Tesla Motors Interview Questions

Updated Sep 14, 2014
Updated Sep 14, 2014
163 Interview Reviews

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  1. 14 people found this helpful  

    Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Palo Alto, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. 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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Test Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a day - interviewed at Tesla Motors in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    After submitting an online application for the position, I was contacted by on of the recruiters within a few days to set up a time for a phone interview. During this preliminary interview, I had to run through my resume with the recruiter. Most questions were simple and mainly to judge if I knew what I had put on my resume. He did want to know about other places I had been applying to, with particular names.

    Interview Questions
    • Not a specific question but more like a recurring was to ensure the interviewer that I had genuine interest in and passion for working at Tesla and that I would be comfortable with the long hours of work frequently faced while working there.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  3.  

    Quality Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in June 2011.

    Interview Details

    Had multiple rounds of interviews. Various types of questions including situational, behavioural and technical problems. Typically one HR interview and then one techincal, then one managerial. Nothing fancy, or unexpected, but the difficulty of questions may be tough during the technical interview. Keep your cool.

    Interview Questions
    • you have 4 bottles of water, one of which is poisoned. 2 people are willing to take specifically only 1 sip each to test which one is poisoned. How would you figure out which bottle is poisoned?   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Product Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    I was recruited through linkedin and told that I have the sales experience that would work well with Tesla. I then set up an in-person interview with my store manager which went well and that was followed immediately by an over the phone interview with my regional and national sales manager. Everyone in the company is very relaxed, chill, and super-friendly. You blend right in without even noticing.

    Interview Questions
    • Give us a time you've overcame adversity and how would you used that same tactic selling an electric vehicle?   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    There is no negotiation. It's a fixed salary.
    Accepted Offer
  6.  

    CNC Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a recruiter and asked if I was interested in a position at the new CNC facility in Lathrop. I said yes and first had a phone interview with the recruiter. He asked me questions about the projects I had listed on my resume. It was a 30 minute phone call, no technical questions. The only non-resume-related question was "What do you know about the company?" He ended the call by saying that he would pass my resume to the CNC supervisor. That was a Monday. On Friday I had the in person interview at the facility.

    The in-person interview was formal, with technical questions, and non technical questions, and ended with a tour.

    Technical: "What's a combo wrench?" "Why are manhole covers the way they are?" "What is a torx wrench?" "Why would you have a torx head over a flat/phillips?" "Can you draw me a cutter with inserts?" "What is G01, G02, G03?"

    Non-technical: "Why do you want to work here?" "What do you know about the company?"

    I followed up with the recruiter and he said the supervisor really liked me, but that they needed a senior person to the fill the position. He said: "We need a senior engineer there but then could fit you in. We’re still interviewing but will let you know as we finish up the process."

    Its been 6 weeks since I interviewed in-person.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  7.  

    NPI Materials Planner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Fremont, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Fremont, CA
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral - interviewed at Tesla Motors in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    Initially contacted by recruiter to set up discussion about job role. Recruiter discussed about my interest in the job profile and background. Followed by telephone interview with hiring manager for 30mins in depth about my background, education and job profile. Followed by on site interview confirmation email. PI was conducted individually by 4 people, the entire process took 1.5months.

    Interview Questions
    • What will you do to procure million protective eye gear for production facility.   View Answer
    Negotiation Details
    Offer was generous so I did not negotiate.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Summer Engineering Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online - interviewed at Tesla Motors in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    1. What is your availability time during this summer?
    2. When is your expected graduation time?
    3. Do you apply to any other companies for the internship during this summer?
    4. Why do you want to do intern in Tesla? What you are expecting to do during this summer, more specifically.
    5. Tell me sth about the project 1? Are you working with sb. Else? What is your role in this project? How many hours are you working on this?
    6. What are you doing for the project 2? How many hours are you working on this?
    How are you balancing with your time with this long hours work?
    7. How did you choose power electronics?
    8. Regarding on the software skills, which one that you are most proficient in? If give the level of 1-10, 10 is the highest, what would you give the MATLAB as your skills?

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Easy Interview
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was contacted by a recruiter via a social media website. We briefly spoke about possible positions, which included both a systems engineering and embedded firmware.

    The initial phone screen was quite excellent and I learned a lot about Tesla as an organization and the product I expected to be working on. I have practical experience with the product that is being developed and felt that Tesla is on the correct track (still do, the interview experience didn't change that) and that I would both enjoy working on the product and could make valuable contributions.

    The second phone contact involved using a shared screen application to answer a simple programming puzzle. It's the sort of puzzle, such as moving all the zeros in an array to the end, that I've used in the past when I've interviewed candidates to break the ice. The second interview was more abrupt and ended without any additional discussion about the product or my potential role.

    I then waited two weeks for a call-back, after which time I sent the recruiter an e-mail that I felt I'd not made the cut. She reassured me that Tesla was still interested in moving forward and wanted to know when I would be available for a programming test. She mentioned that there were no systems engineer positions open at the time, which surprised me since I made it clear I wasn't interested in the firmware positions she had to fill. The time for the test arrived and she e-mailed the test.

    The questions on the test were something that might be appropriate for a pop-quiz given to 2nd or 3rd year CS students. The test was sufficiently simple that it was both insulting and a distraction in and of itself. I added comments to my answers suggesting better solutions if I'd had more time or more information. I returned my results, and she informed me the next day that I'd passed.

    What happened next is hard to comprehend. I mentioned that I felt the test itself, because of its simplicity, was an impediment to attracting qualified and experienced candidates. Coding tests among very experienced software engineers can backfire if they are too simple, and I shared with her that I was put off by the test, but reassured her I was still very much interested in working for Tesla. She then told me that she was concerned I wouldn't be a good candidate and Tesla wouldn't be moving forward with an on-site interview.

    My impression of HR's role in the process is very negative. The attitude about overly simplistic coding tests given to experienced developers is widely discussed on professional social media sites and the recruiter or HR staff seemed both oblivious and unwilling to accept what was given as constructive criticism.

    My best advice to anyone who wants to work for Tesla (which still includes me) is to ignore the games they play up-front. Their HR organization seems to be completely tone deaf to any feedback and if you are highly experienced, you may well get the impression you're being interviewed for a new college grad position. My best advice to the executive team at Tesla is to replace the recruiting staff with recruiters who have a better understanding of their potential candidates.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  10.  

    Firmware Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Got a call from one of the HR team saying that they are interested in my profile and spoke about my previous work experience and projects that i did. was sent some professional work experience and embedded c questions. still waiting for the interview updates. i shall post it as soon as it moves ahead.

    Interview Questions
    • embedded c programming questions on volatile, loading a value in a specific address location etc.   Answer Question
    No Offer
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Product Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Palo Alto, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in July 2014.

    Interview Details

    First response to job inquiry, was an email from their HR Dept wanting to schedule a phone interview. After that there were two separate in person interviews. Neither people at each location I interviewed with had my resume nor did they know that I was coming and the time. I'd seen other posts here that indicated the same thing.

    Interview Questions
    • Tell me about a time that you went over and beyond the customer's expectations...also, Why do you want to work here...   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

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