Interview Help

Below are sample questions that have been used at various veterinary schools over the years.

Your Career Goals 

  1.   What makes you sure you want to be a vet? How do you know?
  2.   What will you do if you did not get in? Will you reapply?
  3.   What do you think it will be like to be a vet?
  4.   What will you do when you get out of school?What are your career plans upon completion of your DVM?
  5.   Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  6.   Burnout is a common problem in our profession.What will you do to avoid burnout?
  7.   How will you use your veterinary medical degree in your field of interest?
  8.   What will you do to further your profession?
  9.   Why do you want to come to [insert College/University]vet school?What other schools did you apply to? What would be your first choice if you were accepted at several schools?
  10. It sounds like most of your experience is _____________ , yet vet school curriculum is primarily focused on______related skills(small and large animal anatomy,physiology,and veterinary practices).How do you know that this is the right thing for you? Do you see this as a problem?
  11.   How will you make sure that you stay up to  date in your field once you have graduated?
  12.   You are at your 40 year vet school reunion,what do you hope to have accomplished?
  13. Why do you want to go into research?Why then,do you want to pursue a DVM degree rather than a PhD degree?

Personal Skills, Qualities, and Interests

  1.   T ell us about yourself.
  2.   What are your strengths and weaknesses?How will these affect your ability to be a vet?
  3.   What will make you a good vet? What will you do to ensure that you are a good vet performing to the best of your abilities?
  4.  You mentioned that you have certain skills X,Y&Z in your personal statement. How will you bring these to your profession?
  5.   How did your background or experiences prepare you for veterinary school?
  6.   It sounds like you have many varied interests(based on your letter of purpose). It will be difficult if not impossible to incorporate all of these interests into a single career. Is this a problem?How will you incorporate these interests in to your veterinary career?
  7.  How do you know that you have what it takes to make it through4 years of rigorous study?
  8.   What are your motivations?
  9.   Be prepared to explain how your experiences(work,school,extracurricular,research or other experiences you listed in your application)affected you and why they make you a good candidate.
  10.   What happened to your grades here(while pointing to a not-so-stellar performance on your transcript)?
  11.   What is the most disappointing event of your life?
  12.  If your best friend was sitting here(and you were asked to leave the room)and we asked him /her ” what is the applicant’s best and worst quality “, what would he/she say?
  13. What would you like us to remember most about you when we look at your application in two weeks and have to decide who gets in and who doesn’t?


  1.   A client pulls up with a hit by car dog that will die without immediate medical attention. They only have $5 0 . The shorter term costs for caring for the animal will be much more than that , not to mention the long term costs. What do you do?
  2.   An owner brings in a young healthy dog and wants you to euthanize it because they will be moving out of the state. What do you do?
  3.  Accidents happen in every profession. What if you kill an animal by accident (wrong drug, surgical mistake,overdose,etc)? What would you do?
  4. How will you react if you become aware that another vet has made a serious medical mistake or has practiced sloppy medicine on one of your clients?
  5. A client comes to you after having surgery performed by another vet. You notice that the
  6. surgery was sloppy to the point of being dangerous  and  the animal is sick as a result of the surgery. What do you do?
  7.   How do you feel about free/low income clinics?Would you participate in them?
  8.   What would you do if you saw a patient that showed clear evidence of abuse?
  9.  How will you deal with difficult clients?
  10. What will you do if you are working for a vet that only allots 15 minutes for routine visits/physical exams?
  11.   With the busy schedule of a veterinarian,it is not always possible to provide a great deal of grief counseling or followup help for clients who have lost a pet. Please comment.
  12.  A couple brought in an orange tabby cat to your clinic for weekend boarding and another couple brought in an orange tabby cat for euthanasia . Your staff euthanized the wrong animal. What will you do?
  13.  There is an overpopulation of deer at a local state park. The deer are destroying property,the natural beauty of the park,and the crops in adjoining land. They also have caused several car accidents while trying to cross a major highway that is adjacent to the park. As a vet, you have been placed on task force to create a solution to the overpopulation. What are your  first steps to solve this problem?
  14. One of your top clients is a breeder of purebred dogs.He brings two puppies that he will not be able to sell because they deviate somewhat from the breed requirements. However, they are healthy.He asks you to euthanize them. What would you do? What if,the breeder tells you that if you do not euthanize them that he’ll just go home and drown them?
  15. How will you deal with people on the other side of the animal rights issue?
  16.  What is the difference between animal rights and animal welfare?

Work/Life Balance

  1.  Vets are often under enormous physical stress. How will you cope?
  2.   It is a common problem that vets have too many things to do and too little time. How do you manage your time?
  3.   How do you balance a hectic work schedule with the rest of your life?
  4.   What other extracurricular things do you plan on doing?
  5.   Vets are often looked upon as important leaders of the community- what will you do(do you have any plan) to further this community role? What part will  you play i n  the  community ?
  6.   What do you think a vet’s role is in the community?
  7. Tell us about  a  difficult  person  you  have  encountered in your life
  8. What role do you play in groups? Describe a time when there was a conflict within a group you were in
  9. What types of different personalities have you encountered through group work? Why do you want to come to this vet school?
  10. Why did you choose to attend your undergraduate college?
  11. Where are you from?
  12. What was your high school like?
  13. Do you have any questions in mind that you hoped we would have asked? Tell us why you want to be a veterinarian
  14. Name 5 things you would find at Wal-Mart related to veterinary medicine
  15. Where are you from?
  16. What would make you choose this school over another school?
  17. What was the most interesting case you observed while working at a clinic? Where do you get your news?
  18. Can you tell us about an issue that veterinarians should be involved in? Is your responsibility/obligation to the animal or to the owner?
  19. What are some qualities a veterinarian should possess?
  20. Do you have any questions for us?
  21. Tell us aboutyourself
  22. Tell us about a time when you convinced someoneto trust you
  23. Tell us about a time when you had to go above and beyond what was required
  24. Can you tell us about a time when you had to come up with a solution to a new problem? Can you tell us about how you act in a crisis situation?
  25. Tell us about a time when somethingdid not go your way
  26. Can you tell us about a difficult decision that you had to make?
  27. When was a time of great adversity in your life and how did you deal with it?
  28. What would you do if you saw a student cheating?
  29. Tell us about a time when your academic integrity was questioned
  30. How are you able to lead other individuals in Veterinary Medicine?
  31. Tell us about your research
  32. What do you know about the cost of veterinary school and how will you pay for it?
  33. Tell us about your research
  34. What do you know about zoonotic diseases?
  35. What do you know about Avian Influenza and BSE?
  36. What are your feelings on theHorseSlaughterAct?
  37. You are obviously a smartperson,how do you deal with students who might be jealous of your success?
  38. How do you deal with stress? Especially considering you have to under take a large amount of classwork as a Veterinary Student?
  39. Where do you see yourself in 15years?
  40. What do you think about the changing aspect of the veterinarian in the world?
  41. How do you feel about meat production and slaughter practices in the United States?

Ethical Questions:

  1. What would you do if you caught your best friend cheating on an exam?
  2. What would you do if a client refused medical treatment for an animal and instead

    wanted to take it home to die? What if it were suffering?

  3. What would you do if you “spayed”  a  tomcat?
  4. What would you tell a client if an animal died due to your negligent mistake?
  5. Would you participate in an experiment that made a dog permanently diabetic, to

    study the effects of diabetes, only to know that at the end of the experiment the

    dog would have to be killed?

  6. How do you feel about survival surgery on live laboratory animals?
  7. Would you tell a client that you have never done a procedure previously?
  8. When faced with a difficult case, would you withhold diagnostic or treatment

    recommendations  due  to  the  owner’s  inability  to  afford  them?

  9. What would you do if a “Good Samaritan” brought an injured animal off the street

    into your clinic?

  10. How many animals end their lives in shelter situations in the United States


  11. Describe the most difficult life circumstance you have faced to date? Discuss

    how you dealt with it.

General Questions:

  1. What is veterinary school?
  2. Why do you want to go to veterinary school?
  3. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
  1. Discuss several other areas of employment, other than general practice, that a veterinarian can engage in?
  2. Describe an ideal day as a veterinarian?
  3. Describe your previous animal experience?
  4. What sorts of opportunities exist for veterinarians to donate time to their


  5. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? Twenty years?
  6. How do you feel about animal shelter spay and neuter clinics?
  7. How  do  you  feel  about  “corporate  practices”  such  as  PetsMart?
  8. How do veterinarians make an income?
  9. What changes do you see on the horizon for the profession in general?
  10. Why or why not are annual vaccinations important for a pet?
  11. Give a logical argument for the sale of heartworm prevention as an OTC

    medication in pet stores. Give a logical argument against it.

  12. What is the number one reason for animals not living out their full lives? What as

    a veterinarian can you do about it?

  13. How much does college cost? How much does post-graduate education (i.e. vet

    school) cost?

  14. What is your opinion of the ideal day for a veterinarian? What would make your

    day not an ideal one?

  15. Do you know the freshman course load for a veterinary student?
  16. What type of practice? (mixed, small animal, large animal, etc….)
  17. Explain why, from the very beginning, you wanted to become a veterinarian.

      21. What is the difference between animal rights and animal welfare?

The following questions were from an interview at Purdue University in 2007

  1. Briefly tell us about yourself.
  2. How do you feel about using animals for research and live surgery teaching purposes?
  3. Do you think there is a difference between animal welfare and animal rights?
  4. Do you consider yourself an animal rightist or an animal welfarist?
  5. What are 2 traits you believe a good veterinarian should have that you have and what are two traits you think a good veterinarian  should  have  that  you  don’t  have.
  6. What is a teamwork situation you have been in recently and what was your role in the team?
  7. Do you know anything about prions?
  8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  9. What do you do to de-stress?
  10. What’s  the last book you read that was not a school book?
  11. What’s  your  favorite  movie?
  12. How many schools did you apply to?
  13. How will you decide where to go if you get into more than one school?

The following questions were from an interview at Mississippi State University in 2007

1. Tell us about yourself.
2. Tell us about your summer in San Diego.
3. Why do you want to go into Veterinary Medicine opposed to human medicine?

4.  How  do  you  respond  when  things  don’t  go  the  way  you  want  them  to?
5. What has been the most difficult class in undergraduate school? Why was it difficult?

6. What class did you enjoy the most in undergrad?

7. What is the last book you read for fun outside of required school reading?

8. What do you do for fun? Hobbies?

9. Do you think the case concerning the racehorse Barbaro shed a positive or negative light on the field of veterinary medicine?

10. What was the most difficult thing you faced while working as a technician?

11. What was the most interesting case you encountered while working as a technician?

12. What are the pros and cons of working in a single doctor vs. multi doctor practice?

13. What do you think is the number one thing you can do as a veterinarian to protect the public?

14. What do see your first job after vet school being?

15. As a veterinarian what can you do to give back to the community?

16.  What  do  you  think  about  ear  cropping,  tail  docking  etc…?

17. Do you agree with purposely infecting an animal with a disease in order to study the progression of the disease?

18. What do you think is the difference between animal welfare and animal rights?

The following questions were sent by the Mississippi State University CVM class of 2009

The MSU-CVM class of 2009 has compiled a list of advice and questions that we were asked during our interviews at various veterinary schools. The questions are not ranked in any particular order, and you may be asked questions other than those listed here, but hopefully this will give you a little insight into the types of things that MSU-CVM finds important and help you to feel a little more relaxed. Most of the questions asked were either  personal  (past  jobs/experiences)  or  hypothetical  (what  if…),  and  it  is  certain that you will be asked some ethical questions. The important thing is to stand by your answers and show that you have strong moral values and confidence in your opinions. Make sure at the end of the interview to ask your interviewers questions about MSU- CVM, as it shows that you are interested in the school. We all know how nerve-racking this time is for you all, and hopefully this will help you prepare for your interviews both here and elsewhere. Congratulations on your interviews and good luck to you all!

  1.   How would u handle a client that brought their pet to your clinic for treatment due to some type of trauma (i.e. broken leg, burns) & this client admitted to deliberately inflicting these wounds to their pet?
  2.   If you are not accepted this year, how do you plan on improving your skills/ application for the next year?
  3.   Think  about  questions  regarding  difficult  situations  (i.e.  a  client’s  animal  needs   help but they are unable to pay, convenience euthanasia, etc.)
  4.   I was asked about the most interesting case I had seen.
  5.   Asked how I felt about lab animal testing.
  6.   What should make us pick you over someone else?
  7.   If a cat comes in and tests positive for Feline Leukemia, would you recommend to the owner to put it to sleep or not and why?
  8.   A client comes in with a Feline AIDS positive cat and expresses concerns that her and her family will contract this disease. What do you tell them?
  9.   What does the Coggin’s test test for?
  10.   If you had 2 orange tabby cats in your clinic, one for boarding and one for euthanasia, and you euthanized the wrong cat, what do you tell the owner?
  11.   Be prepared for some ethics questions.
  12.   Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
  13.   Tell me a memorable experience that had a big impact on your life and how it affected you
  14.   Questions about various aspects of your animal experiences
  15.   What was the most difficult situation I had to go through in my horse training
  16. business?
  17.   Why do you want to be a veterinarian?
  18.   Questions about your hobbies and interests outside of academia, and how have they affected you/what have they taught you.
  19.   What does the cecum of the horse do?
  20.   What would you do if you found one of your colleagues acting unethically?
  21.   Why do you want to go to MSU-CVM? What made you decide?
  22.   What drugs are used at the vet clinic you work for to sedate animals for surgery?
  23.   How would you handle a situation where someone asked you, “Why didn’t you decide to be a REAL doctor?”
  24.   What can you tell me about West Nile Virus?
  25.   What’s your opinion on the pit-bull ban?
  26.   Why do you want to be a veterinarian and not a medical doctor?
  27.   What makes you unique?
  28.   What diseases do you see up North that you suppose you wouldn’t see/ would see more of here?
  29.   What are some job opportunities in vet med?
  30.   What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  31.   Know about current events.
  32.   What do you think is the weakest part of your application?
  33.   What do you vaccinate a dog for?
  34.   What are the downsides to being a vet?
  35.   Why did you apply to the vet schools you did?
  36.   What do you think about terminal surgeries?
  37.   What are your feelings on research animals?
  38.   Tell us about your work with a vet and clinical experience.
  39.   How do you deal with stress?
  40. Are you involved in community service? How has it affected you?

Stick to your answer, no matter how much they try to sway your opinion. Be able to back up your answers as there is NO wrong answer, but they want to make sure you are confident in your opinions and abilities.
They may ask you the same question 2 or three times to make you nervous so don’t change your answer. [Note from Barbara Coats – NO, our interviewers do NOT use this tactic!]

Have questions ready to ask them, they will expect you to have some, and it shows you are interested in the school.

  1.   How will you volunteer to help your community when you become a veterinarian?
  2.   Have questions to ask about MSU-CVM
  3.   You have a client come to your clinic with a dog that has been hit by a car and without your services the dog will die. The owners of the dog owe you money from previous visits and you know they will not be able to pay you for the surgery and treatment the dog requires. Do you treat the dog and pay out of your own pocket or do you send them away knowing the dog will die?
  4.   How  would  you  feel  about  euthanizing  a  pet  because  the  owner  can’t  keep  their   pet any  longer  but  they  don’t  want  anyone  else  to  have  it?    Or  because  they  cant   afford the animal?
  5.   How do you feel about the techniques used for the dehorning and castration of cattle?
  6.   What are the some good positive and negative aspects of no-kill animal shelters?
  7.   If a man walked in with a young, healthy dog and said he wanted you to put it down because he was tired of it, what would you do? Assume he had already declined all your offers to help find the dog another owner.
  8.   A lot of people coming into vet school haven’t seen grades lower than an A or a B. How would you deal with getting a lower grade than you expected?
  9.   Name some parasites commonly seen at the clinic you worked at.
  10.   Complete this sentence: Honesty is important to me because…..
  11.   Have you ever had to work with a difficult co- worker? How did you handle it?
  12.   Are you a leader or a follower?

Here are some helpful hints:

 Know some current events about your major or area of specialty, because they will ask about it.

The following questions were from an interview at The Ohio State University in January 2008:

  1.  What happened your sophomore year (my 1st year at UNCW, my grades were the lowest)?
  2.   Would you call moving to NC an adversity that you faced?
  3.   How did overcoming this adversity affect you? What did you learn and take away
  4. from it?
  5.   How much does it cost to attend OSU CVM?
  6.   How will you pay for it?
  7.   What is the average starting salary of a vet?
  8.   Put the salaries of a food animal vet, equine vet, and a small animal vet in order and explain why each makes what they make.
  9.   Say you get accepted to all of the schools you’ve applied to. How will you decide which to attend (location, programs, costs, etc.)?
  10.   Say you don’t get accepted anywhere, what will you do? Will you apply again?
  11.   Name some zoonotic diseases we should be concerned about.
  12.   Who is at the highest risk for avian flu?
  13.   What do you know about The Horse Slaughter Act? Do you agree or disagree with it?
  14.   Pretend I have an older cat who needs his teeth cleaned. Explain to me why he needs to get this done and explain what kind of tests you will do before the dental work.Which liver enzymes would you check and why?

Michigan State University in January 2008:

1.Tell us about yourself. 

2.  Asked many questions about Sea Turtle Internship.
3.  Asked about waitressing—how those skills will help you in vet school/in the field.
4.  What  is  your  plan  B  if  you  don’t  get  in  this  year?
5.  How will you contribute as a leader in vet school?
6.  Asked a few specific questions about supplemental application.
7.  What are some other roles of veterinarians?
8.  What is the role of a veterinarian in a war situation?
9.  What is one strength and one weakness you think you have?
10. What is one strength/weakness you think someone you work with would say you have (i.e. Dr. Weedon)?

11. What is one strength/weakness you think your parents would say you have?

12. Why do you want to become a DVM rather than an MD?

13. What would you do if a client brings in their dog and it has been hit by a car and they  can’t  afford  to  pay  the  bill?

14. What would be your ideal work day/where do you see yourself in 5 years? 15. What do you think will be the hardest thing you will face in vet school?

16. How much do veterinarians make?
17. Do you have any questions?

The following questions were from interviews at Mississippi State and Purdue Universities, February, 2008.

MS State

1. What do you know about the horse slaughter act? What is it? Do you think horse slaughtering should be legalized? How would you use your skills as a veterinarian to help those animals in slaughter houses? Do you know how many slaughter houses there are in America?

2. Tell me about your sea turtle nesting walks on Masonboro Island

3. What do you train people to do at work and how do you make them eager to learn?

4. What are the pros and cons of being a veterinarian?

5. Where do you see yourself in 8 years?

6. Since your dad is an equine vet, what do you like and dislike about equine medicine?

7. Tell me about your parasitology manual and what you learned from it? (I made a parasitology manual at my zoo internship as a project)

8. Why do you want to go to MSU?
9. I see you applied to schools in the UK, why?

10. I see you were involved with Coastal Therapeutic riding Program, what did you do there and what have you taken away from that experience that you can use for the rest of your life?

11. I see you’ve taken several leadership positions, would you say you are a good leader?


1. What  made  you  decide  to  go  on  this  career  path  and  how  do  you  know  it’s  right  for   you?

2. I see you applied to several schools, what is your reasoning behind that?

3. Have you ever dealt with people who straggle behind or don’t try very hard in a group setting? Do you think you can handle those people in a group setting?

4. Did Dr. Weedon have an impact on your decision to come here?

5. Where do you see yourself after graduation?

6. Do you think business is important in veterinary medicine? Why/why not? In what aspects?

7. What do you know about animal rights and animal welfare? Are they different?

8. If a reporter asked you if you are for or against slaughtering what would you say when you are on live TV? Why?

9. What if they said to you I think it’s horrible, what would you say to them?

one  piece  of  advice  I’d  give  to  the  pre-vet club would be to be able to back up anything they wrote in their personal statement and make sure they know  what  they’re  talking  about!  :  )