Job Interviews

Your Job Interview: How to Land the dream Job

A job interview can be stressful, but if you want to land the job you must be cool and appear knowledgeable. You must do your homework and be prepared for the obvious questions. You must conduct yourself professionally and confidently before, during and after the interview, and the advice given here applies to all levels of employment within the industry.

Do Your Homework

It is important that you not only know as much about the future employer or organization as possible prior to the interview, but also be familiar with the vet job involved. Otherwise, a simple question such as “Tell me about our previous experienc and how you would fit in” will stump you and you have lost before you really got started. Check up online on the type of questions you may be asked and be prepared for them.

Prepare by practicing interviews, thinking of as many potential questions as possible and how to answer them, and learning all you can about the specific vet job in question and about your potential employer. Look up the practice or organization on Google, LinkdIn and other social sties to find all you possibly can. That might make the difference between you and the also-rans!

First Impressions Count

From the moment you arrive show them you want to be hired and can do the job involved. Look good and look confident. If you are shivering with fear at the interview how can they expect to rely on you in a crisis? Here are some tips on how to avoid making a bad impression before you even get started:

Arrive on time: Lateness is professional suicide while arriving too early is also undesirable. Interviewers can become annoyed if you turn up 15 minutes early while they are trying to relax after the previous interview.

Dress Properly: Business casual is generally good, such as a suit or slacks, shirt and jacket for men and slacks or sensible skirt, dark jacket and blouse for women. Get your hair done – you should look smart and generally conventional. Clients may not like punk hairstyles or lip ring, and irrespective of your personal tastes the clients come first because they will be paying your salary.

Be Polite: be polite to receptionists and shake hands with a good, firm handshake. Limpness is no good in a job interview, and you must project confidence and ability, not uncertainty and timidity.

During the Interviews

All the above are extremely important and we haven’t even started the interview yet. Answer questions confidently and look the interviewer in the eye. Eye contact is important in any interview, so if you are in front of a panel, look at each in turn, but only at the questioner when responding.

Don’t Waffle: If you are unsure of the answer to a question then say so. If this reveals a gap in your veterinary knowledge, then admit this and state that are still working to improve your overall knowledge of your profession.

Never Guess: If you guess at an answer and get it wrong, you will be displaying a fault that might carry on into your professional life. You might think it unfair, but the interviewer might take the view that that such guesswork could result in professional errors in an emergency situation. Admit a lack of knowledge but state a willingness to learn.

Beware the Curve Ball: You might be asked a question you are not expected to be able to answer, or one for which there is no answer. Your first reaction might be one of panic – but stay cool. Think it out, and give a considered answer, even if it is that there is no solution that you know of. You may be being tested for your reaction under stress, and if you take your time to think it out that might just land you the veterinary job you want.

Listen: Listen carefully to all that is said, including the phrasing of the questions. If you are unsure of what is being asked, then ask for clarification. It better to ask and get the right question, than to guess what you think you heard and answer a question that has not been asked.

Ask Questions: When asked if you have any questions, be prepared with a list. Many of these will already have been answered, but a potential employer will not be impressed if you have not properly researched the questions you ask. Example questions are: available ongoing training, job responsibilities, available products and how much outdoors work might be needed.

Be Truthful: Never lie – that is professional suicide. If you are asked why you want to work in this practice be honest, and if this means stating that you are simply seeking a veterinary job somewhere in this area then that is fine.

Be Prepared: Make sure you come prepared with a change of work clothing in yourcar driveway because you may have to get involved with the patients! Taking a urine sample from a dog might get a little messy! In any case, being unprepared shows a lack of forethought which is not good.

After the Interview

Once the veterinary job interview is over, thank the interviewer or each member of a panel for giving you the opportunity of an interview. Send a thank you letter within 24 hours of your interview, again giving thanks and asking to be considered for any other future positions if unsuccessful.

Follow this up a week later if you have not heard from them, stating that you are still available if needed. This might sway the decision your way if they are vacillating between you and another candidate. If you receive a rejection, then respond asking them to keep you in mind for any future jobs within the employer or organization

The above advice should help you handle job interviews positively and confidently. Preparation is very important and it would help if you had a friend or family member give you a few dummy interviews. They could check up potential questions, and you could practice answering them. If this vet job is important to you, then be prepared to fight for it!

Here is an example video on Youtube.

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