Tesla Motors

  www.teslamotors.com
  www.teslamotors.com

Tesla Motors Interview Questions

Updated Dec 11, 2014
Updated Dec 11, 2014
192 Interview Reviews

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Product Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Diego, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Diego, CA
    Application Details

    I applied in-person – interviewed at Tesla Motors in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    fill out online application and they will get back with you. send resume too the location and ask for the Manager on staff gets you a foot in the door so when you are interviewing with Corporate you can have a go too person.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Tesla Motors in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied through website. Got contacted fairly quickly by HR and a week later by the hiring manager. Phone interview went great. Was called in for an on-site interview. The first group went fine, the second person was clearly not prepared or had no interview experience because his questions were vague and he did not seem to have a goal in mind.

    The third group was something special... it consisted of the most senior engineer and the hiring manager. The engineer came in with an attitude. He asked me a question about a project I worked on and then claimed that the technology I used for that project did not exist. What do you say to that? I used it for over three years with success and he flat-out denied that it existed. I tried to remain polite, but was stunned and could not do much more than explain to him that it really did exist. Then, after reading a two-sentence project description of a different project he concluded that my design for that project was completely wrong... Again, I tried to explain, but I felt like I was talking to a six-year old. The worst part was that the hiring manager just sat there and let it happen. I looked at him for any reaction or help, but it was clear he was afraid to disagree with his engineer.
    So, here we have an anti-social, arrogant engineering lead and his weak department manager, which is a recipe for disaster. Within ten minutes I lost all interest in the position. The engineer then proceeded to ask obscure questions involving a lot of syntax and nit-pick every little mistake. By this time I could not care less, so I stopped even trying.

    Still, I would not call the entire experience negative. I talked to some very friendly people and all follow-ups were prompt and professional. I won't let one (or two) bad apples spoil it and I would consider applying for a position in a different department (because the one I interviewed for is going to be in deep trouble).

    Tips for the company: Give your people interview training. I have interviewed a lot of engineers over the years and I have my routine down pat. Secondly, questions that can be answered by a 5 second Google search are terrible interview questions and teach you nothing about the candidate. Thirdly, fire your lead before it is too late. Finally, if you demand perfect syntax during an interview, you should probably leave the interviewing to someone else.

    Interview Questions
    • Unexpected question: "Write a class."... Uhm, excuse me? After asking for more details it was all the direction I was going to get... so I wrote a class declaration.. Bizarre.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  3.  

    Production Associate Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a dayinterviewed at Tesla Motors in September 2014.

    Interview Details

    I was called by a recruiter who had my resume on hand for experience and salary requirements. We agreed upon a time for an interview and he sent me an email confirmation. When I arrived at the location at the right time, I was surprised to learn that I was entering a "cattle call" process and sat with over a dozen people to sign in and get name tags. Every individual person that I spoke with was there for a different position. It felt more like the entrance to boot camp than a job interview. After completing stage one of the basic skills tests I was finally able to ask an individual about the actual salary ranges for the position which I was called in for. Upon learning that I was competing for a nightmare commute into Fremont for $11/hr less than I am currently making, I politely thanked the person for their time and I excused myself. I have tried to contact the recruiter who contacted me for the position, but he has not returned any emails nor is his phone number listed in his contact information. Very disappointing.

    Interview Questions
    • Why are you interested in a career with Tesla Motors?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
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  5.  

    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
  6. 21 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+ monthsinterviewed 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
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Service Concierge Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    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
  8. 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 weeksinterviewed 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
  9. 3 people 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 weeksinterviewed 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
  10.  

    CNC Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed 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
  11.  

    /Co Op Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed 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

See What Tesla Motors Employees Are Saying

 Former Associate Manager in Fremont, CA

Pros: “After working for Tesla for over 2 years, I can say it was by far the most interesting job I have ever had. Got to explore a lot of new technology, learned a lot about the business…” Full Review

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