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Top 25 Animal Shelter Worker Interview Questions

Question 1 of 25
What was your greatest cost-cutting measurement you accomplished at your previous employer?
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Question 2 of 25
Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the requirements of the job.
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to know that you are not the type of employee to do just enough to scrape by. You can give an example from any of your past volunteer jobs or your professional experience. Show that you are willing to do what it takes to keep the shelter clean and to keep the animals happy.

Answer Example
"I love to impress my employer. I currently work at a pet store and will often stay late to help out a customer who arrives just as the doors are closing. I get to know our regular customers, and even remember the names of their pets! It keeps customers coming back when they feel like they are part of a community."
Entry Level Example
"When I was waiting tables at a restaurant, I would always roll the silverware and wipe down the tables every time I started my shift. My boss never had to ask me to sweep the floor or remind me of my daily duties because I was always on top of things. People enjoyed working with me because I had such a positive attitude and I worked hard. I always offered to cover shifts and make myself available to my coworkers for support when they needed it."
Experienced Example
"All of the time! I am a busy body, so you will often find me doing extra cleaning, working ahead on the employee schedule, or making new marketing materials for the company Instagram account."
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Question 3 of 25
Tell me about a situation where you needed to be patient.
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How to Answer
Patience is essential, whether you're dealing with a demanding customer or an untrained dog. Your patience helps you to listen to others and deal with the types of problems that can arise with the animals at the shelter. Explain to the interviewer that you able to relax and focus on taking care of your daily duties, even when it means being patient with others.

Answer Example
"When I was working in retail, we often had a lot of downtime in between customers. I filled the in-between by keeping busy, folding clothes, cleaning and making sure that all of the shelves were stocked. I learned that sometimes being patient just means keeping yourself occupied while you wait for the next sale."
Entry Level Example
"During my time in university, I have needed to exercise a lot of patience as I worked in groups and teams to complete many important projects. I have an above average work ethic which means at times I need to pick up the slack of others."
Experienced Example
"I need to be patient most of my day, as the manager of an animal shelter! Animals need to be training, and that takes a great deal of patience and consistency. I also juggle a lot of volunteers who are not always as reliable as I would like. Patience is certainly a strength of mine."
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Question 4 of 25
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
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How to Answer
Setbacks often happen in environments like animal shelters, where you cannot always control or predict the events of a day. Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with setbacks in the workplace.

Answer Example
"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 and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"
Entry Level Example
"Setbacks happen for a reason, and they do not affect me emotionally in the least. I fully understand that, when working with animals, one cannot always predict how a day will turn out. I am a very pragmatic thinker and stay focused despite the challenges that come my way."
Experienced Example
"Earlier on in my career, I would take setbacks too personally and get frustrated when goals were not met. Now, I will go through a mental rundown of what I did wrong or what I could have done differently. It can certainly be emotionally taxing, but I also learn a ton from it."
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Question 5 of 25
Tell me about a time when you made a suggestion requesting change in an organization.
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How to Answer
In addition to being able to handle change, can you also recognize when change is required and be confident enough to present that to your organization? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to suggest a change in the workplace.

Answer Example
"Last year when I was managing the scheduling I noticed a pretty solid opportunity for us to save on overtime hours. I created a presentation and gave it to my manager who took it to upper management. The changes were implemented, and I was very proud of the suggestion that I made."
Entry Level Example
"I asked my manager if I could head up a social media strategy for the shelter. I thought it would help the community to understand us better as well as feature some of the animals who had been in our shelter longer than average. We quickly gained a following and our adoption rate went up by 34% in the first month."
Experienced Example
"Our company did not have a strong policy when it came to workplace harassment and bullying. I was able to work with the leadership team to create a new program which has been readily welcomed by our staff."
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Question 6 of 25
What are your salary expectations?
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Question 7 of 25
Why are you the best choice for our animal shelter?
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Question 8 of 25
Why do you want a career as an animal shelter worker?
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Question 9 of 25
Due to budgeting, we do not have many back-up staff members. How many days were you absent from work last year?
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Question 10 of 25
How do you handle stress and pressure?
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Question 11 of 25
How do you stay motivated?
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Question 12 of 25
What is the greatest challenge of working at an animal shelter?
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Question 13 of 25
What are your career aspirations beyond this job?
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Question 14 of 25
How would you handle an issue with a policy or procedure?
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Question 15 of 25
Have you ever volunteered at an animal shelter before?
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Question 16 of 25
Can you work evenings, weekends or overtime?
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Question 17 of 25
How do you feel about administering medication to large dogs?
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Question 18 of 25
How would you handle a situation where a dog was facing euthanization?
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Question 19 of 25
How will you help match new pet owners with the best animal for them?
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Question 20 of 25
Are there any types of animals that you are uncomfortable being around?
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Question 21 of 25
Quite often we will have animals come to us who have been very poorly treated. How do you control your emotions in these situations?
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Question 22 of 25
What are your strengths?
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Question 23 of 25
Tell me about your fundraising experience.
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Question 24 of 25
How would you describe your work ethic?
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Question 25 of 25
What are your weaknesses?
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About Animal Shelter Worker

August 17th, 2017

Animal shelter workers care for domesticated animals that have arrived at the shelter for a variety of reasons. Some animals have been surrendered by their owners while others may have been rescued from abusive situations. Animal shelter workers are passionate about animals with extensive knowledge of various breeds and how to care for them.

Most animal shelters have a variety of animals such as dogs, cats, bunnies, and reptiles. Caring for these animals includes feeding, grooming, exercising, training and spending time with them. Other duties include cleaning up after the animals, administering medication. For a true animal lover, this could be a dream job.

Part of the role of an animal shelter worker is to help re-home the animals in your care. This includes taking photos of each animal and writing a catchy profile on them for the purpose of posting the profile on the shelter website, in the newspaper, and on social media.

An animal shelter worker, it is important to generate interest in animal adoption throughout your community. Once there is interest in adoption, an animal shelter worker will put the potential adopter through a rigorous application and interview process. The primary goal is to ensure that the animal is going to a safe, healthy, life-long home.

Many animal shelters are heavily funded through donations, community efforts, and government. As an animal shelter worker, you will likely spend time with volunteer shelter workers. You may also have open houses for the community to meet some of the animals awaiting adoption.

To gain employment at as an animal shelter worker there is no formal post-secondary education required. A high school diploma or GED will generally be enough. A certificate in animal grooming or training, for example, could be an asset.

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