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January 18, 2016

Pet Industry Job Interviews: Top 10 Eyebrow Raisers

by Jamie Migdal

I’ve hired many, many people in the last 20 years – dog walkers, pet sitters, dog trainers, shelter workers, admin staff, tech developers – and I like to think that I’ve pretty much heard it all during job interviews. Occasionally I’ll still have those magical moments when I realize that I have not, in fact, heard it all. (I love those moments.)

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last 18 months at FetchFind listening to what pet industry employers have to say about searching for staff, and so in the spirit of traditional New Year’s listicles, I’ve put together my top ten favorite things that are guaranteed to raise eyebrows during a job interview. And, yes, these things have actually been said!

  1. Is there some place I can nap during the night shift? (Uh, no. There isn’t.)
  2. Is it okay if my friend/family member/significant other keeps me company during the night shift? (Because obviously napping is out of the question.)
  3. I left my last job because my boss was a jerk. (That may very well be the case, but saying that out loud isn’t a great idea. The pet industry has a very effective grapevine.)
  4. I left my last job because it was getting weird being around all of my ex-girlfriends/boyfriends. (“All of??”)
  5. I was let go from my last job because I kept leaving before my shift was over, but it was really just a misunderstanding about scheduling. (Oh, well, that’s ok then.)
  6. All of that NSFW stuff on my work computer is because I was hacked by cookie viruses from the AOL pop up ads. (It’s really hard to un-see some of those things, and you know perfectly well the IT department doesn’t believe that excuse for a single second.)
  7. I was let go from my last job because the van with the dogs got towed while I was in the Starbucks. (The moral of this story: get your coffee before getting into the van.)
  8. Is drug testing a part of the interview process here? (It’s a non-issue, because you probably won’t get hired.)
  9. There are a few breeds of dogs I don’t like. Can we make sure I don’t have to handle those kinds? (Sure, we’ll mark that down in your employee preferences, right next to “needs an all white dressing room” and “only wants green and red M&Ms”.)
  10. I’m allergic to animals. (*speechless*)

Happy 2016, everybody – let’s make this the best year the pet industry has ever seen!

Jamie Migdal

Jamie Migdal

About Jamie Migdal
Jamie Migdal has been working with dogs and their people and innovating within the industry for over 20 years. Having successfully built three pet-centric companies – Out-U-Go, AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior, and CanineLink (now FetchFind Academy) – she’s an expert across all aspects of the pet services industry, including training, education, technology, business development, client services, marketing, and management. Her fourth and current company, FetchFind, is the first and only job board/career networking site dedicated exclusively to the pet industry. Jamie also serves on the Board of Directors of 100+ Who Care Chicago and hosts Pets Mean Business, a weekly podcast on Pet Life Radio.

Jamie lives in Chicago with her husband Drew, their 4 year old daughter and future dog trainer Sadie, Rami the cat, and two rescued collies who probably aren’t smart enough to get Timmy from the well. (But they would give it a good try, because they’re sweet.) In her spare time, Jamie enjoys working with essential oils, listening to podcasts, reading about life hacks and self improvement and often thinks about doing yoga and playing her guitar.