3 veterinary job interview questions you need to prepare for

Written by: Vet Times Jobs
Published on: 1 May 2015

Wooden blocks

Image ©iStock.com/eskaylim

Preparation for a job interview is vital in any sector, but for veterinary professionals thinking ahead to potential questions comes with a little more importance.

Treating and caring for sick animals is a job unlike any other, and in such a competitive field you must be able to clearly explain what makes you stand out from your competitors.

To help give you a head start, we’ve picked out three of the harder questions that interviewees for a veterinary position are likely to face.

1. Animals can often be spooked in a veterinary environment – how would you cope with this?

Even the calmest and quietest household pets can become agitated when visiting the vets. In extreme cases, veterinary professionals might be faced with very aggressive animals that will scratch, scamper and even bite. Interviewers will expect a confident answer, so think ahead and try not to hesitate when explaining how you will safely deal with this scenario.

2. Is animal mess a big problem for you?

This might seem like a basic question, but interviewers will want to hear a prompt and professional response. Even if you’re looking to enter a more advanced veterinary position, your employer still wants to know you’re capable of performing bread and butter tasks. Make sure your interviewer is left in no doubt that you have the stomach for the job. Where possible, give examples of this (such as past experience with cleaning stables).

3. How will you deal with having to euthanise an animal?

Animal euthanasia is an extremely distressing scenario for pet owners of any kind. As a veterinary professional, it is essential you remain detached from the emotion of the situation. While prospective employers are unlikely to want to hear a robotic response from you, they’ll want to hear how you might go about this process.

Think about the whole euthanasia scenario – when might it be right to put an animal down? How will you make the animal comfortable? Also, how will you break the news to a pet owner? Consider all of these aspects before an interview.

The old adage goes: "fail to prepare, prepare to fail". For any job interview, it's vitally important to think ahead.