Vet Assistant Sample Interview Questions

Vet assistant interviews focus on teamwork skills and animal experience.

Vet assistant interviews focus on teamwork skills and animal experience.

Veterinary assistants provide direct care to animals in clinics and hospitals. They monitor animals' well-being, remaining alert to changes in patient symptoms and signs of distress. They also clean equipment, kennels and cages and collect samples for testing. They may also administer medications or fluids or perform diagnostic testing under the supervision of veterinarians and veterinary technicians. A vet assistant interview will focus on experience with animals, ethics and personal attributes.

Animal Handling

Vet assistants often assist with restraint during procedures. They also walk dogs, bathe animals and provide other direct handling. Interview questions might include, "Tell me about when you held an animal during a procedure," or "Tell me about an experience you had with an aggressive animal," or "Tell me about when you provided long-term treatment to an animal, and how did it turn out." The last question in particular allows the candidate to give a more comprehensive picture of her skills including her emotional investment in the profession.

Technical Skills

A candidate may be asked to describe, in specific detail, how she would perform certain technical tasks such as performing a temperature check on an animal, running a urineanalysis or sterilizing operating room equipment. A question in an interview might be, "Detail step-by-step how you would perform a temperature check on a dog recovering from dental surgery," or "What are the steps in a urineanalysis?" For technical questions, it is important for the candidate to answer clearly and in detail to make it clear she knows the correct procedure.

Workplace Skills

Vet assistants must work as part of a team, but also independently. A question designed to assess these skills might include, "How do you balance co-operation and initiative?" Being detail-oriented is also essential, so a question might also include, "Describe a past experience in which you were required to be detail-oriented and were successful." "How do you organize and prioritize your work?" is a question that can assess a candidate's ability to multitask.

Medical Care

As the first point of contact for most of an animal's care, vet assistants may have to provide on-the-spot intervention. Questions might include, "Have you ever had to provide emergency medical care to an animal? How did it work out?" In addition, a question along the same lines might be, "Tell me of your experience administering medications and fluids to an animal."

Ethics

Veterinary work can be emotionally difficult. Questions that assess past experience with animal health to determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the clinic or hospital might include, "Have you ever assisted with euthanasia? How did you feel about the experience?"

2016 Salary Information for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers earned a median annual salary of $25,250 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers earned a 25th percentile salary of $21,170, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $30,460, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 83,800 people were employed in the U.S. as veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers.

 

About the Author

Catherine Lovering has written about business, tax, careers and pets since 2006. Lovering holds a B.A. (political science), LL.B. (law) and LL.L. (civil law).

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