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Veterinary Assistant Interview Questions

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  1. How did you help your previous employer with lab work as a veterinary assistant? See answer
  2. Have you ever had an animal patient who became nervous or agitated during an appointment? If so, what methods did you use to calm them down? See answer
  3. As a veterinary assistant, do you believe remaining calm under pressure is vital to your role? How so?
  4. What types of cleaning duties did you perform in your previous role as a veterinary assistant?
  5. Did you perform any clerical duties as a veterinary assistant at your previous job? If so, what examples can you provide?
  6. What are your qualifications as a veterinary assistant? What areas would you like to familiarize yourself with through additional training or education?
  7. In your opinion, what is the most fulfilling part of a veterinary assistant’s job?
  8. What types of pets do you have the most experience working with?
  9. How would you describe your role as a veterinary assistant in relation to a veterinarian?
  10. A pet-owner is concerned during an appointment because their dog keeps eating grass. They ask why and if it’s okay. What do you tell them?
  11. What is a healthy heart rate for a cat? How about a small or large dog?
  12. Do you have experience bathing or grooming animals? If so, what methods and products do you use for different breeds?
  13. How do you measure food portions and determine dietary needs for animals in your care?
  14. In your opinion, how much exercise should dogs receive each day to maintain their health?
  15. What’s the largest volume of pets you’ve cared for in a kennel facility?
  16. How would you rate your interpersonal communication skills as a veterinary assistant to communicate with pets and pet owners?
  17. Do you have any experience helping veterinarians before, during or after surgical procedures?
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6 Veterinary Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

As a veterinary assistant, do you believe remaining calm under pressure is vital to your role?

A:

Someone who has experience as a veterinary assistant understands that a vet’s office is an ever-changing environment. They face upsetting situations when pets are euthanized or die in the office. They understand that animals react differently during visits. Sometimes, the patients are challenging. You want a vet assistant who maintains control over his or her emotions and provides fast assistance for the vet, the staff and pet owners. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience handling challenging pets
  • Has exceptional problem-solving skills
  • Handles detrimental circumstances without becoming too emotional

Example:

“As a veterinary assistant, it is vital to remain calm since the animals sense emotions and could react negatively. The pet owners also need emotional support during difficult situations.”

Q:

As a veterinary assistant, what type of cleaning duties did you perform?

A:

Someone who has experience as a veterinary assistant performs several cleaning duties for the vet’s office. They understand that it is necessary to keep all rooms, including the kennels, clean at all times. You want a veterinary assistant who knows that bacteria spreads quickly and presents a risk to the animals. Pay attention to the candidate’s attitude about the cleaning duties. What to look for in an answer:

  • A positive attitude about the job requirements
  • Understands the importance of sanitation services
  • Experience with boarding services

Example:

“Working at a vet’s office, I cleaned the kennels, exam rooms, operating rooms and all surgical equipment daily to keep the office sanitized and free of bacteria. It’s one of the best ways to keep our patients healthy.”

Q:

How did you help your previous employer with lab work as a veterinary assistant?

A:

Someone who has experience as a veterinary assistant has lifted heavy animals for treatment and during procedures. They are comfortable with most animals especially dogs and cats. You want an assistant who isn’t afraid of any type of animal and understands that patient care is their top primary. You want an assistant whom pet owners will trust will make them feel comfortable while their pets are receiving treatments. What to look for in an answer:

  • The ability to lift at least 25 pounds
  • Experience handling a variety of animals
  • History of following safety protocol

Example:

“Working closely with the vet and the technicians, I held and comforted animals while blood was drawn for lab work. My role was to keep the pets calm and prevent potential injuries.”

Q:

Did you perform any clerical duties as a veterinary assistant?

A:

Someone with experience as a veterinary assistant may have office skills. They may be needed, during busy times, to answer multiple line phone systems, transfer calls and direct calls to voicemail. They create invoices for pet owners, collect payments and print out receipts. You want an assistant with at least entry-level skills to perform these duties. You also want a candidate with a sunny disposition who makes pet owners feel at ease. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with word processing and accounting software
  • Possesses at least basic clerical skills
  • Friendly and is a people person

Example:

“I managed incoming phone calls, assisted pet owners and performed clerical duties for the office. Working closely with the office manager, I created invoices for pet owners who had outstanding balances.”

Q:

What are your qualifications as a veterinary assistant?

A:

Someone who wants to become a veterinary assistant has at least a high school diploma and experience with animals. They don’t need a degree to qualify for an entry-level position, though some degrees exist for this position. At a minimum, you want someone who has some experience even if it was as a volunteer at a shelter. You also want a candidate who is empathetic and loves animals. What to look for in an answer:

  • A high school graduate or graduate of a vet tech training course
  • Experience working with domesticated pets
  • Some on-the-job training and experience

Example:

“I have two years of experience working in a vet office. I have completed some coursework for a veterinarian technician degree and am scheduled to graduate next year.”

Q:

Have you ever had an animal patient who became nervous or agitated during an appointment? If so, what methods did you use to calm them down?

A:

Veterinary assistants are responsible for helping veterinarians keep animals calm and still during appointments. This question allows an interviewer to gauge a candidate's previous professional experience with animals and their strategies for helping animals feel comfortable during appointments.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Empathy for animals
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills

Here is one example of a quality candidate answer:

Example:

"Yes, in my previous job, I'd encounter a range of nerves each day. Usually, dogs, in particular, would either display nerves by shaking or getting aggressive. Because of this, I found different strategies that work for each situation. When a pet seems scared and shaky, I typically take out some toys to distract them with. When a pet seems like they could potentially bite me, I make sure to use my voice to calm them and refrain from making eye contact or trying to pet them."

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