Firstly, always remember an interview is a two-way process. It’s an opportunity for the interviewer to find out about the interviewee and vice versa.
Quite often veterinary interviews are more informal than interviews for other types of job. That said; there are some suggestions anyone attending an interview should consider:
Prepare well beforehand – Do you know how long the interview will last? What format will it take? Do you need to take anything with you? Ensure you research the practice website if they have one. Gain as much information as possible about the type & size of practice, the types of cases they deal with and if possible information about the existing team there. Have a think about some of the questions you’d like to ask them whilst you’re there.
Arrive on time – Preferably a few minutes early – but not TOO early as this can make the interviewer feel under pressure to see you sooner than they had planned – 5 minutes early for an interview is an acceptable time. If you find you’re delayed due to reasons beyond your control, please contact us immediately and we will advise the practice. When you first arrive or during a tour of the practice you may meet receptionists or other staff – It is crucial you’re friendly towards these people! More often these days interviewers are asking the opinions of other team members and what they thought of the “new vet or nurse”.
Present yourself – Ensure you’re well presented. If it’s a “working” interview the practice may expect you to wear your usual protective work wear, if not, dress smartly. Remember to smile and shake hands with the person interviewing. First impressions are crucial. On first meeting this may be an opportunity to show how friendly and approachable you are. Remember the interviewer will want to establish your people skills if you’re to be dealing with their clients!
Be aware of your body language – Remain relaxed and calm. Avoid fidgeting in your seat, because that shows low confidence. Be aware of your hand gestures and don’t use your hands to make a point. It distracts and can convey a negative impression.
Use an open posture – don’t sit with your arms crossed or your legs crossed.
Maintain eye contact when speaking to or listening to the interviewer. If you don’t, you’ll look disinterested. And that one fact may be enough to spoil your chances for building a career with that practice.
Listen to the interviewer and don’t be afraid to ask if you’re unclear on a particular question. Ensure you speak clearly and try to state examples of work you have done before that support your answers.
At the end of the meeting – If you’re still really interested in the job, tell them! Interviewers have spoken to us after interviews before and not been sure if our candidate was actually interested in the job! Also, if it hasn’t already been covered it’s worth asking when you should expect to hear the outcome. Ensure you shake hands at the end of the meeting.
Unless salary/package is brought up by the interviewer, it’s a subject that’s best avoided. If you’re being offered the position and you want more time to consider it, ask for full details of the offer and politely let them know that you’ll respond to their offer via us. This will give you time to think about it without upsetting anyone. You should advise your decision within 24 hours. Of course, if the offer is everything you’re looking for and you want to accept on the spot, go for it!
Please remember to give us a call immediately after your interview so we can gain your “gut feeling” about the job and gain your full feedback. Feedback is two way and we will ensure we contact the interviewer to gain their feedback on you.
We also help practices prepare for interviews and would welcome the opportunity to help with this, so please give us a call!