veterinary assistant interview questions

Veterinary Assistant Interview Questions
  • Do you love animals, and why would you say so? …
  • Could you give examples from past experience where you restrained aggressive patients proficiently? …
  • How do you provide a comfortable hospital environment for patients?

Interview Questions For Veterinary Assistant

6 Veterinary Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

As a veterinary assistant, what type of cleaning duties did you perform?

Someone who has experience as a veterinary assistant performs several cleaning duties for the vet’s office. They understand that it is necessary to keep all rooms, including the kennels, clean at all times. You want a veterinary assistant who knows that bacteria spreads quickly and presents a risk to the animals. Pay attention to the candidate’s attitude about the cleaning duties. What to look for in an answer:

  • A positive attitude about the job requirements
  • Understands the importance of sanitation services
  • Experience with boarding services

As a veterinary assistant, do you believe remaining calm under pressure is vital to your role?

Someone who has experience as a veterinary assistant understands that a vet’s office is an ever-changing environment. They face upsetting situations when pets are euthanized or die in the office. They understand that animals react differently during visits. Sometimes, the patients are challenging. You want a vet assistant who maintains control over his or her emotions and provides fast assistance for the vet, the staff and pet owners. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience handling challenging pets
  • Has exceptional problem-solving skills
  • Handles detrimental circumstances without becoming too emotional

What are your qualifications as a veterinary assistant?

Someone who wants to become a veterinary assistant has at least a high school diploma and experience with animals. They don’t need a degree to qualify for an entry-level position, though some degrees exist for this position. At a minimum, you want someone who has some experience even if it was as a volunteer at a shelter. You also want a candidate who is empathetic and loves animals. What to look for in an answer:

  • A high school graduate or graduate of a vet tech training course
  • Experience working with domesticated pets
  • Some on-the-job training and experience

Have you ever had an animal patient who became nervous or agitated during an appointment? If so, what methods did you use to calm them down?

Veterinary assistants are responsible for helping veterinarians keep animals calm and still during appointments. This question allows an interviewer to gauge a candidate’s previous professional experience with animals and their strategies for helping animals feel comfortable during appointments.

A candidate’s answer should emphasize:

  • Empathy for animals
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills

Here is one example of a quality candidate answer:

Did you perform any clerical duties as a veterinary assistant?

Someone with experience as a veterinary assistant may have office skills. They may be needed, during busy times, to answer multiple line phone systems, transfer calls and direct calls to voicemail. They create invoices for pet owners, collect payments and print out receipts. You want an assistant with at least entry-level skills to perform these duties. You also want a candidate with a sunny disposition who makes pet owners feel at ease. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with word processing and accounting software
  • Possesses at least basic clerical skills
  • Friendly and is a people person

How did you help your previous employer with lab work as a veterinary assistant?

Someone who has experience as a veterinary assistant has lifted heavy animals for treatment and during procedures. They are comfortable with most animals especially dogs and cats. You want an assistant who isn’t afraid of any type of animal and understands that patient care is their top primary. You want an assistant whom pet owners will trust will make them feel comfortable while their pets are receiving treatments. What to look for in an answer:

  • The ability to lift at least 25 pounds
  • Experience handling a variety of animals
  • History of following safety protocol

How do you avoid compassion fatigue?

When working with sick animals, you may experience compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue can lead to feelings of physical and emotional exhaustion. Employers may ask this interview question to learn how you can cope with seeing animals in distress. Before you take this position, come up with solutions for preventing compassion fatigue. Some methods you could discuss in your answer include practicing self-care, setting emotional boundaries and finding interests outside of work.

Example: “I understand that with this role some days are going to be more challenging than others. Although I think it is important to show owners compassion when their pet is ill, I also have developed strategies to separate myself emotionally from especially challenging cases. One way I do this is by surrounding myself with friends and family outside of work. I also regularly journal about certain animals that are on my mind. I find this method cathartic when I am feeling low energy.”

Questions about experience and background

Employers may ask these questions to learn about your experience and background related to a vet tech position:

  • What kind of experience do you have caring for animals?
  • Tell me the difference between animal welfare and animal rights.
  • How do you ensure the safety of the animals you treat?
  • Have you ever assisted with surgery? If so, explain what your responsibilities were.
  • How do you keep animals calm during treatment?
  • Tell me about a challenge you overcame in a previous role.
  • Explain your people skills.
  • Do you have experience administering medications to animals?
  • Do you have experience testing blood, urine and stool samples?
  • What skills make you an effective vet tech?
  • What is your favorite kind of animal to work with?

    Although employers want you to love all kinds of animals, they are interested in what kind of animals you enjoy the most. This question helps employers learn a little more about your personality and decide which animals youd work with in this role. Answer this question honestly since it could determine what kind of tasks you do as a vet tech. Think about which kind of animal you are comfortable working with and why.

    Example: “Dogs are definitely my favorite animal to work with. I love how they each have their own personality. I also appreciate how affectionate many of them are. When a dog is timid or scared, its my goal to calm them down as much as possible. I find it very rewarding when I can get a dogs tail wagging by the end of their visit. Dogs bring us so much joy and happiness, so making their vet visit a positive experience is important to me.”

    To help you prepare for your Veterinary Assistant interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

  • How to Answer
  • 1st Answer Example
  • Think before you speak! Be humble and dont take it personally. Depending on who the criticism is coming from, you will want to approach it differently. If its coming from your boss, you will want to respond respectfully, saying something like, “I appreciate the feedback. Now I know how I can improve next time.” If its coming from a client, you may want to tell them, “I am so glad you noticed! Ill make the changes right away.” You may have a similar response for anyones critical comments, but the key is to stay calm and never express frustration towards the person. Give an example where you stayed professional when someone gave you negative feedback. If there was something you needed to change or repair, you responded promptly: “I completely understand where youre coming from. Ill care of it right away!”

    “I appreciate the feedback. Now I know how I can improve next time.”

    FAQ

    What can I expect at a vet assistant interview?

    These general vet tech interview questions can help an employer get to know more about you and your interest in their vet tech position:
    • Tell me about your interests outside of work.
    • How would your previous employer describe you?
    • Do you have any pets?
    • Are you comfortable working with all kinds of animals?

    What qualities do you need to be a vet assistant?

    7 Qualities of a Good Veterinary Assistant
    • BE IN GOOD SHAPE. …
    • YOU CAN COMMUNICATE WELL WITH ANIMALS. …
    • HAVE CONTROL OVER YOUR EMOTIONS. …
    • MULTITASKING. …
    • LOVE TO LAUGH. …
    • PERFORMS THE JOB TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY. …
    • WANTS TO LEARN AND MOVE UP.

    What are three key responsibilities of the veterinary assistant?

    A Veterinary Assistant, or a Veterinarian’s Assistant, helps Veterinarians by treating and caring for animals. Their duties include recording health information about animals, helping to administer treatments, and providing food and water to animals.

    What should I wear to a veterinary assistant interview?

    The common advice is to arrive in “business-casual” dress, but this phrase means something different to everyone. Some people would say khakis and a polo shirt are fine, while others would say that’s overly casual. For women, some would say a skirt is a little over the top, while others would say it is appropriate.

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