Over the next month and into the new year, the majority of vet school interviews will be taking place. During my Dick Vet Instagram takeover last week, many asked me for advice on upcoming interviews. Although I cannot disclose the nature of the interviews, I can share with you some of the ways I prepared for my vet school interviews 3 years ago and any other tips I found helpful for interview day.
- Read up and research (but not excessively!): You cannot prepare for specific interview questions or practice particular stations, because interviews for different schools and for different years will vary. However, one thing I did before my interviews was reading up on the school I was attending an interview for, as well as reading up on current events in the vet community/vet news. Doing this reading helped me realize which vet schools would be the best match for me (and why), and what issues in veterinary medicine were most relevant and interesting to me. A nice web resource I used (for the UK) was VetTimes, which I signed up for with my email and received weekly email updates with current vet news.
- Review your CV: What I also did before my interviews was read over my CV. Even though I knew what schools I went too, where I volunteered etc., interview stress can sometimes make you forget even the most obvious things you’ve done in your life!
- Don’t think of it as an interview: I had several interviews when applying to vet school, and one thing I did for my final interviews as a way to calm my nerves was to think of the interviews as just a chance for the school to get to know me better (because it is hard to know a person fully just on paper), AND for me to get to know the school better to see if I wanted to attend that particular school! In fact, a few of my reasons for choosing a particular vet school over another came down to how I perceived the interview, including the friendliness and approachability of professors and staff conducting the interview.
- Don’t get stuck on one “bad” question or station: Some advice that I received from vets that I had shadowed prior to my interviews was to not worry about one question or station I was stuck on or thought I did poorly on. The interview will not be solely based on that section, and in a station style interview, the evaluators from the other stations will not know how you did on the station/question you’re worried about. So in a situation where it feels like you messed up, there is no need to worry: put that question/station behind you and start the next part of the interview with a fresh mindset 🙂
- Most importantly I think, is to be yourself!: This sounds extremely cheesy, but you can really use your individuality, talents and personal academic background to your advantage in any application/interview. For example, I did my undergraduate degree in biology and art history. The latter did not directly prepare me for a career in veterinary medicine. However, what I can say from doing half of my degree in art history is that I have a strength in reading and analyzing literature, as well as writing papers, which can be applied to a variety of disciplines (including vet med and scientific research!)
Good luck with your interview!