Veterinary Technician/Assistant Interview Tips

A veterinary technician assistant job interview, can be a very broad based interview. It will include both technical and behavioral interview questions. The nature of the work requires interviewers to examine both your past work practices and your technical knowledge base.

Interview Presentation and Communications

The veterinary technician assistant job interview requires you to present yourself very effectively.

These are the main issues for interviewers:

  • Situational awareness: This covers both your answers and your understanding of the question. The veterinary technician assistant job requires a very good level of situational comprehension of issues, and excellent communications skills.
  • Communications skills: This is a job which can require you to think on your feet at short notice, and provide good information to the people with whom you're working. Your answers need to be technically clear, with no vague elements.

Interview Questions and Issues

What experience have you had in extended treatment of an animal? How would you describe the experience, and how did it turn out?

There's nothing subtle about this question, and with good reason. Animal care, particularly extended care, can be emotionally draining. Experience allows vets and veterinary technician assistants to learn to cope with the situations.

Give an example of prior experience which spells out the duties, the type of care, the health issues, and the outcome.

Have you ever had to put down an animal you've been treating? How did you feel about that?

This is another experience-based question. For all veterinary technician assistants, the answer to the first part of the question is inevitably "Yes". Not all animals make it. Nor do some people in veterinary medicine, who can't deal with this part of the job.

Client relationships are important in this industry, because of the strong personal issues in animal care. Give us an example of working with a client under these circumstances.

The client relationship is part of the veterinary technician assistant's job. It's important to ensure the client is fully informed and supported in making decisions and coping with situations. Explain a case of this kind to the interviewers, making your role in the client relationship clear. 

Technical Skills Questions

These questions will cover basic technical procedures, like:

  • Urinanalysis
  • Dental procedures and prophylaxis
  • Tissue sample processes and analysis
  • Imaging

The technical questions will often include questions like problem solving, or asking you to give an example of your work in a particular area.

Set out your answers exactly like a procedure, in a logical order.

For example: What are the steps in a urinalysis? What issues might arise in a standard test environment?

A urinalysis requires a series of procedures:

  1. Obtain sample
  2. Run a series of tests as per vet's instructions
  3. Check tests and verify results if necessary.
  4. Prepare report for vet.

Issues that might arise:

  1. Presence of medications or supplements in samples requiring test reconfigurations
  2. Tests may be mixed up
  3. Contamination of samples by local lab environment
  4. Presence of certain exotic pathogens or byproducts may require notification

It's a very straightforward process, and that's the sort of answer required, extremely simple, just .

Important: Never clutter up any answer to a technical question, particularly a procedure. Just make sure the procedure is fully and accurately described.