I posed a question to veterinary clinic owner, a veterinarian who’s been in the business nearly three decades. He also has been responsible for hiring veterinary technician, many of whom have been recent graduates.
Is there advice would could provide to a recent graduate of a veterinary technician program that would help him/her get hired.
Over the years, I’ve had a chance to hire lots of vet techs. The first thing that comes to mind when conducting interviews is the persons attitude and how they may or may not, for that matter, get along with the other staff. As important as education and experience are, a person who won’t get along with my staff won’t find a place there.
When at an interview don’t be afraid to show you real self, as that is with whom we’ll be working.
Don’t dish on your previous employers. Speaking poorly of others is reflected on you. Even if you did have a bad experience kept it to yourself, unless you can be constructive. This kind of thing may indicate issues with you more than your previous employer, such as lack of respect for your position or issues with authority.
Then there are the basics, the common sense things so many candidates forget. When you go to an interview dress well. It still amazes me that so many people come in with grubs on, t-shirts, jeans, sneakers, headphones on.
The job interview is not a place to be unique to be bold or part of the crowd. You don’t want to make a statement, you want a job. So, in addition to coming in clean cut and groomed, remove excess jewelry and/or earrings in odd places.
You’ll be interacting with customers of the clinic on a regular basis and you’ll be a reflection of the clinic. Often you’ll see people in distress you’ll need to instill confidence.
This confidence needs to also extend to your communication skills. I want to have vet techs and other staff that can easily talk to people and communicate with ease. If you have a hard time doing this there are programs that can help, such as ‘Conversation Confidence’, it will help you not only on the job, but for the rest of your life. While animals are our business, the pet owners are the ones with whom we communicate.
A very savvy thing to do by candidates is the prepare for the interview by learning about the clinic, what its done, its specialties, history, rewards and activities. The best candidates are usually the ones that target certain clinics and can show why they want to work there versus other clinics.
Make sure you have good references: focus on those related to animal care. If you don’t think early and consider being a volunteer at an animal shelter. An education is important, but so is some experience.
If you are a new grad, that extra effort you made and experience you gains will go a long way. Don’t expect too much, but aim high. Be open and willing to learn. Being a vet tech is so much more than loving animals, you’re going to be part of a team and that team or team leader will need to make sure you’ll be a good fit.