We get a lot of questions about this. It makes total sense - there are hundreds of different training programs out there and it is always a very stressful time. You feel like you have to be perfect or you'll ruin your chances of matching. It's not like that, but there are basic strategies and behaviors that are a must in order to leave a good impression.
How do I get an interview?
Now that you applied to programs, it's time to get more information on those (hopefully you've paid attention to the previous posts on the Match), and try to set up interviews. Most programs tell you if they offer interviews on their program description. If nothing is listed, you can always ask. The timing for when these happen vary with the program.
It is uncommon for internship programs to offer interviews. There simply are too many applicants to make it viable for programs to accommodate all requests. The ones that do, usually offer them over the phone, or select a few candidates to visit after reviewing applications.
Residency programs, on the other hand, usually offer interviews, or at the very least the opportunity to chat over the phone with one of the faculty. Again, the type and interview format vary with the program.
Although not a formal interview per se, if you are interested in a specific internship or residency program, you can always try to do an externship/preceptorship there as a senior student, or an outside rotation during your rotating internship. This will allow you to see how the hospital works and if you'd see yourself working there. Plus, you will meet and work alongside their doctors and staff. If you leave a good impression, they'll remember you and that might lead to better chances when Match time comes.
When it comes to applying and ranking programs, you are trying to figure out if a specific program is a good fit for you. At the same time, the selection committee is trying to find and choose the best candidates for their program. Resist the urge to pick programs simply because of reputation or the US News ranking of veterinary schools. You really should be looking into thee program descriptions and obtain feedback from current interns and residents (aka house officers).
What to expect
Even though there are hundreds of programs and very different people taking part in these interviews, your preparation and posture will be the same, and most of the core questions will be similar.
We'll address specifics of phone vs in person interviews in future posts, but we'll discuss the overall expectations coming from both sides. As mentioned above, you want to appear prepared and ask questions. This means you'll use what you've learned from the program description (and house officers) and ask insightful questions that will allow you to assess if the program would be a good fit for you.
You don't want to rank a program #1 when you are not looking to pursue an emergency and critical care residency (or you simply don't enjoy emergency medicine) when such program is >65% ER work! This is an example of what I mean by a program being a good fit. Is this an insightful question? Not so much. You can get this information elsewhere and simply asking questions to which the answer is in the program description will just show portrait you as unprepared. If you did your homework, you can use what you already know, and construct upon that.
Remember that interviews are supposed to be a conversation. Both parties are trying to learn more about each other. Thus, be prepared to elaborate and provide details on the information contained in your application. This is usually the starting point and questions regarding how you handle stress, past difficult experiences with pet parents and future plans are very common.
Stay calm, don't make stuff up, and anticipate certain questions so you're not caught off guard.
Bottom line, these interviews are supposed to be a nice chat where both parties are learning more about each other and assessing if this "relationship" could work. Do your homework, be yourself and truthful and you'll be just fine.