Veterinary technology is a field that is showing sustained and robust growth in the United States. With the importance many families place on obtaining proper care for their pets, coupled with a growing emphasis on ensuring the health of production, zoo and research animals, the need for qualified veterinary technicians is higher than ever before.
However, even after a vet tech has completed his or her training and licensure process, there is still the challenge of being hired by a veterinary clinic, research lab, or other employer.
This not only requires the vet tech to be professionally qualified but to also be prepared to make a good impression at the initial job interview for the position of vet tech.
Preparing for the Interview
Some of the most important parts of a successful interview occur before the applicant walks in the door. For this reason, the vet tech applicant should complete the following steps in order to ensure that he or she makes a favorable impression.
Fill out the Application Correctly
A common error on the part of an applicant is to fail to correctly fill out the job application. This can often result in the candidate being denied the job in favor of individuals who have correctly completed their application. If possible, the application should be typed, not handwritten in order to ensure that it can be easily read by the recipients.
In addition, the applicant should make certain that all supporting documentation is included in the proper formant. This can include proof of citizenship, documentation of the applicant’s educational and professional achievements, and any letters of recommendation.
Applicants should carefully read any instructions regarding submission requirements. Many businesses require that transcripts and other proof of a professional education be sent from the vet tech’s school, rather than being sent directly by the vet tech.
Understand the Business
Vet techs work in a wide range of fields, and as such, any candidate should be knowledgeable about his or her potential employer. This includes knowing the history of the business, its primary purpose and its company culture. This can be especially important when applying to smaller veterinary practices, which often have their own customs that the applicant will have to conform to.
When attending an interview the vet tech should always dress appropriately. In most cases, unless the company has explicitly stated otherwise, this means business attire. Gaudy or ragged clothes should be avoided. It is important to remember that the interviewer will assume that the candidate is dressed at his or her best for the interview and draw the logical conclusions about the candidate’s likely appearance should he or she be hired.
However, as a vet tech carries out a number of activities that would be unsuitable for office attire, the candidate should check in advance to determine if the interview will also include any practical tests of the vet tech’s skills. If so, the candidate should ask if work clothing will be provided, and if not, does the interviewer wish the candidate to arrive at the interview already prepared for work? If so, the vet tech should don the type of clothing that is appropriate for his or her duties, although this clothing should be both new and recently cleaned.
Arrive on Time
One of the most common errors of a job candidate is to fail to arrive on time.
The vet tech candidate should make certain that he or she knows where the interview is to take place, and has both primary and alternate ways to get to the interview on time.
In addition, the candidate should plan to arrive early. Not only does this help ensure that unexpected traffic delays will not result in a late arrival, but also shows that the candidate is eager to make a good impression on his or her potential employer.
At the Interview
The interview is where the vet tech must be able to demonstrate his or her abilities to the company’s management. In some cases, the interview will be conducted by the owner, while many larger companies will have an official from human relations (HR), conduct the interview. In either case, a successful interview will help the vet tech obtain the job he or she is seeking.
The vet tech should demonstrate by word and body language that he or she is eager to obtain employment. By being interested in what the interviewer is stating, the vet tech can show that he or she understands the level of responsibility the employer would be entrusting the vet tech with. This will help demonstrate that the vet tech will make a valuable contribution to the company’s productivity and office culture.
When responding to the interviewer’s questions, it is important to be direct, rather than providing vague answers. A vet tech is expected to be able to fulfill his or her duties even when under stress and an ability to directly answer any interview questions will help show that he or she is capable of communicating with others no matter the situation. Equally, the vet tech should not be afraid to ask the interviewer to restate any unclear questions in order to eliminate the potential for a misunderstanding.
Although a job interview can be intimidating, a vet tech has already completed his or her education and has every reason to be confident about the interview.
By being calm, understanding and complying with the interview requirements while demonstrating his or her enthusiasm about the job, the vet tech can dramatically improve the probability that he or she will be selected for permanent employment.