We’re currently in that awkward phase of vet school applications where the personal statement has been sent off and the first responses from universities are starting to trickle in. But, what can you do while you’re waiting (other than sitting in front of your computer, refreshing the UCAS page until you get carpal tunnel)? Here are some of the first steps you can take to ensure that you get a head start on your interview prep!
1. Consider all your options
The first thing to consider is which universities you actually applied to! Every university interviews differently so write down the universities you applied to and what interview style they adopt: is it a panel interview? MMI? Group? The type of interview is going to influence how you structure your preparation so if you don’t know, look it up!
2. Get your personal statement out
I know, you thought that you’d never have to see the darn thing again after you spent the past few months (or two hours before the deadline) staring at it, but deal with it. Print it out. Now highlight every piece of valuable experience (read: bullsh*t) that you crammed in there. If you put anything in there, and I mean ANYTHING, whoever is interviewing you will feel it is well within their rights to ask about it so make sure you’re prepared.
3. Actually do the reading you said you’d done
Now I’m sure none of you lied on your personal statement but just incase, now is the time to read that life changing article that really drove your interest in science and a career in veterinary medicine. It won’t take long, and you only have to do it once. “Once?! but what if I forget what I’ve read before my interview?!” Well, here’s what you’re going to do: MAKE NOTES ON IT.
Don’t write the whole thing out (because that would be pointless) but pick 4 or 5 key points and write them out. If it’s a primary research article (where someone has carried out an investigation) make a note of the aims, summarise the methods, results and any evaluation. Now here’s the thing, you won’t necessarily have to memorise this and spit it out at interview but you will be informed if this does happen. Also, when you’re sat before your interview you can read a quick 5 point summary of some (hopefully) relevant research so you sound like you know what you’re doing.
For the honest among you, who didn’t do reading and didn’t write about it in your personal statement, do some reading. Pick something you’re interested in, find an article, and summarise it. If the opportunity comes to talk about demonstrating interest beyond the A level (etc) curriculum then it will be well worth it!
4. Get organised
I feel like this forms part of everything I have written (which is funny because my natural state is pretty disorganised on the whole) but it’s true! When I was applying I got a project folder and put my highlighted personal statement in the front. Then I made notes on all my work experience and further reading and put it in the folder. I then made notes on every interview I had and stuck them in the folder too (but more on that later!!). When you’re stressed out of your mind before an interview you will thank past you for having your sh*t together. Promise.
5. Pay attention!
When you’re applying to vet school, it can feel like the application process takes over your entire life (largely because it does). But something that lets people down time and again is forgetting that they’re actually at sixth form/ college / whatever you want to call it! Reasoning based on A level biology knowledge comes up EVERYWHERE in one form or another, so if you feel like you’re twiddling your thumbs right now, you should be revising.
So this is what I think you should be doing right now if you’re applying to vet school! Don’t worry, this isn’t all I have to say about interviews but it’s just something to get you started. As ever, if any of you have any questions feel free to drop me a message on instagram, twitter or facebook.