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Veterinarian School Interview

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Veterinary school can be an intensive, stressful experience at times. Can you tell me about a time where you have had to handle a pressurised situation? What happened and what was the outcome?

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Veterinarian School Interview

  1. 1.

    Veterinary school can be an intensive, stressful experience at times. Can you tell me about a time where you have had to handle a pressurised situation? What happened and what was the outcome?

      How to Answer

      This is often a common question to be asked during an interview process. Interviewers understand that stress and pressure can be handled in many different ways. The interviewer does not want to hear that you never get stressed; after all, everyone feels stress at one time or another at work. Instead, the employer wants to see if you know how pressure affects you, and how you manage it.

      "I react to situations, rather than to stress. That way, the situation is handled and doesn't become stressful. For example, when I deal with an unsatisfied customer, rather than feeling stressed, I focus on the task at hand. I believe my ability to communicate effectively with customers during these moments helps reduce my own stress in these situations and also reduces any stress the customer may feel."

      8 Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "Rather than allowing situations to cause me stress, I try to manage stress to the best of my ability. During my first semester at college, I was taking a full course load while managing three part-time jobs. This could have easily been too stressful to sustain or undercut my ability to perform at my best. However, I stayed organized and used my time well to ensure I could manage stress effectively."

      Marcie's Answer

      Wow! A full course load while also working three part-time jobs is definitely a recipe for stress. The fact that you were able to manage this successfully says a lot about your ability to handle stress. This is a good answer, but I would suggest providing more detail around exactly how you stayed organized and managed your time in order to handle everything. If you relied on a calendar or a task management tool/program, I would mention this. Perhaps you might also talk about those moments when things did feel stressful and mention the stress management techniques you used to relieve this (like taking walks, listening to music, deep breathing, and relaxing with friends). Finally, you might add a sentence or two about how you thrive under pressure and prefer that type of fast-paced environment.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "When being down a technician at work. It usually always becomes stressful. I have found that I take stress on trying even harder to stay focused and, in the end, actually works out better. With each new stressful situation, I find myself learning new ways to cope with it."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a good start! When answering 'Tell me about a time...' questions, I recommend utilizing the STAR framework to organize a helpful and robust answer. If you'd like to learn more about STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result), we have a guide available here: https://www.mockquestions.com/articles/Master Behavioral-Based Interviews Using The Star Method/

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      Anonymous Answer

      "When I become stressed due to the workload of A-levels, I try to tackle it a little at a time and often. This prevents me from becoming overwhelmed and enables me to complete assignments on time and to the best of my ability. Instead of ignoring situations that are stressful, I face them head-on and find a way to alleviate the pressure."

      Rachelle's Answer

      A fantastic approach to handling stressful situations. It sounds like you are very proactive with very little procrastination. When you answer questions that ask, 'tell me about a time...' the interviewer is looking for a specific story-based example. Be sure to walk the interviewer through an engaging story that highlights your ability to overcome a high-pressure situation. The STAR framework can be beneficial for answering this situational/behavioral-based interview question. We have a guide here if you'd like to learn more: https://www.mockquestions.com/articles/Master Behavioral-Based Interviews Using The Star Method/

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      Anonymous Answer

      "During my spring semester of freshmen year, I wanted to push myself and take on a large course load. That semester, I took 15 credits at my main university and another 5 credits at a neighboring university. In addition to this, on the weekends I worked at my family's animal clinic. This fast-paced learning environment became normal to me very quickly, and I preferred it. Focusing on my assignments took away any stress because I felt that there was no reason to be stressed if I was working on the source of my stress. Music has also helped me during stressful times. When I was commuting to school or studying, I would listen to music to help me relax."

      Stephanie's Answer

      Wow! That is a significant course load, and it sounds like you navigated the added stress with grace. To improve the impact of your response, I suggest focusing a bit on the outcome of your semester. Did you complete your classes successfully? Did this accelerate the completion of your academic program? What did you learn? As much as possible, you should stay focused on how you handled the added pressure.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "During Covid-19, I was moved down to emergency services so they would be able to run a reduced staff service. I was placed on overnights in emergency services which was very stressful for me because I was not trained. I was able to handle this stress by studying on my days off and learning on the job, so I could be a successful emergency veterinary technician."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good for you - what a way to pivot! To help bring your answer to life, I recommend adding a touch more detail. Also, it would be helpful to include the end result of your hard work. I have provided a starter for you, below.

      "During Covid-19, I was moved down to emergency services so they (describe who 'they' consists of) could run a reduced staff service. I was placed on overnights in emergency services, which was very stressful for me because I was not trained (could you discuss why you were chosen despite a lack of training in this area?). I was able to handle this stress by studying on my days off and learning on the job (what topics did you explore, primarily?) so I could be a successful emergency veterinary technician. (What was the result?)"

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      Anonymous Answer

      "During peak COVID last year, students weren't allowed to take the train, isolating me from my loved ones. This and my university work all being done in my room was stressful and took its toll on me mentally. I found that creating my own daily structure with breaks and calling my family really helped and I managed to do well at uni."

      Marcie's Answer

      Great example! Can you delve into more of the details about the type of routine you put in place that helped you to stay on top of things and in a good place mentally? Also, can you provide more specific information about how well you ended up doing? Any stat you can include with numbers, percentages, or grades always impresses. Good job!

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      Anonymous Answer

      "One time at work, there was a difficult customer who was unsatisfied with the quality of her food, and she was clearly very upset with me about this. I handled the situation by listening to what she had to say and ensuring that this would be sorted as soon as possible. I then spoke to senior staff about the best cause of action, and we agreed on discounting the meal. I apologised to the customer for the issue."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It sounds like you handled this situation very well! At the end of your response, it would be great to discuss how this approach to stress and pressure will help you face stress during veterinary school.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "In stressful situations, I believe I am able to cope well because I do not panic. Instead, I try to remain calm, and this helps me think of a logical solution. When I worked as a swimming teacher, I was once teaching a young boy. His swimming was progressing well, so I let him swim in the deep end for the first time. While he was swimming, he hit his arm against the wall and began to panic. I knew that the parents were watching, and so I had to remain professional and try not to panic because this would make the situation worse. I helped him exit the pool, and I sat next to him at the poolside and checked that his arm was okay. I also reassured him that his swimming was very good and that things like this can easily happen. I went over and spoke to his dad and told him what happened and I let my boss know as well. The boy recovered and returned excited for the next lesson a week later."

      Rachelle's Answer

      The example you provide is fantastic! I like how you have organized your response - it makes your answer flow very well, making this an engaging story. Well done!

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