Values-based Interview Questions

Use values-based interview questions to identify culture-fit candidates who get what you’re about.

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Why values-based interview questions are a must

Your company values are more than just theoretical beliefs. They reflect your mission and long-term objectives.  

Company values impact how employees collaborate, guide your investment choices as a business and help you make the right hiring decisions.

Values-based interview questions will help you figure out what your candidate prioritizes, what drives them and whether their priorities align with your company goals. They might include integrity, collaboration, accountability, social responsibility, innovation or customer orientation.

Value-based interview questions

Integrity

  • Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma at work? What happened?
  • What would you do if you saw a colleague stealing from the company?

Collaboration

  • Have you ever missed a deadline as a team? What would you do differently next time?
  • What would you do if you didn’t like a colleague?

Accountability

  • What’s been your #1 team project? What was your contribution?
  • What would you do if your team reacted badly to your part of the project?

Social responsibility

  • How do you balance quality controls on products vs. low costs?
  • How would you make our operations more environmentally-friendly and share your guidelines with the team?

Innovation

  • Have you ever faced a tech issue you couldn’t work out? What did you do?
  • What’s your #1 product and why?

Customer orientation

  • Have you ever dealt with an angry customer? What happened?
  • How would you reply to a customer who asks a question just as your shift ends?

How to ace values-based interview questions

  • Be prepared: Identify your core company values. Successful candidates should share these. Then, define how each value translates into work behavior
  • Think about the role: Departments or smaller teams might value additional traits so tailor your questions appropriately.
  • Combine questions: Values-based questions work well with competency-based questions that focus on analyzing skills and knowledge. 

Candidates to avoid

  • They lack substance: If a candidate can’t support their arguments, they might be simply floating buzzwords to impress you.
  • There’s a values mismatch: They might have an awesome set of values, but if they don’t match the role requirements they’re probably better suited elsewhere. 
  • They’re inflexible: If your candidate has strong opinions that don’t match your core values, that’s a red flag.
  • They’re arrogant: Arrogant candidates are a big no-no. They might not comply with your company policies and end up creating a toxic work environment.

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