Whether you interview for a place at a vet school, or try to get a job of a veterinarian, you will almost always face this question. The right answer seems simple and obvious: because you love animals, you want to work for them, and help them thrive (within the limitations of their life in captivity, of course). Just as it is a case with many other interview questions, however, things are not as simple as it may seem

First of all, you want to stand out in your interview. Saying that same thing every other student or job applicants will say isn’t going to take you anywhere. And secondly, if you apply for a place at a prestigious school with low acceptance rate, the admission committee members really expect a bit more from you. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. Do not forget to read also my notes below the answers, for some additional hints on how to come up with a perfect answer in your interviews.


7 sample answers to “Why do you want to be a veterinarian?” interview question

  1. I would like to run my own veterinary clinic one day in our city. I know it is an ambitious goal, and I have a lot of work to do until it can materialize. But I’ve been a regular to several clinics with our pets, and from what I saw I can clearly tell that I would love to work in such a place, let alone run it one day. I believe that people should have dreams, and enjoy doing what they do for a living. For me, it is working with animals, and running my own vet clinic one day. That’s why I am here today, and hope to get a chance to study at this great university, moving one step closer to realizing my dream.
  2. I’ve been around horses all my life. Riding them since I was a child, taking care of them as a volunteer in local stables, later participating in competitions as a jockey. But you cannot be a kid all your life, and the day comes when you have to take responsibility and earn your living. I spent my years at a vet school, and now I am trying to get the job with you at this ranch, so I can continue my “love affair” with horses. Working with animals I’ve been working with all my life, and helping your place to prosper, would really be a dream come true.
  3. My parents have a small farm, a place where I grew up running around, helping with all sorts of duties. They have forty cows and fifty sheep, and produce cheese and yogurt. I would love to become a lead veterinarian on the farm, helping our family business to thrive, and to bring high quality local produce to the community in the area. What’s more, I believe to have what it takes to succeed in this profession—dedication, compassion, excellent communication skills, and of course passion for this type of work. Before anything else, however, I have to earn my degree. And I want to earn it at one of the best schools in the country. That’s why I am here.
  4. I’ve been working as a veterinarian for seven years already. But now I consider changing my job, because I do not like the practices promoted in the company, the big meat producer. The amounts of antibiotics they inject into the animals, and the growth hormones and everything, it is just terrible to witness it. And I can do nothing about it from my position. What’s more, it is just a complete slavery from birth to death for the animals. Not really my cup of coffee anymore. That’s why I am looking for a job of a veterinarian on an organic farm, so I can follow more sustainable principles in my work, and at the same time animals have at least some life…
  5. I believe that we are what we eat, and I would like to specialize in veterinary research in the future. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost a decade, and I have observed profound changes in my metabolism and overall well-being with my diet. What’s more, I realize the impact intensive agriculture has on the ecosystems and climate change. With that being said, I’d love to play my role in the process of raising awareness of these issues, with scientific evidence. Before I can do that, however, I need to earn my degree and some reputation, and that’s exactly the plan for the next years. I know that you put emphasis on research work here, and it is one of the reasons why I applied for a study program at your school.
  6. I would love to run my own veterinary practice back home, in Bristol, especially for dogs and cats. I’ve been dreaming about this for some time. You may laugh at me, but I already have a location in my sight, and I have also drawn a logo and designed a website for my future practice. Having said that, I realize that the goal is far away now, and that I have to study a lot, and pass many exams, and practice for thousands of hours to make this dream come true. At the same time, this vision definitely helps me to stay motivated and to work hard, and I think it’s not a bad thing to have a vision as a future vet.
  7. I follow a role model from my family–my father. He’s been working as a veterinarian for twenty years now, and I can really see that his career pays off in more ways than one. First of all, he still has a passion for his job, after twenty years. In my opinion, it isn’t a common thing to see across any profession. Secondly, he earns well, and as a result we can have a decent lifestyle as a family. Which is, of course, also important, because one day I would also love to start a family. Last but not least, I can see the impact he has on lives of animals, and since I share the love for other living creatures it is highly motivating for me, and I’d love to follow the same career path. That’s why I want to be a veterinarian.


The more specific you are, the better

Try to come up with something more specific. Perhaps a specialty field of veterinary medicine that caught your eye, and you’d love to practice it one day. Or your parents happen to run a small farm, and your goal is to become the lead veterinarian there. Or you have your own business plan, a certain clinic or practice you’d like to start in the future, in the location of your choice. You can find plenty of example on my list of sample answers.

As long as they see that you actually have some plan for your future, and know what you want to do with your degree, they will immediately consider you a great candidate for the study program. Having a goal and a sort of vision definitely helps with motivation when the workload is heavy, and you struggle to prepare for the exams. Needless to say, your priorities may shift over the years and your plans may change until you earn your degree. But it is still better to have some plan than having none.

Your non-verbal communication is extremely important

They know that you will prepare for your interview, and especially for this question, because you will get it in 95 out of 100 vet school interviews. It doesn’t mean that it is a mistake to prepare–on the contrary, they like applicants who care, and spend enough time preparing for the big day. But they may sometimes doubt the authenticity of your answer, especially if your verbal and non-verbal communication do not correspond.

They should hear some enthusiasm in your words. It doesn’t mean that you have to be pumped up, or shout from pure excitement while narrating your plans, and explaining your career choice. But there should definitely be a trace of joy in your voice, and a spark in your eye. If it is there, they won’t have a reason to doubt the authenticity of your words…

Ready to answer this one? Great! But it isn’t the only tricky question you will face in your vet school interview, or while interview for a job of a vet. Check the following pages to continue your preparation for the big day:

Matthew Chulaw
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