Tesla Motors Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 15, 2014
Updated Aug 15, 2014
158 interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1. 13 people found this helpful  

    Engineer Interview

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

    I interviewed 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.  

    Firmware Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    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
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Systems Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed 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
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Product Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Palo Alto, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed 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
  6.  

    Product Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I interviewed in-person - interviewed at Tesla Motors in August 2013.

    Interview Details

    Had four interviews. My first was 1st interview was over phone and went great (just prepare like you would for any job - know something about the company); the second and third were group interviews, and the fourth was with the regional manager.

    Negotiation Details
    Negotiate. Everything is negotiable.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Manufacturing Co-op Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. 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 Questions
    • 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
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Service Concierge Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    Applied online via craigslist. Phone call with recruiter then online app. went through 2 in person interviews at the location with location manager and regional manager. Had a total of 3 phone interviews over 3 weeks. Spent 3 weeks trying to get offer approved, eventually they rescinded offer.

    Interview Questions
    • mainly questions are about customer service. have a situation and use STAR to describe it   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    They rescinded the offer due to a change in business needs.

    Declined Offer
  9.  

    Material Handler Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Fremont, CA
    Anonymous Employee in Fremont, CA
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. 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 Questions
    • 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
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    /Co Op Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. 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 Questions
    • Questions about every little thing on your resume is asked.   Answer Question
    Reasons 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.

    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11.  

    Senior Electronic Design Engineer Interview

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

    I interviewed through an employee referral. 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 Questions
    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.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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