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A guide created by veterinary experts to help you ace that interview.

There’s no feeling like acing the interview for a position you really want. But, getting ready for an interview is often a nerve-racking experience, regardless of what industry you’re in. The good news is that if you’re a job seeker in the veterinary industry, we’ve got some tips to help you excel at your next interview.

Pre-interview prep for vet professionals.

The first step to feeling prepared for your interview is to do your research before stepping into the office. Because let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than feeling caught off guard in the middle of an interview. At BluePearl, we are always looking for skilled veterinary clinicians, including emergency clinicians, urgent care clinicians, specialty veterinary clinicians, hospice clinicians, veterinary technicians, hospital management and support, and home office support.

Here are five ways to prepare for a veterinary industry job interview.

A veterinary technician holding two small dogs.

1. Research, research, research.

While it’s likely that you already know a bit about the company you’ve applied for, thinking about why you want to work is incredibly important. To do this, take a look at your prospective employer’s website (take BluePearl Careers for instance). Find information about their founding, their mission, and the people who work there.

2. Extend kindness to all you meet.

When arriving at your interview, showing kindness to the employees working in the veterinary hospital is of the utmost importance. If all goes well, these could be your peers, and their first impression and opinion of you will likely be factored in. We also recommend taking this a step further by exploring the bios of people at the company. Knowing who your teammates may be and addressing them by name is key!

3. Avoid negative talk about your current or previous employer.

Painting your current or past employers in a negative light can leave a bad taste in your potential employer’s mouth, so we recommend staying away from that. Before your interview, think about some of the situations you had to navigate at these past employers. Focus on talking about how you navigated stressful situations and what useful skills you possessed to make it through.

4. Reflect on past accomplishments.

When you think back on your academic or professional career, what are some of the moments you feel most proud of? Whether it was a time you helped a client navigate a tough experience, used a skill or excelled in your schoolwork, it’s important to mention.

5. And remember, don’t OVER-prepare.

Doing your research before an interview matters for navigating the conversation. But, over-preparing can lead to relying on canned responses and can feel ingenuine. Remember to be yourself, and don’t rely too much on your researched responses.

Veterinary interview questions and answers.

While no two interviews will ever be the same, there are some standard veterinary interview questions and answers you can expect to be asked during yours.

“So, tell me more about yourself.”

This is a great opportunity to not only share your experience (which is very important to cover) but actually tell the interviewer more about yourself. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and share details about who you are, the hobbies you like and any other important info you think your potential employer would like to know.

“How do you think your experience in _____ will help you in this position?”

This is the perfect time to talk about your previous career experience. Sharing information about your schooling and any extracurricular activities or programs you completed during that time also counts in this answer – so don’t be afraid to go into detail. When describing these past experiences, be sure to think about how they will relate to the position you are interviewing for.

“What are some of your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

This is one of the most common (and sometimes, the most challenging) questions that is asked in interviews of all industries. It can be hard to talk yourself up, but this is the time to do it. Ask yourself what personality traits you have that could help you: are you kind to customers? Do you often get along with co-workers? Consider these answers and include them in your response.

Sharing weaknesses or areas that you could improve can be just as challenging. Be sure to pick something you can work on, instead of skipping over this question or saying you have none. Instead, share one or two things you could work on, and your plan to work on them. The goal is not to disparage yourself here, but rather show you’re self-aware and are able to work on things that are hard.

“Tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult client. How would you apply that same knowledge to a difficult client at our hospital?”

A career in the vet field means handling clients during stressful times. If you have past experience working in veterinary medicine, share a story that shows you work well under pressure. Ensure you include how you helped satisfy the client during this time. If you’re new to the industry, a story from a past retail job, volunteer activity or internship can be included.

“Talk about a time when you were faced with a situation where there was no clear right or wrong answer; how did you handle it, and what was the outcome? Looking back, would you do anything differently?”

Think back to your past jobs or time in school. Did you have a situation that involved helping a client in a tricky situation? How about thinking quickly to solve a problem on the job? Or navigating a project that was hard?

These are the perfect kinds of situations to share here. Be honest about your experience and think hard about skills you now possess that would help you navigate it differently if it happened again.

Veterinary interview questions for you to ask.

One very important part of your interview is the end. Before parting ways, the interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions. Even if you know everything there is to know about the position and company, asking questions is a good way to show you are interested in the position. We’ve compiled a list of questions that will not only impress the interviewer but give you more info on whether this role is right for you or not.

Below is a list of questions you can ask during your interview to learn more about the position, the company and what you can expect from working there:

  • What skills are critical for employees in this role?
  • Do you have a structured mentorship program as part of your first-year orientation?
  • What is your onboarding process?
  • What support do you offer for personal development? (typically, this includes things like company-paid certifications, learning resources, tuition reimbursement or time off)
  • Do you offer flexible scheduling?
  • Besides annual production numbers, how do you measure success?

Be prepared for your veterinary interview.

Acing that interview takes prep (but not too much prep). When getting ready for your next interview, reflect on how you’ll answer the questions above and what things you’d like to know from your potential employer. And most importantly, remember to be yourself and let your personality shine through.

Veterinary Technician and clinician working with a patient

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