Veterinarian School Interview
Tell me about a time when you have had to use empathy to help a colleague or client through a difficult situation? Why was this important, and how did you manage the situation?
How to Answer
When answering this question you want to show the interviewer you have the people skills and problem-solving skills needed to help satisfy the customer. Showing that you understand and appreciate their concerns, and are willing to let them voice this shows empathy. Your answer needs to show that you can assess the situation, fix the problem, and have both the customer and the employer come out on top.
"At my last job, a customer came in cursing because they had been sold a product which did not meet their needs. I knew it was out of frustration so I didn't take it personally and I made sure the customer knew their concerns were being heard. I listened carefully and apologized. She was complaining about an item she wanted to return, however she didn't have her receipt. I explained that I wasn't able to give her a cash refund without the receipt, but that I could allow her to have the same amount in store credit. It ended up being a win-win situation for everyone."
4 Community Answers
"There was a client who explained that she had to euthanize her cat. Her cat was healthy, but she was incapable of taking care of her anymore. I discussed with the vet about alternative options. I decided to let the client know that she had a choice to hand her cat over to me to take care of. The client was delighted. I could tell she loved her cat, Sophie. I gave Sophie the best care I could for her last few years of life. I ended up saving a life, and I got a new family member too."
This is a heartfelt example/story that shows your compassion and care for people and animals. Well done :)Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"One time I had to use empathy to help a client through a difficult situation was when I was working at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital. The client was euthanizing her cat, and she was very emotional and crying. She did not want to be present during the procedure and wanted to leave the hospital, but the doctor needed to speak with her before she left. I needed to empathetically talk to her and calm her down so that she stayed long enough to finish the proper protocol that Metropolitan uses."
Awe, that would have been a very emotional situation, indeed. It seems you took the right approach. What did you say to help her?Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"During my time as a peer mentor, I had to show empathy to a mentee who was going through a difficult time. I would reassure her that how she was feeling was normal since I had gone through the same experience myself. Empathy is an extremely important quality for vets because when they have to deliver bad news to owners, the owners need to know that their vet is there for them."
Your mentee was very lucky to have you during their difficult times. You draw a meaningful connection between empathy and your work as a future veterinarian.Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"When I volunteered at a nursing home, one of the patients came to me crying as she had misplaced her handbag and became confused. I first listened and then helped her calm down by talking about her son who was coming to see her and then we searched for the handbag together."
This is a nice story and really showcases your empathetic nature. Did you find the handbag? :)Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!