Archive | 5:48 PM

Interview (no, no this is a NEW/CURRENT post, I promise!)

30 Jun

I’m not looking for a veterinary job right now.  They’re OK, exactly the job I know I can 100% secure if I’m willing to do that.  I just can’t choke out the words that I know I need to say to get hired.  Not right now.  Maybe I’ll have to go back to the (only) thing I know if I get desperate–but I’m not there yet.  The problem is:  My 14 years of varied veterinary experience is awesome for animal-related jobs.  My 14 years of solely veterinary experience is horrible for any.  other.  job.  Even ones that are entry-level.  Even though I can relate many of the skills I constantly used at vet hospitals to ANY job:  Time management, organization, working under pressure, phone skills, reception, customer service, sales, inventory, soft skills, computer systems, scheduling, cleaning, working under pressure, working as a team, cross-training, training others, leadership, etc., etc. . .

cat face

But prospective employers want to see similar titles on your resume as the job they are offering to consider you qualified.  Which leaves me kinda stuck.  But I had a non-veterinary interview today (yay!) and wasn’t really nervous before I got there.  I figured if I got it, great, if not–I’m no worse off.  The whole thing was a low pressure way to practice my interview skills and maybe, just maybe garner a position.

Then, the questions started.

Wait–I should first explain that a veterinary interview is different from other places.  If you even have one.  I got half of my jobs by volunteering, being helpful, then the employer liked that I pitched in and offered to start paying me.  If you have to interview, you don’t wear a suit/skirt more-then-likely, because the work itself is a casual atmosphere that calls for scrubs and maybe jeans.  And the chairs in reception are probably covered in pet hair.  And some dog in the waiting room will surely jump on you while you are waiting.  And everyone will be watching how you react to that–slapping the dog down and running to the bathroom to clean paw print off your silk skirt is NOT the desired response.  Secondly, your interview won’t be on time in 9 out of 10 instances.  That’s because vets (everyone at hospitals, actually) are always busy, so they’ll be running behind on appointments, have to make a phone call, had an emergency surgery walk through the door or whatever.  As a continuation of this, the interview time will not be uninterrupted.  The vet will have to step out to release a patient, or a tech will come ask about a perscription, or an emergency surgery will walk in.  So usually, the interviewer will be sitting and patiently waiting to grab a second for long spans of time.  I can’t be certain since I haven’t had many non-vet interviews, but I suspect the questions are also different.  Vets ask things like, can we cross-train you, do you mind staying late, are you available on weekends and holidays, and can you lift heavy things?  Finally, because vets don’t really trust anyone and have been burned by unfortunate hires many times, they’ll really want to SEE you work, and will press for a “working interview” (if you have been living under a rock and haven’t seen my posts on that subjects, please do so now).


So when I go to any other job interview I feel very unprepared.  Anticipating the questions like I would at a vet job/school admissions interview or a test becomes difficult impossible.  Cool has been to many general job interviews, so she knows the questions and has certain answers that she came up with (and sound good) memorized.  My interviewer made me feel off-kilter almost immediately by asking what my long term goals in the entertainment industry are.  I stared for awhile, internally panicking and thinking really?!  Ummm, none?  Do they really think I want to be a ticket agent for life?  I have NO idea what to say.

tumblr_lot3nlRwTb1qzrlhgo5_250Then, I was nervous.  And increasingly got more and more nervous with each question because I had ZERO prepared answers.  He would ask, I would pause and appear to be thinking, but inside I was like, “Red alert, red alert–here’s another question you are completely unprepared to answer well” and my mouth would just start saying things my brain hadn’t screened at ALL, so both the interviewer and I were completely surprised by my answer.  Which in turn, made yawningme more nervous.  Was I rambling?  Answering the question?  Relating my positive attributes to the job?  I honestly don’t know, because I was too busy freaking out that I hadn’t prepared good answers for any of these questions.

I don’t know if my interview seemed terrible to them, or if I was just being hypercritical of myself.  Next time, I’m going to Google the hell out of possible interview questions, memorize snazzy answers, and have Cool quiz me about them!