Illustration of a doctor in an exam room working on a computer

Why this matters:

Flea-and-tick prevention is very common in veterinary care. This question helps you assess the candidate's knowledge of the newest flea-and-tick medications — including what’s most appropriate for people’s pets. Their answer will tell you what they prioritize when prescribing medications or recommending treatment, such as medical history or ease of application.

What to listen for:

  • Up-to-date knowledge of flea-and-tick products
  • Consideration for the pet owner’s preference and lifestyle
  • Ability to account for potential allergies or complications

Why this matters:

Veterinarians perform dozens of annual physicals each week. This question helps you determine whether the candidate is aware of the latest guidelines for these routine checks, how skilled and thorough they are, what they look for, how they handle different animals across a range of responses, and how they communicate the results to pet owners.

What to listen for:

  • Expertise in the latest physical exam guidelines
  • Ability to communicate effectively with pet owners
  • Proficient at keeping pets calm and cooperative

Why this matters:

The answer to this question will give you an idea of the candidate’s level of training on complex diseases and their approach to treating them. Listen as they explain the latest cancer treatment options for pets, whether they prefer a more aggressive or conservative approach, and how they involve pet owners and specialists in their treatment plan.

What to listen for:

  • Willingness to make referrals to specialists when needed
  • Awareness of the latest cancer treatments
  • Ability to include the pet owner in their treatment plans

Why this matters:

Pet owners sometimes have a different opinion about what their pet needs, leading to disagreements with their veterinarian over treatment options. This question allows you to assess the candidate's approach to these situations — and their ability to remain respectful, professional, and patient-focused during any conflict resolution.

What to listen for:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Understanding of different conflict-resolution tactics
  • The ability to keep a level head and remain respectful and professional

Why this matters:

Whether poorly trained or in distress, many animals can act out when visiting the vet. It is important for a veterinarian to know how to handle these situations so they can keep everyone safe while still doing their job effectively. Look for a range of techniques for handling poor and even dangerous pet behavior. 

What to listen for:

  • Techniques to diffuse a stressed, angry, or aggressive animal
  • Compassion and empathy
  • Knowledge of why an animal may be acting out

Why this matters:

Pet care can be prohibitively expensive, and many pet owners lack the funds needed to proceed with treatment — especially if complicated conditions are involved. Conversely, some pet owners are unwilling to let their animals go, even when veterinarians recommend humane end-of-life euthanasia. It is important for a veterinarian to be able to navigate care in these situations.

What to listen for:

  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • The ability to think outside the box
  • The ability to express their concern while respecting the owner’s situation

Why this matters:

The answer to this question will help you assess the candidate's ability to provide support to pet owners who are in distress over the loss of their pet. The candidate may mention ways in which they can personally support the owner with this loss, as well as resources available to help with grief.

What to listen for:

  • Resources to help a grieving pet owner
  • The ability to be compassionate
  • Examples of how they would provide support

Why this matters:

Veterinarians must sometimes give distressing news to pet owners. Whether their pet is terminally ill, needs to be put down, or something else, the news can be difficult to deal with. Beyond scientific knowledge and aptitude, the veterinarian must embody strong empathy, compassion, and interpersonal skills.

What to listen for:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • The ability to empathize with pet owners
  • The ability to always prioritize the animal’s well-being

Why this matters:

Like any medical field, veterinary medicine continues to advance and evolve. The answer to this question shows how proactive the candidate is in staying informed about important news in this field. You are looking for the candidate to reference specific ways they would stay up to date with advances in veterinary medicine.

What to listen for:

  • An understanding of why it’s important to stay on top of industry news
  • A desire to keep learning
  • Examples of materials they read to keep up — such as specific scientific articles
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