Walk the interviewer through any exposure you may have had to exotic animals, and wildlife. You will preferably have a work related example to give; however, personal experience can be very valuable as well.
"The bulk of my experience has been with domestic animals such as cats and dogs. I do have some personal experience with exotic animals as I used to breed snakes. Also, I grew up on a ranch so I do have exposure to caring for large animals such as horses and cattle."
The interviewer is looking for passion in your answer as they want to know that you believe your role as an Animal Control worker is an important one. Be prepared with some solid reasoning on why you understand this profession to be important. Here are some reasons to get you started: - Animal Control is responsible for the safety of others in the community. - Because of Animal Control, rabies is now under control in the US and Canada. - They enforce the laws the protect us from exposure to dangerous and/or diseased animals. - Animal Control workers help animals who are lost, injured, or mistreated. - Animal Control workers help facilitate the adoption of homeless pets. - Animal Control officers will testify in court against an abusive pet owner.
"I take great pride in my work as an Animal Control worker. Every day I am able to facilitate the safety of innocent animals, as well as the general public. I am very proud of what I do."
There are many ways that you can be a fit for a position, even though you do not come with direct industry experience. Think about the variety of skills that you have and how those can benefit another employer, despite the industry. These are your transferable skills and they can include things like dispute resolution skills, documentation skills, customer service experience, and even software skills.
"Although my background is not in Animal Control, I have worked with many clients who have been in your industry. I bring excellent transferable skills that qualify me for this position. These skills include my advanced abilities in dispute resolution, as well as my proven background in team leadership."
The interviewer wants to know why you chose to move on. A great response would be to say, "I was ready to take on a new challenge," or "there was no room for growth in that position." It's always best to draw attention to what you are moving onto rather than focusing on what was wrong with what you left. It's understandable to want a new challenge or to desire to learn new things. So share what you're interested in getting out of this new opportunity! If you left involuntarily, explain why and be willing to admit fault. Show what you learned from the situation and how you want to prevent that issue from happening again.
"I was ready to take on a new challenge,"
The interviewer would like to know if you consider yourself a patient individual. Impatience can cause a lot of stress and anxiety so it is really important that you are able to showcase your ability to remain patient and professional in workplace situations. Patience is certainly a virtue, but can be difficult to maintain when it seems that situations continue to push your buttons. Show the interviewer that you posses the ability to keep your cool in challenging situations.
"I do consider myself a patient person. I would rate myself an 8 /10 for patience because I certainly have room to grow but I do have a very long fuse. If I need a boost of patience in a challenging situation I will take a step away, count to 10 and then return to the situation. I recently read a book, 'The Power of Patience' by M.J. Ryan which also gave me some great new methods for coping under stress."
It is always best to support your reply with a real life example. Talk to the interviewer about your level of attentiveness when it comes to details on the job.
"My co-workers would describe my attention to detail as very strong. I can very easily point out spelling discrepancies in communication and will notice the small things. I think big-picture as well but have always had a knack for details."
You have likely gained many valuable skills in your career. Share with the interviewer which skills you value the most. Be sure to include skills that will potentially benefit this potential new employer.
"In the past few years I was able to upgrade my education while still working full time. The biggest skill that I gained was my ability to multi-task as I worked the dual role of employee and student. I also have strong skills in a variety of Microsoft programs such as PowerPoint and Excel."
Have you ever faced a time, in the workplace, where you were put to the test when it came to your integrity? Perhaps a co-worker has asked you to lie or you were tempted to be dishonest on your time sheet when the boss was away. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you overcame the temptation to be dishonest.
"Last year our manager went away on vacation for 3 weeks. Some of my co-workers wanted to falsify our time sheets to reflect overtime hours that we did not work. I disagreed and was able to convince them that it was a bad idea and certainly not worth being fired over."
Are there any aspects of this career path that you always said you would change if you could? Talk to the interviewer about something that you would change - if it were possible. Be sure to avoid any factors that would create a red flag on the employers' part (IE: I wish I could work less hours).
"One thing that I would change about this career path, if I could, would be the amount of apprenticeship hours that it takes to complete your education. I feel that if more apprenticeship hours were required, it would be easier to find quality and better equipped staff when hiring."
Every employer should know how each staff member is best motivated. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you are best motivated on the job.
"I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I do like to know that my efforts are being noticed. In my current position we have a leader board and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition in me as well."
The interviewer would like to know what you consider to be strong leadership qualities. When describing leadership qualities, try to avoid general terms and give some unique ideas. A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership for their mistakes and will always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance in motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements. Which of these qualities do you most identify with?
"I have taken many workshops and courses to improve my leadership skills over the years. My leadership qualities are best summed as dedicated, attentive, and motivating. I like to recognize my employees' small wins because that motivates them to continue achieving."
The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
This is not a trick question! The interviewer is trying to get a feel for your personality and how you interact with others. You may work well without the need for much management or direction, or perhaps you are better driven in a collaborative and team led environment. Either way, be honest with the interviewer about your preferences without leaning negatively, either way.
"Whether I am doing an independent project, or working in a team environment, I always give my best. I enjoy the camaraderie of working in a team, but I can be successful working autonomously as well."
On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?
"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."
Now is a great time for you to share your passion and knowledge about the career you have chosen! Interviewers want to hear about how you became interested in the field. Maybe you volunteered at an animal shelter and realized you wanted to become a vet technician. Sometimes we learn that we want to get into a career field through experience working in others.
"I use to work customer service in a call center. My favorite part about it was talking to customers and helping them solve their problems. I learned that I'm good at communicating on the phone and I liked building relationships. I started researching other careers where I could use these skills. I discovered the field of recruiting, and I started applying. I'm so glad I chose this field because I get to do exactly what I love!"
Being a clear communicator, in written form, is a very important skill to master, especially when working with the public. Have you taken any courses in communication and writing? Are you confident in your written communication skills? Talk to the interviewer about your written communication abilities and support your answer with a brief example or story.
"I would describe my written communication skills as very strong and would rate myself as a 9/10. I have always had a penchant for writing and have taken university courses related to communication, writing, and journalism."
When the interviewer asks about your work ethic they are looking for specific examples or keywords they can relate to. When you read the job posting or job description do they refer to particular ethics of their organization? Talk about their values and how those align well with your personal work values. Some characteristics you may want to use are: - Determined/Driven - Accountable - Humble - Respectful - Dependable
"I am a very dedicated and loyal employee. I saw on your website that you describe your organization as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your community. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."
Show the interviewer that you work well with most personalities even though you recognize there are some folks out there who are quite difficult to please. Think about that one person at work who is seen as hard to please. Perhaps there is someone at work who tries to intimidate others. Talk to the interviewer about what made this person challenging and what their relationship was to you. Avoid speaking poorly of anyone and be sure to end your response on a positive note.
"I once worked at a locally owned shop where the owner was very demanding. When the owner would walk into the store, employees would announce over their headset system that the owner was in the building, so that everyone could be prepared for his entrance into their department. The owner had great intentions; however, his people skills were a little rough. I could see that he meant well, and I recognized that he wanted to do a lot of good things. When we interacted, I always took his feedback with the understanding that he didn't mean things as harshly as he might say them."
Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with setbacks in the workplace.
"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager, or team, and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"
The interviewer wants to see that you have done your research before going into the interview. Knowing the area's laws surrounding pet licensing is a great start. Make sure too give an answer that reflects your existing knowledge. If you have any related education or training, this is a good time to bring that up as well.
"I am very familiar with the laws surrounding pet licensing in a variety of regions. I do have complete accredited in animal control through the National Animal Control Association as well. If hired, you will not be disappointed in my ability to recite and recall applicable laws and policy, when needed."
The interviewer wants to see that you have done your research before going into the interview. Knowing the area's resources available to you, as an Animal Control worker, is a great start. Make sure that you have a mental list of all shelters and adoption agencies in your area. If you have an existing relationship with any of them, be sure to bring that up as well.
"I know that there are at least 4 animal shelters, and 5 independent animal adoption agencies in our area. We are very lucky to have as many options as we do! I have a great working relationship with these shelters and recently adopted my own pet from one of the independent agencies."
This situational question will help the interviewer to understand how you handle challenging or uncomfortable situations. Show the interviewer that you are able to maintain control on the job while being empathetic, yet remaining professional. If you have a real life example, you can absolutely draw on that situation when answering this question.
"If I were to encounter someone who was hysterical over a missing pet, I would be sure to ask them to remain as calm as possible so that I could better help them. I would assure the person that I was on their side and would make every effort to recover their pet. In my experience, when people know that you want to help them, they tend to cooperate much better."
The interviewer wants to know that you understand the importance of documentation. As an animal control worker, you need to document the finest of details at times, because you are dealing with sensitive matters. Discuss your good habits when it comes to documentation. If you have strong organizational abilities, this is a great time to bring that up as well.
"I am very organized and detailed. I fully understand that precise documentation is important when it comes to the sensitive matters surrounding animals. Rest assured, if you hire me, you will not have any troubles surrounding my documentation habits."
There may be a significant physical component to being an animal control worker. You may need to lift, bend, and run on a regular basis! Being agile and physically capable will be an important factor to your success. Be transparent with the interviewer on your physical capabilities and be honest with yourself as well. If it sounds like too much, perhaps you should reconsider rather than risk injury.
"I am very fit and am able to fulfill all of the physical requirements of this role. I go for a 10K run four times per week and also lift weights. There are no physical restrictions on me at this time."
Before answering scheduling questions, it's important to be clear on the interviewer's expectations. If you haven't had a chance to clarify their scheduling needs, now would be the perfect time to ask! Consider asking, 'What are the scheduling expectations for this position?' If they expect you to work 12 hour days, it would be important for you to know that before you respond with, 'Absolutely! No problem!' You want to be sure that you can meet their expectations. If it turns out their schedule expectations won't work for you, think about what you CAN offer and see if you can meet in the middle. It's much better to discuss these things in an interview than for you to commit to a schedule that won't work for you.
"I am available for full time work which is preferably 8-5 Monday to Friday. I am happy to be a team player and work some overtime, as required. Will these hours meet your expectations?"
The interviewer would like to know if you are comfortable with public speaking, and giving presentations. Discuss any experience that you have when it comes to presenting to small or large groups. This experience could be work related, volunteer related, or perhaps even from your time in school. Be sure to express your interest in being involved in this way.
"I have given presentations to groups of 30 from my time in University. Also, I do have some experience giving presentations in my current position. This is to smaller groups of 6-8 people on average. I would be very interested in speaking to groups of children about the importance of animal safety and proper animal care."
The interviewer would like to know where your greatest interests are when it comes to animal control. This question can also be used to uncover any areas that you feel you could improve even further.
"If I could receive additional training in any area of animal control, I would choose additional training in handling wildlife. The majority of my experience has been with domestic animals and I find wildlife control cases to be quite fascinating."
Walk the interviewer through some of your education or on the job training related to being an Animal Control worker. If you do not have any training related to Animal Control, try to draw on some of the transferable skills that you may already have. You can find ideas for these in the job posting. It's absolutely okay to ask the interviewer if there are any courses they recommend you take.
"I do not have any on the job training related to Animal Control; however, I do have experience as a pet owner and I also have great dispute resolution skills. Are there any courses you would recommend that I take?"
The interviewer would like to know if you have spent any time volunteering for an animal related cause. This question is meant to help the hiring manager to determine if you have a true interest in helping animals, aside from it just being a job. Briefly discuss any volunteer related experience you may have.
"I spent a couple of summers volunteering at our local animal shelter while I was finishing high school. It was a great experience for me and I was able to learn a lot about animal care. I have always been empathetic towards the needs of animals."
Animal control workers are responsible for the care and investigation of all types of animals, from pets to wildlife. They conduct investigations into reports of animal mistreatment, monitor animals that are abandoned or lost and quarantine those that are reported to be dangerous. Animal control workers may work in shelters and respond to service calls. They help owners looking for their lost pets, organize some type of shelter for abandoned pets and investigate complaints of animal cruelty or attack by an animal.
A high school diploma is the minimum qualifation required to become an animal control worker. Certification from National Animal Control Association is not necessary but it is certainly useful. Most employers will provide on the job trainer so you can learn the practical aspects of the job. You must really care for animals if you want to pursue a career as an animal control workers. To know what questions to expect at the interview, take some time to read through mock interview questions for animal control workers.