CodeNewbie Community


Discussion on: 3 Alternatives to Saying, “I Don’t Know” In Interviews

mccurcio profile image
Matt C

Very good suggestions!
This is a very difficult topic. In this world you "should" know the answer to Every question. Otherwise you risk seeming uninformed.
However, one thing my professor told me was "it is OK to say i don't know." I will add "strategically." it is good to know WHEN to use it.
For example, I have been asked scientific questions and my answers were something like,
"I do not keep up with that field of science. Could you please explain..."

recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta Author

And you're bringing up exactly one of the core elements to this. Terminating the conversation is worse than saying "I don't know."

As for the expectation that you should know the answer, I'd say that is unrealistic. It is commonplace for interviewers to purposefully ask questions until you hit the boundary of your knowledge. They do this to get an idea of your breadth and depth of knowledge. As candidates though, we don't know that is what is happening and how much breadth or depth is appropriate.