Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland is taking a new approach to interviewing prospective students. Instead of subjecting applicants to a traditional sit-and-grill-style interview to determine if they're fit for the university's prestigious veterinary school, the admissions staff is delegating their evaluations -- to their dogs.
"We get more than 400 applicants for our vet nursing course ... and only have 30 places, so it's really important we select those students who are right for the job," said evaluator Mary Fraser, whose dog, Belle, will be present for the interviews. "Having Belle in the interview room not only helps calm the prospective students but lets us see what they're like with animals."
Because all students must complete internships in vet offices before they graduate, Fraser and her colleagues believe the new interview process will be extremely helpful in determining whether or not applicants have what it takes. But adding dogs to the mix can also help calm anxious interviewees. "If, at this stage, they don't cope well with a very friendly puppy," Fraser said, "then they are unlikely to get on well with a snarling 60kg dog."