Eric, calm yourself. Im guessing he means that all sides (like he said) are painted. i.e. only the cubes on the outside of the cube. So the way to solve would be think of an 8x8x8 cube inside of a 9x9x9 cube, where are all of the 8x8x8 cube pieces have no paint on them. I think the answer is 8 cubed or 512 then, but dont quote me on that.

Zero... because all sides are painted; either you re-wrote this wrong or you trying to walk her through mathematical equations to answer this obviously simple question is the reason you didn't get an offer.