Tailoring Your Approach for Different Veterinary School Interviews

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Aspiring veterinary students face a diverse array of interview styles and formats across UK veterinary schools. Each institution has its unique approach, reflecting its ethos, teaching style, and focus areas. This article offers guidance on tailoring your approach to the different interview formats and expectations of various veterinary schools, drawing insights from the “Admissions processes and entry requirements for UK veterinary schools – For applications in 2022.” This is a valuable document created by the Veterinary Schools Council.
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Understanding Varied Interview Formats

The first step in tailoring your approach is understanding the distinct interview formats adopted by different schools. For instance, the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) used by many schools, including the University of Bristol, focus on assessing a range of competencies through short, scenario-based interactions. In contrast, traditional panel interviews, as seen at the University of Cambridge, might delve deeper into your academic background and motivations for pursuing veterinary medicine.

Each format requires a specific preparation strategy. For MMIs, it is crucial to practise a variety of scenarios, honing skills like quick thinking, ethical reasoning, and communication. Panel interviews, on the other hand, may demand a more in-depth understanding of your personal journey, experiences, and academic interests.

Adapting to School-Specific Emphases

Different veterinary schools place varying emphases on certain competencies or experiences. For example, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) values a strong understanding of the veterinary profession and looks for evidence of practical experience. In contrast, the University of Edinburgh might place more weight on academic achievements and scientific understanding.

To effectively tailor your approach, research each school’s unique focus areas. If a school emphasises practical experience, be prepared to discuss your relevant experiences in depth, reflecting on what you learned and how it influenced your decision to pursue veterinary medicine. For schools with a strong academic focus, be ready to discuss your scientific interests, research experiences, and how they align with the school’s ethos and curriculum.

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Highlighting Personal Qualities and Experiences

Beyond academic prowess and practical experience, veterinary schools also seek candidates with certain personal qualities, such as resilience, empathy, and communication skills. The University of Liverpool, for instance, values a holistic view of candidates, considering personal attributes alongside academic achievements.

To tailor your approach, reflect on your personal qualities and how they align with the values of each school. Showcase resilience through examples of overcoming challenges, empathy through experiences in animal care, and communication skills through instances of effective teamwork or client interaction. Tailoring your examples to align with the school’s ethos can greatly enhance your appeal as a candidate.

Addressing School-Specific Criteria and Values

Each veterinary school has its unique set of criteria and values, which are often reflected in their interview questions and format. For example, the University of Glasgow’s focus on a One Health approach might lead to discussions on public health, wildlife conservation, and the interconnectedness of human and animal health. Similarly, the University of Nottingham’s emphasis on research might require you to demonstrate your understanding and interest in veterinary research.

Research each school’s mission statement, values, and special programs. Prepare to discuss how your interests, experiences, and career aspirations align with these elements. Tailoring your responses to reflect an understanding and appreciation of the school’s specific focus areas demonstrates not only your preparedness but also your genuine interest in what makes each school unique.


Tailoring your approach for each veterinary school interview is an art that requires research, reflection, and practice. It involves understanding the unique aspects of each school’s interview process, their specific emphases, and aligning your responses accordingly. By doing so, you not only demonstrate your adaptability and preparedness but also showcase how your unique qualities and experiences make you a fitting candidate for each specific program. Remember, the goal is not just to impress the interviewers but to genuinely connect your aspirations and abilities with what each school has to offer. This tailored approach can significantly enhance your chances of success in the competitive realm of veterinary school admissions.

You will not succeed at interview without thorough, true reflection on the school itself and how you will fit into, and add to, its program.

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