I interviewed at a lot of clinics before I decided on a job. I wanted to make sure I found the right place to start my career, and I also wanted to know what was available in terms of jobs so I would have the knowledge to make a good decision. Here are a few tips of the job hunt trade that I have discovered.
- What are the attitudes of the people in the practice? When you walk into the building and address someone, are they looking up at you with a smile? This not only applies to the staff, but it applies to the clients too. Noticing a lot of smiling and happy clients is a good indicator of a well-functioning practice. Chances are that the clients do not know you are there for an interview, so they will not be putting on their “happy faces” just for you. In my experience, disheveled clients are not concerned about who sees their anger or if they make a good impression on people they do not know
- The time you are expected to work: Does your clinic provide you with defined hours or are there some foggy areas? How many days a week are you expected to work? Do you have to be on call? Do people usually work through their lunch or do they actually take a break? For some of us, these questions are not that important. For others, these questions are extremely important to ask. Being on call is not a 100% requirement anymore as many clinics exist that do not have on-call hours.
- Scope of practice: What kind of veterinary practitioner do you want to be? If you want to be a cow vet, would you be OK seeing small animal patients a couple of times a week? Many practices do serve both large and small animal species, so being open to new scopes of practice is valuable and can open many doors for you. I can honestly say that my willingness to practice on any species was one of the main reasons I was able to choose the job I wanted and negotiate for higher pay based on my skills. You might be surprised how far knowing how to provide basic care to a goat may go!