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5 Interview Questions to Help You Get to Know a Job Candidate

Sometimes when interviewing a candidate for a veterinary job, it can be difficult to determine their motivation for applying for the job, along with their expectations and preferences related to their work-life balance. Hiring people who end up not being a good fit can end up costing your company more money to replace them. So it is good to have a few questions that will show you more about who the candidate is and help you decide if they seem like a good fit

Here are a few interview questions you can use to help determine if a candidate may be a good fit.

Why are you looking for a new career opportunity?

This question is not one that everyone prepares for when walking into an interview, so it can cause them to pause and think about their answer. There are a lot of reasons that people will look for a new job, so this can help you figure out why they are leaving and what they may be expecting of you. They could be leaving because they are currently in a difficult work environment that does not allow for growth and improvement, or they are unhappy with the company culture or the management style of their current boss. This answer is a good way to help you determine if this might be a good fit.

What was the best/worst job you ever had?

This can be followed up by asking about their responsibilities, their favorite part of the job, and what they did not like about the job.

This question chain can help you find similarities between that favorite job and your company, which can help you assess if they are a good fit. You can also ask the opposite, what their least favorite job was, to help you further assess the similarities and help you determine if they are the right person to fill your open veterinary job.

Why do you want to work for our hospital?

With this question, you can determine what the candidate knows about your company since candidates often will research a place before an interview. If they took the time to do research into your company and its mission and values, this question should not be too difficult, and it is obvious if they just wing it.

If you get responses like they think this would be a great career opportunity or that they just love working with animals, they probably did not do much research into your company and are likely not the best candidate you are interviewing.

Who was the biggest influence on your career path?

This will help you get a better understanding of why they have made their career choices. Everyone is influenced by people, whether they want to admit it or not. You will learn a lot about the candidate based on the answer to this question.

If they just fell into the career, it may imply a lack of passion for the industry as well as a lack of commitment.

They may tell you a relative or close friend inspired them to become a veterinarian, in which case listen closely for signs they were pushed into it by the person they mention; if they were pressured by someone to join, they will end up unhappy in the end, and may not be a good fit for your veterinary clinic.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island and all of your basic needs — food, shelter, water — are met, what two things would you want to have with you?

While this question is not really related to the veterinary job you are interviewing the candidate for, throwing this question in can help you learn quite a bit about them. It can help a candidate loosen up a little bit, which is good in an interview, and show you how creative they are. It also shows you their priorities in life. The person who says they want unlimited books is much different than the person who wants a lighter to start fires or the one who wants a laptop with wifi so they can reach out to their friends to help them.

There is no right answer to this question. It is meant only to help you learn more about who the candidate is as a person and if you think they might be a good fit in the veterinary job openings you have.