I remember it like it was yesterday, freaking out for my vet school interviews. This was easily one of the biggest moments of my life and I was one step closer towards my dream of becoming a veterinarian. Looking back, I stressed myself out way more than I needed to and I hope that these tips will help calm your nerves too!
Tip #1—Practice Talking
I’m an extremely extroverted individual that’s never had problems talking but I’ll be the first to tell you that talking to interviewers can be intimidating. So, what should you do? PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. I’m not kidding. Make your friends and family members go through practice interviews with you to help get you use to talking about yourself and your experiences. I had so many of my friend’s hold mock interviews for me. Additionally, I had the opportunity to go through mock interviews with faculty members of my undergraduate department. It was nice to do a mix of interviews with people I felt comfortable with and professionals at my school. Trust me, I know that constructive criticism can be a hard pill to swallow, but wouldn’t you rather get it over with before your real interview?
Tip #2—Know Your Application
If you’ve filled out the VMCAS already, you know that it’s basically an application that has EVERY. SINGLE. THING you’ve ever done in it. Vet school is competitive, that’s no secret, so everyone’s application will probably be filled with a plethora of experiences, jobs, volunteer opportunities, research, etc. so know what you’ve added. There’s nothing more uncomfortable then an interviewer bringing up something on your application that you have a hard time talking about it. For example, I made sure to reread my research paper a couple times before my interviews just because I wasn’t in the habit of culturing cells and making growth curves anymore. Make sure you take a little time to study up on yourself and your past experiences, so you can confidently talk about them.
Tip #3—Dress to Impress
I am no fashionista but I can tell you that this is a time where you’re going to want to look and feel good. That doesn’t mean buying the most expensive pant suit money can buy, it means finding something you feel completely confident and professional in. I’d highly suggested looking online for ideas if you’re not great at putting outfits together. Pinterest can be your best friend in this situation, trust me.
Tip #4—Stay True to Yourself
This was one of the biggest things I struggled with when I started practicing for my interviews. I wanted to get into vet school so badly that I was trying to answer questions based on what I thought an admissions committee would want to hear. First off, this doesn’t work because people see right through phony answers. Second, you should want to go to a vet school that accepts you for who you are and not what they want you to be. So speak your truth when you go through any interview in life especially one that dictates your future career. Many of my vet school interviews had questions relating to euthanasia, diversity and inclusion, and ethics. These categories can be sensitive and often time students going through this process think there’s a right answer to these types of questions. The best thing you can do is answer the question truthfully!
Tip #5—Be Confident
If there’s one thing I can say about my interview experiences, it was that I went into each one with confidence. Think about it, you deserve to be there. You already made it this far because the admission committee saw something in you that aligns with their program and the veterinary profession. Whenever you start to freak out, try to remind yourself of that fact! Walk into the interview knowing that you deserve a spot in that DVM program and show them how great you are. I went into many of my interviews thinking they’d be tense and uncomfortable but most of them were extremely laid back and fun.