Candidates consider all types of questions while preparing for an interview. Most of them prepare for traditional interview questions. Some of them even prep for behavioral-based questions, as well. However, would you be ready for this question?

“What are your core values?”

More and more, core values are becoming a central issue during the interview process, for both candidates and companies. The reason? Because they often signify whether or not a truly compatible fit exists. If everything else about a new position – the job description, the salary and benefits, the company culture – are all falling into place, and the company’s core values are in step with yours, then it’s a slam-dunk.

But what if you’ve never conducted an evaluation of your core values, those standards by which you prefer to live and work? Well, it’s not too late to do some introspection and discover exactly what your values are. Once you’ve done that, you can compare them to those of your present or prospective employer in the interests of determining compatibility.

You might be asking yourself what things constitute your values. Furthermore, are your professional values different from your personal values? You’ll find that if you make a list comprised of both types, more likely than not, there will be plenty of overlap. That’s because it’s nearly impossible to keep them separate; your personal values have a tremendous impact on what you value professionally.

Below are some examples of “core value” principles:

  • The desire to build long-term relationships
  • The need to treat others with respect and to appreciate their time
  • Placing an emphasis on effective communication
  • A healthy work-life balance, which includes adequate vacation and recovery time

As you can see, the majority of these apply to both the personal and professional realm. It makes perfect sense that would be the case. People practice their core values consistently across the different areas of their life.

So what are the core values of your current employer? Are those values readily apparent? Can you tell what they are just by observing the company in operation? It’s extremely important that an employee’s values are in line with their employer’s values. If that’s not the case, then it’s difficult for that employee to find ultimate fulfillment with the company.

If you’ve had the feeling that things just aren’t right where you’re at, but you can’t put your finger on the problem, mismatched values could very well be it. Don’t underestimate the importance of aligned values between employee and employer.

Once you’ve completed an assessment of your values, take a hard look at where you stand with your current company. If an acceptable alignment doesn’t exist, then perhaps it’s time to find a place that values the same things that you do