40 Questions to Ask at an Animal Shelter (Plus Sample Responses)
When you interview for a job at an animal shelter, the hiring manager may ask you different questions to learn more about you. Your answers can help the hiring manager decide if you are the right person for the job. If you know how to talk about an animal shelter in an interview, you might be more likely to get the job you want. This article has a list of 40 interview questions from an animal shelter, along with a few answers that you can use as guides.
11 General Questions to Ask at an Interview for an Animal Shelter
A hiring manager at an animal shelter may ask job candidates general questions about themselves to find out what they are interested in and what motivates them. Here are 11 examples of common questions:
- Can you tell me about yourself and any pets you’ve had before?
- What’s your favourite animal?
- How did you find out about this position?
- What makes you want this job?
- Do you prefer to work first thing in the morning, during the day, or at night?
- How do you and other people get things done?
- In a professional setting, tell me about a time when you had to tell someone something private.
- People or animals? Which do you get along with better?
- Can you easily talk to large groups of people?
- How do you decide what to do first?
- Why should we hire you to work at our shelter for animals?
11 questions about an animal shelter’s history and past work
Many animal shelters prefer to hire people who have worked with animals before or have experience caring for animals. An interviewer may ask you questions to see how well you know how to handle animals, take care of them, and use equipment, among other things. Here is a list of eleven interview questions that may help a hiring manager decide if you can do a good job at an animal shelter:
- Do you know how to get people to give you money?
- What is the best thing you’ve done for your career?
- Tell me about a time when you asked your boss to change the way something was set up.
- How long have you worked with animals for?
- If you didn’t have to, have you ever helped out at an animal shelter?
- Have you ever been in charge of helping people?
- Do you know how to fix or set up equipment at a place where animals are cared for?
- Do you know how to teach animals new things or change how they act?
- Do you have any certificates that show you can use computers?
- Do you think you’re physically fit enough to take care of several animals every day?
- Have you gone to school to learn about how to take care of animals or about zoology?
13 detailed questions about caring for animals
Once a hiring manager knows the basics about a candidate, he or she may ask more detailed questions. Candidates’ answers can tell more about their skills and how confident they are on the job. Here are 13 detailed questions you can expect to be asked at an animal shelter job interview:
- How do you feel about giving medicine to dogs?
- How would you feel if you saw a worker handle an animal without following safety rules?
- What do you think might be the hardest thing about working at an animal shelter?
- Our animal shelter is home to animals that have been hurt in some way. How would you deal with how you feel right now?
- Do you feel safe when you walk dogs?
- How would you keep a small dog still if it didn’t want to be groomed?
- Give an example of a moral problem that might come up in an animal shelter and a way to solve it.
- Name a few important things that you need to do to keep an animal clean.
- How would you feel if we talked about our animal shelter on different social media sites?
- How would you get animals used to people and other animals so they feel more comfortable around them?
- How important is it that an animal shelter be clean and free of germs?
- How do you know if an animal is acting weird?
- How would you make an animal feel better if it was scared and hurt and came to you?
5 interview questions about animal shelters and some sample answers
Reviewing these five questions and sample answers can help you prepare for your interview at an animal shelter:
1. Is there any animal you don’t want to touch?
Some shelters may only take in dogs or cats. Other shelters may take in any kind of animal, even birds and rodents. If the shelter you’re applying to is very open to all kinds of animals, the person in charge of hiring may want to know if you’re okay with that. Be honest in your answer and tell the hiring manager if you don’t like working with a certain animal or are allergic to it.
Example: “I don’t care what kind of animal I have to work with. I’ve taken care of dogs, cats, birds, and other pets for a long time. I worked as a zookeeper for a few years before I applied for this job, so I’ve seen animals of all shapes, sizes, and species. I’m sure I can take care of any animal that gets taken in by the shelter.”
How would you help someone who has never had a pet before choose the right one?
One of your most important jobs as a person who works in an animal shelter is to make sure the animals are healthy and happy. But this might not be the only job you have. People who work at animal shelters often help people find the right pet for them. This is a question a hiring manager might ask to see how well you can help people change. Give some things a person who wants to get a pet should think about in your answer.
Example: “Whenever I met a possible pet owner for the first time, I would ask them different questions to find out what they liked and didn’t like. I would ask, for example, if they like to be active and if they can take care of a pet that needs a lot of grooming. I would also ask them questions to find out what size, breed, and age of pet they wanted. Then, I would use what they said to find a few possible good matches. I would watch how the adopter and the possible matches interact with each other before giving advice about which one would be the best fit.”
What would you do if an animal had to be put to sleep at the clinic?
Workers at an animal shelter might have to put an animal to sleep if it acts badly or can’t get better from an injury. This is a question a hiring manager might ask a candidate during an interview to find out how they would deal with emotionally hard situations. You can say in your answer that you would stay neutral so you could do what the shelter needs you to do.
Example: “I would try to control my feelings so I could do what needs to be done. Even though the situation is sad, it would give more resources to animals who need them more. I would do my best to stop euthanizations in the future by matching animals with good owners and starting structured training and socialisation plans as soon as an animal arrives at the shelter.”
How important is good administrative work for an animal shelter?
At an animal shelter, there may be a lot of direct work with animals, but there are also a lot of administrative tasks. You might have to keep records to make sure the organisation runs smoothly. In your answer, you should talk about how important administrative work is in this situation and give some examples.
Example: “In an animal shelter, administrative work is important to make sure that all the animals get the best care. Volunteers, staff, and even vets may work with these animals every day, so it’s important to keep careful and accurate records. These records show where an animal is, what it eats, how it acts, and how healthy it is.”
5. What do you think a normal day is like at the animal shelter?
This is a question a hiring manager might ask to find out what the job description means to you. They want you to feel comfortable doing your jobs and working in a shelter. In your answer, list a few of the most important tasks that involve working with animals and doing office or cleaning work.
Example: “A typical day at the animal shelter might include taking the animals for walks, feeding them, and comforting them. I might also help the animals get along with each other and clean their cages. For administrative tasks, I might have to update the animals’ records or talk to people who want to adopt them.”
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