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4 Examples of Values-based Interview Questions and Answers

How do interviewers test for core values? Core values are those beliefs that guide your behavior, your decision-making, and your work ethic. Examples of core values include collaboration, customer orientation, accountability, and integrity, to name just a few. Core values interview questions are usually asked in the form of behavioral or situational scenarios that embody a company’s values.

Interview questions based on core values

In preparation for your interview, research the core values of the company you’ve applied to, to see what matters most to them. These values influence the investments they make and the types of employees they hire. Then, add some extra preparation by working through these samples of core values interview questions and answers.

  • Your team receives negative feedback on a project for a part that was assigned to you. How would you react?

Your interviewer is assessing your accountability and self-awareness here. Employees who show a sense of acknowledgment and responsibility work well in teams and are considered trustworthy and honest. 

Sample answer: “I would firstly acknowledge my role in the project and then ask for clarity on the details of the problem. I’d take steps to correct the issue and then review the case to prevent similar mistakes from happening again.”

  • What would you do if you had to work with a person you didn’t get along with?

Collaboration and adaptability are key elements in most work environments. However, it’s impossible to get along with everybody. Your recruiter wants to see that your negative feelings won’t impact project outcomes and the overall vision of the company.

Sample answer: “I consider myself to be a good-natured person, so when faced with someone I don’t get along with, I’d treat them with the same respect I would any other colleague. I’d do my best to get along with them to ensure a comfortable work environment for myself and other coworkers. Making sure to pick my battles carefully, I may feel the need to occasionally take a break from the team”

  • Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma at work, and if so, how did you react?

This question is often asked because integrity and honesty are essential core values every employee should have. Use the STAR method to answer this question by describing the Situation, Task, your Approach, and Results. 

Sample answer: “I witnessed a colleague talking to a coworker in a derogatory way. Even though we were friends, I felt it was my duty to approach him and urge him not to speak in that manner. When he didn’t seem to take me seriously, I escalated the issue to Human Resources. My colleague received a warning and was made to apologize to my coworker after she confirmed the incident.”

  • How would you react to a customer who enters the store or calls just as your shift ends?

Frontline workers are the face of a company when it comes to clients, so they must be customer-oriented. If you’re applying for a frontline position, recruiters need to see how far you’re willing to go to provide good customer service

Sample answer: “As a representative of the company, I need to provide service to that customer. The client is not aware of my shift status, nor should that be a concern of theirs. Part of my role is to ensure customer retention and by refusing service, they might look elsewhere for satisfaction.”

Final thoughts

A company’s values will dictate the types of questions you’ll be asked in an interview, so scour the mission, vision, and ‘About Us’ sections of a potential employer’s website for information. You may also find yourself facing competency and values-based questions in order for interviewers to get a complete profile of you. Along with preparing answers for values-based recruitment questions, get some insight into how candidates are evaluated here.

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