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Help Screen Candidates for a Culture Fit with these Value-Based Interview Questions

by | Dec 7, 2018 | Placement Process, Top Echelon Blog

It isn’t enough to just find skilled, intelligent, and knowledgeable candidates and place them at your client’s company. Even in this era of low unemployment, you need to find out if a candidate would be an all-around great fit in the company.

When employees don’t jive with a company’s culture, your client could be left with unnecessary workplace drama, disengagement, and quick turnover. To maintain the delicate balance of your client’s company culture and overcome recruitment challenges, ask value-based interview questions.

What are value-based interview questions?

Most people have a set of values that guide them. Likewise, businesses generally have core values that they follow. To find out if a candidate’s values would conflict or mesh with your client’s company, ask valued-based questions.

Value-based interview questions can examine how the candidate feels about things like:

  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Dedication
  • Integrity
  • Responsibility

Before asking values-based recruitment questions

A value-based interview encourages candidates to share their workplace views, values, and behaviors.

Here are some steps you can take to make a value-based interview more effective:

  1. Understand your client’s company culture
  2. Ask value-based interview questions
  3. Compare value-based answers to client’s company
  4. Discuss deal-breaker responses with your client

Before you ask candidates value-based questions, you need to understand your client’s company culture. Talk with your client about their company’s goals and core beliefs.

Ask interview questions that are based on your client’s company. Although there are generic questions you can ask, you should tailor some to the company’s value system. Be sure to record candidate answers in your recruiting software.

After conducting a candidate interview, review candidate answers. Compare their answers to the company’s values and determine whether their answers would help or hinder your client’s company culture. Look for red flags, such as an individual-oriented candidate who is interviewing for a team-based position.

Talk with your client about any red flags you caught during the interview. Although you aren’t looking for candidates who are all the same, you need to weed out candidates whose values directly conflict with your client’s company.

30 Value-based interview questions to ask candidates

To get started, check out the value-based recruitment interview questions below. You can ask these questions during the interview or use them to help come up with your own. Again, you should tailor some questions specific to your client’s company.

Below are common value-based interview questions, divided into categories.

Adaptability questions

1. What is most important to you in the workplace? Why?

2. Are you flexible when it comes to workplace changes? Describe a time when you adapted to change.

3. Tell me about a time when you were unable to adapt in the workplace. Why?

4. What are some negatives to change that you’ve encountered in your job? Tell me about them.

5. Have you ever had to change a project around at the last minute? What did you do? How did it work out?

Collaboration values interview questions

6. Do you prefer to work alone or with a team? Why?

7. Tell me about a time you disagreed with your teammates. What happened?

8. Describe a time when you had to work with someone you didn’t get along with. What did you do? Did things go smoothly?

9. Describe your ideal teammate. Have you ever worked with someone who embodied these characteristics? Tell me about your experience.

10. What role do you typically take on while working with a team? Give me an example.

Communication values-based recruitment questions

11. How would you describe your communication skills?

12. How important are communication skills to you in the workplace?

13. Tell me about a time when a miscommunication resulted in a setback. What did you do? What did you learn from the situation?

14. Describe a situation where you needed to convey an idea to a coworker. What did you do to get your point across? Were there any setbacks along the way?

15. Tell me about a time when you had to sell an idea or opinion to someone in the workplace (e.g., boss, coworkers, or customers). What was the result?

Dedication value-based questions

16. Tell me about a time you became disengaged at work. What happened?

17. Describe a time you were happiest and most productive at work. What responsibilities were you doing?

18. Where do you see yourself in five years?

19. Tell me about an achievement that was difficult to reach. How did you accomplish it?

20. Have you ever taken the initiative to learn something new for a job? Tell me about it.

Integrity value-based questions

21. Please define “integrity.” What does it mean to you in the workplace?

22. Have you ever been put in a situation where doing the right thing would make you look bad? Tell me about how you handled it.

23. If you saw a coworker doing something that would hurt the company, what would you do? Has this ever happened to you? Please explain.

24. If you knew your manager was doing something unethical, how would you handle it?

25. What would you do if you were asked to do something that went against your values?

Responsibility questions

26. Have you ever had to juggle more projects than you had time for? How did you prioritize?

27. Tell me about a time when you had to pass your work onto a coworker because you couldn’t meet deadlines. What did you learn from the experience?

28. Describe a time when you were late for an important meeting. What happened?

29. Tell me about a time when a coworker’s work was passed onto you. Were you able to get the work done? What was your reaction to the situation?

30. If you made a mistake that could cost you your job and nobody knew it was you, what would you do?

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