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Tesla Motors Interview Questions in San Jose, CA

Updated Nov 25, 2014
Updated Nov 25, 2014
41 Interview Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Firmware Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at Tesla Motors in November 2014.

    Interview Details

    Taking advantage of my free month of LinkedIn premium, I sent an InMail to a recruiter working at Tesla, who returned my contact a day or two later. He enthusiastically outlined all the different firmware groups and what they do, and the typical hiring process.

    We kicked it off by setting a time/date for an e-mail firmware exercise. They were very basic questions, and I had to send a reply with my solutions attached within 30 minutes. My resume and my firmware answers caught the interest of one manager, and so the recruiter set up a phone interview with him a few days down the road.

    The manager called at the appointed time and we discussed the work I did in my current company. The interview took about 45 minutes, followed by a live coding session over a collaborative browser-based text pad web-app. As luck would have it, we experienced technical issues a few minutes in, and I was allowed do send in a text file much like the firmware exercise! Being the honest guy that I am, I quickly completed it and sent it to the recruiter.

    The impression from the first interview was quite positive, granting me a second one set a few days later, this time with a senior engineer. We discussed in greater detail about my current employment, as well as projects I had done in school. The recruiter followed up the next day with good news of an almost-all-expenses paid trip to Palo Alto.

    The on-site interview consisted of a presentation I had to deliver, followed by a series of one-on-ones with 5 engineers/managers, one of which was a chat over lunch. I gave myself a week to prepare the presentation and to brush up on my software engineering skillset. I don't present a lot, so when I queried the audience about time, I was over the allotted duration by 2 minutes, and I wasn't even done yet! Let me just say.. it's a good sign if they allow you to continue and finish. Every one-on-one session had a whiteboard coding component, ranging from writing functions to finding errors in a snippet of code. Difficulty was relatively easy, there were a couple that gave me trouble, though applicants who haven't done more embedded-related type or work will have a harder time.

    I left the office feeling pretty good, though I spent the next week dwelling on things said and left unsaid. Though through the whole process the recruiter was very polite and professional, definitely unlike the entries I read here from 1 or 2 years ago. He followed up a week after the on-site interview as promised.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 28 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
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Product Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Anonymous Employee 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
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Inside Sales Interview

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

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed 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 Questions
    • 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
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    QA Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through other source. The process took a weekinterviewed 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 Questions
    • Actually questions were not too bad, the recruiters are very unfreidnly   View Answer
    No Offer
    Easy Interview
  7.  

    Autopilot Driving Team Interview

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

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed 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 Questions
    • None - I dont feel any of the conversations had any actual questions .   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview
  8. 8 people found this helpful  

    Test Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed 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 Questions
    • Why does putting an op-amp voltage follower circuit too close (physically) to the DUT make it unstable?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed 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 Questions
    • We have seen a lot of people like you what makes you different.   View Answer
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Senior Electronic Design 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 3 weeksinterviewed 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
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Product Engineer Interview

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

    I applied through other source. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Tesla Motors.

    Interview Details

    I submitted my resume at Tesla Motors Career Fair in Fremont, November 2013. Had a nice talking there. About 2 wks later, got an email from team manager to make an appointment of a phone interview. Phone call was great and detailed, then got an onsite for 1 wk later. Flew to HQ and had the onsite. Made a 30min presentation and had 5 1v1s, 45min each. After went home, answered 2 questions for Elon reviewing. 2d later, was offered the job!

    Interview Questions
    • 1) very very detailed question about my previous project; 2) A team member brought up a question from their daily tasks. Was required to analyze the question and gave my thinking about it.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation performed.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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