What are your values?

Discuss what to expect in job and course interviews, what topics might be covered, how to manage anxiety, and how to get the desired result!
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What are your values?

Post by pusheenpal » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:06 pm

Hi everyone,

Lately I've had a few interviews asking me what my values are. While its tempting to repeat their own values back at them (and I know all I need to do is prepare for this question) I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of the things that might be expected and where I might be underselling myself.


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Re: What are your values?

Post by hawke » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:20 pm

The ones I've done best in were the ones where I was honest - as clichéd as it sounds! In my most recent (and successful) interview, I found myself talking about traits I hope I inherited/learned from my Dad who recently passed away, an a-gendered housemate and a telling off my boyfriend got for using some non-PC language.

I think what they are looking for is evidence of self-reflection, rather than any specific values. I might be wrong, but at the very least, I think you come across better if you aren't worrying too much about what you're supposed to say.

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Re: What are your values?

Post by alexh » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:22 am

Do a value clarification exercise. Reflect on the choices you have made in life and try to unearth the values that underpin those choices. You could complete the VIA Survey of Character Strengths - https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/testcenter and refelct on the results.

I agree with hawke, this is evidence of self-reflection and hopefully not a search for specific values.

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Re: What are your values?

Post by ell » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:49 pm

Considering some trusts recruit using value-based recruitment processes, they might actually be looking to see if your values are compatible with the trust's, not just wanting to see if you are reflective. Unless reflective is on their list.

Chances are though that at least some of your values with overlap with whatever buzz words the recruiting trust has decided on for their vision and values statement. It's still worth looking up these things, and considering how you might fit with that. But I would agree that you need to be able to talk to it a bit more than just listing their values back at them.

I find values a strange concept sometimes. I might look at that link alexh provided. But off the top of my head, my values are compassion, fairness, open-mindedness, tolerance, humour, and fun. At least, I think those count as values.

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Re: What are your values?

Post by pusheenpal » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:54 am


I think maybe a combination of all approaches is the way to go. I will definitely have a look at the link too!

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Re: What are your values?

Post by rhapsodyinred » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:04 pm

Something I do as a values and strengths exercise with clients is the "friend in the chair" question:

"If your best friend/parent/significant other/close cousin etc were sitting in the chair next to you and I asked 'what are Pusheenpal's strengths?', what would they say?"

It can be really hard to think of our own values and strengths! But this is a really useful exercise, because when you have answers like "they would say I'm caring, a good listener, funny, supportive, a good friend etc.", you can then tease out what values are associated to those. For example - if someone says that you're a good listener, those strengths can translate to values like empathy and compassion. Some other possible associations between personal trait and values below:

Caring - kindness, compassion, solidarity
Supportive - kindness, compassion, empathy
Funny - positivity, optimism
A good friend - kindness, loyalty, trustworthy
Reliable - loyalty, commitment
Clever/smart - curiosity, committed to continuing development
Nice to be around - friendliness, being welcoming, enthusiasm, inclusivity

I hope this helps! :) I actually regularly do a values visioning exercise with myself: I write down the first 10 values that come to my mind if I'm asked to think of values, and then go through them ranking them 1-5 in order of importance for me. For example:

Kindness, equity, loyalty, determination, curiosity, compassion, empathy, enthusiasm, willingness to work hard, solidarity
And my top five would be kindness, empathy, equity, solidarity and curiosity. If asked, I would also be able to explain what living those values in the context of my work looks like. It's an exercise that's worth doing, even just for your own personal development!

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