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Interview tips for veterinary technicians.

Species: Dog
Breed: Fox Terrier
Age: Less than 3 mon
I actually had a question not related to a pet, if that is okay. What advice would you give to a newly graduated veterinary technician to get hired in a veterinary clinic when faced with competing candidates.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hey, that's a great question! Congrats on your new career! Did you see the article I just wrote about veterinary technicians?

I have been involved in hiring a lot of vet techs and other veterinary staff. I would say that the MOST important thing I have found when I am doing an interview is that I feel that the person has a good attitude and will get along well with my staff. Don't be afraid to joke around a little and talk about non work related things like a movie you just saw or the Oscars or something like that.

A big turn off for me is when a potential job candidate speaks poorly of their previous clinic or employer. Even if you've had a bad experience, try to honor any previous employers and other vet clinics. My thought is that if they speak badly of them, they will likely speak poorly of me one day. It also makes me think that there is a possibility that the candidate has issues with authority.

This may seem whacky, but something *I* would do if I were in your shoes is to show up with a bunch of cupcakes. I would put a sign on the container saying, "Suck Up Cupcakes". If it came down to deciding between you and someone else, if you've brought cupcakes for the staff that could actually make the difference.

Then, there are common sense things like make sure that you dress nicely. I am amazed at how many people come to a job interview with ripped jeans and a t-shirt. If you wear piercings in unusual places, remove them. A job interview is not a place to make a statement.

If you are in the waiting room and there are clients there, then interact with them and their pets. I want to see a vet tech who loves interacting with people and will make my clients happy. I've met a few who are great with animals but terrified of talking with people.

Another thing you can do is do some research on the clinic. It's great to say to the manager things like, "So you guys have been in business 15 years now. That's great!", or, "I saw that your clinic just gave $2000 to the ABC fund!"...and then research to find out what the ABC fund is about.

You want to make sure that you have good references, hopefully from veterinary sources. If you don't, then if you're having trouble getting a job it may be worthwhile to volunteer at the animal shelter or something similar.

As far as knowledge goes, if you are a new grad, don't be worried that you don't know everything. I don't expect that in a new grad. But I want to see a willingness to learn. If you get a working interview where you get to work for a day and you have to put a catheter in a kitten and can't get it, don't worry. What I want to see is that you can handle the pressure ok and don't get stressed and freak out.

Hopefully those tips help. This has been an interesting question. I will likely write an article soon about the topic!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Dr. Marie,

Thank you for your extensive reply. Can I use your answer on my website the VetTechGuide.org, with a link or no link if you prefer back to your site?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Glad you liked it. :) I just recently published some information about sharing stuff from my site: Sharing info from AskAVetQuestion.com. If you have questions, let me know.

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.