Businesses across the country are struggling with staffing issues and the veterinary world is NO exception. During the pre-pandemic years finding great staff was a challenge, but since the pandemic began finding and retaining great staff has become a tumultuous experience. What follows are some interview questions that have helped veterinarians and their office managers sift through potential candidates – when you can get candidates. And the increased competition for workers has made this an employee-driven vs. employer-driven market. You’ve got to know your budget and get clear on what additional perks or benefits you may be able to offer in this now highly-competitive hiring process.
General Questions for Every Role – Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Vet Assistants, Office Managers, and Front Office
1. What are you looking for in a team and an office?
2. What does self-motivation mean to you?
3. What in particular motivates you?
4. How do you organize your day?
5. In a perfect world, how many hours per day and per week would you like to work?
6. How do you deal with conflict in the workplace? Describe a specific situation and how you dealt with it. Would you do anything differently now that you have had time to reflect?
7. How would the previous veterinarian you were employed by describe you if I were to call him/her? What about the other team members, what would they say? Would they say you were on time every day? Easy to get along with? Fun? Great with the patients and the clients?
8. What do you think are your greatest strengths? And what are your greatest challenges?
9. Describe a situation when a client was upset and describe what you did to rectify the situation or help.
10. What are three things you liked most about your last two positions/offices? What are three things you would have changed and why?
11. Describe a great day at the office.
12. What work situations, tasks, or duties cause you stress?
13. Where would you like to see yourself in two years? Where would you like to see yourself in five years?
14. If you weren’t in the veterinary field, what would you be doing? What are you most passionate about?
15. What qualities in a person do you think are important for this position?
16. How would you set the pay scale for this position? What qualifying events or skills would warrant a different pay scale or increase in compensation?
17. What do you think a bonus should be based on?
18. What benefits are most meaningful to you?
19. What have you learned during the pandemic? How did it affect your short and long-term goals?
20. Did you work remotely? Was that easy or difficult for you? How do you feel about being back in an office, working with a team, and having interaction with patients and clients all day?
Additional Questions for Specific Roles
1. Have you been involved with placing veterinary supply orders? Explain your process.
2. What have you normally done during downtime?
3. How do you talk with clients about recommended treatment for their pets? Provide an example.
4. What are your most/least favorite procedures?
5. Describe the perfect veterinarian to assist and why?
1. How would you describe your management style?
2. What are your thoughts about micro-managing?
3. What steps do you take when you realize that you have made a hiring mistake?
4. Do you enjoy being at the front desk or in an office behind the scenes?
5. What do you bring to a team to keep them motivated and smiling?
6. In your previous office did you have full responsibility for the accounts receivable? What was your average production to collection ratio?
7. In your previous office, how would the staff describe you?
1. How do you welcome new clients and patients to the practice?
2. What have your past responsibilities been? Which did you enjoy most?
3. How do you talk with clients about treatment costs? Provide an exact example of presenting treatment and negotiating a financial arrangement.
4. How do you describe a perfect schedule and how do you create it?
5. How do you fill any last-minute appointments?
6. Do you enjoy scheduling? What do you enjoy about it?
1. What does a perfect schedule look like to you?
2. How do you encourage clients to accept treatment for their pets?
3. How do you ask for referrals from existing clients?
4. What do you do at a new patient/client appointment?
5. What types of procedures do you like to do?
6. Are you comfortable being the only veterinarian working in the office?
7. How would your current/past veterinary assistant describe you? How would an owner veterinarian or office manager describe you?
8. What are your goals for each patient and each day?
Happy New Year! We would like to wish you a new and improved year over 2020 and 2021. If you’re like most people, you have set some New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps one of them is going to the gym. Another may be eating healthier. A third popular one is spending more time with family and friends. Statistics show that on average, it takes 32 days before people give up on their resolutions. My thought is why wait? I’m having a hot fudge sundae for lunch and not going to the gym! But how about a resolution to further your career as a veterinarian?
One way to further your career may be getting out of your current dead-end associate job and finding a new one. As you know, there is a shortage of veterinarians who want to be associates. As such, corporates are offering bonuses to sign on with them. Some are quite generous. There may be some stipulations around how long you need to stay working with them, however. If you don’t want to work for a corporate-owned practice, there are a lot of individual practice owners looking for associates as well. You can check your state associate website for ads or give us a call and we may know of some openings.
Another idea might be expanding your role in your current associate position. Perhaps you want to do surgery or certain procedures that you like to do. You can start by talking with your practice owner and see what kind of opportunities he may be able to provide. You can also work part-time in another office which may be willing to give you the opportunity you’re looking for.
A third way of growing your career in 2022 is by purchasing a practice. Now, don’t stop reading yet. Practice owners make 15% to 20% more than associate veterinarians make. They also build equity in their practice typically paying off their entire loans in 10 years. If you purchased a $500,000 practice and simply sustain its production, you now have earned 15% to 20% more per year PLUS, you’ve earned $500,000 of equity in your practice. If you grew it 10% per year, you now have over $1 million in equity. I know many associate veterinarians are afraid of owning a practice. They think corporates are going to take over the world and corporates get better deals on supplies. First of all, corporates will not be taking over the world. There will always be room for individual practice owners. In fact, if I had a choice, I would take my dog to an individual owner before I would take it to a corporate owner. I think most pet owners would agree. Regarding better deals on supplies, I’ve had several supply reps tell me that they would give the same deal to an individual as they would to a corporate owner. Supplies as a percentage of gross revenues make up a small number. So, even if they did get better deals, it would not make that big of a difference. Don’t be afraid of owning a practice and competing against the corporate big guys. You can provide a much better and more personalized experience than they can.
These are just a few ideas for your New Year’s resolutions if you haven’t come up with your own. Now, go to the gym, grab a salad, and then, go improve your career!Read More