Graduation is Approaching: Tips on Finding the Right Practice for You!
Posted on March 27, 2012
It seemed like you would never finish veterinary school yet, suddenly, graduation is approaching and you are getting ready for the real world! If you have chosen not to do an internship and are headed into practice, there are things to consider and ways to prepare yourself in order to find the right job.
The interview process for a new job can be intimidating. Not every practice you interview with will be a good fit for you. In fact, it may take some searching to find a practice you feel comfortable with.
1 ) Prepare good Curriculum Vitae. Keep your resume up to date; include schools attended/degrees, recent and related job experience, volunteer work, skills, and interests (personal and professional). Be complete but concise.
2 ) Do some research. Try to find out a little bit about the practice prior to your interview. What hours are they open and what hours would you be expected to work? Would you be expected to do after-hours emergency call? What types of animals do they see (large animals, small animals, mixed, exotics, etc.)? How many doctors are in the practice? How many employees are currently on staff? If it is a corporate facility, what is the company’s philosophy? Check the company website and look for reviews on the facility. Ask the technicians and other doctors in the hospital for some input and ask if they are happy working there.
3 ) Be prepared. Think about the skills you are able to perform. You will likely be asked about your abilities and willingness to perform surgeries, including spays and neuters, dental extractions, cystotomies, etc. If you do not have a lot of experience, let them know this up front and be honest about your intentions in learning and eagerness for new experience. Everyone has to start somewhere and you want to be sure you will have the mentorship that you need starting out as a new graduate.
4 ) A working interview can be very helpful. You should get paid for your working interview. This is a good time to really see how your colleagues operate and talk to them about how they like working at that practice. Ask them what they like and don’t like about their job. This is your time to shine!
5 ) Dress professionally. Slacks and a nice shirt are acceptable. Scrubs may be more appropriate for a working interview or if you will be observing in surgery, so bring these with you just in case.
6 ) Be on time! (Better to be 15 minutes early.)
7 ) Prepare your own list of questions to facilitate conversation during your interview. Ask if you will be working by yourself, what your hours would be like, how many appointments would be scheduled for you per day and at what interval, etc. Ask if you may look around while you are there. Look at the shelves and see what type of medications the practice carries. Look in the surgery suite and see what types of monitoring and anesthetic equipment they have. All of these things can give you a general idea about what type of practice it may be.
8 ) Finally – relax! Be friendly and willing to lend a hand while you are visiting.
Good luck on your new job search! If you are given a job offer, don’t answer on the spot. Ask if there is a contract and take the time to look it over carefully. Let them know that you will get back to them and when – i.e. “I am very interested and really appreciated this opportunity! I would like to take the next 48 hours to make a decision and I will get back to you with any questions and a final answer.”