Tesla Motors Interview Questions & Reviews
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Very Difficult Interview
Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Tesla Motors in June 2014.
Interview Details – I initially was contacted by a recruiter after talking with a former colleague. I had an initial interview with the recruiter; one week later I had an interview with the hiring manager; I finished my phone screens with an engineer working on a related system the proceeding week. Promptly following my last phone screen I was contacted and had an on-site interview scheduled for the next week.
The on-site interview consists of meet-and-greets with your HR contacts, a technical presentation (this is where you can clearly distinguish yourself from others!), then 5 one-on-one interviews. I LOVED THIS...from my former automotive OEM experience, I was challenged to think in new ways and presented with present problems. There is no way to prepare for this, and you will show if you know what you are talking about because...IT IS HARD. I still remember answering a question and then asking, "did that answer it?", to have the interviewer respond, "that's perfect." Think like an engineer...do not back yourself into the STAR method...that has no place in an engineering workplace!
...this is where the interview process slowed to what seemed like a halt...
I talked with HR and it was going to be nearly 3 weeks to find out what the next steps would be (essentially, they cannot just interview one person). So, after interviewing multiple candidates they decided to continue; you must answer a series of questions that will be reviewed by the CEO.
Once the CEO reviews the question, you get the final approval/non-approval. This process takes nearly 2 weeks.
The people are VERY busy, and this job requires PASSION. You do not go to Tesla with money at the forefront of your mind, but if you left another automotive OEM, you go to Tesla for the opportunity to work on something where you know you will impact people's lives. If you go to another automotive OEM, you will likely have a cake-walk...my perception from talking with people during the interview is that it is FAST-PACED, fun, but challenging.
Negotiation Details – The benefits are phenomenal...and you should set a realistic salary expectation. Please, for your sake, check out the cost of living and make a DETAILED budget because you can then determine your required income.
Manufacturing Co-op Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in January 2014.
Interview Details – Applied Online. Recruiter emailed me to see if I was still interested & to set up a phone screen. It appeared that the way you describe yourself, they will determine what department you would be best suited for. Then, had a 1:1 phone call with technical manager.
Interview Question – Why do you want to work for Tesla?
What got you to this point in your schooling?
What do you want to get out of this co-op?
Describe a time in one of your last projects when you solved a problem, and how did you go about it?
Manager gave a hypothetical situation and asked how I would go about addressing/solving the problem. Answer Question
Material Handler Interview (Negative Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Tesla Motors in June 2014.
Interview Details – Received an email within a week of applying. Email asked availability and confirmed other job aspects. 1 day after that I received an interview date and time. Went in for an interview but was taken into a room to do a test with 3 bolts 12 nuts and 6 washers. Task was to put on PPE then put together according to their diagram (matching colors and measurements) Then I was taken out for a quick 3 question interview. Why tesla? Why am I leaving current job. And when am I available for second interview. Very unfriendly hiring staff.
Interview Question – Went in for an interview but was taken into a room to do a test with 3 bolts 12 nuts and 6 washers. Task was to put on PPE then put together according to their diagram (matching colors and measurements). View Answer
/Co Op Interview (Negative Experience; Difficult Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in July 2014.
Interview Details – Email from HR with a very simple initial screening and email to coordinate first technical interview. First interview was with the person who would be my mentor. He asked about the projects I have done in the past and asked details about the design decisions, which I was prepared for. He kind of had an abrasive personality and so I was surprised to have a second technical interview with the hiring manager. The manager was very pleasant and the questions were more focus on hypothetical problem solving about thermal runaway.
Interview Question – Questions about every little thing on your resume is asked. Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Although the manager interaction was pleasant, I was turned off with the impression I got of my potential mentor. The rather low pay and the reputation of overworking the workers did not help.
Senior Electronic Design Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied through an employee referral and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in March 2014.
Interview Details – Great communication with recruiter. Went through two phone screens, then had on site interview with entire group (about 5 people). Phone screen was extremely easy for me - the position suited me well. Mostly, they talked about the position, and asked me very few questions. Got an on site interview and was asked to present relevant engineering work. Got call from recruiter that same day saying that I got the position.
Interview Question – Nothing out of the ordinary. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Unable to really negotiate. Recruiter really low-balled, but then retracted and gave more reasonable offer. If you want to work for Tesla, you're here because you enjoy the work, and not the money.
Very Difficult Interview
Product Excellence Powertrain Engineering Technician Interview (Positive Experience; Very Difficult Interview)
I applied online - interviewed at Tesla Motors in August 2012.
Interview Details – The first interview was the most difficult and stressful one I have ever been to. They threw everything they got at me. I feel like throwing up afterwards. I know I could have done better. Nonetheless, I passed... And now today I'm onto my second one with a senior engineer of quality processing and this one is supposed to be more difficult than the first.
Interview Question – Why quality? Answer Question
Product Specialist Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Tesla Motors in January 2014.
Interview Details – I applied for the Product Specialist Position at Newport Beach. Though experience isn't required for the position, it is heavily preferred. Anyone that has experience in retail sales, and/or cars has a shot. Most likely going to be a phone interview with a member of human resources department since their headquarters is in Norcal.
Interview Question – Most difficult question was about cars. HR interviewer asked me to sell the Tesla Model S to her over the phone and I had to explain why the Tesla was better than its competitors, Audi A7, MB CLS/S , Lexus LS, and etc Answer Question
Negotiation Details – Not much of a negotiation. Starting pay was about 12 and you work your way up
Autopilot Driving Team Interview (Negative Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in May 2014.
Interview Details – Got an email from the HR person saying they liked my work and are interested in talking . She set up an initial exploratory HR phone interview - which went well . Just asking you questions from your resume directly.HR people cant really probe you with technical questions and she tried to ask me a few questions that even she didn't fully comprehend.I was told that there would be two technical rounds after she would forward my profile to the driver assistance and vehicle automation team.Two weeks went by with no feedback.After pursuing the matter through email a technical phone interview was set up with the person incharge of my team.
I spent a lot of time preparing for the interview - he did not ask me any technical questions - just more resume probing and asking about projects I had done in the past.He sounded like he was in a hurry and said he was getting into a meeting .He then asked me if I had any questions - I had actually prepared 3-4 questions to ask him (Employee development at Tesla - Background of the people on his team - Do the people on his team work individually or collaborate on projects .He sounded unsure in his answers and I wasn't satisfied with the responses I got from him). He spoke to me for exactly 17 minutes and said he was getting into a meeting and had to cut the call short.
Got a mail from the HR person the next day saying that I didnt cut it.
Interview Question – None - I dont feel any of the conversations had any actual questions . Answer Question
Product Specialist Interview (Neutral Experience; Easy Interview)
I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors.
Interview Details – Phone interview and then in person interview. I did not take it seriously as Tesla contacted me after I had already gotten a job at another company that I was very content with. Figured I would do the interview process anyways to see where it goes. Perks/pay of product specialist were definitely nill to none.
Interview Question – what do you know about tesla? Answer Question
CAE Engineer Interview (Positive Experience; Average Interview)
I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Tesla Motors in April 2014.
Interview Details – Pre-screened on phone by company's recruiter. Two phone interviews. Full day on-site interview with 7 different groups of people. All the people I met and talked with were sharp and asked great questions. The process was lengthy but thorough. One downside was that they did not leave much time for me to ask my questions. Typically I was asking them my question(s) as they were walking out the door to let the next group of interviewers in. So I was getting one or two word answers. Great people and very passionate about the company and the product. The office space is completely packed wall-to-wall and people working elbow-to-elbow, and the parking lot was almost overflowing. I'm glad I showed up early so I could make the long walk from the far outer edge of the lot to the front entry. It was obvious the company is growing like crazy.
Interview Question – Nearly all questions were technical and of the sort: "given problem "X" how would you solve it, or what would you do?" There were no "gotcha" or behavioral questions. Almost every interview group asked me "Why do you want to work here?" Answer Question
Reason for Declining – Offer was $10k below what I currently make. The cost of living increase for me to relocate to CA was +$15K. It was made clear that the hours would be long and there would be lots of high pressure. There was no way to sell that to my wife and kids (less of me, less money - major cutbacks, and a completely new place without our friends and family). If I was single and without kids I would have jumped on it in a heartbeat.
Interviews for Top Jobs at Tesla Motors