Applying for Veterinary Medicine and received an interview offer? Preparation is key to getting into veterinary school! This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the necessary information on Veterinary Medicine interviews, the key skills that are assessed and preparation tips for you to ace your interview!

Preparing for Veterinary Medicine Interviews

Veterinary Medicine interviews vary depending on the university that you have applied to. These can be in the form of MMI (multiple mini interviews) or panel interviews. 

Interview Format

Researching the interview format and structure is vital to acing your interview. Both interview formats vary in their structure, therefore, understanding what questions may come up will help you prepare. With MMIs, you will be presented with different stations whilst a panel interview will be a more continuous interview with two or three interviewers. 

Key Competencies 

You will be assessed on different skills and competencies during your interview, such as communication skills, ethics, problem-solving abilities, and motivation. Interviewers will assess different aspects of the applicant’s skills by stimulating different challenges that they may face during their time in veterinary school as well as during their career. 


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Interview Process 

Each veterinary school will have a different interview process, specific to that university. Researching the course structure, university lifestyle and examination procedures will help you to prepare effectively and give you a holistic understanding of the university that you are applying to. 

There are currently 11 universities in the UK offering Veterinary Medicine as a course.

UniversityInterview type
Aberystwyth UniversityAberystwyth conducts MMI interviews which will focus on work experience and the practical exposure that candidates have undertaken before applying.
University of BristolBristol currently does not hold interviews for the 5-year veterinary programme. Their selection process is based on academic and personal attributes. Their gateway programme will have an MMI interview as part of their selection process which will assess applicants on their communication skills, personal attributes, and academic capabilities.
University of CambridgeCambridge conducts panel interviews in the format of two 30-minute interviews on the same day. Their interviews assess motivation and passion to study veterinary medicine alongside problem-solving skills, mathematical concepts, and different veterinary cases.
University of EdinburghThe Royal Dick School of Veterinary Sciences at Edinburgh assesses its candidates through MMI interviews which involve 7 stations (10 minutes each). Various aspects of the candidate’s motivation and enthusiasm for veterinary medicine will be evaluated alongside work experience, data interpretation and ethical dilemmas that they may face in their career.
University of GlasgowGlasgow’s interview process is two 15-minute segments where candidates are asked to show their understanding of the veterinary profession, work-life balance, work experience, animal welfare and ethical understanding. Glasgow values practical skills which play a crucial part in the selection process.
University of LiverpoolLiverpool conducts online panel interviews which focus on problem-solving abilities and enthusiasm for studying veterinary medicine. Liverpool has a holistic approach to their selection process and all aspects (work experience, academic qualities, and commitment to the field) will be assessed together.
University of NottinghamNottingham conducts online panel interviews via MS teams. The interviews last around 30 minutes and focus mainly on candidates’ insight into veterinary medicine and work experience. Interviewers will assess through an observation task where students will be given a short video to watch and analyse afterwards.
University of SurreySurrey’s interviews are in MMI format and will assess the Day One Competencies highlighted by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. The MMI will focus on communication, problem-solving and ethics and offers are given to the highest-scoring individuals.
Harper and Keele SchoolHarper & Keele conducts MMI interviews across eight stations. These will include ethical and communication discussions, practical tasks, and small online evaluations. Interviewers are assessing commitment and motivation to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and whether individuals will be able to navigate challenging situations throughout their time in veterinary school.
Royal Veterinary CollegeRVC conducts MMI-style interviews with each station focusing on different skills and challenges. RVC adopts a holistic approach to their selection process, ensuring that all aspects of candidates are interviewed and assessed (such as personal and academic attributes and work experience).
UClanUClan assesses candidates through MMI interviews to understand their commitment to veterinary medicine. There are usually 6-10 stations that students will attend, and each will evaluate various skills such as teamwork, academic qualities, personal achievements, work experience and work-life balance.

Common Types of Veterinary Medicine Interviews:

MMI Interviews 

Multiple Mini Interviews is a specific style of interviews where candidates circulate around different stations that assess various qualities and attributes. Each station will be marked individually by different assessors and given a total score for the entire circuit.

MMI stations may revolve around communication skills, ethical scenarios, work experience and academic attributes. Examples of MMI scenarios that you may receive:

Scenario 1

Role Play – Sammy’s owner recently brought him from a breeder online Upon presentation, the owner states that Sammy has not been vaccinated because they are worried that it can cause seizures in pets. Your role is to explore why the owner is reluctant to vaccinate Sammy and advise them as well as you can. 

Exemplar Answer: Showing empathy and understanding is vital to this scenario. Even if you do not agree with the owner’s opinion, you should try not to let your feelings get involved. Remain impartial and explain the risks and benefits of vaccinations. Throughout the station, ensure to remain calm and professional and understand that ultimately it is the owner’s decision. Finally, explore the reasons as to why the owner believes that vaccinations are bad and dissect this. 

Inappropriate Answer: Do not frighten the client into vaccinating their pet as this would be inappropriate. Explain all the risks and benefits and allow the owner to come to their own decision. Secondly, do not make the owner feel bad for not having their pet vaccinated sooner. It is important not to judge. Explain the procedure as simply as you can without too much scientific terminology. 

Panel Interviews 

Panel Interviews is a format of interviews where you will be sat with 2-3 interviewers and posed with different questions based on your personal and professional attributes.

Here, the interviewers will assess you together in one interview, and a score will be given as part of your selection process. Example question of a panel interview: 

Example 1

Work-Life Balance – what are the challenges associated with being a vet?  

Example Structure: Like any profession, there are multiple challenges associated with veterinary medicine. Discussing the work-life balance and physical demands of the career is important as this will show the interviewers that you have a realistic view of being a vet. Veterinarians may also face multiple ethical dilemmas surrounding euthanasia, animal welfare and conflicting opinions with pet owners. Understanding that these dilemmas are ones you may face, as well as providing solutions will be key to boosting your interview answer. 

Key Skills Assessed in Vet School Interviews

Some of the key skills assessed in both MMI and panel interviews are communication skills, problem-solving and critical thinking and having the knowledge of the veterinary profession. Each university will assess these skills differently alongside other points such as ethical dilemmas and professionalism. 

Communication Skills – Communication is a vital skill to have as a veterinary student as well as a veterinary doctor. Being able to effectively communicate with your colleagues, peers and pet owners is important to building relationships and networks in your career. 

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking – As a veterinary student, you will face various problem-solving scenarios where critical thinking will be of utmost important. In preparation for this, universities will present you with stations or questions where you will be asked to dissect a scenario surrounding a challenging case. 

Knowledge of the Veterinary Profession – Understanding the ins and outs of the veterinary profession will allow you to develop and progress your understanding of what the next five years and your future career will be like.

Animal handling and empathy – As a veterinarian, you will work closely with animals, so interviewers may assess your ability to handle and interact with animals in a calm and compassionate manner. Demonstrating empathy and understanding towards animals’ needs and welfare is essential.

Teamwork and collaboration – Veterinary medicine often involves working in multidisciplinary teams. Interviewers may evaluate your ability to work collaboratively, communicate effectively within a team, and demonstrate respect for others’ perspectives and expertise.

Having this knowledge prior to the interview will allow you to be as prepared as possible for any questions that the interviewers may pose for you. It will also allow you to have a realistic understanding of what a career in veterinary medicine will be like and the challenges you may face. 

Veterinary Medicine Interview Preparation Tips

Mock Interviews and Practice – the best way to prepare and practice for your interviews is through mock interviews and practice questions. Mock interviews will help to simulate what your interview day will be like and guide you through different questions and scenarios that you may face.

Reflecting on Personal Experiences and Skills – most veterinary universities will expect you to have conducted work experience to improve your skills and personal attributes. Reflecting on what you have learnt from these experiences will prepare you well for the interviews. Furthermore, you can discuss other skills that you have gained during your application process in your personal statement and interview to show interviewers how this has helped your motivation and understanding of the veterinary course. 

Professionalism – Dress professionally for your interview! Wearing smart clothes (a blazer and a skirt or trousers) will allow you to come across as a professional candidate and boost your confidence in the interview as well. 


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