Veterinarian School Interview
Tell me about a time when you have had to use your persuasion skills to influence someone's opinion. Why was this needed, and what was the outcome?
How to Answer
This question is commonly used in an interview process as working as a team and having disagreements is commonplace in a work environment. Given that indisputable fact, an important skill in almost any workplace is the ability to convince people to do something your way versus their way. Your interviewers will also want to make sure you go about doing this in a respectful and collaborative way. The 'my way or the highway' approach is usually not people are looking for.
"In my previous role, we followed a process each year where we had to manually pack and send about 2000 envelopes as a team. I realised that many of the items we were mailing could actually be found online and no longer needed to be sent in hard copy. Since we had been following the same process for years, I knew it would be tough to convince people to change things up. I first vetted the idea with my peers to get their feedback. After speaking with them, I took my research and recommended a different approach to the leaders of our team who agreed with my idea and the new process was implemented"
5 Community Answers
"I once had a coworker who micromanaged me. When I was talking over the phone with customers, she tried to tell me what to say at the same time. Of course, this was very distracting and not helpful. I had a heart to heart talk with her about it. I told her that if I were unsure what to say over the phone, I would be happy to ask her myself. This resolved the situation, making customer service less stressful for both of us."
Oh my goodness, that would not be helpful at all! I have seen this in the workplace too....eeek! You approached the situation perfectly.Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"Daily, I am very confident and have great personal skills and communication skills. I am able to further recommend the veterinarian's medication and why it is worth the price or why it is essential they come back for a recheck."
It is important to remember that 'tell me about a time' questions are behavioral/situational and are best answered as asked...with a specific situation rather than a blanket statement. If you are not aware of the STAR method for answering this style of interview question, I encourage you to do some research and begin practicing (STAR = Situation, Task, Action, Result).Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"As a board member of my school's medical society, I work to provide a veterinary perspective on current medical issues to produce podcasts for the rest of the school each week. This means I often come across difficult situations within a team setting, allowing me to learn important teamwork skills such as assertion, active listening, and communication. Recently, one board member stopped showing up to our meetings and was not doing the research we asked them to do, and so it was necessary for me to persuade them to participate more. The first thing I did was approach them and ask if it was okay if we talked through their role as a medical society board member and what the responsibility meant. After explaining, I asked if it was an okay time to have a slightly uncomfortable situation. When she said yes, I explained that her negligence had made a lot more work and exhaustion for the rest of the team. I then asked if there was a reason behind this, and how she felt about it. As she talked through it with me, I used active listening so that I could fully understand her and this would allow me to problem solve with her. By listening, it made the space a lot more comfortable and she felt recognized, making her want to listen to me more and therefore my persuasion was more effective. Thankfully, she decided she wanted to put more effort into the medical society, and so we worked as a team to schedule in time for the medical society in her daily lifestyle. I felt as though this was a very rewarding experience, and sharing a small conversation of vulnerability and showing I was there to work through it with her, really strengthened the bond of our friendship."
A fantastic example of leveraging your communication and active listening skills to build persuasion in a conversation. You highlight your abilities very well. This approach will be highly beneficial to you as a veterinarian, also!Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"When parents are determined that their children are strong enough swimmers to move up a level, I sometimes have to politely yet forcefully explain why it is in their best interest to stay at the level they are at. This is difficult, as it can come across as critical, which parents do not respond well to. Yet I remind them that their children will move at the pace which is right for them. I make clear the negative impact moving up to quickly can have eg, water safety and the psychological impact that can have on a child."
This is a good reminder for all parents! You show authority in your response, which is very important. The addition of safety and psychological impact really strengthens your answer.Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!
"When I was working with my horse trainer, we had fleece leg wraps that we put on each horse before exercising them, and we were reusing these wraps for as long as a month before washing them. I noticed that these wraps were often filthy when wrapping the legs, and saw sores and funguses start spreading on their legs. I pointed out that it would help prevent the horses' discomfort by washing them more often. I also brought up that it would make the customers happier too. We then started cleaning them each week and reusing them less."
It's wonderful that you were able to notice this issue and have the confidence to make the suggestions.Was this answer helpful? Yes (0) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers!