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Profile for Rob Scott, Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

Having gone to great lengths to circulate your job description, together with an explicit list of skills, experience and education requirements, the responses to your applications are now flooding in.

You’re about to start interviewing for your potential new star. But hang on a moment, if you merely match standout CVs to the role, will you end up with the right person for your team?

Many organisations now carry out a value-based interview (VBI) instead. Read on to find out what it is and how it can help you.

What is a value-based interview?

During a VBI the candidate will be asked specific questions to discover truthfully if he or she holds values and enduring beliefs that match those of the organisation.

For example, if your company champions collaboration, does your candidate enjoy working as part of a team?

The individual may be super qualified and have bags of experience, but if they go against the grain of the company values, they’re not going to fit in and worse still might upset the apple cart for the existing team.

Whereas a candidate who ticks the CV boxes and shows empathy to the organisational values looks a perfect fit.

When should you conduct a value-based interview?

VBIs are more common in some sectors than others. One finding it increasingly useful in the United Kingdom is healthcare, with health trusts or care-related charities concluding that they can only deliver their key value of exceptional care and support if staff are aligned to it. There’s no point going to work in a hospital if you’re not cut out for it, and VBIs, in this case, will ensure staff are hired who are less likely to leave soon after, thereby saving a fortune on staff attrition costs.

What must a value-based interview achieve?

Essentially, you’re trying to hire someone who’s an excellent fit for your organisation, someone who is going to settle in, align themselves with the ethos of the place and perform better because of it.

And as we all know, performing better is good news for the business. In the case of a health trust, that means better care for patients, fulfilling its core value.

That’s all well and good, but value-based interviews can only be as good as the people conducting them. In other words, they need to be:

  • Designed appropriately (based on role analysis)
  • Structured
  • Conducted with relevant and standardised questions
  • Carried out by an interviewer, or panel, trained in best practice
  • Most importantly, measured using validated scoring criteria

And remember to pay attention. Cunning candidates are getting rather good at saying what they think you want to hear. In the case of a hospital, it might be quite easy to ramble on about a passion for caring for people. You could probably talk for two minutes about that right now. So, it’s up to the interviewer to probe deeper with follow-up questions that explore a candidate’s real background and values.

Example value-based interview questions

It’s easier for this exercise to break down VBIs into four areas to learn as much about the candidate’s suitability as possible, then give five examples of each:

1) The role/organisation

2) Working with others

3) Taking responsibility

4) General Value Questions


a) Why does our company appeal to you?

b) What are your own core values?

c) What aspects of the role would you see as the least enjoyable for you?

d) In your opinion, what would be the main rewards?

e) What would you identify as the main challenges ahead?


a) Tell us about a situation where it was important you worked as part of a team?

b) If we spoke to those colleagues, what would they say about your role and performance in the project?

c) In your view, what was the result of working together as a team?

d) If the teamwork failed, why do you think that was?

e) What makes a good team leader?


a) Talk us through a situation where you were successful? Why do you think it was a success?

b) Tell us about a mistake you’ve made? What did you do about it and what have you learnt from it?

c) Do you welcome feedback, and how do you take it?

d) Have you ever gone the extra mile to learn something new?

e) What did you do when your boss gave you urgent work just before the end of the day?


a) Not all tasks are fun. How do you motivate yourself during the tedious parts of the job?

b) Have you had an experience of using your integrity?

c) What drives you as a person?

d) What qualities do you look for in a manager?

e) What organisations do you support outside of work, and why?

If you were to get through a decent selection of these in your value-based interview, together with probing follow-up questions, then you should be in a great position to understand the values and beliefs of the bright-eyed candidate sitting opposite you.

What should be avoided in VBI interviews?

Poor preparation! The skill of conducting a VBI is in the line of questioning, and the willingness of the questioner to dig deep. A laid-back approach will lead to ineffectual answers, defeating the whole object. If you’re working as part of a panel, ensure everyone involved is aware of the process and knows what they’ll be expected to ask.

When designing questions, ensure that they don’t cross an ethical line. For instance, “What are the main lessons that you learned from your parents?” could be deemed unlawful on several levels (yet was a question recently asked by government interview panel).  See illegal interview questions for more examples.

Another critical thing to learn as an interviewer is to avoid asking hypothetical questions since these simply give the candidate a chance to spin a yarn. For example, don’t ask: “How would you deal with a conflict with a co-worker?” since this is not specific. The candidate could wax lyrical without answering truthfully. Whereas if you asked: “Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a colleague?” it is far more likely to elicit a truthful response.

Finally, have structured scoring criteria so that you can assess ‘Candidate A’ against ‘Candidate B’ without bias.  If more than one of you is conducting a VBI, then score independently and compare and contrast scores at the end of all the interviews to avoid ‘confirmation bias’ or ‘heuristics’.

Other Relevant Interview Advice

Finally, if you're an employer in need of support with your recruitment process, please get in touch with Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.



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I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis’ services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

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Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dawrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard on securing my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them

C. Caine, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles saught to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.

L. Taylor, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

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