This is a real question that was put in a job interview and the only person that got the right answer got the job.
You are driving along in your car in a wild stormy night; it is raining heavily when you pass by a bus stop. And you see three people waiting for a bus: an old lady, an old friend that once saved your life and the perfect partner you have been dreaming all your life.
Which one would you choose to offer a ride knowing very well that your car is a two seats car and that you can give a ride to only one person?
My first automatic action will be slowing down the car, near them.
After exchanging greets with my friend, I will offer him a ride, adding to it “or do you think WE should help others out first & go and catch up later”? This will initiate a “consultation-session”, short & harmless.
Why so? Because it will provide me with INFORMATION to make a better decision or at least make a weighted decision.
- I can offer anyone of them a lift. But who actually needs MY lift?! (no one yet)
- Is it not possible that each one of them (or some) already called a dear one to pick them up at the bus stop during such an angry stormy night?
- Who said the bus isn’t coming or that they don’t prefer to take it (be it late)?
- My first action will be asking them whether they need a lift from me and/or whether they’re getting picked up soon by someone. (asking first or just doing is very culturally determined)
- This will still be a well-meant offer wrapped-up in a reasonable & sober manner, since they all can see the small size of my car and see that I actually stopped.
- They will engage in a spontaneous social interaction, either consulting each other, favouring one another or explaining one’s urgent need to be first. Or giving me the right (order) of choosing based on their attitude.
- My offer has open validity & genuine attached to it. I’m also flexible; I can go and come back. They can help me decide who’s first, who’s next, who’s third OR who’s thankful but needs no lift!
- They can also help me decide intuitively: who’s a friend worthy of a reunion, who’s an old truly needy person & who’s a truly potential dream partner based on attitude & not only looks or dreamy fantasies, based on their own calculation of what I’m supposed to do according to them!
Don’t judge a book by its cover, for the inside pages may be blank & waste your time, money & good intentions.
I believe (but I may be wrong) that this question aims to examine abilities & competences such as:
- Research valuation & research skills
- Identifying needs vs improvisation & imposition.
- Soberness & rationality in judgement vs emotionality & bad or pretentious impulsiveness.
- Pro-activity & backing good intentions by deeds & words.
- Being direct & frank vs being complimentary & vague.
- Conveying honesty, fragility & transparency.
- Altruistic traits vs egoistic traits.
- Communication skills.
- Group management skills, discussion & leadership by consultation.
- Situation analysis & hard-decision-making skills.
Off course, I realize that I won’t have enough time to come up with such a “perfect behaviour answer”. But I think I will take my time until someone stops me or get lost in logical thinking.
ps: actually the right answer is supposed to be much simpler. You can look it up in Google, I guess. Thanks for reading! 🙂