How to answer value-based interview questions: A step-by-step guide

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As you begin your graduate job search, you’re likely to find that certain employers prefer a “value-based” interview process. This is when the employer determines whether your values align with their company ethos, and whether you will be a good fit for their team.

In fact, The Department For Business Innovation & Skills underlines the growing importance of both large and small employers aligning their values with the personal qualities of their candidates.

Use this guide to understand the process of how to answer value based interview questions; all it takes is some preparation.

Find out more below!

How do you prepare for a value-based interview?

1. Create a timeline and identify your best moments

This might be quite a fun exercise for you if you’re looking for some top interview tips. It involves looking at your life as a whole, and identifying your list of values. Don’t be afraid if they’re different to someone else’s – and don’t worry if they’ve changed over time.

Look at your CV, or try and write down a timeline of events and achievements in your life so far. Now use your timeline to identify occasions where you felt happy, proud of yourself or fulfilled.

2. Collate your top 10 personal values and experiences

Google a list of common values, you’ll probably find one that contains well over 200. Try to match your values with your personal experience as examples.

3. Do some research into the values of your employer

If you’re applying for a certain position during your graduate job search, it’s time to get savvy on the company culture. Try looking at their mission on the About page, perusing their social media for more information, and use websites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn to look at employee profiles and reviews.

You should be able to get a good picture of their values from just a little bit of digging. Perhaps they go above and beyond for their customers, and believe in the importance of serving others. They might organise a lot of social events, to improve team cohesion and community.

4. How to answer value-based interview questions? Prepare some value-based responses

To be prepared is half the victory. Take a look at the following examples of common value-based interview questions, and some techniques on how to respond.

I. Tell me about yourself.

Keep it succinct and relevant to the job description, and use your recently curated list of values to structure this open-ended question. Use a few values to describe yourself, and remember to follow each one with an example.

II. What would you like to gain from working here?

Take a look at the job description, and weave your personal values in there.

For example, if one of your values is community, and the job description requires someone who is comfortable working with people from all backgrounds, you could talk about your passion for community building, and refer back to your volunteering experience.

III. Tell us about a time where you worked as a team.

Use an example of a time you worked as a team, what you achieved, and also and don’t forget to include what you learned from it. This shows your employer that you’re self-aware.

IV. Tell me about your greatest accomplishment.

If the employer ever asks you a personal question such as this one, remember to link it back to the company ethos or job description in some way. For example, perhaps you know they value leadership, so you could talk about the time you were captain of your local football team, what you achieved, and what you learned from it.

Feeling more confident about how to answer value-based interview questions and ready to apply for jobs? Check out our current live roles here.