“What would you say are your core personal values?”

Interesting interview question? It sounds like it should be straightforward, but I don’t think I had the answer at hand until I did some work on it this year, prompted by the great Squiggly Careers podcast ( My shortlist is still quite new and feels somewhat organic, by which I mean it might well change shape over time, but at present I’ve listed my core values as Energy, Assertiveness, Quality, Collaboration and Growth. These are the headlines that lead to a longer list of adjectives and qualities that are all part of my make-up: enthusiastic, fair, empathetic, curious (and about 28 other words that I had to condense down!).

I agree with the Squiggly Careers team that spending some time to zone in on what your personal values are can be hugely helpful when looking for a new job, and also when considering why people clash or why a situation is making you uncomfortable. Could it be that someone else's core values are not aligned to yours? In any event, it’s interesting and completely painless so I'd highly recommend adding it to your toolkit.