Musings of a Veterinarian

Preparing for Your Veterinary School Interview

November 19, 2009 By: Dr. K Category: Veterinary School

interviewYou’re one step closer to admission to veterinary school and one thing remains: Your interview. The nausea-inducing most nerve wracking moment of your life. But with a little preparation it can prove successful. Here’s what you need to know:


If you approach your interview confidently, that confidence will be palpable to your interviewers.  A few deep breaths prior to your interview will help clear your head. Remember your interviewers understand your nervousness and won’t hold it against you. Every other applicant is as nervous as you.

Dress Well

Men should wear a suit and tie. Women should wear a suit, blouse and trousers, or blouse and skirt. Wear comfortable shoes as you may walk around the hospital and campus during your interview process. No Sneakers! Tattoos are becoming more acceptable and I have seen veterinary students with full sleeves of tattoos. Tattoos should not affect your interview unless you have a naked woman on your forehead. Piercings are prevalent but if you have excessive facial piercings consider taking the most unusual out prior to your interview.

Be prepared to discuss any grades below a “B” on your transcript

This one’s a gimme. You are being compared against the cream of the crop.

Focus on Your Interviewers

I have heard firsthand accounts from admission committees that, because the application process is so competitive, something as seemingly insignificant as looking at your watch during your interview can result in denial. Focus on your interviewers, make eye contact, and don’t fidget. Shake hands before and after the interview and thank them for their time. Don’t ask questions unless they ask if you have any, then, focus the questions on their professional lives. There is limited opportunity for written thank yous to your interviewers. You will be lucky if you remember what you said during your interview let alone the interviewer’s name. A written thank you can never hurt your chances and is always good etiquette.

Be prepared to Answer the Obvious Questions

  • Why do you want to be a veterinarian?
  • What sets you apart from other applicants? What contributions can you make to the veterinary field?
  • Tell me about your most memorable experience while working with a veterinarian?
  • Are you a member of PETA? Do you oppose lab animal use?
  • If you are a cat breeder, you’d better be able to name breeds of cats.

Take Your Time to Think About the Less Obvious Questions

  • What was the most difficult moment in your life?
  • How does your background influence how you approach the human-animal bond?
  • What do you do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
  • What is the last book you read?

Not every applicant is given the chance to interview. Knock ’em dead!

3 Comments to “Preparing for Your Veterinary School Interview”

  1. I am not a vet, but rather a former recruiter turned nurse. As far as tattoos are concerned, yes – it’s certainly becoming more acceptable which is fantastic considering I have a 1/2 sleeve myself. However to play it safe when interviewing, I would recommend covering your tattoos, rather take a chance and getting wrongfully judged and potentially losing out on a job offer. I’ve seen it happen many times when I was a recruiter. Far too often “personal opinion” comes into play during the hiring process. When I interview, I use a cover sleeve – it matches my skin tone and is super comfortable. Much better than applying makeup.

  2. I have an interview with WSU coming up. One question I have heard they might ask and I have yet to come up with a good response for is “What do you do if you suspect a patient you are treating is being/has been abused?”

    Any thoughts on this? I asked the current veterinarian I work with and he said it was a situation he has never come across.

  3. This question is not so much about you giving them the “right” answer as much as it’s designed to compel you provide a thought out and articulate answer. Every individual’s ethics are different, therefore there is no correct answer (unless you said something like burn the person’s house down!).

    Think about what YOU would do and answer it from the heart. Articulate your answer well and you’ll be fine.


Leave a Reply