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Question 18 of 52 for our Veterinarian School Mock Interview

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Question 18 of 52

Give me a specific example of a time when you have had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree. What happened and what was the outcome?

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Advice and Examples: Give me a specific example of a time when you have had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree. What happened and what was the outcome? For a Veterinarian School Interview Question.

  1. 18.

    Give me a specific example of a time when you have had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree. What happened and what was the outcome?

      How to Answer

      Prior to answering this question think about your choices, as this is a situational question that is looking to challenge. Did you not want to conform to the policy because it was unethical--but then you did? You may think of yourself as the martyr in that situation, but you'll just come across as someone who is OK with being unethical. That's not the image you want to project. Did you not want to conform because you knew best? Saying that you knew more than your previous boss is a bad tactical error in an interview because then you're badmouthing them--and that's always a no-no. The best way to handle this question is to understand that the interviewer wants to know how you would really react in a difficult situation. What's your communication style? Did you confront your boss? Did you avoid the whole discussion?

      Answer Example

      "I might ask questions or express concerns over a policy because I believe it's part of my job to support the team and that includes spotting potential issues before they become actual problems, but in the end the decision belongs to my supervisor and I always respect that."

      9 Community Answers

      Anonymous interview answers with our interview experts feedback

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I think an example and one that I have discussed with my vet while volunteering is the situation where a healthy animal has to be put down because the owner cannot afford to look after it. This is a very controversial topic for obvious reasons, and there are many factors that people need to take into consideration. However, at the end of the day, I will support the decision of the vet as I know that he has much more experience."

      Kevin's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This example is very good. I have reworded it for the sake of flow and sentence structure.

      "One policy to which I cannot agree is when a healthy animal needs to be put down because the owner can no longer look after it. This topic is highly controversial, and many factors need to be taken into consideration when facing this type of job as a veterinarian. I came across this very scenario while volunteering at an animal clinic. Of course, I supported the vet in what he needed to do; however, I did not agree with the action taken."

      How would you rate Kevin's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "There have been some cases where I did not agree with a policy within the workplace or professional setting. In these situations, I support and respect the decision of the veterinarian and office management. There was a case where the owner was not capable of paying for extensive treatment and requested euthanasia. The doctor in charge of the case handled it with great wisdom. A co-worker ended up adopting the dog. If the animal had been put down, I would not have agreed, but I would have supported the doctor."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      It sounds as though you bring a strong professional balance to the workplace. Thank goodness for this co-worker adopting the dog! Try offering up what you feel would have been a best-case solution had your co-worker not stepped in.

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I haven't been in a situation like this in my school career since I have been encouraged to challenge what I believe is wrong and make my own decisions. As a professional, however, it is likely that I would be faced with a situation like this. I would do sufficient research into the policy and make sure I knew my rights. I would consult my colleagues and ask for their views and what they would do in my situation. Eventually, I would speak to my supervisor and tell him or her why I disagree with the policy, but I accept that they have more experience, and therefore I would ultimately support his or her decision."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      It's a great idea to give a hypothetical instance based on what you anticipate in your professional career. This is a strong option if you do not have the experience as of yet. Your approach shows that you are very willing to collaborate, ask for assistance/opinions from those senior to you, and take the time to gather the necessary data to form your stance. Well said!

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "While spending my time volunteering at the animal shelter, I became close to an 11-month-old lab mix that eventually was deemed unadoptable, and the policy is euthanasia in these cases. While I voiced my concerns and tried every alternative, it did not go in my favor. With the chance to speak to the vet, it allowed me to better rest that he knew best."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This would have been a challenging situation - a tough one to face. I recommend including more detail when you provide story-based answers. Our guide to STAR for behavioral-based responses should be helpful to you: https://www.mockquestions.com/articles/Master Behavioral-Based Interviews Using The Star Method/

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "During my time at the Equestrian Centre, I experienced the euthanizing of sick or injured horses with expensive veterinary bills due to commercial considerations. Although I could not actively change this decision, I opened conversations with employees there about the ethical implications of this and what it meant for animal welfare. I learned that it is not as black and white than I first thought. If the horse's vet bills were too expensive, it meant that they wouldn't be able to afford care for the other horses, and so they were respecting animal welfare. This allowed me to understand how finances can impact veterinary care."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Although you did not agree at first, it's fantastic that you had the curiosity to ask and open up a conversation with others in the field. You learned a valuable lesson and gained important knowledge of veterinary-related finances at the same time.

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "During my time at veterinary clinics, I have come across policies that I did not necessarily agree with. There have been situations in which clients could not afford treatment for their pets and decided to euthanize instead. While it was hard for me to this, I respected the owner's request and looked at it as a learning opportunity about how people are placed in a variety of situations."

      Marcie's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Excellent answer! This answer is effective because it will be memorable to the interviewer. The thought of people euthanizing their pets due to a lack of funds is, while practically understandable from a financial standpoint, very sad and something that will likely resonate with the interviewer. This was a great example to include in your answer.

      How would you rate Marcie's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "The hospital I work for provides the opportunity for clients to pay for their animal's treatment with a monthly payment plan. In few cases, a payment plan is still not an obtainable opportunity due to finances. For example, a pet that was diagnosed with parvo was presented to us. We were able to give them an extensive treatment and payment plan, but they were unable to approve it as they could not pay. This led to the owner's decision to euthanize their pet. Although this was not easy to watch and difficult to understand, I knew the owners decided this for the best interest of their pet. I was able to conform with the owner and veterinarians decision."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This situation would be very challenging to witness, no doubt. Your answer presents a potential follow up question: 'When you are a veterinarian, what efforts can you make to prevent this situation from occurring regularly?'

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I previously worked at a rehabilitation center that had a policy where they put new seabirds on a hydration and feeding schedule. When I was hired to a new center, they did not have this policy in place. I expressed my concern to figure out why they felt a hydration and feeding schedule was not important for new seabirds. My supervisor explained to me they saw no difference in the impact this schedule has on the patients and felt handling the birds was better for the patient to limit stress. I am glad I asked about this policy before conforming because I was able to understand the reasoning behind it and I agree with limiting contact we have with wildlife patients."

      Marcie's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This is a very good answer because you give a clear and applicable example in response to the question. It's also great that you took the initiative to ask and find out the reasoning behind a policy that at first you didn't agree with or understand. This shows the interviewer that you don't just take things at face value and blindly believe but that instead, you will ask questions when you don't understand. It also shows that you are open to new perspectives. Nice job!

      How would you rate Marcie's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "When I was working in a small animal hospital as a veterinary assistant, I had a boss who I did not agree with. She would ask me to do tasks that I was not comfortable with, such as drawing blood on cats. I had not been taught the proper skills to complete this task. In this situation, I made sure to respectfully convey when I was uncomfortable completing a task. I asked her to demonstrate to me how to complete this task. As a VA, this was not in my job description, however, it is always important to learn new skills from your superiors."

      Chad's Feedback for the Answer Above

      This example is off to a great start. However, it is unclear from your response if there was a policy in place that you did not agree with, or if you simply did not agree with the lack of training provided by your former boss. To improve this response, clarify the policy in question for the interviewer, and be sure to include the result to close out your example.

      How would you rate Chad's Feedback?