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Veterinarian Interview
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29 Questions and Answers by Darby Faubion

Updated December 18th, 2018 | Darby Faubion has been a Nurse and Allied Health Educator for over twenty years. She has clinical experience in several specialty areas including pediatrics, medical-surgical, critical care, and hospice.
Question 1 of 29
What are some things that you like to do outside of work?
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How to Answer
No matter what profession a person chooses, everyone needs some time to unwind and relax. Psychologists today say that a healthy balance in life allows a person to recharge and refocus which can result in better productivity at work. The interviewer simply wants to know what you do for you. Maybe you have a favorite pastime or hobby. This is yet another way for the interviewer to get to know you as a person.
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Top 25 Veterinarian Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
What are some things that you like to do outside of work?
No matter what profession a person chooses, everyone needs some time to unwind and relax. Psychologists today say that a healthy balance in life allows a person to recharge and refocus which can result in better productivity at work. The interviewer simply wants to know what you do for you. Maybe you have a favorite pastime or hobby. This is yet another way for the interviewer to get to know you as a person.

Darby's Answer #1
"One of my favorite pastimes is writing. After a busy day at work, I like to journal or write articles for a blog that I author. Both of these forms of writing allow me to release any feelings of frustration I may experience, especially after a stressful day or a difficult situation at work. The writings in my journal are private and my way of 'letting it all out.' The blog articles, on the other hand, are my way of using creative writing to share stories with my followers."
Darby's Answer #2
"I really enjoy working out at the gym and, I also take a kickboxing class twice weekly. After a good workout or class, I always feel like I can rest better and wake up energized and ready for the next day."
2.
Has there ever been a time that you considered a different career?
Many employee candidates are unsure of how to answer this question. Most feel that if they say they may have other interests that the interviewer will not recommend them for employment. This is not necessarily the case. This is simply an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know your interests.

Darby's Answer #1
"I have never considered any career other than veterinary medicine. While I may consider taking additional classes at a later date, perhaps for a specialty certification, I have no intention of changing my career path."
Darby's Answer #2
"Actually, I had initially thought that I would become an attorney. There was just something about veterinary medicine that seemed to call me. I love what I do."
3.
What are your thoughts about pet owners promoting breeding instead of promoting adopting pets from shelters or rescues?
This is a touchy subject for many people. Although the interviewer wants your opinion, and you should be honest, remember to be tactful and respectful, regardless of your personal thoughts.

Darby's Answer #1
"I know that people have different opinions about this. While I understand the argument for both sides, I am not sure if I feel one way or the other completely. I do feel that if someone is going to breed animals, they should be well educated on the breed, have a strong relationship with a veterinarian and a good record of care for their animals. I also have a very soft heart for rescues. I honestly believe that this is something that is a personal choice, but one that should be considered carefully."
Darby's Answer #2
"I have to admit, I have not had a lot of experience with people who are breeders. I have, on the other hand, spent a bit of time working in shelters and rescues and am passionate about helping to rehome animals in need. Having said that, I feel like the decision to breed is something that an individual family needs to make."
4.
What sets you apart from other veterinarians, and why are you the best candidate for this job?
In most cases, more than one candidate is interviewed for a position before an offer of employment is made. This is your chance to tell the interviewer what makes you a better choice. However, remember that being confident and being conceited have a fine line of separation. Highlight your strengths, but remember to be humble.

Darby's Answer #1
"I believe my dedication to my studies and the compassion that I have for others is something that will make me an asset if I am given the opportunity to work here. I look forward to being able to become a part of a team and becoming an asset to the teamwork that needs to be accomplished."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am passionate about learning more about veterinary medicine and want to work in a place where I can stay for the long-term and become a strong part of a team. I believe my history of dependability and my drive to work hard will make me a great candidate for this position."
5.
With animal abuse being highlighted more in the news and on social media, do you believe legislation and consequences for committing such acts are heading in the right direction?
Animal abuse, unfortunately, happens more often than many people realize. Veterinarians see cases that people who are not involved in animal health may never imagine. Sharing your thoughts on this subject, although difficult, is necessary and shows the interviewer your heart for animals and that you are up-to-date with current events involving animals.

Darby's Answer #1
"It's been said that you can judge a society by how well it treats its animals and its weakest members, which are often one and the same. Animal abuse is horrifying, and the laws are all over the map in the US and elsewhere. Certain places take it very seriously and certain places don't. I do feel like the more public awareness is increased the legislation and consequences will follow."
Darby's Answer #2
"In terms of what we can do as a society to prevent animal abuse and neglect, I think it's a question of being aware, knowing who to report it to, and having the guts as a society to enforce laws about infractions and have proper sentencing for those who do it."
6.
Being a veterinarian must be both rewarding and heartbreaking. How would you describe what you do?
The interviewer understands that a day in the life of a veterinarian can have several emotions. Questions like this give you an opportunity to let the interviewer see a side of you that is 'reachable', so to speak. When something that can be rewarding can also be heart-wrenching at times, but you press on, this shows your true love for what you do.

Darby's Answer #1
"It's often both things at the same time. In the emergency room, we see everything from a mild case of the sniffles to life-threatening trauma, poisoning and even cancer. You have to be ready for anything at all times. With that said, we see a surprising amount of normal, routine stuff."
Darby's Answer #2
"You are right; there are days that one case makes you feel like you can walk on water and the next one makes you want to shut the door and cry a while. One of the most heartbreaking things isn't the horrible trauma case--I can usually fix that. Rather, it's a dog who had early signs that we could have picked up on but now things have gotten so serious that it's very difficult to treat. The other thing that's incredibly heartbreaking is when finances come between a pet and the family and getting the pet better."
7.
Have you ever worked with people who have diverse backgrounds or beliefs?
Some people are intimidated when faced with learning new cultures and beliefs, but any career working in the public is likely to create an opportunity or necessity to do so. It is crucial for you to be willing to accept diversity while performing your job responsibly. The interviewer wants to know that you are open to being supportive of those from diverse backgrounds and that you will be able to be a leader by example for others working with you.

Darby's Answer #1
"I like the idea of being in a career that challenges me to learn and grow. I believe we all have something that we can contribute to others and I like to embrace the diversity among those that I work with."
Darby's Answer #2
"I was afforded the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, religions, and professional backgrounds throughout college. It gave me an eye-opening experience of how many wonderful people there are!"
8.
What is your least favorite thing about being a veterinarian?
It's important to remember that an interviewer is not expecting you to say that there is nothing about your job that you dislike. In fact, doing so would most likely lead him to wonder if you are being honest about your other answers. It's ok to have something that is not your favorite thing to do, just make sure it is not a core skill/requirement that is listed in the job description.

Darby's Answer #1
"I can easily answer that question. My least favorite thing about being a veterinarian is the fact that, unlike a medical doctor, my patients can't verbally communicate with me. So, if an animal is very sick and no one saw an accident or injury, I am often left using symptoms and the process of elimination to determine the diagnosis in order to prepare a treatment plan."
Darby's Answer #2
"My least favorite thing about being a veterinarian is that there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day for me to do everything I want to do. I am one of the ones who are likely to stay late just to watch and make sure a sick dog doesn't take a turn for the worse, or to give 'Fido' an extra walk before heading home."
9.
If you were responsible for interviewing job applicants, what characteristics would you like to see in a candidate?
There is more than one reason for asking this question. First, the interviewer wants to know what qualities you think are important to perform this job. Second, and most importantly, your answer will tell the interviewer if you hold yourself to the same standard as you do others. If you want to see certain characteristics in your peers, you should be able to tell the interviewer with confidence that you possess those traits, as well. This question is one that interviewers often use to distinguish sincerity on the part of the candidate.

Darby's Answer #1
"I believe that honesty is important no matter what job title a person holds. I have found that being honest with people creates an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Those qualities, I feel, are essential when building rapport with patients and co-workers."
Darby's Answer #2
"If I were hiring someone, I would look for someone who is passionate about the job and about patient care. I also feel that being approachable and willing to learn is very important."
10.
Do you or have you ever participated in volunteer work?
Although being a community volunteer is not a requirement for employment, willingness to give of your time and resources to others without compensation shows the interviewer that you have a sincere desire to serve others. If you have volunteered, share a positive experience you had as a volunteer. If you have not volunteered, it is not necessary to embellish your answer. Stating that you have not volunteered previously is not going to disqualify you from employment.

Darby's Answer #1
"I love to volunteer! A group of ladies from my church volunteer at a soup kitchen close to my home once a month. There is nothing like the feeling of giving to someone that you know cannot give back to you! Are there opportunities for employees to volunteer through the hospital?"
Darby's Answer #2
"I serve on a committee at my church and have been over the past 10 years. I'm on a number of other committees, as well. I also make it a habit to do outreach to support groups and at a number of animal health fairs."
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