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How to nail your next veterinary technician interview

Jada Lewis, CVT Jul 21, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Heading into a professional veterinary technician interview can be incredibly intimidating and nerve wracking. There are many simple keys to nailing your next interview that shouldn't come as a surprise. Remember that you are interviewing for your career, not just your next job. So, you should...

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1. Dress the part

Your first impression happens the exact moment you enter the building. That could mean even just stopping by to pick up an application or drop off a resume. Make sure you are looking sharp at all times. The receptionists are watching you!

During your first interview you should always expect to wear business casual. No jeans, pajama bottoms, flip flops, work-out clothes, loud makeup, wild hair, extra large jewelry, torn or ragged outfits, and hide your tattoos.

Keep a set of scrubs in your car just in case they ask you to stay. Show them you are prepared for anything!

2. Sit up straight, with confidence

Slouching can give away the fact that you are not very interested in the job or confident in yourself. For me personally, it says someone is lazy, unsure, or has a bad back. Either one may not fit the current job qualifications.

3. Smile

Even if it hurts, just smile. Show them you are a happy and positive person. You are less likely to get hired if you don' t show off those pearly whites! 

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4. Twist everything positively

One of the hardest question to answer in any interview is: what are your weaknesses? I mean, who really wants to answer that honestly? The best way to answer this is to take your weakness and show how you've worked to improve it.

For example, say you're someone who used to get distracted in the past. You recognized this, and now keep a notebook handy to keep yourself on track of your daily tasks, and it has been working great! The ability to recognize one's own weaknesses and be able to work on them succesfully is an important one.

5. Ask questions

Besides explaining your weaknesses, asking questions is usually the hardest thing to do during an interview, but it is a smart move. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are you.

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Ask what a normal day looks like, how many surgeries they see daily, how long some of the staff has been
with the clinic, what procedures they offer, what they include in their benefits package, or what the staff likes most about their jobs. Think of your make-or-break offers and make sure you get what you need out of the deal.

If you think you will forget those questions, just write them down. It is ok to have a list prepared. However, wait until the second interview to ask about salary if they do not bring it up.

6. Get a working interview

It is very important to always do a working interview. You will not see a true picture of the clinic until you jump in and work with the crew. Be aware of how they treat you, each other, the clients, and the patients.

At one working interview I had, a technician pulled me aside in an exam room and told me that I should not accept a job offer there. She said the owners were crazy and that I should give her my number so she could tell me all about it. I stood there stunned, was this really happening? I decided to ignore her request and to this day I still think that was the right move. Unfortunately, she was right though. 2 weeks after accepting the job I was fired without reason.

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7. Leave your phone in your car

A ringing cell phone during an interview is just plain annoying. You must show your potential employer that your attention is focused on the job, not your social life.

8. Do not bash your previous employer

No matter how bad your previous employer was to you, keep it out of the conversation at all times. Do not talk badly about your past bosses or co-workers. Keep the interview upbeat and happy. If you bash anybody, your potential employer will think you will do the same to them.

In conclusion, you must remember that this isn't just a job, it is a career. Make yourself presentable with a good attitude and you will be well on your way. Remember, you are allowed to be picky and if it doesn't feel right, trust your gut. 

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