I remember where I was just over a year ago: preparing for my veterinary school interviews. I had meticulously gone through my application and submitted it a few months prior. I was checking my mail and email account as often as possible, waiting to hear from the schools to which I applied. And then, one day, I got the letter. I had gotten the interviews! I was excited, and then I was nervous. This was the last big piece of my application to seal the deal to my future veterinary career. With excellent advice like that which was given to me, you too can ace your veterinary school interviews!
First, look the part. This is an interview for a professional school, so you need to arrive looking like a professional. I wore slacks, a plain dress shirt, and a blazer, but a lot of the other women wore skirts or dresses which were great, too. Most of the men I saw wore suit jackets and dress pants. In addition to showing the interviewing committee you are serious about being a professional, dressing up can help you feel more confident.
Second, carefully review every word you put in your application. My application cycle had a series of essays, and I was asked to expand upon what I had previously written. Luckily, since I had reread and was very much still passionate about what I had written, it was very easy for me to keep right on talking about myself! Also, make sure to print a physical copy of your application so that you can immediately clear up any discrepancies between your copy and the interviewer’s copy. This is very important!
Next, practice talking yourself through common ethical questions related to veterinary medicine. How would you handle a sick pet with an owner who doesn’t have enough money for required treatment? What would you do if you found out someone was cheating in class or stealing medicine from a clinic? Do you know the difference between animal rights and animal welfare? These questions, and many more like them, come up again and again because they are truly important questions faced by the veterinary profession today. You should know how you will answer them not only for your interviews, but also because they are genuine problems you will face in your future veterinary career.
Be strategic with your time. If at all possible, try to arrive in the town where the interview is held the day before your interview. Spend some time in the town, walk around campus, and go on a tour of the vet school before your interview if at all possible. See if you could really picture yourself living here and attending this school. Researching the town and university will give you great talking points for why you want to go to the school you are interviewing at.
Finally, there is nothing like practice. I was lucky enough to have undergraduate advisers who did a mock veterinary school interview for me. They were the panel of interviewers and they asked me questions that I might be asked in my real interviews. Once it was over, they sat me down and discussed what I did well on and areas where I needed to improve. This was possibly the best preparatory step I took for my interviews and their coaching paid off!
If you are preparing for your future vet school interview, hang in there. You will survive, and you will thrive! Just remember to prepare and to always be yourself!