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Values Interviews

What are values interviews?

Values interviews are similar to, but not to be confused with, behavioral interviews. It's tempting to conflate the two, especially if they're being conducted in the same interview session.

Many companies have core values that they list publicly. For example, Google has its Ten things we know to be true. If a company at which you're interviewing has core values, you should expect to be evaluated against them. Therefore, it makes sense to prepare for them.

How to prepare for values interviews

You can only really prepare for values interviews when you know the companies to which you're applying. My recommendation is to prepare the values part shortly before the interview (sometime within the week before). The good news, in my opinion, is preparing for values interviews is relatively easy.

Build off your behavioral interview prep

You will have likely done your behavioral interview prep already. I recommend reviewing your behavioral prep and tailoring your stories a bit to fit the company values. Don't lie, of course, but just make sure to explicitly mention the company's values.

For example, one of my experiences involved improving tooling to enable a project to accomplish true continuous deployment. If I was applying to a company that had a value like "Fail faster and iterate," then I'd make sure to mention that value by name in my continuous delivery story.

Write down or print out the company's core values

Having the company's core values in front of you will help jog your memory. Interviewers won't mind that you have the core values printed out. If anything, it shows you did some research and are serious about the company.

Reference core values as a reason you applied (if that's true)

I'm guessing you agree with a number of core values that any company you apply to has. It's fairly common for companies to to ask "why do you want to work at this company?" That's a perfect opportunity to mention the core values with which you align!