Musings of a Veterinarian

The Worst Job Interview Ever Part 1: The Introduction

June 19, 2013 By: Dr. K Category: Just For Fun

You are about to embark on the single most horribly epic job interview story you will ever read. Ever.

Enough time has passed that I feel safe sharing the worst interview experience of my life, your life, your mom’s life, and even that exaggerating friend’s life.  Names have been changed to protect the guilty.  If you think you can top my story, which you can’t unless it involves dead *human* bodies, post below and I will feature your short story on my blog!

Warning: This post contains explicit profanity. VMDiva.com is opposed to the use of gratuitous language but feels the story will lose its character if edited for explicit content.

The Introduction

The late winter of my fourth year of veterinary school came with the revelation I had passed my boards and was about to *gulp* get a job. Like many of my peers, I took to the usual search routes of bulletin boards, online web services, and UPenn’s employer match. I found a couple of practices that looked promising and submitted my applications.

One of these practices was the Animal Veterinary Hospital, a two doctor practice in bucolic…errrr…ummm…Miami. Yes, Miami, that was it. Much to my surprise a jubilant and tightly wound owner called me within two hours of emailing my credentials.

“Jennifer! This is Max Shaffer! I got your application two hours ago and I just had to call you! I saw you were at the top of your class and had to talk to such a wonderful person!” Shaffer shouted through the phone with more enthusiasm than a five yr old with a new Hot Wheels.

“My practice is small animal and I’m looking for another vet. My wife is a physician’s assistant. When can you come for an interview? I tell you what, come on a Sunday and I’ll put you up in a hotel overnight for a working day Monday. I’ll take you to dinner!”

Didn’t sound too bad, especially for my first interview. An overnight with a working interview attached? Wined and dined? I was feeling pretty confident given the peon veterinary student I actually was. My husband and I decided that even if I wasn’t interested in this practice after my interview on Sunday I would certainly stay for the working interview on Monday for the experience. Unless, we laughed, it was a total disaster. But really, what could happen?

The day started as any other day would when one is prepping for an interview. I felt like a bundle of nerves while primping, prepping, and answering potential questions in my head as I drove to…uhh…Miami. I arrived at the practice 20 minutes or so early so I drove past, checked out the surrounding area, and looped back. Back in the parking lot I saw a very large farm-style truck and one other car.  I called Dr. Shaffer from my cell phone.

“Jennifer! I am inside! Come in!”

I walked with trepidation to the entryway and was greeted by a balding man wearing glasses, worn out jeans, a black faded sweatshirt, and white sneakers. This nerd was nobody to fear, I thought, as I slipped in the door. It struck me odd that my future boss was dressed for a day of yard work instead of at least trying to impress for an interview.

“Let me take you for a tour. This is the cat side and the dog side,” he said as motioned to the opposite sides of the waiting room. Walking through the treatment room door he waved at some kennels saying, “This is where we keep our pain in the ass boarders. Ah, look at that! There’s shit in there.” I grimaced while hiding a smirk acknowledging Dr. Shaffer was…what’s the word? Colorful?

“Let me tell you about my staff. Tammy is a receptionist. She and Trina don’t get along because Trina is dating Tammy’s ex boyfriend. They don’t talk to each other but since Trina works in the back and Tammy works in the front it’s ok. It’s a bunch of bullshit but it’s no big deal.” Ruh roh. I nodded knowingly while the screeching alarm bells started to make my stomach ache.

“Now Sandy, you’ve got to watch out for her. She has personal space issues. You can’t get within two or three feet of her or she freaks out. Just don’t touch her and you’ll be fine.” Danger, Will Robinson! I was already getting the feeling I needed to bail on the rest of the interview extravaganza but I wasn’t ready to pull out yet.

“You’ll be the other vet here…blah blah blah…but you will never be alone when you first start.” Wait, what? I was supposed to be the third vet here? “Now I go away for three weeks in the summer to show my Arab Horses and you’ll be left alone but you can call me.”

“I really like your cover letter. You didn’t mention all that mentorship bullshit. I hate that stuff. That tells me you need my help and can’t work alone,” Shaffer raved.

I countered, “Well, my letter actually did say I was seeking mentorship for procedures I haven’t gotten to perform during veterinary school.”

“You bitch! Well, that’s ok you can ask some questions.” Did Shaffer just call me a bitch?!? My head started swimming as I was searching for the words to use to walk out of this interview. I didn’t find them.

“What type of suture would you use to close the abdomen of a fat lab?” Shaffer was actually grilling me on my clinical proficiency. I didn’t expect this, being the bitch that I apparently was.

“O PDS.”

“Ok, I’d use Vicryl but good enough.” He was still going. “What would you do with a diabetic cat?”

“I would start him on insulin.”

“What kind?”


“And what about diet?”

“I would put him on a low carb, high protein diet.”

“Yes!!! You are the first person in 45 interviews to get that question right!” Forty-five interviews? I needed to leave. Now.

“How would you compare yourself with your classmates?”

Oh I had this one! “Well, I am at the top of my class, I am married, and I am a home owner. I bring a level of maturity that many of my peers cannot.”

Shaffer examined me and slowly nodded. “I like you. You’ve got balls. I was really afraid you would be 300 lbs, stupid, and a bitch and you would have been out the door.”

Part 2

Part 3

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  1. VMDiva | The Worst Job Interview Ever Part 2: Captive 29 06 13
  2. VMDiva | The Worst Job Interview Ever Part 3: The Explosive Finish 11 07 13

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