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Hypothetical Dilemma: Ship Is Sinking, One Seat On Lifeboat, You Must Choose One Person To Save (1 Viewer)

GordonGekko

Footballguy
Here is a hypothetical dilemma. (Some variations of it are used in stress test interviews/oral board interviews)

There is a ship that is sinking. It is guaranteed to fully sink in the next 10 minutes. Anyone still on board after that time will absolutely positively perish.

You are remotely controlling three doors ( You are not on the ship itself, but you can see everything happening via video and audio everywhere on the entire vessel ) . Each door has one person standing in front of it. Behind each door is a short hallway that leads to the same single lifeboat. There is only room for one passenger on said lifeboat. If that passenger gets on, they will be guaranteed to survive and return to civilization/organized society. The three people cannot talk to each other nor communicate with each other. You can see them upclose via cameras/video feed, but they cannot see you. They can talk to you via two way audio communication inside the camera on top of their door.

Person 1 - A young child. But old enough to understand the total consequences of this choice.

Person 2 - An elderly man whom has the direct personal knowledge base that includes the cure for cancer. All cancers. If he perishes, all that knowledge and the cure disappears with him forever.

Person 3 - A pregnant middle aged woman (Six months into term, very visible). She is the undisputed leader of a large drug cartel, responsible for torture, murder, human trafficking including children, organ harvesting, sex trafficking, weapons sales, kidnapping, assassinations and large scale drug dealing.

You can choose to pick one person to let onto the lifeboat. Or you can choose to let no one onto the lifeboat. You will not be held criminally liable for your decision. You will suffer no public nor private backlash/animosity for your decision. There is no way to allow more than one passenger to fit into the lifeboat ( the pregnant woman counts as "one passenger" in this scenario) You cannot receive any personal enrichment/personal enticement/material items of tangible value of any kind that specifically benefit you directly from any potential passenger to sway your decision. There are no substitutes allowed for the potential passengers. It's one of these three or no one at all.

You are allowed to ask each person one single question ( not a multi-part type, but an actual single question) before you make your decision. They must answer you and they must answer you truthfully.

Whom do you pick? Why did you pick them?

If you chose to ask them each a question, what specific question did you ask each of them? Why did you pick that question?
 

Caveman33

Footballguy
Obviously the cartel lady is out. Certainly don't want her or her spawn surviving. Maybe I would ask the old man why he hasn't done anything with his cancer cure knowledge, but I probably wouldn't trust his answer. Since he has been hoarding the knowledge to himself, no reason to think he won't continue to do so. I guess I would save the young child.
 

bcat01

Footballguy
Obviously the cartel lady is out. Certainly don't want her or her spawn surviving. Maybe I would ask the old man why he hasn't done anything with his cancer cure knowledge, but I probably wouldn't trust his answer. Since he has been hoarding the knowledge to himself, no reason to think he won't continue to do so. I guess I would save the young child.
Agree with this, but I would ask the old man what the cure is.
 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Cancer man: Will you immediately publish your knowledge and allow humanity to access it freely for the end goal of curing cancer?

Kid: Do you understand why it is so important to save the old man?

Pregnant sociopath: What do you want on your tombstone?
 

3C's

Footballguy
Ask the old man for the cancer cure before I allow him to pass. If he fails to give it let the kid pass. Once he gives it I allow the kid to pass.
 

3C's

Footballguy
Ask the old man for the cancer cure before I allow him to pass. If he fails to give it let the kid pass. Once he gives it I allow the kid to pass.
They must answer the question and answer it truthfully
And you have 10 minutes, so hopefully it is a simple cure.
We are playing a hypothetical of course...the chance that a single elderly man has the cure that thousands have been searching for is in itself unrealistic.
 

GordonGekko

Footballguy
I'll make this interesting.

There is a set of three specific questions, one for each potential "passenger", that can deduce those most likely to be perceived as not worthy of the seat in the lifeboat.

Part of this thought exercise is to test a candidate ( again this module is designed for oral board interviews/stress test interviews) and their logic/problem solving skills based on the kind of questions they will ask. I said this back in 2006 - Don't send me someone who thinks they have all the answers, send me someone who knows all the right questions to ask and when to ask them, and I can weaponize that individual in any practical context.

Anyone can give the "text book right sounding answer" in a typical job interview. Not everyone can show their investigative potential/creativity/problem solving acumen under immediate duress. ( You could have anywhere from 3-5 people on an oral board, staring at you, waiting for an answer that you might have only 10-15 seconds to process in your head)

I'll make this interesting. If anyone can figure out the three questions, I'll offer a prize.

A brand new Playstation 5 bundle. Will come with the main console, controller, cables and God Of War Raganarok. I will pay for shipping as well. Unlike previous offers I've made, I'll open this up world wide. Anyone who can deduce the three right questions, even if you are in the Arctic, I'll make sure it gets to you if you win. I know close to nothing about current modern video games but this is clearly a desirable kind of set.

Everyone here can reply up to three times with an "Attempt" Each attempt needs three specific questions. No "Edits". If you edit your attempt, that attempt is considered lost for good and void. So all of you have a massive advantage over a real interviewed candidate. They get one shot at an answer in 10-15 seconds. You all get three attempts and the time to think very hard on it. I'll put a 30 day clock on this challenge, starting from the time this reply is posted.

I'll let everyone know right now, this hypothetical is not what it seems. There are layers to this. But that's the point of these thought exercises. To force adaptation and hone critical thinking skills.
 

Skipdog77

Footballguy
I ask the old man why, if he had the knowledge of a cure for cancer, why he hasn't shared it with anyone and why he thinks it's more important to be enjoying a cruise. I'm assuming he hasn't gathered this tremendous knowledge since he embarked on the ship and had it previously.

Then I let the kid on.
 

krista4

Footballguy
I'd like to know how many children the pregnant woman is carrying. And I'd want to know who the father of the child(ren) is. Not sure which I would ask with only one shot (probably the latter), and likely won't spend more time thinking about it. Interesting scenario!
 

Caveman33

Footballguy
OK, I didn't read carefully before. Given that they must answer truthfully, my 3 questions would be:

1. What are your parents names? - to the young child. I don't want the child surviving if they are related to the torture cartel and it seems odd for a young child to be on this ship without relatives.
2. Will you freely share the cancer cure if I allow you onto the lifeboat? - to the old man. Maybe I could do without the freely part. You said that if he perishes the cure disappears with him so I'm assuming you can't successfully ask him for the information. He might be related to the cartel but if he is willing to share the cancer cure then it is worth saving him.
3. What are the names of all your cartel members? - to the pregnant lady. This information may not be that useful to the authorities since they typically already know the identity of most higher ranking cartel members. A better question for this situation might be asking her if the young child is related to anyone in her cartel.

So, if the old man will share the cancer cure, then I would save him. If the old man is not willing to share the cancer cure and the kid is not related to the cartel, then I would save the kid. If the kid is related to the cartel and the old man is not willing to share the cure, then I would save no one. The pregnant lady has no chance. I'm judge, jury and executioner and I hope she drowns slowly. I don't mind the drug dealing, but the torture, organ harvesting and sex trafficking earned her a death sentence.
 

Caveman33

Footballguy
I'd like to know how many children the pregnant woman is carrying. And I'd want to know who the father of the child(ren) is. Not sure which I would ask with only one shot (probably the latter), and likely won't spend more time thinking about it. Interesting scenario!
How would the answers to those questions influence your decision?
 

Chaz McNulty

Footballguy
1. I ask the lady if the old man works for her (I am assuming the lady is the leader of a major pharmaceutical company)

2. I ask the kid if he has already been injected with the cure for his cancer (it's the only reason I can see him being on the ship with these two).

3. I ask the old man if he will share the results with the world if I were to let him off.
 

Zow

Footballguy
Obviously the cartel lady is out. Certainly don't want her or her spawn surviving. Maybe I would ask the old man why he hasn't done anything with his cancer cure knowledge, but I probably wouldn't trust his answer. Since he has been hoarding the knowledge to himself, no reason to think he won't continue to do so. I guess I would save the young child.
What did her "spawn" do?
 

Gally

Footballguy
To the Boy: What is your name?
To the Old Man: What is your quest?
To the Drug Cartel woman: What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow (African)?



I am not even sure why this is a debate. The easy answer is to ask the cancer cure guy for the cure. He has to answer truthfully. Now you have the cure to cancer. That is the most important thing. Now that you have that the situation is more difficult. Do you reward the guy that kept the cure to himself (assuming he knew what he had all these years - maybe he didn't know it was a cure), save the child (who has the longest life span left) or the drug lord? Ask the kid who he is (maybe he is line for the drug cartel or something worse. Figure out who he is). If he isn't a known danger then he is likely at the top of the list for saving. For the drug lady, ask her how to take down her cartel. Gain some info for the dismantling of this bad "company" for future use.

Assuming the kid is benign then save him.
 

bigbottom

I put on my robe and wizard hat
I am not even sure why this is a debate. The easy answer is to ask the cancer cure guy for the cure. He has to answer truthfully. Now you have the cure to cancer.

I’m not sure that works. The problem expressly states as a condition: “If he perishes, all that knowledge and the cure disappears with him forever.
 

Caveman33

Footballguy
Obviously the cartel lady is out. Certainly don't want her or her spawn surviving. Maybe I would ask the old man why he hasn't done anything with his cancer cure knowledge, but I probably wouldn't trust his answer. Since he has been hoarding the knowledge to himself, no reason to think he won't continue to do so. I guess I would save the young child.
What did her "spawn" do?
Nothing..yet. But you know how nature and nurture work. Odds are that the spawn will be -EV for society. Kill it before it grows. Besides, the cartel leader and her unborn are a package deal.

I like Chaz's explanation. This is probably an allegory for a pharmaceutical company. But I'm not sure why he assumes the child on the boat is a cancer patient.
 

Gally

Footballguy
I’m not sure that works. The problem expressly states as a condition: “If he perishes, all that knowledge and the cure disappears with him forever.
Interesting. I didn't take it that way. Well if that is the case then you get his confirmation that if he is saved he will provide the cure. If he confirms (remember he has to tell the truth) then he is saved. That is really the simplest solution to this dilemma.
 

Zow

Footballguy
Obviously the cartel lady is out. Certainly don't want her or her spawn surviving. Maybe I would ask the old man why he hasn't done anything with his cancer cure knowledge, but I probably wouldn't trust his answer. Since he has been hoarding the knowledge to himself, no reason to think he won't continue to do so. I guess I would save the young child.
What did her "spawn" do?
Nothing..yet. But you know how nature and nurture work. Odds are that the spawn will be -EV for society. Kill it before it grows. Besides, the cartel leader and her unborn are a package deal.
Hypothetical: Law enforcement executes a no-knock drug warrant on mother and her colleagues. The "spawn" is found present in a baby carrier at just a couple months old. Mother is arrested and imprisoned. "Spawn" is then placed into foster care and adopted by loving adoptive parents.

Is the "spawn" still then -EV for society?
 

Zow

Footballguy
I am not even sure why this is a debate. The easy answer is to ask the cancer cure guy for the cure. He has to answer truthfully. Now you have the cure to cancer.

I’m not sure that works. The problem expressly states as a condition: “If he perishes, all that knowledge and the cure disappears with him forever.
Yeah I'm not sure how to reconcile the two provisions. If cancer guy has to honestly answer your question, then it seems like it makes logical sense to simply ask him for the cure (he has to give it and, presumably, you take meticulous notes), then you save the kid since the kid has the most years to live and isn't involved in the criminal activity as the third person apparently is.

But, the above flies in the face of the provision you highlighted in bold.
 

Caveman33

Footballguy
Obviously the cartel lady is out. Certainly don't want her or her spawn surviving. Maybe I would ask the old man why he hasn't done anything with his cancer cure knowledge, but I probably wouldn't trust his answer. Since he has been hoarding the knowledge to himself, no reason to think he won't continue to do so. I guess I would save the young child.
What did her "spawn" do?
Nothing..yet. But you know how nature and nurture work. Odds are that the spawn will be -EV for society. Kill it before it grows. Besides, the cartel leader and her unborn are a package deal.
Hypothetical: Law enforcement executes a no-knock drug warrant on mother and her colleagues. The "spawn" is found present in a baby carrier at just a couple months old. Mother is arrested and imprisoned. "Spawn" is then placed into foster care and adopted by loving adoptive parents.

Is the "spawn" still then -EV for society?
That sounds like a good nurturing situation for the kid. I don't know how this stuff works. I'm -EV.
 

Zow

Footballguy
Obviously the cartel lady is out. Certainly don't want her or her spawn surviving. Maybe I would ask the old man why he hasn't done anything with his cancer cure knowledge, but I probably wouldn't trust his answer. Since he has been hoarding the knowledge to himself, no reason to think he won't continue to do so. I guess I would save the young child.
What did her "spawn" do?
Nothing..yet. But you know how nature and nurture work. Odds are that the spawn will be -EV for society. Kill it before it grows. Besides, the cartel leader and her unborn are a package deal.
Hypothetical: Law enforcement executes a no-knock drug warrant on mother and her colleagues. The "spawn" is found present in a baby carrier at just a couple months old. Mother is arrested and imprisoned. "Spawn" is then placed into foster care and adopted by loving adoptive parents.

Is the "spawn" still then -EV for society?
That sounds like a good nurturing situation for the kid. I don't know how this stuff works. I'm -EV.
Well, here's to hoping you're wrong...
 

Dezbelief

Footballguy
I would ask the old man if he will freely share the cure for free to mankind.

I ask the drug lord for the keys to her fortune, to fund free cancer cures for mankind.

I ask the kid if he/she understands why I did or didn't save her/him depending on the old man's answer.
 

GordonGekko

Footballguy
I'd like to know how many children the pregnant woman is carrying. And I'd want to know who the father of the child(ren) is. Not sure which I would ask with only one shot (probably the latter), and likely won't spend more time thinking about it. Interesting scenario!

I tell you what, I'll up the ante here -

If you win, you get two more tries, I'll give you or anyone else here a choice between the PS5 bundle or an All Clad D3 TriPly stainless cookware set ( 10 pieces)

Good cookware is important. Usually saying something like that makes someone sound old. However since I'm already old, it just makes me sound wise.

If you win, you can donate it, take it and run your own contest or resell it, it's all the same to me. If you win, I'll arrange to have it dropped off in a public neutral location by one of my people. I don't need to know who you are and where you are nor where you are going.

Merry Xmas.
 

GordonGekko

Footballguy
Here is a hypothetical dilemma. (Some variations of it are used in stress test interviews/oral board interviews)

Person 1 - A young child. But old enough to understand the total consequences of this choice.

Person 2 - An elderly man whom has the direct personal knowledge base that includes the cure for cancer. All cancers. If he perishes, all that knowledge and the cure disappears with him forever.

Person 3 - A pregnant middle aged woman (Six months into term, very visible). She is the undisputed leader of a large drug cartel, responsible for torture, murder, human trafficking including children, organ harvesting, sex trafficking, weapons sales, kidnapping, assassinations and large scale drug dealing.


Whom do you pick? Why did you pick them?

If you chose to ask them each a question, what specific question did you ask each of them? Why did you pick that question?



*******


Question for Person #1 - Would you forgive me if I chose someone else and saved their life but not yours?

Question for Person #2 - Would you forgive me if I chose someone else and saved their life but not yours?

Question for Person #3 - Would you forgive me if I chose someone else and saved their life but not yours?

The core issue of scenarios like these, as stated before in oral boards/stress test interviews, is to assess the integrity of the potential employee/candidate in front of you. Part of the lesson here is to not look at the scenario for the details but for what the end goal that the scenario is trying to understand or achieve.

You want people to be honest. Just plain honest. If someone screws up and/or makes a mistake, if you get the truth, you can effort the problem. You can look for a solution. If you need to unwind the truth out of the person, then it's a waste of time and it's a poor sign of character in a future employee. Mass turnover in employees for any business is a huge PITA and a vast time sink/expense. You want to hire the right person the first time. And for smaller businesses riding on the edge or in situations where you have close to no margin of error to survive, you need quality people and to choose carefully.

I can work with someone, as an employer, who is willing to work hard, learn, apply themselves, is honest and asks the right questions.

Biological imperative is that, as humans, we want to survive. This instinct is explained best when life guards are being trained, or Search and Rescue. If someone is drowning, their first natural reaction is to panic, grab onto you and drag you down with them, even if you are trying to save them. Logic goes out the window for nearly all people.

If someone says they will forgive you if you chose to save someone else while letting them drown and die, two immediate issues come up.

1) They are likely not being honest with you. They may believe it right then and there in their overall cognitive dissonance, but it violates basic biological imperative. Again, the point is to seek out potential employees, people you want in positions of trust, who will be willing to say the hard things, the uncomfortable things, the non politically correct things, the words that aren't typical virtue signaling, because it's simply the truth. Either it's an outright lie or the person is not, to my estimation, self aware. Both are liabilities in potential positions of trust.

2) They may be the rare person who is honest with you, but it denotes their lack of perception/belief in their own value. People in this state, from my long observation and experience as a business owner, simply need too much work and time invested in them to get them up to speed to be an effective problem solver. You want quality people, that means you want someone who has a natural facility for problem solving. You can teach a new employee certain basic skills in that industry, certain tricks of the trade or fundamental logistics, but you can't teach someone to creatively unwind a conflict and complication by looking at the wide view, and finding the most practical answer. I'm all for people "finding themselves" as individuals in their personal lives, but they don't create immediate value for you as an employer. Some areas of our workforce are designed that way, the military or some jobs students can get in colleges are examples, where some aspects of life growth is implied. But for the private sector, you need someone that can immediately cut down to blood and bone.

Hiring the wrong person is like a bad marriage. There is no other way to create an example other than that one right there. If you are a business owner and you keep hiring the wrong people, you will suffer badly and it's the root cause of many small businesses going under. The basic "Laws Of Attraction" apply here. If you have a CEO who has a ton of zero integrity people working for them, it's because they can't see those employees as crappy human beings. No one ever really criticizes someone just like them. Thus if you want to be a good employer and run a good business, you need to be a person of integrity. Say what you mean, be upfront, do what you say, be on time and always deliver wins. You want a reputation in your industry that the only reason you didn't deliver a win is because you are dead. That's it. That should be the only thing stopping you.

Integrity is never taken. It's only given away.

That the scenario included a drug lord, a child and a man with the cure to save millions is not relevant. You want the truth. Even if the truth is ugly. You cannot "solve problems" if you are in some endless loop of unpacking all the lies first.

Then the issue becomes, how does one become purely honest about their viewpoints, and be completely clear about what's going on, while being as diplomatic as possible? That's a more complex discussion for another thread.

Honesty within oneself can be very hard. Twice in my life, I had to do it, but I didn't want to do it. It just hurt too much. But I had no choice in order to move forward. When I was a teenager, the world was a different place then compared to the upbringings of many of you, and I was thrown out by my parents. Not because I was a bad kid, or because I was doing bad things or being a threat to society, but because they didn't love me. Never wanted me. Regretted I existed. When I was homeless, eating out of garbage cans, sleeping in the rain and cold, I had to fight my own nature. Fight the natural desire to seek the approval and "love" of my parents. It wasn't going to happen. No matter how angry I got and no matter the number of tears I shed. There was no level of negotiation, no level of success, no level of status, that would wash away that truth. So I accepted it. And to do it, a large piece of myself had to die inside. But it was the way forward.

When my godson first moved in with me, I was still working very late, and he'd wait up, to make sure I came home. No matter how tired he was or what time. Because this little boy feared being abandoned again. I was his last tether to anyone on this planet who would protect him simply for the sake of protecting him. And understanding that broke off a piece of me. I gave my word to his father, that I would protect him. But protecting him was more than just throwing money at each circumstance that came up. I needed to be a better person, a better man, so I could set the right example, and raise him better than how I was raised. So I had to change. And faced many ugly things about myself, things I avoided, things I didn't want to face, things rooted so deeply in me that it tore me apart to see that carnage surface. But I could no longer hide from the truth - I needed to protect the boy from the world, but more than anything, I needed to protect him from the worst parts of myself.

The duty and obligation to lead comes for us all. It's more than just business, money and the social perception of "success". You have to lead in a marriage. You have to lead as a parent. You have to lead yourself. You can't do that by holding onto the broken parts of yourself because you don't want to face them. No one really wants to face them. But if you love someone enough - a family member, a spouse, a child, a friend, anyone - then the sacrifice isn't really a choice.

Learn from a dying old man - Real freedom only comes from within. Your happiness, however short and fierce in this life, can only come from the inside.
 

jhib

Footballguy
I don't get it.

They have to answer honestly. You say the details about the individuals aren't important, but I'd think the details are likely to influence their honest answer to your question.

I mean, the lady could be thinking, "Forgive you? You'd obviously be making the right choice. The world knows I'm a horrible person and there's an innocent kid right there. I'd obviously save myself if given the choice, but if I were in your shoes instead of mine, I'd save the kid. Well, I'd really save the old man if I could make money off the cure for cancer, but since that's not allowed, I'd save the kid. I can't hold it against you, so sure I guess I'd forgive you if that matters to you." So she answers an honest, "Yes."

The kid, being a kid and understanding the consequences of your decision but not the basis for it, could be thinking, "What did I do wrong that you'd let me die? I heard that lady over there is a really bad lady. If you're saving her, you must be a really bad guy. Why should I forgive you for being a bad guy like that?" So she/he answers an honest, "No."

How do those simple yes and no answers help you make a decision? And if it doesn't help, why bother asking the questions in the first place?

And how does asking those questions indicate more integrity than some of the other questions proposed earlier here? Or how does looking for someone who'd ask those questions show your own integrity as an employer?
 

Terminalxylem

Footballguy
This question/answer is highly influenced by cultural values. It reminds me of the Moral machine, an experiment testing various scenarios faced by programmers of autonomous vehicles. Not every society values youth as we do, so the kid isn’t a slam dunk to be saved. For all we know, he has a terminal disease, or caused the boat to sink.

Personally, I’d want to know why the old man hadn’t yet revealed the cancer cure, and if it were feasible, he‘d get the life boat. Don’t really need forgiveness from the other two.
 

SWC

Bromigo
if they have to answer truthfully wouldnt you just ask each of them what they have to offer if they were to live and then make your decision take that to the bank brohans
 

-OZ-

Footballguy
Just record the old man telling about the cure.

Then save the kid.

I thought maybe the lady was the leader of Pfizer or another similar company but that’s not really a reason to save her.
 

D-Day

Footballguy
Elderly man: Are you aware that you know the cure for cancer and can save millions of people? He may have the knowledge, but unaware that he has it.

Woman: What will happen to the cartel if she dies? The person who takes over may be much worse than her for society.

Child: There are two other people that I may save. Is there any reason I should choose them over you?
 

GordonGekko

Footballguy
I don't get it.

And how does asking those questions indicate more integrity than some of the other questions proposed earlier here? Or how does looking for someone who'd ask those questions show your own integrity as an employer?


Questions for Persons #1, #2 and #3 - Would you forgive me if I chose someone else and saved their life but not yours?

******

^

A potential employee/recruit/prospect who would ask that question above is prioritizing seeking the truth. They are showing, by their questions or potential questions

- Their priorities
- Their train of thought
- Their problem solving acumen
- Their creativity
- Their ability to make a rapid threat assessment
- Their individual value system

This is far more effective than asking the standard HR type interview questions that often lead nowhere.

Getting someone to explain why they chose the questions that they did also starts to illuminate the person in front of you in terms of someone who should or should not be in a position of trust that is under your command.

The average person, and the average employer, will naturally evaluate circumstances instead of character. People will behave in line with their character, it's a question of "when" and not "if"

Take a typically low character person and put him into specific "ideal" circumstances, and you might not see the threat until it's too late. Once the circumstances change, and hard times come, and duress and attrition set in, then that "ideal employee" is now a viper in your own nest.

This is where, tragically, some of the cautionary tales in the FFA, showed the lack of self awareness of those who were violated. Occasionally, some guys here have posted about being cheated on by their spouse or partner or whatever. Some have questions what changed to turn that person into a cheater. No, they were always a cheater. That low value zero integrity person was always present, it just finally became expedient for the "mask" to come off for good. It says something about the person who betrayed that trust, but it also says something about the person who picked them. If you can't see the pathology of a toxic person in front of you before you give them a wedding ring, odds are you share some of those same flaws and toxicity.

No one wants to hear it, but it's true. Recently I was invited into a private discord to replace the "Sub Forum That Can No Longer Be Named" In it, a few people are bad mouthing the site owner here at FBG. There is also a current Staff member registered there that posts there with the same user name that he has here. How does that look? Something I taught my godson is that once he entered into the adult workforce, he'd eventually be in a situation where he'd be there when other people were gossiping about other coworkers. And that he should smoothly and practically get up and leave that area, if he can, as soon as possible. Do you want to be seen, even silently, even as a non participator who was in the wrong place and at the wrong time, to a trash session? I can only speak for myself, but I would never hire someone that I knew was hanging out where his current boss is getting slagged on the regular in front of him.

I have never operated on any kind of hiring quota. If I need five people and I find no one of quality, then I hire no one. However if I need five people and I find 10 good quality people, then I hire 10 people. I'll find something for those other five people to do, because you can never have enough good people. Those people will create exponential positive returns for you in the long run. Not just across a financial bottom line, but as a team player, as a potential leader, in terms of setting an example and as a problem solver.

I said this in 2007, and I know people didn't understand it then when I said it. I said - Other owners hire cannon fodder. I roster shooters.

Look at this as a teaching moment. I'm pointing out the tremendous practical value in learning how to ask the right questions. And why they matter. And what they say about the people asking them.

Lots of people think I was giving away a Playstation 5 in this thread. No, I was creating an opportunity for someone to earn one, if they impressed me. I "give" people nothing. I simply exchange the value that they either already earned it or I set the path where they will earn it.

What are your values? What would you sacrifice to defend them? Do you live your life to those standards?

When you can finally answer that, no matter how ugly the real answers might be, then that's the day you'll get it.
 

Gally

Footballguy
Question for Person #1 - Would you forgive me if I chose someone else and saved their life but not yours?

Question for Person #2 - Would you forgive me if I chose someone else and saved their life but not yours?

Question for Person #3 - Would you forgive me if I chose someone else and saved their life but not yours?
So the person being interviewed should give these as their question to each imaginary person? They are fine questions, but they don't really help you solve the issue of who to save. I would think for the person being interviewed you would want to ask them these questions to get to your integrity/honesty insight you are looking for. Them asking this question really doesn't seem to show me anything.

I want someone that can solve the problem. I am also looking for someone that will fit into the rest of the work force/culture currently at my company. Personality/fit is more important to me in hiring than almost anything else. Assuming they have a grasp of the techinical skills needed for the job (through education/experience/whatever) then I can teach them the jobcentric skills needed but if they cannot fit into the work culture and personalities already on board it won't be a good fit.

I guess I just don't understand why a candidate that comes up with those questions really solves anything. To really solve the problem knowing the back stories is important to value who to save. The candidate then has to place a value on each and choose accordingly. Getting to know what they value is a better insight then them coming up with this question.

Now if you are asking the candidate that question as if they are one of the three looking to be saved then maybe you have a point. But then I am not sure what the rest of the set up has to do with anything.
 
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Enderdog

Footballguy
tl;dr

If I get to ask a question, I ask the old guy how is heart is. That way I can safely extract the cancer cure from him if he tries to back out afterwards.
 

GordonGekko

Footballguy
This question/answer is highly influenced by cultural values. It reminds me of the Moral machine, an experiment testing various scenarios faced by programmers of autonomous vehicles. Not every society values youth as we do, so the kid isn’t a slam dunk to be saved. For all we know, he has a terminal disease, or caused the boat to sink.

Personally, I’d want to know why the old man hadn’t yet revealed the cancer cure, and if it were feasible, he‘d get the life boat. Don’t really need forgiveness from the other two.



Easy to judge in leisure what real men had to do in haste.
 

jhib

Footballguy
Questions for Persons #1, #2 and #3 - Would you forgive me if I chose someone else and saved their life but not yours?

******

^

A potential employee/recruit/prospect who would ask that question above is prioritizing seeking the truth. They are showing, by their questions or potential questions

- Their priorities
- Their train of thought
- Their problem solving acumen
- Their creativity
- Their ability to make a rapid threat assessment
- Their individual value system

This is far more effective than asking the standard HR type interview questions that often lead nowhere.

Yeah, I get how presenting this hypothetical could potentially provide an interesting view into those aspects of a candidate. I don't get how those questions (that one question asked three times) is a "better" answer to the hypothetical than the others. You could ask any number of questions that prioritize "seeking the truth." Why is whether or not they'd forgive you the best truth to seek?

You presented the three questions you were looking for as "a set of three specific questions, one for each potential "passenger", that can deduce those most likely to be perceived as not worthy of the seat in the lifeboat." I guess what I'm asking is how you feel those questions do that.
 

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