5 common veterinary nurse interview questions

Congratulations, you’ve been shortlisted for a veterinary nurse interview but now the big day is rapidly approaching and you’re not sure what to expect. Don’t panic! Our experienced consultants are here to help. Carry on reading for a handpicked selection of common questions bound to arise during your interview. 


1.Do you have a pet of your own?


Let’s start simple. This question is a great opportunity to demonstrate your personal interest in the profession and that you are experienced in caring for animals outside of work. If you don’t own an animal, you could discuss your favourite animal to work with and why. In either case, make sure you are clear about which species you are comfortable with and highlight any unique experience that may help you stand out as a candidate. 


2. How do you keep animals calm during procedures? 


Give a specific example of a time where you were able to mitigate the stress of an animal under your care by using certain approaches. It’s even ok to share a time where a tactic may not have gone to plan as long as you share what you learned from the experience and how you would apply your newly acquired knowledge next time. 

3.What qualities do you have that will make you a good veterinary nurse? 


This question will help your prospective employer better understand who you are as a professional, as well as what you deem important characteristics in a veterinary nurse. We recommend illustrating your soft skills with concrete examples when answering this one. For example “I think decision making is paramount to being a good veterinary nurse because X, I demonstrated this when faced with Y challenge in my last practice.” 

4.How do you reassure pet owners in stressful/emotionally charged situations?


As a practising veterinary nurse there will unfortunately be many occasions where you will have to comfort anxious or grieving pet owners. The employer wants to see your empathetic side shine through here, as well as your ability to handle negative situations. Make sure to emphasise how you would acknowledge the situation as difficult in a calm and collected tone, and explain next steps to the owner. 


Top tip: Using the pet’s name in this context will illustrate that you are treating them as the important member of the family that they are. 


5. Tell me about a memorable procedure you have performed so far in your veterinary career? 


Here you have the chance to share your professional experience and showcase areas where you have excelled as a veterinary nurse so far. It will also help the interviewer gauge what you’re interested in and where there may be gaps in your knowledge. Be sure to be passionate when answering this question as it will show your dedication to the role and desire to learn more about the industry. 


Final thoughts


Overall, it is important to prepare for your interview ahead of time (not the night before!) so you are clear on what your most valuable skills are, experience that gives you a competitive edge over other candidates and most importantly – why you want the role so much. 


We hope the questions provided above will help give you some clarity on what to expect in your next veterinary nurse interview. Best of luck!


For further career advice or insight into our latest vacancies, be sure to get in touch with our team via email at [email protected].