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Tesla Motors Interview Questions & Reviews in Palo Alto, CA

Updated Jul 26, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

45%
26%
16%

Interview Experience  

51%
17%
31%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
37 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
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3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Engineer Interview

Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

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.

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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

Average Interview

Senior Electronic Design Engineer Interview

Senior Electronic Design Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

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.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Product Excellence Powertrain Engineering Technician Interview

Product Excellence Powertrain Engineering Technician
Palo Alto, CA

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


No Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Autopilot Driving Team Interview

Autopilot Driving Team
Palo Alto, CA

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


3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Inside Sales Interview

Inside Sales
Palo Alto, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at Tesla Motors.

Interview Details – The overall process was nice, but it was a lenghtly process wich lasted several month. So be prepared to spend some time with several conversations as I had about 7-8 in total. So Patience is the biggest character feature you will need.

Interview Question – With still to some extend limited knowledge about the company to hold an entire sales pitch for the product.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – It took ages


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

QA Engineer Interview

QA Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through other source and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Tesla Motors.

Interview Details – Phone interview, then a coding exam. I did the coding exam perfectly correct, but then the recruiter came out with an excuse that I failed, because the format of my answers was not the way she wanted.

Interview Question – Actually questions were not too bad, the recruiters are very unfreidnly   View Answer


5 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Test Engineer Interview

Test Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in April 2014.

Interview Details – I sent my resume in to an alum from my college and she passed it along to the hiring manager of the division. The first email communication I received was a request to set up a preliminary phone interview. The interview was mostly just gauging my interest in the position, my interest in the company, and a few questions about my resume. From there, they requested another phone interview for the following week. The second phone interview was mostly questions about my experiences and what I consider my qualifications. Afterwards, I received another email asking to setup a third phone interview. The third phone interview was with another person in the department and covered somewhat similar material.

After the three phone interviews, they asked to schedule an on site with me. That process was pretty quick, and they paid for the travel, rental car, and hotel (and up to $50 of food per day). The on site process started with me giving a 30 minute presentation of my choice, and then 4 hours of technical interviews. The interviews asked about fundamental aspects of EE for the most part.

In the end, they did not give me an offer because I did not have enough professional experience (despite that as a new grad, I had two summers of internships and three semesters of working with company sponsored projects). They said they needed someone who could contribute week one and could not spare the month needed to train me up to speed.

It was a tough process and a bitter-sweet result, but it was a good learning experience.

Interview Question – Why does putting an op-amp voltage follower circuit too close (physically) to the DUT make it unstable?   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Engineering Technician II Interview

Engineering Technician II
Palo Alto, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in January 2014.

Interview Details – Very professional and efficient hiring process

Interview Question – Technical questions regarding sample selections and logic behind test methods   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation, terms were presented before I interviewed and I was asked to accept.


2 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Manufacturing Engineer Interview

Manufacturing Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in March 2014.

Interview Details – I had three telephone interviews. First one with HR, second and third with engineering managers. After the initial screening process I was asked to come to Palo Alto for a full day interview. The interview process was quite rigorous with individual interviews and one final group interview. Lost's of questions on exactly what I was doing in my previous job and why I have to offer Tesla. I was asked why Tesla ? how can I do my job differential at Tesla.

Interview Question – We have seen a lot of people like you what makes you different.   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Average Interview

Mechanical Engineer Interview

Mechanical Engineer
Palo Alto, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Tesla Motors in March 2012.

Interview Details – Contacted by the HR. Initially had 3 interviews over the phone, 1st by HR, 2nd by an Engineer and 3rd by the head of the group. Was called for an onsite interview and was asked to prepare a presentation.

Interview Question – None   Answer Question

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