During this time, we have the candidate assist in the dispensary and the lab. This is a great way to see how the candidate interacts with patients and other employees. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • We ask potential candidate to shadow the position they may be hired to fill to make sure the work actually meets the expectation of the job they think they are applying for. — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • Work with a potential customer, review frame lines. Personality, professionalism, optical skills. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Perform lensometry, frame adjustments, watch patient interactions and communication. Making sure that they are a right fit for our office culture. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Phones, dispensing, pre-testing. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char, OD, Orange, OR
  • Ability to communicate with clients clearly and possess great listening skills. — Kate Giroux, MacPherson Opticians, Arlington, VA
  • We want potential new staff members to be immersed in our culture before we bring them on board. It’s so important that someone understands what you do as a brand before you invite them to be on the front lines. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Kind of a working interview … we do a three month trial. At the end of the three months, if things are working out we hire them. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • We feel like we are an office family, so I want to get my entire staff involved. Just spending time with each of my staff helps ensure it’s a good hire. — Kenneth D Boltz, OD, LLC, Dublin, OH
  • We are trying to assess their personalities and if they fit in with our couture. And since most opticians are unlicensed we need to see if they are as qualified as they claim. — Bart Parker, OD, Vision Source-Fox Optical, Lake Worth, FL
  • Seg heights, PD, fitting glasses, watching the interaction and personality of the interviewee and how they mesh with everyone; pre-testing ability if that is what they are being hired for. — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC
  • I ask them to do the job I am hiring for. I am looking to see how they work with the team and how they interact with clients. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Socialite Vision, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

No: 65%

  • It’s often difficult to make a working interview happen logistically when the person is still otherwise employed. We tend to interview at least twice when we are hiring and it usually gives us a pretty good read on a person. — Katie Gillenwalters, Clifton Park Eye Care Associates, Halfmoon NY
  • If it’s a seasoned optician their resume speaks for themselves. I wouldn’t doubt their abilities. A less experience optician, I would ask questions. Who is Roy G Biv? If they don’t know, they failed. — Rigo Lopez, Gilman&Vorster Optometry, Indio, Ca
  • This business is a one-woman operation we do no interviewing. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • We don’t do working interviews, but we do phone interviews first of all. I’ve been able to weed out candidates based on poor phone skills or poor time management skills, like not answering the phone for a scheduled and confirmed phone interview. — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • They have to “sell” me something in the interview. — Amy Kraemer, Optometric Eye Care Centers, Maplewood, MN
  • We make the candidates go through a couple different interviews and research all their references and past history so by the time we’re ready to make an offer, we have a really good idea of what we’re getting. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • We find ourselves hiring people with more retail experience because it’s hard to find people with optical experience that haven’t been sucked into the Essilor/Luxottica state of mind. So new employees tend to not know how to help in a working interview unless they have some experience in the eyecare industry. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • We’re very fortunate that 3 out of our 4 employees have been with us since we started nearly 10 years ago, and our newest employee has been with us for 5 years. We simply haven’t had to perform many interviews. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Must have Optician license and prior experience. — Texas L. Smith, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • I have no employees but if needed to hire, here would definitely be a trial period so we could see if we were compatible to work together, have the same work ethic, treat customers respectfully, have the right optical skills, and are as meticulous as I am. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • I haven’t had to hire anyone yet. It’s an interesting concept though. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • We are incredibly fortunate in that our state Department of Labor offices allow local employers to send in a pool of preselected candidates for free skills testing. They administer the tests and then email the results straight to us. We use their Basic Skills test to screen applicants for personal strengths (math, filing, spelling) and for speed at processing. It is an incredible vetting tool — in part because 50 percent of our selected applicants never show the ability or motivation to go take the test. If someone can’t take an hour of their time to complete something that simple, then we don’t want them running more complex systems at our office! — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • It has been too hard to coordinate with our busy schedule. Likely should but no longer do. Occasionally we will have the candidate merely job shadow. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • I see little value in it. Most mechanical pieces of what we do can be learned. The ability to listen and interact with people successfully can be determined face to face. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • We are a licensed state, so candidates are at times already familiar and they normally have the needed skills because of their license. — Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Inc., Lancaster, MA

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