17 Kennel Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a Kennel Assistant, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Working as a kennel assistant is a great way to get started in the animal care industry. Kennel assistants are responsible for the daily care of animals in a kennel or shelter setting. This may include feeding, walking, and cleaning up after the animals.

If you’re looking for a kennel assistant job, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. One way to prepare for this important meeting is to learn how to answer kennel assistant interview questions before talking with an interviewer.

Employers look for kennel assistants who are responsible, reliable, and able to handle stressful situations. You’ll also need to be able to work with a team and have some knowledge of animal behavior. A kennel assistant interview is your chance to show that you’ve polished these skills to a shine. To help you get ready, we’ve listed kennel assistant questions and answers that will help you figure out what you want to say during an interview.

Are you comfortable working with animals?

Working as a kennel assistant can involve handling animals, so the interviewer wants to know if you have experience working with them. If you don’t have any experience, you can talk about your love for animals and how you would enjoy learning more about caring for them.

Example: “I grew up on a farm where we had many different types of animals, including dogs, cats, horses, cows and chickens. I learned at an early age that all animals are unique in their own way, but they all need care and attention. I am comfortable working with animals, although I do not have formal training. However, I am eager to learn more about animal care.”

What are some of your past experiences working with animals?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your experience working with animals. They want to know if you have any past experiences that are similar to the role they’re hiring for. Use your answer to share a few of your favorite animal care moments and what skills you used in those situations.

Example: “I’ve always had a passion for animals, so I volunteered at my local shelter when I was in high school. There, I learned how to clean kennels and feed the dogs and cats. I also helped walk some of the dogs who were ready to be adopted. In college, I took an introductory course on veterinary science. We got to work with real animals, which was such a great learning opportunity.”

How would you handle an aggressive animal?

Kennel assistants often work with animals that are in distress. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the experience and skills necessary to handle these situations. In your answer, share a time when you had to calm an aggressive animal. Explain what steps you took to deescalate the situation.

Example: “I once worked at a veterinary clinic where we saw many stray dogs. One day, I was working alone when a dog came in who was very aggressive. The dog growled at me and tried to bite me whenever I got close. I knew I needed to get the dog out of its cage so I could treat it. So, I talked calmly to the dog while slowly moving closer. Eventually, I was able to grab the leash and lead the dog into another room.”

What is your past experience working with pets?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience level and how you’ve used it to benefit a kennel. If you have no past experience, you can talk about any pets you’ve owned in the past or what you know about pet care from friends or family members who own pets.

Example: “I grew up with dogs my entire life, so I’m very familiar with their needs and behaviors. In high school, I volunteered at an animal shelter where I helped walk dogs and play with them when they were waiting for adoption. I also learned how to administer medication to some of the animals that needed it.”

Provide an example of how you handled a difficult situation at work.

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your problem-solving skills and how you react in challenging situations. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a situation that was difficult but also one where you were able to resolve the issue or conflict.

Example: “In my previous role as a kennel assistant, I had a particularly busy day with many dogs needing care. One of our senior employees called out sick that morning, so we were short-staffed. This meant I needed to take on some additional responsibilities, including cleaning cages and feeding the animals. While I was doing this, I noticed one dog hadn’t been fed yet. I asked another employee if they could feed that dog while I finished up what I was doing. They agreed, and I got everything done before lunch.”

If an animal was sick, what would be your course of action?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you would handle a situation that could arise in their facility. Use your answer to highlight your problem-solving skills and ability to act quickly when needed.

Example: “If an animal was sick, I would first assess the severity of the illness. If it was something minor like a cold, I would give them plenty of rest and food while monitoring their condition. If they were more seriously ill, I would immediately alert my supervisor so we could take action. Depending on the situation, I may need to call a veterinarian or get additional supplies from our storage room. In either case, I would do everything I could to ensure the health and safety of the animals.”

What would you do if you were not sure how to care for an animal?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the confidence and ability to learn new things. They want someone who is eager to learn, but also confident enough to ask for help when they need it. In your answer, explain that you would try to find out how to care for the animal on your own first. If you are unable to do so, you would ask a more experienced colleague or supervisor for help.

Example: “If I was unsure of how to care for an animal, I would first look at any documentation we had about the animal’s care. If I could not find anything there, I would ask my colleagues if they knew how to care for the animal. If no one else knew either, I would ask my supervisor for help.”

How well do you follow instructions?

Employers ask this question to see if you can follow their instructions and procedures. They want someone who is organized, detail-oriented and able to work independently. When answering this question, show that you are a fast learner and have the ability to adapt quickly.

Example: “I am very good at following instructions. I pride myself on being an organized person, so I always make sure to write down any important information or details my employer gives me. This helps me remember what I need to do throughout the day. In my previous role as a kennel assistant, I was responsible for feeding all of the dogs in the morning and evening. My supervisor gave me detailed instructions on how much food to give each dog and when to feed them.”

Do you have any questions for us about the kennel assistant position?

Employers ask this question to see if you have done any research on the company and position. They want to know that you are genuinely interested in the job, so it’s important to come prepared with a few questions about their hiring process, salary or benefits package and what your typical day would look like.

Example: “I was really impressed by the number of awards your kennel has won for its animal care. I am curious how you maintain such high standards of excellence. Also, I noticed that you offer flexible scheduling options for employees. I am a single mother who is looking for more flexibility in my work schedule. Would there be opportunities for me to do some evening shifts?”

When working with animals, what is the most important thing to remember?

This question is a behavioral one that an employer might ask to see how you interact with animals. They want to know if you have any experience working with animals and what your priorities are when interacting with them. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention the importance of safety for both the animal and yourself.

Example: “The most important thing to remember when working with animals is their safety. I always make sure to follow all safety protocols in place at my previous job, including wearing gloves while cleaning cages and making sure to keep my hands out of reach of the animals. It’s also important to remember that they’re living creatures who deserve respect.”

We want to ensure our animals are happy and comfortable. How would you determine if an animal was happy or not?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you interact with animals and whether you have experience interacting with them. Use your answer to highlight any specific skills or techniques that you use when working with animals.

Example: “I would first look at their body language, as this is a good indicator of how they’re feeling. If an animal seems nervous or scared, I would try to calm them down by speaking softly and slowly approaching them. If they seem happy, I would continue to interact with them in a way that makes them feel comfortable. For example, if they like being petted, I would do so.”

Describe your experience with administering medications or performing first aid.

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your experience with administering medications or performing first aid. This can be an important skill for a kennel assistant, as you may need to administer medication or perform first aid on animals in the facility. In your answer, try to highlight any specific training you have that relates to these skills.

Example: “I’ve had some experience administering medications and performing first aid. I worked at a veterinary clinic during my summer break from college, where I learned how to give injections and perform CPR on animals. I also took a course through my university’s animal science program that taught me about common illnesses dogs can get and what treatments are available.”

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel you can contribute to their team. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this role. Focus on highlighting your most relevant experience and soft skills.

Example: “I am passionate about animals and have been working in animal care since I was 16 years old. I started volunteering at my local shelter when I was in high school, and I’ve worked as a dog walker, pet sitter and dog trainer ever since. My passion for animals is what drives me to excel in every job I take, and I believe that I would be a great addition to your team because of my extensive knowledge of dogs and my ability to work well with others.”

Which animals have you worked with in the past?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience working with their facility’s animals. If they ask this question, it may be because they want to know that you are comfortable handling the types of animals in their care. When answering this question, try to list a few species or breeds that are similar to those at the kennel.

Example: “In my last position as a dog walker, I worked with all kinds of dogs and puppies. I also helped train some of the owners on how to handle their pets when walking them. In my previous job as an animal hospital receptionist, I interacted with many different types of animals including cats, dogs, birds and reptiles.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of being a kennel assistant?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you understand what it takes to be a good kennel assistant. You can answer this question by explaining which skills and traits are most important for being successful in this role.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of being a kennel assistant is having compassion for animals. Kennels are stressful environments, so I believe it’s essential to have an empathetic nature when working with pets. It’s also important to be organized and detail-oriented because there are many tasks involved in caring for animals at a kennel. For example, I would make sure all paperwork was filed correctly and that each animal had their own food and water bowls.”

How often do you think kennels should be cleaned?

This question can help interviewers understand your cleaning and sanitation practices. They may also want to know how often you would clean the kennels in their facility if hired. In your answer, explain what factors influence your decision about when to clean a kennel.

Example: “I think it depends on the number of dogs that use the kennel and the type of flooring they have. For example, I worked at a large dog shelter where we cleaned the kennels every day because there were so many dogs using them. However, at my current job, we only clean the kennels once or twice per week because there are fewer dogs.”

There is a pet owner who is dissatisfied with how their pet is behaving. How would you handle the situation?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your customer service skills. They want to know that you can help customers with their concerns and make them feel comfortable. In your answer, try to show the employer that you are empathetic and willing to help the pet owner solve their problem.

Example: “If a pet owner is unhappy with how their pet is behaving, I would first listen to what they have to say. Then, I would explain to them why their dog might be barking or acting aggressively. For example, if a dog barks at strangers because it’s afraid of loud noises, I would let the owner know that there are ways to train the dog to overcome its fear. If the owner wants to learn more about training methods, I would offer to connect them with someone who could provide further advice.”


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