Job Seeking Advice

Interview questions you’ll be asked if the company is BIG on values

Values-led recruitment is a form of talent acquisition that enables companies to hire individuals that share their professional and personal values. Read on for our full lowdown (and to prepare yourself for your next values-based job interview)).

You may have heard the phrase ‘values-led recruitment’ floating around, but not really know what it refers to. While values-led recruitment isn’t a new concept in the recruitment world, for candidates it can feel like a bit of a mystery.

However, with more and more organisations adopting a values-led recruitment model (something we are v.happy about here at Moxie), it’s pretty important that you clue yourself up on what it all means and how you can best prepare yourself for it.

Read on for the 411 on values-based recruitment, what questions to expect in a values-led job interview and what kinds of companies are veering down this path.

What is a values-based interview?

A values-based interview seeks to determine whether a candidate shares the same values as the company and brand they are hoping to work for.

Essentially, the interview becomes less about scoring higher than your competitor on achievements and skill set, and more about who you are as a person.

Oof - kinda heavy, right?

Trust us when we say that value-based job interviews are a seriously good thing. They show that an organisation truly cares about company culture, and takes the time to find employees that fit like a glove and can contribute to the overall morale and motivation of the team.

The interviewer will be looking for how well you might slot into the overall team and how your personality traits could contribute to office energy and work output.

Your ability to flex your muscles and shout about aaaaaall of those awards you’ve won is nowhere near as important as your capacity to engage and empathise with your fellow employees, showing the recruiter why your values are totally aligned with those of the wider company.

Why do companies adopt values-based recruitment models?

Values-led recruitment is a way of getting to know people, their motivations, passions, interests and whether they’ll be a good fit for an organisation and for the roles that organisation is recruiting to, so that an employer can make the best possible recruitment choices for those who they provide care and support for.

It looks beyond skillset alone and, instead, places a major emphasis on finding people who will fit in seamlessly with a team and company values.

So, what’s the big deal? Why are so many companies jumping aboard the values-based ship?

By focusing on choosing candidates with values that match a company and brand, employers can form a team where everyone is working towards the same goals with an approach and mindset that pieces together like the most aesthetically pleasing puzzle ever. This, in turn, can lead to:

  • A more positive work environment and culture

  • Reduced staff turnover and higher productivity

  • Excellent staff morale and motivation

  • Better employee engagement

These benefits ALL contribute to lower costs, higher output and, ultimately, greater business success. Not bad, right?

What kind of companies use values-based recruitment?

We typically see value-based recruitment in care, support work, tech for good and education-based organisations. Unsurprisingly, NHS employers are big on values-based recruitment, as are charities, community interest groups and social support organisations.

If the company is purpose-driven, there’s a really high chance that they’ll be using a values-based recruitment strategy. Here at Moxie, it’s our ‘go-to’, and has led to us finding utterly incredible human beings to make up our team.

Thankfully, values-led recruitment is massively on the rise.

We have the pleasure of seeing that first hand with the purpose-driven companies that we work with. LinkedIn recently revealed that it had experienced a 154% increase in job ads mentioning culture and values in the past two years, with two thirds of professionals in the UK wanting to work for companies aligned with their values. They’ve even launched a ‘values-based jobs’ filter to their platform.

We are also seeing values-based recruitment ripple out far beyond support-centric roles. A growing number of commercial and private sector organisations are now putting value-led recruitment front and centre as they strive to hire people who see their job as more than a few pound signs. They want people who genuinely care about what they do: and with 76% of people who love their workplace claim that this is down to their organisation embodying its values and ethics, it’s hardly surprising that a values-based approach is going to leave a big, juicy tick in the potential candidate feedback form.

However, it’s important to remember that values-based recruitment doesn’t sit and stay in the interview room. The values of your organisation should underpin every interaction and every action within your organisation: they should be lived and not just be wallpaper in the reception of your buildings. Only then can you authentically hire candidates from a place of values, ethics and culture.

What can you expect from a values-based job interview?

Candidates preparing for a values-based interview needn’t panic - if anything, it should give you the nudge needed to totally be yourself throughout the application process. After all, it’s YOU they want to get to know - not just your qualifications.

One major tip is not to be afraid to tell your story; be that face to face, virtual or over a simple telephone call, companies want to find out what makes you, you. Let it out! Standout from the crowd. Share your motivations, passions and interests and be personable. Gone are the days where your University degree qualification is the be all and end all of whether or not you’re going to nab that job.

Plus: do your research! Go into the interview knowing what the company values are. You can then align these with your own values through your answers and conversation.

A few values-based interview questions - and the values they centre around - that will give you a taste for what to expect include:


  • Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma at work? If so, what was the issue and how did you deal with it?

  • What would you do if you saw a colleague behaving inappropriately towards a customer or client?

  • What would you do if you found out that a colleague was logging in work that they hadn’t completed?


  • Describe a time that you had to work as a team towards a common goal. What worked well in this situation? What would you have changed had you done it again?

  • Describe a time your team failed to complete a project on time or to the best standard? What would you do differently if you had the chance?

  • Have you ever had to work with someone who you didn’t get along with?


  • Tell us about a successful team project you worked on. What was your contribution?

  • Talk us through the process of managing competing work loads. How would you prioritise tasks and ensure all were completed when needed?

  • How would you react if your team received negative feedback about an element of work that was entirely assigned to you?

Social responsibility

  • What is your understanding of CSR and the role it plays in an organisation? What has your experience been of this?

  • What company policies would you suggest in order to make our operations more environmentally friendly? How would you communicate these policies to other employees?

  • How have you maintained a balance in past positions between performing thorough quality controls on products and services while ensuring costs stay low?


  • Tell us about a time when you were facing a technical problem and your normal troubleshooting system wasn’t working. What did you do?

  • Can you give us an example of an organisation who has produced a truly unique, well-designed and impactful product or service? What do you find so important about their work and how they do it?

  • Describe a situation where you have applied a new approach to a piece of work. How did other employees take this different approach? How did you communicate the changes and their benefits to them?

In summary...

Values-led recruitment is a fantastic approach to hiring that can be worth its weight in gold. As a potential candidate, it is a brilliant way to find organisations that match your interests, values and motivations, while giving you the opportunity to show your true self throughout the entire application process.

But, if you do need a helping hand along the way, that’s where we come in. Drop us a line to arrange a natter over a brew - let’s start making a plan so that you can feel as ready as possible for that dream, purpose-driven role.