5 Interview Questions for Vet Nursing Candidates

Hiring talent for your vet clinic can be a challenging task. Lots of people love animals and want to start a career working with them. While loving animals is an admirable trait, it may not mean the candidate has the skills to perform the many tasks required of a vet nurse in your clinic. How do you weed through all of your vet nurisng applicants to find your future favorite employee? We’ve developed a few key questions to help you gage skill and teamwork traits.

  1. Tell me about one of your favorite cases or procedure that you assisted with?

You want to recruit team members that are passionate about their jobs and eager to learn new skills. Asking about past patients lets you get a better understanding of the skill level it would take to treat those animals. A question like this is also a great ice breaker to help the candidate relax and prepare for the tough questions.

  1. Explain a situation where you helped a coworker earn a promotion or gain a skill?

Working in a vet clinic is a team sport. One vet nurse is needed to restrain an animal while the other nurse performs the treatment. It’s critical to your clinic’s success that everyone gets along and are willing to help each other. The answer to this question can help you figure out who wants to be a part of a team and who wants to only look out for themselves.

  1. What resources and tools do you use to improve your skills and learn about changes in the industry?

Veterinary medicine, like all forms of medicine, is constantly changing and progressing. A vet nurse who is motivated to stay on top of these trends and new treatments will also be motivated to take great care of your patients. Feel free to ask follow up questions about any recent CE or articles they have read.

  1. Pretend I’m a client. How would you explain a dental procedure and why anesthesia is necessary?

Ask technical questions to get a sense for the knowledge base of your vet tech applicant. If you don’t offer dentals, feel free to ask about another procedure that requires multiple steps such as exam, blood work, IV catheter placement, and recovery from anesthesia. The interviewee doesn’t need to know your hospital’s policies to explain the process. Not only are you going to test their knowledge, but you’ll also get an idea of how they interact with clients.

  1. How would you respond to the following client phone call? “I have a dog that weighs 100 pounds, he just ate a Hershey chocolate kiss, what should I do?”

Giving medical advice over the phone is a big no-no in most vet clinics. It puts the hospital at risk as well as the animal. This question will test a number of skills. One, it will reveal how familiar the candidate is with chocolate toxicities, one of the most common questions vet clinics receive. Two, it will let you get a feel for how they guide clients when the question is not a simple yes or no answer. Finally, a correct answer should include talking to the vet on staff. You want to make sure you hire vet nurses who are willing to confirm with the doctors before supplying advice. This should help you avoid lone rangers side stepping doctors’ orders.

Posting new jobs and hiring vet nurses is just one of the many jobs on your plate. You can increase your chances of hiring the perfect tech to fit your company culture by asking technical and role playing questions. Questions like these will test your candidate’s technical and communication skills.