Value Based Interview Questions


Common value-based interview questions and how to answer them

A person’s values can be truly personal and based in large part on the experiences and influences that have occurred during their lifetime, as well as the principles by which they have lived. While they can of course change over time, values often have deep roots and motivations behind a person’s actions or decisions. However, this does not mean that we always uphold our values, and they can be applied in different ways in different situations – whether at work or among friends and family.

Values-based interview questions are designed to let you describe your personal values during the interview. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but the interviewer will be interested to know if your values and morals align with those of the business. Where there is a misalignment of values, it can be difficult for both parties to move forward towards a common goal because of fundamental differences in how someone behaves or approaches a situation.


How to define your values

Identifying our core personal values can be difficult, and not many of us would be able to describe them all at once or write them down. To get you thinking, one idea is to create a mind map or take some notes, using the following questions as a guide:

  • What makes you feel happy and why?
  • What are you proud of and why?
  • What things usually make you angry or upset, and why?
  • Who inspires you and why?
  • What do you think makes a good leader and why?
  • When you look at a list of values, which ones appeal to you the most and why?
  • When you’re done, review your notes and choose what’s most important to you to create your set of values. 

There is no limit to the amount of values a person can have, but for the purposes of the interview, try to pick the top 5 to focus on.


Preparing for values-based questions

Some tips and tricks to help you prepare for any value-based questions you may be asked:

  1. To identify your personal values and why they matter to you
  2. Examine the values of the company you are applying for and be clear about how your values align or don’t align with theirs.
  3. Think of examples of how you have demonstrated both your own values and the values of the company.
  4. Use the star method to help structure any responses where you may need to provide an example of how you have demonstrated your values. The action section is really important here. Make sure the actions you take are consistent with your values and that you can support your arguments.
  5. Star method

To put the star method into practice, take each of your values and come up with an example of how you demonstrated it, then use the following points to describe it:

S – situation

In this section, we will talk about the situation itself. Describe the context in which you worked or the problem you encountered.

T – task

This section talks about the tasks you need to complete to resolve or resolve the situation. What have you been asked to do or what have you decided to do?

A – action

In this section, talk about what your responsibility was when completing tasks. Focus on the role you played specifically and how you contributed, not what your team or colleagues did. Talk about why you took certain actions and how it relates to your values.

R – result

In this section, talk about what the result was and what you achieved.

Common value-based questions that many of us have heard before include:

  1. Please tell us about yourself
  2. Please tell us what you are proud of
  3. Please tell us about a time when you had a disagreement with a colleague.

Eleanore Frinqois

Eleanore Frinqois, Lead Editor at is a business leader with over 30 years in both start-up and enterprise level organisations. Previously Operations Directer at a £1.8BN media group, alongside setting-up and later selling 3 digital brands - Eleanore has expertise across all aspects of business growth.

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