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Calling all vet or vet school student, any tips on interviewing for vet school?

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  • Calling all vet or vet school student, any tips on interviewing for vet school?

    So, I got an interview for vet school! YAY!

    Any tips on how to prepare for the interview? Did you prepare? What was it like? How long?

    I am thinking I need to practice because I will be nervous I am sure. Any tips would be great!

    Thanks in Advanced!
    I love cats, I love every single cat....
    So anyway I am a cat lover
    And I love to run.

  • #2
    Check out the Student Doctor Network -- forums.studentdoctor.net

    There is interview feedback posted for the various schools, as well as existing threads on attire, protocol, etc.

    Where are you interviewing?

    Feel free to PM if you have any questions!

    I had 3 interviews (canceled #4 after getting into my 1st choice school) and each one differed a lot from the others. It all depends on the school. For example, Penn has more of a "conversation" while Minnesota has a strict 45 minute behavioral interview. Miss State was somewhere in the middle. SDN is your best resource for each school's interviewing style.

    Other than that, read back through your application -- it was submitted a while ago, so I'm sure you've forgotten some details! (I know I had!) Be up to date on current events in your expressed area of interest (I was asked about horse slaughter at Miss State). Get comfortable with answering the question, "Tell us about yourself."

    I had a practice interview at my undergrad (I had already graduated but drove back up to Lexington for it) which definitely helped me get more comfortable with the most common questions, etc.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Agree with everything Ben and Me said! Do check out SDN forums for tips!

      In terms of the interview...try to just be yourself. If you don't know something they ask you, don't just make something up, because they WILL know if you are BSing them. But try to turn it to your advantage, if you can. One of my friends was asked in his interview, "What do you know about tularemia?" He said, "Not a whole lot." But at the end of his interview, when they asked him if he had any questions for them, he said, "Yeah. What's tularemia?" I thought that was a good example of how you can improve the situation if you don't know an answer. Remember that they don't expect you to know everything - that's what you're going to vet school for - but they do want to see how you handle pressure. It's good to know something about current events that affect veterinary medicine, too.

      Good luck - I know how nerve-wracking it is, but I survived and you will too! Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions!

      Adams Equine Wellness


      • #4
        Try to find out what style of interview they'll use. Minnesota uses a behavioral interview "Tell me about a time when..." and you have to talk about it. I was prepped by my brother who works in human resources (specifically hiring and firing).

        It's scary and intimidating but be confident. You were offered an interview! Try not to be the girl who passed out during the interview or the one who collapased shortly after. My mom watched them walk out with one very pale girl who collapsed right after her interview. Then she said it was quite different because I walked out chit-chatting with my interviewers and I was accepted. Just be yourself, show off how wonderful you are, what you are passionate about and be confident!
        University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2012
        Member of the Asthmatic Riders & "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" cliques


        • #5
          Be honest.
          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


          • #6
            As Ben and Me said, know your current events. Some common topics I have heard of being used this year include horse transport (ie double deckers), Prop 2 in California (an animal rights bill), and horse slaughter.

            And, probably most importantly, be able to back up your opinions. If you say "horse slaughter is wrong," don't back it up with "because rich people eating horses makes me sad." Instead, go with that you think there are other economically feasible methods to address the unwanted horse population like methods A, B, and C.

            Good luck!
            Pacific Coast Eventing
            Standing Yeager GF


            • #7
              I did zero prep for my interviews...and somehow I still managed to get in somewhere! I'm one of those people that, if practicing too much, gets to sound rehearsed, which is not what the interviewers are interested in hearing. I would have one or two questions for THEM, as well. I used that time to get a little more information about the school, approach toward teaching, etc...things that ultimately helped me make a decision as far as where I wanted to go.
              The only thing I semi-consciously did was to take my time in formulating a response...rephrasing the question in my response gave me a way to double-check that my answer was relevant and actually answering the question they asked. (Hope that makes sense--I haven't had enough caffeine yet this morning.)
              Good luck!
              Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


              • #8
                Funny - before I started reading the replys my short answer was going to be, "be honest". Ghazzu and I must think alike!

                I intervied at Kansas State - it was over 10 years ago so things may have changed. It was more of a tell me about yourself type of interview. Fairly informal - no grilling questions.

                They asked alot about my prior experiences - I had some experience in research labs and they wanted to know about specifics of the studies.

                They asked me a bunch about my plans if I didn't get into vet school and I was honest - told them about job interviews and plans to do a masters if need be to help my application.

                I wore a conservative pants suit and I think it was appropriate. Wear comfortable shoes - there was a large amount of walking and tours prior to the interview.

                Don't let other folks psych you out. I can't imagine how freaked I'd be if people were dropping like flies coming out of the interview!

                The asked about some less than stellar grades on my transcript - be prepared to talk about things that are less than ideal with your application.

                Good luck.


                • #9
                  Oh, and I was asked if I knew how much vet school was going to cost and if I had a plan for paying for it. I think they want to make sure people know what they're getting into.

                  Adams Equine Wellness


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cleozowner View Post
                    I would have one or two questions for THEM, as well. I used that time to get a little more information about the school, approach toward teaching, etc...things that ultimately helped me make a decision as far as where I wanted to go.
                    This as well! It really helped me to have the questions written down -- even though I couldn't pull them out, it helped me remember since I could visualize the questions!


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks everyone! I went to the forum and signed up. I think my interview sound pretty low key and relaxed compared to a lot of schools. I am only applying to Ross right now. I wish I had done my best in college and not taken it as a time to have fun. I have done a ton of maturing in the 4 1/2 years since I graduated college and I know I am ready to handle vet school. I am taking a few classes this semester to get my brain kicking again at the local college, so I won't go into vet school not having had school in 5 years.

                      Thanks again for all the tips and the forum! My interview is February 17th, so I have sometime to prepare and feel confident when I go in there.
                      I love cats, I love every single cat....
                      So anyway I am a cat lover
                      And I love to run.


                      • #12
                        congratulations! The world needs another good vet.

                        Is it FL or UGA by chance?


                        • #13
                          Someone I know was asked "which end of the cow gets up first?" at VA Tech. .


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 2Jakes View Post
                            Someone I know was asked "which end of the cow gets up first?" at VA Tech. .
                            They were known for having picky/weird questions in the past... For example, they asked a friend, "What is the perfect size for a horse?" I guess they just wanted to hear your reasoning?

                            They've completely changed interview styles as of last year, however.


                            • #15
                              Ditto what everyone has said. It depends a lot on the school.
                              I am at Tufts now, and it's the only school that I applied to. My interview was very informal; it was more like a conversation about my life past present and future.
                              I felt really comfortable and was completely honest about everything.
                              And don't forget to admit what you don't know.
                              If riding were all blue ribbons and bright lights, I would have quit long ago.
                              ~George Morris


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ben and Me View Post
                                "What is the perfect size for a horse?"
                                Well, that would really depend on the purpose for which the horse was being used, for example (give examples for which various sized horses are used). Also be able to come up with issues pertinent to smaller vs larger horses. A good friend advised me to use the expression "well I don't know, but I would speculate..." when you are stumped. I actually used this in one of my defenses (though I forget which one)- I passed.

                                But what do I know, I'm a psychologist.

                                Be yourself and best of luck to you!!!


                                • #17
                                  I remember when my daughter was interviewing at vet schools about 7 years ago. The people at Kansas State were really nice. It was her first interview, and they made her relax because they were so nice and hospitable. They did ask her about anything that she had read recently. She had just read an interesting animal related article in Wall Street Journal, in the plane on the way to the interview. She asked them lots of questions about the research that she knew they were doing at Kansas State.

                                  Her interview at Virginia Tech was uncomfortable. Two of the interviewers were pleasant and asked her a lot of questions about EPM. The third kept asking her football questions to see if he could make her lose her composure and cry. He demanded to know who won the Superbowl. When she said she had no idea, he told her to recite the names of some of the top football teams. She told him she knew the Redskins hadn't done well, but really didn't know the names of any other NFL teams. She then told him that she could tell him who won the Kentucky Derby and could analyze the records of the top contenders for the Derby. At that point, the jerk backed off and left her alone. Despite that difficult interview, she was accepted at VT.

                                  Each school asked her about her C grades in chemistry. She told everyone that she just isn't good at chemistry, but that biology and animal sciences come easily to her.

                                  The people at Western University in California had a very relaxed interview style that encouraged her to talk about her background. She came out of that interview with a lot of knowledge about the school and a lot of respect for the school's program.

                                  Dress well. The accepted attire used to be a business suit, decent shoes, and some jewelry (e.g., earrings, simple necklace). I don't know if that is still the attire. The Southern schools might have a more relaxed attire.

                                  Good luck with the interview.


                                  • #18
                                    I interviewed at Penn; had a great one, very conversational, but didn't get in. I think it's stupid, but the students who chat with you in the waiting area have a say about who gets in and who doesn't. That is stupid to me because they can't possibly know you well enough in 5 min of nervous small talk to really have that much of a say!

                                    Tufts interview (where I went to school) was much, much better. Very conversational, very light-hearted. They tend to pair interviewers well...one is more serious and one more fun. I know at Tufts they want to know as much about you as a person as you as a potential veterinarian. They are very interested in your dedication to the profession and want to make sure you're going to be a good investment. That's the same for any school, really.

                                    Know something(s) about the school to which you're applying. Know what programs they have to offer, what research is being done there, and which vets stand out to you that work/teach there. Mention which ones might (sincerely) interest you. If you show interest to the school, they'll show it to you! It takes only a little bit of time on each school's website to find out some of those things.

                                    Be yourself, be honest, remember to mention memorable experiences (and not blank out!) that helped you get to where you are and helped you realize what you want to become. Have other things to talk about too, such as other interests and hobbies, or the latest book (fictional) that you've read (yes, that was a question of mine). They want to know you're well-rounded as well.


                                    • #19
                                      Sorry to drag this thread up, but I am a first year vet student at MSU, so I just recently (about one year ago) went through the whole process of interviews. If you want any more tips or sample questions or anything like that, just PM me
                                      Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine - Class of 2014

                                      Chance Encounter
                                      RIP Tall Tales


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Ben and Me View Post
                                        They were known for having picky/weird questions in the past... For example, they asked a friend, "What is the perfect size for a horse?" I guess they just wanted to hear your reasoning?

                                        They've completely changed interview styles as of last year, however.
                                        Hey- that was me!

                                        I said, "16.2, because that's how big my horse is and he's perfect" I think I expanded on that with something about how it would depend on what you were using the horse for, but to this day I'm still not sure what they were looking for there. They also asked me about MRSA and horse slaughter. My whole experience there was very off-putting and not at all like experiences at other schools. I will say that I thought Penn had the best interview system- I really felt like I got to know the school and they types of professors and classmates I would have there. The interview day was just as much about them selling the school to me as it was about me selling myself as a candidate, which I didn't experience at any other school and which I really appreciated. I left VT thinking, "Even if they took me, why would I want to come here?" Whereas I left Penn thinking, "Oh gosh I REALLY hope I get in here!"
                                        Balanced Care Equine