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Veterinary Technician Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 30th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
How do you handle an unhappy customer?
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How to Answer
A customer at a vet clinic could be unhappy for a number of reasons. It's up to you to resolve any mistakes within your power and appease the customer to keep them coming back. In your experience with customer service, which skills have helped the most? Listening is the best place to start. Sometimes all your customer needs is to express themselves. Pets are a very sensitive subject. You may have done everything perfectly, but George the cat is still suffering from feline leukemia. You can't cure George, but you can listen to the owner. Think of an example of when you had an unhappy customer. What did you do?
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Top 25 Veterinary Technician Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
How do you handle an unhappy customer?
A customer at a vet clinic could be unhappy for a number of reasons. It's up to you to resolve any mistakes within your power and appease the customer to keep them coming back. In your experience with customer service, which skills have helped the most? Listening is the best place to start. Sometimes all your customer needs is to express themselves. Pets are a very sensitive subject. You may have done everything perfectly, but George the cat is still suffering from feline leukemia. You can't cure George, but you can listen to the owner. Think of an example of when you had an unhappy customer. What did you do?
2.
Tell me about a time when you provided excellent customer service.
Before you give an example, think about what excellent customer service means to you. Does it mean making the customer happy? What skills are required?
Rachelle's Answer
"I was working at a restaurant and one of my customers had a food allergy, a broken wrist and rowdy kids. I made sure the kitchen was cautious with her food order and I made sure the kids were entertained. I did my best to make the experience as easy for her as possible. She was pleased with her experience and told my manager too."
3.
Tell me about time you had a conflict with a team member. How did you handle it?
When you're working closely with your team in a small room with dogs barking and the smell of cat urine, you will need to be able to maneuver through conflicts easily. Here's an example of how to approach this question:

"One of my co-workers wasn't carrying their weight, which meant everyone else had more work to do. I asked her to coffee so that we could chat outside of the workplace. After talking with her, she shared some personal issues that had been interfering and we agreed she needed some help with her projects. We all met with our boss and we determined a temporary solution to help her while she resolved her issues outside of work."

Give a REAL example. Breakdown what happened and how you handled it professionally. Focus on the solution, not the conflict. If you wish you would have done something different, share it. Showing you can learn from past conflicts shows maturity.
Rachelle's Answer
"One of my co-workers wasn't carrying their weight, which meant everyone else had more work to do. I asked her to coffee so that we could chat outside of the workplace. After talking with her, she shared some personal issues that had been interfering and we agreed she needed some help with her projects. We all met with our boss and we determined a temporary solution to help her while she resolved her issues outside of work."
4.
What 3 qualities in a veterinarians do you most admire? Why do you feel these qualities are important?
"I think communication skills, decision making skills and compassion are all important qualities of a veterinarian. They have to be able to explain what they need from their techs and assistants, and handle customers. They need to make quick decisions and care for animals as well as their staff."

These are just a few examples we think are important. From your experience, what matters most to you? Maybe business skills or dedication rank higher for you. Think about which qualities matter to you most and why.
Rachelle's Answer
"I think communication skills, decision making skills and compassion are all important qualities of a veterinarian. They have to be able to explain what they need from their techs and assistants, and handle customers. They need to make quick decisions and care for animals as well as their staff."
5.
How do you handle stress?
Picture yourself pinning down a large pit bull who is peeing all over the table while you administer anesthesia as cats cry in the background, the phone is ringing off the hook, and you can hear a small terrier whimpering and banging itself against the kennel. Your job will be stressful. Knowing how to handle stress will help you to navigate the ups and downs in a constantly changing environment. Take some time to think about what you would be able to do when you are busy at work feeling your heart rate rise and your nerves begin to shake. Your coping skills outside of work might be difficult to apply, as you can't stop what you're doing and run to yoga class. However, you can take deep breaths and allow yourself to take a break in between patients. You can laugh about the fact that you are covered in dog shit and you can enjoy the company of your coworkers. Getting through the tough parts of your job requires you to have a good perspective and be able to make light of situations.
6.
How do you determine the best treatment for an animal?
There's a lot of pressure to choose the right action to take when an animal is being treated for an illness or injury. Sometimes you walk a thin line. How do you assess the situation to choose what's best? Luckily you have the help of your partner in crime, the veterinarian, to assist you with decision making.
7.
If a vet asked you to do something that was outside of your job description, how would you respond?
Tricky question, eh? Here's the deal: if your boss asked you to do anything outside of your job description just say, "Yes!" As a vet tech you will have a wide range of responsibilities already, but there may be times when you're asked to do something an assistant typically does. You might even be asked to take care of something a veterinarian does! When asked to do something you don't know how to do, now that's a different story. "Sure, can you show me how to do it? I have an idea, but I could use a little help." While we encourage an enthusiastic YES to anything your boss asks of you, use discretion. Make sure it's a task you're knowledgeable about it enough to give it a go. If not, don't be afraid to ask for help!
Rachelle's Answer
"Yes!"
8.
How do you feel about cleaning up after animals?
Oh the joys of being covered in vomit and anal gland secretions! A vet tech's job is anything but glamorous and certainly not for the faint at heart. This is likely your least favorite part of the job, and understandably so. Here's a sample response to the question:

"Cleaning up after animals can be pretty disgusting, but it's just part of the job. I keep a positive attitude and remember that I'm helping these animals, and that's what gets me through it. I've experienced some pretty gross situations, like expressing anal glands that exploded in my face, so I think I can handle anything."

Giving a brief example of a scenario you handled will show the interviewer that you understand the dirty side of the job and you can handle it.
Rachelle's Answer
"Cleaning up after animals can be pretty disgusting, but it's just part of the job. I keep a positive attitude and remember that I'm helping these animals, and that's what gets me through it. I've experienced some pretty gross situations, like expressing anal glands that exploded in my face, so I think I can handle anything."
9.
How do you manage your time in the work place?
Excellent question! You will need to know how to manage a long list of responsibilities as a vet tech. Have you ever worked in a job before where you were expected to multitask between answering the phone, handling a customer in front of you and maintaining records? The key to time management is find what works best for you. Often times we don't learn this until time gets the best of us and something falls through the cracks. Here are some tricks to managing your time:

- Prioritize.
- Maintain a schedule.
- Set alerts on your phone or computer.

There are many helpful tricks you can apply to your new job. Start thinking about them now to help prepare yourself!
10.
What will you do if you are working for a vet that only allots 15 minutes for routine visits/physical exams?
Do you think a 100 lb. Labrador Retriever will have the patience to sit through an hour long vet appointment? There are several reasons why a veterinarian would try to keep visits short and quick. One reason is revenue: you can see more clients in a day if you keep the exams short. If you work for a corporate chain, this could be a company standard. When you think about performing your duties within a 15 minute time frame, keep in mind that the goal is efficiency, not speed. If you rush through an exam, you're not providing quality care and you are more prone to mistakes. A great response to this question would be, "I am thorough, completing patient paperwork and assessing the animal, keeping them calm during the process. It will take practice, but I feel confident that I can fulfill my duties if I am focused and aware of the time." Yes, it will be difficult, but practice, your accuracy and speed will improve!
Rachelle's Answer
"I am thorough, completing patient paperwork and assessing the animal, keeping them calm during the process. It will take practice, but I feel confident that I can fulfill my duties if I am focused and aware of the time."
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