This blog has MOVED!

Please visit for the most updated content. All these posts and more can be found over at the new URL.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Part 3 - Selling your tack

Can we just forget I got an interview, and go back to a semblance of normal life? Pretty please?

Yeah……I can’t either.

Interview practice last night with the darling (and very patient) boyfriend dissolved into hysterical laughter, and then hysterical crying, in which the boyfriend told me to go change the laundry over and think nothing but “shirts and pants” for a couple of minutes, and then announced that the practice session was over when I continued to sputter illegible answers and eat copious amounts of ice cream.

Oh yeah. It’s going that well…..

While I recognize that my hysteria last night was probably the sum total of my crazy emotions over the last week – it’s time to pull myself together. Yes, getting into vet school (especially Davis) is a major accomplishment. I deserve a gold star if I pull it off. BUT – the quicker I realize that getting in is just the beginning of a very long, tough 4 years, the better off I’ll be.

Obviously the compulsive obsessing over everything is not working, and the preparation is actually making things worse. In fact, I can't remember the last time that obsessing helped...I’ve NEVER had a problem interviewing and if I’m having this much trouble, than I’m going about my prep in the wrong way. I got to this point by doing what worked for me - and I need to go back to the basics of what has worked for me in the past.

Here’s the new plan for preparation (many thanks to my reader, Cat from Virginia – most of these are her suggestions, with my own twist):
  • Outline my potential questions on paper.
  • Pick a general “theme” of the interview: theme = how I’m going to sell myself to the committee.
  • Have a one sentence “summary” for each question that concisely answers the question. I have a tendency to ramble when I’m nervous, so it will be easy to stay on topic and be concise if I keep my sentence in mind while talking and explaining!
  • Have up to 3 “talking points” per question. Not all points will be covered on initial question, BUT having 3 talking points will allow me to discuss the question further if follow up questions are asked.
  • Have two anecdotes per question to use examples – one from my current job, one from a former job or hobby.
  • I’ve been doing public speaking since I was 9. I’m very good at it. Start treating this like a presentation. I wasn’t practicing because I didn’t want it to sound rehearsed….but I’ve been doing this long enough I know HOW to practice so when I do “present” it doesn’t sound or look rehearsed.
  • Be myself. When all else fails or if something really screwy happens – go with my gut and be honest. I think part of the reason I can't formulate responses in my practice sessions is that I have too many people telling me what to say and what not to say and truthfully, it doesn't really matter. I'm either a good candidate for the school or not - if I get rejected while presenting myself in an honest way, I'm cool with that. That means they are telling me I'm not ready, or I'm not what they are looking for.
  • Go to the website daily and read the current news articles, so if I get a current events question I can at least admit passing knowledge of the story.
  • Survey the public health information on AVMA so that even if I don’t know a whole lot about (for example…) Anthrax, I can at least say that I know it’s a spore forming pathogen that affects mostly bovines and has public health implications and beyond that I’d have to consult a resource……and then laugh and say “can we talk about Listeria instead?” ( I work in RTE processing so LM is very relevant).
  • Peruse the ethics section of AVMA and compare it against some of the biggest current events ethical dilemmas that I might have to discuss in the interview. In addition to being a guiding light in the interview when having to discuss ethics, the guideline/principles are interesting because as a vet, I will be taking an oath that will bind me to a certain code of behavior etc. I was happy to see that upon an initial review, nothing seems too funky, or that I fundamentally disagree with.

As for part III of my “selling tack” series – it boils down to this.
Sell it cheap at a local tack sale, combine stuff into lots for one low price, or give it away. Or decide you want to keep it after all. Chances are, if it hasn’t sold by now – no one else wants it either.

1 comment:

  1. Keep it simple. Take a lesson from your horses...
    You have everything you need to succeed already. Listen carefully to the questions; watch facial expressions and body language; then "show" what you've got!
    Never change tack and training methods the day before the show.
    Best wishes.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.