Interview Advice

Our graduates are all over the country and the world in many different veterinary colleges. Here is some of the advice they have to give you on interviewing.

Rebecca RadisicThe biggest piece of advice I can give before an interview is to just relax, whether it’s a formal interview or an multiple mini-interviews (MMI).  To prepare for my formal interviews, I reviewed my actual VMCAS application just to remind myself of the experiences I listed. However, I found that this really wasn’t necessary because many of the questions focused on experiences that truly were important to me and already stood out in my head! Also, it’s fun to talk about what you’re passionate about. Some questions did center around possible future career goals (don’t worry, this does NOT have to be set in stone and I found interviewers appreciated when I was honest about not being entirely sure where my path would take me). I was asked a few ethical questions regarding professionalism, convenience euthanasia, and cheating/conduct in class. Overall my interviewers were very relaxed and easy to talk to despite the formal attire needed. I actually found MMI’s more fun!                  Rebecca Radisic (UD ’15)

Becca GThe MMI is basically like speed dating and I personally thought it was SO much fun. There are 8 stations and each has a scenario on the door you have to interpret in your own way and you have a minute to think about it and jot things down. Then you go into the interview room and discuss the scenario with the interviewer. These are impossible to prepare for so honestly just be yourself and try to have fun with it.  I really liked it because even if you didn’t have good rapport with an interviewer, there were many others for you to connect and make a good impression with. Some of the interviewers are even students, so there is no reason to be intimidated. The best advice I can give is that you should stand by your initial response to whatever the scenario might be — in some of the scenarios, the interviewer may try to question your response or try to get you to change your mind, and it’s important to show that you are firm in what you believe in — there are no wrong answers to any of the scenarios.                          Rebecca Gounaris (UD ’12)

Beth Goodland (2)My interview at Tufts University lasted between 20-40 minutes, and was with 2 faculty members. It was a typical interview with pretty casual questions about the application I submitted, and my plans for the future. The interview day includes a tour, a couple small talks and lunch.            Beth Goodland (UD ’13)

LilyThe most important advice I could give (really for any interview!) is that there absolutely is a way to be both professional AND passionate. By this point they know your “stats” and they’ve read what you’ve written, so they want to see how you are in person, how you interact with others and how clearly you express your opinions. They are NOT trying to trip you up – they really do want to hear about why YOU want to be there because they are already interested in you!  Don’t get caught up with trying to impress them or say the right “buzzwords” or stifle emotion to sound mature – you’re there for a reason and they want to hear why you’re excited and passionate about this incredible field – if you’re there, you’re already a great candidate, so be humble and honest with your answers, know what you’re talking about and just enjoy it!            Lily Greener (UD ’15)

Jess ApplebaumI am putting “formal” in quotes because it’s still formal in the fact that you need to dress up, but interviews are more conversational than anything. With the exception of St. George’s, all the interviews included a tour of the facility and then an interview with admissions officers. Tufts provided lunch, and the University of Pennsylvania had a happy hour afterwards. I had an early admissions interview at Florida, and they had a student panel and “debriefing” after the interview. My advice would be to practice answering interview questions out loud. Always have a couple questions to ask the interviewers! They were all conversational, and Penn and Tufts were all like, “Oh, you know Bob Dyer? How’s he doing?”  They aren’t out to get you. They just want to get to know you, so try to relax and be yourself. Don’t forget to smile :).                   Jessica Applebaum (UD ’14)

maxIn an MMI, it’s all about being yourself and having examples of things you’ve experienced in your life, not necessarily internships or vet things either, anything. I really enjoyed it and prefer it over normal interviews that I did elsewhere.           Max Manse (UD ’14)

Jen Massuci During formal interviews, like the ones I had at the University of Pennsylvania and Ohio State each student sits down with two faculty members and answers questions asked of them. The interview atmosphere is friendly, but formal as faculty members want to get a good idea of who the student is, what their career goals are, and what they have done so far to prepare for a career in veterinary medicine. They will ask about previous experiences (research, animal experience, extracurricular activities), future goals, and present ethical questions relating to veterinary medicine (e.g. euthanizing a healthy but unwanted puppy). Interviews last 30 minutes.                    Jennifer Masucci (UD ’13)

Araiana SThe MMI process is actually kind of nice because you get a fresh start in every room! So if you think you messed up in one room, don’t panic, they don’t know what happened.  You have a minute to read the scenario before you go in and then you discuss it until you’ve finished answering the question or you run out of time. If you finish early, the interviewers will usually ask more about you, but it doesn’t affect their scores at all. It’s a little hard to read them because they aren’t supposed to give you any kind of feedback, but most of them are nice and encouraging throughout the process. Interviewers include faculty and professors and alumni.                                      Ariana Shakory (UD’15)

Meg ClarkAt Purdue, I had 2 interviewers that were alumni of the school ask questions about group work, how you work in a group, do you enjoy it, and do you work well with others. They also asked about scenarios like “what if you had a homosexual person in your group and others were making fun of the person, what would you do?” etc.  They asked me about stress and leadership, and brought up some of the things that were mentioned in my recommendation letters and wanted to know how I felt about them. They also asked general questions about why I wanted to go to Purdue? etc.                                                                  Megan Clark (UD’14)  

12071855_10205493202874046_1266997224_nMy interview day at Western University was led by students, so it is low stress! For my actual interview, two faculty members asked questions about my personality. You are not required to talk about any of your animal experiences but could if you want to. Mainly, they want to know if you would fit well into the Problem Based Learning (PBL) curriculum that they have at Western. Experiences working in groups, with confrontation, as a leader, etc. are all questions that they ask. The interview day also includes a tour of campus, Q&A session with current students, a mock PBL session (to better understand the curriculum), and a financial aid & admissions session.                Monica Sterk (UD ’13)

Dom Scaffa I interviewed at Tufts, U. Penn and Cornell. First off there is actually NO interview at Cornell. They just have an  accepted students/wait-listed day(s) where you get to tour the campus.  My interview at Tufts was pretty casual and conversational. They feel they already know a lot about you academically so they tend to focus on you as a person (personality, ability to work in groups, ethical questions, hobbies outside of animals). For U. Penn I had a tour and interview with two faculty members. Some question topics I can remember from the interviews are: reporting someone for cheating, euthanasia and my study abroad. Interviewers try to make you feel comfortable. They ask what you hope to do in the future and where you see yourself going within the career.                  Dominic Scaffa (UD ’14) 

Robyn WhiteBecause St. Georges University (SGU) is an island school, they interview differently depending on if they have recruiters in your area or not. I had a skype interview with an alum. I know a few other students who had in-person interviews at other locations in the US. It was pretty relaxed and we just talked about the animal and clinical related experiences I had as well as research experience. I feel like they just wanted me to elaborate on everything I listed on my application and there were definitely no tricky or intimidating questions. They also focused on allowing me to tell them about myself and my personality. It was very conversational and low stress so I really felt confident and enjoyed it. Another feature is that they were interested in not only interviewing me, but answering any questions I had about the university. Since SGU is an island school, there’s a lot of potential stress between traveling and finding off campus housing on the island, but she put my mind at ease well before I’d even been accepted into the school.                          Robyn White (UD ’13)   

Bill CMy interview at the University of Tennessee was with 2 faculty members and a fourth year student. It was very casual and conversational, similar to the Ohio State interview. The colleges just want to see if you’re able to talk and match the person you sold yourself as through your experience and personal statement. Remember if you got the interview then you already beat out all those other applicants!                        Bill Ciancarelli (UD ’15)