We get asked about this a great deal and it is an absolutely sacrosanct part of our coaching, as it is rapidly becoming the norm, either as the backbone of an interview or as a core part. Although it has long been a part of interviews in the commercial sector, it has really taken off in healthcare over the past few years, driven in part by Francis and the conclusion that compassion seemed to have disappeared from staff in Mid Staffordshire (we’d question that conclusion a bit but…). So what is it?

A values-based interview seeks to establish what drives the individual and how this exhibits in their behaviour, reasoning and choices, with the specific intention of establishing whether a candidate closely matches (or not) the values the organisation perceives to be the most important for high quality care and organisational fit.

By way of an example, imagine an organisation with a core value (find them on the website!) of COMPASSION. A typical example VBI question might sound like:

“Tell us about a time when you supported someone through a difficult situation”

The answer needs to be personal and experiential, not semantic and the commonest trap people fall into is telling a panel what they think they want to hear, not about their own specific circumstances. There’s definitely a right, and more importantly a wrong, way to answer these and we encourage you to ensure you know how to!