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Interview Advice

This might be helpful to folks applying this year…

Hey David, Congratulations on getting interviews! Here is what I remember from visiting Tufts and Illinois: Tufts was one of my more laid back and relaxed interviews. It was with 2 faculty members who were both really friendly. We all introduced ourselves and they explained a lot about their positions at the school and the research they were doing, etc. They started out asking me questions about my application (about my vet experience and how I liked Stanford, how I ended up out there when I was from MD, basic things like that) and as I answered them the interview definitely started to feel more like a conversation and just flowed pretty naturally. One of the questions that I remember was about what my response would be if a client came into my clinic and asked me to euthanize his healthy puppies simply because he didn't want to deal with them, which I think is a question that I was asked in another interview also. The interview was my longest, I think somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes, but probably my least stressful. Going on the tour and to a few of the info sessions was fun too, I remember that everyone there was super friendly. The Illinois interview had 2 parts to it. There were 5 interviewers in the room, and for the first part they went around and each asked me a question, which I'm pretty sure were from a list that they asked every person being interviewed. I wish I could remember exactly what the questions were but they related more to life experiences than veterinary stuff. I think one of my questions might have been about a leadership experience I'd had. This part definitely felt very formal, no one provides any feedback or says anything in response to your answer except, "OK, thank you." The second part of the interview was more like a normal interview would be and they were able to respond to my answers and ask follow up questions, although I have to admit that I remember less about this part. I do remember that they asked me if there was any question that I wish they would have asked, so maybe you could have something in mind in case they ask that again. I think I said that I wished they had asked about my previous vet experience, so that way I was able to talk to them about my work with the monkeys and in the clinic. As for general interview advice, I would really say just be relaxed, be yourself and show them that you're excited about veterinary medicine. Before my interviews, I browsed through the AVMA website and tried to learn about current issues in the field and looked up basic veterinary information like puppy vaccination schedules because I was afraid that I would be asked something that I didn't know, but I was never once asked anything that was meant to test my knowledge at any of my interviews. Learning about current issues is probably still a good idea, but just don't stress about it. I really felt at all of my interviews that they were just trying to get to know me. That said, I think it would be a good idea to have some stories ready about leadership experiences, tough decisions, "moral dilemmas" (I was asked this question at the VA-MD interview, where I am now, and it stumped me because I had just talked about a tough decision and couldn't think of anything to say!), and maybe some favorite or interesting stories about working in the clinic or with Chris and the monkeys. It's also a good idea to know a little about the program at the school that you're interviewing with and what you like about it. Several schools, including Tufts I think, asked me what it was about their school that made me apply and want to attend there. Overall, I was asked several questions about past life experiences, a few moral questions (multiple about euthanasia like the one I mentioned earlier), and otherwise just questions about my application and past veterinary/academic experiences. Also, they always ask you if you have any questions for them at the end, so I would usually try to come up with a question or two beforehand to make sure I seemed interested in the program. And remember that they're trying to sell themselves to you too! Let me know if there's any other questions that I can answer for you! I know that this is such a stressful time, but try not to let it get to you too much. Good luck! Best, Heather (Graham) Stanford ’08, Currently 2nd yr at VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

Issue 2, August 2009

PreVet Club Newsletter

Page 2

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