Thinking Outside the Box

The following story comes from a job application. The intent of the interviewers was to learn something about the job candidates’ values by seeing how they responded to a challenging moral and ethical dilemma. What they weren’t expecting was the answer given by the individual who was finally chosen over 200 other applicants. Let’s see how you can do in the same circumstance.

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night. As you pass a bus stop, you see three people waiting for the bus and looking very sad indeed. The first person is an old lady who looks as if she is about to die and in need of immediate medical attention. The second person is an old friend who, in addition to being helpful at all times, once saved your life. The third person at the bus stop is the perfect man or woman, the perfect partner, you have always dreamed about meeting. There is only room for one passenger in your car. To which of these three individuals would you offer a ride?

Clearly each of the choices offers benefits. If you pick up the old lady, you could transport her to the hospital and perhaps save her life. If you pick up your old friend, you would have a chance to repay him for all of his kindnesses and for once saving your life. If you pick up your perfect partner, you would have a chance to find true happiness in your personal life. You may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again!

Which would you choose?

The successful candidate had no difficulty in answering this question at all. He simply said, "Because I know he is trustworthy, I would give the car keys to my old friend and have him take the old lady to the hospital. That way I could stay behind and wait for the bus together with the woman of my dreams."

Never forget to "think outside the box".