Last night, my son was watching a TV show where the storyline apparently included a genie being released from a lamp to grant three wishes.  After a few minutes, he asked me, “What would you do if you were granted three wishes?  What would you wish for?”

It’s one of those questions that I haven’t really contemplated since I was a kid.  My wife was with me in the kitchen when the question was posed, so what followed was a really interesting conversation about what our three wishes would be.  I won’t bore you with our responses, but I will say that I found the answers to this question to be insightful.

And I love a great question. After noodling about it, I think this could be a great interview question that could get a person to reveal themselves in ways that are usually difficult to achieve in an interview.  Test yourself:

What would you wish for if you were granted three wishes?

The answer to this question reveals where your values lie.  Do you think of others or do you focus on yourself? What kinds of things do you wish for yourself or others?

The answer also reveals if you are short or long-term focused and the degree to which you are strategic.  Do you wish for specific things with short term utility or do you wish for resources that would help get many things with short and long term utility?

This question also tests your creative and flexibility. Do you accept the question and try to make the answers meaningful, despite it being a whimsical exercise? Or did you reject the question as silly and only answer half-heartedly?

Whether you use the question for interviewing or just for fun, it’s an interesting question to think about.

Jason Lauritsen