I have read the following sentence, but I can't understand it. It is very hard.

"Ask for clarifications, listing the aspects of the question that are problematic and laying out why they are problematic. Follow up on the clarifications until you get to the point that you are comfortable giving a clear, definite answer. Alternatively, follow up with a clear, definite answer, laying out the assumptions you are making in generating your answer.

Think of people's minds as submarines. When you say that they are flat wrong, the reflex action is to get defensive. When they get defensive, their minds shut down, they batten the hatches and the submarine goes into a deep dive to get away from the depth charges. And they won't resurface until they are sure that the destroyers have left the area. In your case, the interviewer's mind won't resurface from its receptive mode until the interview is over. In this case, the interview is YOUR interview, so it's going to suck to be you.

You can't count on someone's mind staying open when that someone is being told that they are wrong. I, like many users on this site, have conditioned to keep my mind open when I am told that I am wrong, but I am not everyone. Telling an interviewer that they are wrong is playing Russian roulette, and all you know about that revolver is that there is at least one bullet in it."

Would you please rephrase this sentence to understand?

  • Which sentence? You have several paragraphs there.
    – Scimonster
    Jun 10, 2015 at 14:33
  • All of them Sir.
    – gmotree
    Jun 10, 2015 at 14:34
  • 3
    Unless we know what you don't understand, we can't help you--all we can do is paraphrase, with no confidence that we're addressing your problem. You need to do what the first sentence says:list what elements are problematic and why. And keep in mind that that may require several questions; we can only answer one at a time. Jun 10, 2015 at 14:34
  • Ok then please the first sentence
    – gmotree
    Jun 10, 2015 at 14:42
  • Again: What part do you not understand? Read through the sentence--where does it become a problem? . . . And then edit your question to focus on that particular problem. Jun 10, 2015 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


If you don't understand the question, tell them which part of the question you don't understand and ask for an explanation. Keep doing this until you understand the question and feel confident you can answer the question. If you're not sure you understand the question but want to answer it anyway, make sure you explain your reasoning.

Don't argue with the interviewer or tell them that they are wrong.

  • 1
    I like your summary sentence. It gets right to the point. Jun 10, 2015 at 20:31
  • I'm not unfamilier with above sentence style . I am curiosed that how much it familiier to native english speaker?
    – gmotree
    Jun 10, 2015 at 21:46
  • Your original quote was a bit wordy and confusing, and didn't sound like something a native English speaker would say, tTe whole submarine bit.. just no.
    – Steve Ives
    Jun 10, 2015 at 21:47

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