Job Interview

6 Examples of Personal Values to Bring Up in an Interview

personal values for job interview

One of the most fundamental things that shape our character are personal values. 

Personal values are your deep-held convictions about things you perceive as important, meaningful, and desirable in life. Your personal values and beliefs shape your mindset, define your attitudes, and guide your behaviors. 

Honest people are transparent about their strengths and weaknesses. But they also expect others to speak candidly and be open. Autonomy lovers thrive in remote roles requiring concentration, while teamwork enthusiasts thrive in fast-paced environments.

Generally, 8 in 10 workers say alignment between personal and corporate values is important, to the point where half would likely quit if it’s missing. That’s why hiring managers are increasingly screening candidates using culture-fit interview questions. They want to find people with similar values who will fit into the existing environment and thrive in the long-term!

What Personal Values Do Employers Look For?

Employers now prioritize strong soft skills over hands-on experience. A recent survey found a 22% decrease in “previous experience” mentions in job listings for banking, professional, and financial services over the last month. “Excellent communication” references increased by 18%.

In the tight labor market, employers seek people with the right personality attributes and character traits, reflecting their personal values.

Here are some personal values and beliefs mentioned on the career pages of companies like Kroger Co, Spotify, and Walmart among others. 

Short list of values

  • Transparency
  • Honesty 
  • Community 
  • Respect 
  • Authenticity
  • Sustainability
  • Stewardship
  • Equality
  • Diversity 
  • Creativity 
  • Autonomy 
  • Innovation 
  • Compassion 
  • Loyalty
  • Fairness
  • Generosity
  • Excellence
  • Self-expression
  • Humility
  • Famility 
  • Spirituality 
  • Self-reliance
  • Impact 
  • Ownership 
  • Participation 
  • Results
  • Teamwork
  • Tenacity 
  • Curiosity
  • Harmony
  • Ethical conduct 
  • Empowerment 
  • Humor 
  • Patience 

    6 Examples of Personal Core Values to Mention in an Interview 

    A lot of behavioral and situational interview questions aim to uncover candidates’ values and beliefs. Your goal is to be prepared and mention the qualities the employer seeks.

    Here are several examples of personal values that are almost universally appreciated by employers and likely to generate a positive response from them. 


    Integrity means acting in line with your personal beliefs, moral principles, and ethical norms. Workers with high integrity never bend rules when no one’s watching or make questionable judgments for some personal gains, like a faster path to promotion. 

    In finance, healthcare, and law enforcement, integrity is assumed as a ‘default’ value for good candidates. Generally, over 50% of business leaders say compliance with laws, regulations, and codes of conduct is an important characteristic for employees. 


    People who strongly value inclusivity are more likely to create a fair and unbiased environment. Workplaces are becoming more diverse, with multiple generations, ethnicities, and genders working together. According to PEW research, 3 in 10 employees find it extremely important to have a workplace with a good mix of employees of different races, ethnicities, and ages. Half of the surveyed workers said it’s important to work in a company accessible to people with physical disabilities.

    In 2024, 60% of employers plan to increase investments in diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI) in the workplace and screen candidates for adherence to these values.


    Candor means being open, honest, and straightforward in your communication, even when delivering a difficult or unpleasant message. This openness is important for building trust in the workplace.

    Employees who trust their employers are 260% more motivated to do their best work and 50% less likely to search for another job, according to Deloitte. That’s why hiring managers prioritize people with leadership skill set that is reinforced by qualities like candor, honesty, and transparency.


    Strong collaborators value effective communication, respect individual input, and empower others to do their best work. They excel in personal tasks and can rally others to achieve better outcomes. Groups outperform individuals on complex tasks because they process information better, generate new ideas, and arrive at the correct solution faster.

    The best way to show that you value collaboration at the workplace is by giving examples of your teamwork skills when asked hypothetical or problem-solving interview questions

    Personal Growth

    Growth-oriented employees never settle. They seek new practical and theoretical knowledge, test new approaches, acquire extra skills, and expand their core competencies.

    It’s a great personal value to demonstrate during an interview if you lack some required qualifications. After all, 80% of employers plan to invest in employee upskilling this year. For experienced candidates, it’s a way to show eagerness to evolve professionally with market changes.


    Empathetic people understand others’ perspectives and feelings, showing compassion and support. Over 70% of employers value emotional intelligence (EQ), which assumes strong active listening skills, good conflict resolution skills, and a good degree of self-awareness. 

    Workers with high empathy are natural fits for roles in healthcare and hospitality. This quality is also important for leadership positions in companies that aim to excel in employee experience.

    Final Thoughts 

    To decide which personal values to bring up during an interview, research the company in advance. Peruse their career and culture pages. Try to get a copy of the employee code of conduct (some of these are shared publicly!). Pay attention to the values, behaviors, and qualities mentioned the most frequently. Then incorporate these in your replies to demonstrate a strong culture fit!


    • Elena Prokopets

      Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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