Adaptability in Veterinary Industry

By Debra Nickelson, D.V.M.

One of the most sought after “soft skills” in the business world is adaptability. The modern workplace is ever changing, including veterinary practices, as you know. If an employee does not adapt to change, there can be serious repercussions on the individual and the business. To maintain profitability and engagement, employers are seeking job candidates who can demonstrate their capability to acclimate and thrive under changing conditions.

Companies look for candidates who are resilient, innovative and calm under pressure. How does a hiring manager know that you have these qualities? The interviewer asks the candidate to share examples of situations in which the person has demonstrated these capabilities.

Let’s consider these scenarios:

Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who was either difficult or dismissive of you. 

Easy one. Everyone has clients who fit this description. Briefly describe the situation, how you handled the client and relate the positive outcome.

How did you handle a sudden change in a project after putting in a considerable amount of time into it?

Maybe you tried to institute a new procedure or service in the veterinary clinic and after a lot of work, the owner or practice manager decided not to implement your idea.  Did you discover the concerns? Did you modify your idea to meet these concerns? What did you do? And what happened?

Describe a situation in which you were given a task out of your usual scope of work and how you handled it.

Maybe you were given supervisor responsibilities for the support staff. Or maybe you were charged with the practice social media. Be sure to describe how you leaned to perform these duties and how the practice benefitted from your leadership.

When starting a new job, what are the biggest challenges?

This question gives you several opportunities to demonstrate how you leaned to adapt to a new culture, a new situation, new co-workers, new procedures.  Write down some answers now, so you are ready to show how adaptable you are in a business work environment. 

And always be positive! Let us know how we can help.

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