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SpaceX Mechanical Design Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at SpaceX

6 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
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17

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Helpful (7)  

Mechanical Design Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied online. I interviewed at SpaceX.

Interview

I submitted my resume online and got an email a couple days later from a technical recruiter asking to set up an interview. The first interview was a typical 20-30 minute HR screening interview with a couple technical brainteasers at the end (If I increase the mass on the end of a cantilever beam, what happens to the natural frequency?).

Apparently, I did well enough on the screening interview and they emailed me a take-home project immediately after the first phone interview.

The take-home test was challenging, but reasonable and I submitted a fairly lengthy report/CAD model to the recruiter. There was technically a 4 hour time limit on the project, but the recruiter was flexible and allowed me to spread the work out over a couple of days.

Within a couple hours of submitting the take-home project, I got an email asking to schedule a technical phone interview.

I had a 45 minute technical phone interview with a Lead Mechanical Engineer in the Avionics division and I thought we hit it off pretty well. The interview consisted of walking through my resume and answering "How did you solve this?" type of questions to make sure I actually did what I said I did. Then, we walked through my take-home project submission and he asked some tolerance stackup questions and probed me for more details on how I would implement my design.

A couple days after the phone interview, I got a call from the technical recruiter saying that they would not be moving forward. Supposedly I lacked "technical depth" and they needed someone who could "take the reins" immediately instead of having to grow into the position.

Overall, the process was fair, the interviewers were friendly to chat with, and the recruiter was very good about getting things scheduled and respecting my time. I think they were looking for someone with more vibration/fatigue analysis experience, so I didn't get the job, but I enjoyed the process and take it as a valuable learning experience.

Interview Questions

  • If I increase the mass on the end of a cantilever beam, what happens to the natural frequency?   2 Answers

Other Interview Reviews for SpaceX

  1.  

    Mechanical Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Los Angeles, CA) in December 2017.

    Interview

    First had two phone screens: one with a team member and the other with the team manager. The phone screens were behavioral + resume stuff. Really know what you out on your resume because they will dig into it.

    Was then invited out for an on-site. On site started with a tour of the production floor. Then gave a 30 minute presentation on something bi designed with a 30 minute Q&A session after. Then had several 1:1 and 2:1 interviews with the team members, management, and director. Some of the 1/2:1s we're totally technical, asking me to solve design problems and critique designs, others were a mix of technical and behavioral.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you attach a sensitive instrument to a shaking surface?   2 Answers
    • Tell me a time you disagreed with a superior or teammate. What was it about? How did it turn out?   Answer Question
    • How do you regulate tempurature of something in space? What is your main limiting factor?   1 Answer
    • Tell me about a time that you had to manage mutliple tasks or projects to convince me that you can multitask   Answer Question

  2.  

    Mechanical Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Redmond, WA) in April 2018.

    Interview

    Got an email that I'd been selected for an interview, went through a short (30 minute) technical interview and then was asked to write up a report of my most challenging project. Got a second phone interview and talked with someone from the team I was interviewing for who asked me questions about my report and went through some design problems /thought exercises. Got an email that they were moving forward with someone who had more experience.
    A great experience overall and a lot of good feedback. The people involved responded to my questions and concerns very timely. I had another offer on the table and they expedited what was normally a 4-6 week process into 2 weeks.

    Interview Questions

    • From a 3D printed piece in my technical report, they asked how I would change the piece to be mass-manufactured   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (3)  

    Mechanical Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at SpaceX.

    Interview

    Very quick. Got me in touch with some of the managers in the department for a quick phone meeting. Felt like everything went well, had no issues with the questions overall, and was told I would receive a phone call with more information the following week. I heard nothing, it's now two months later, yet my application is still listed as "In Progress."

    Interview Questions

    • With GD&T, if you are designs two plates with a circular gasket sealing them together, what call out might you give to the side without the gasket?   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (8)  

    Mechanical Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hawthorne, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    Submitted my resume through a referral. Received a phone call from a recruiter who went over basic details. Recruiter set up a technical phone screen. Technical phone screen was mostly talking about my resume and projects I had worked on, what sort of process and approach I took in solving problems, what tools I had used. You might get a fun brain-teaser or two.

    After technical phone interview, I was recommended for an onsite interview. Onsite was a full day and very intense, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It started with a brief tour of the (very impressive) facilities. Then I gave a 20-minute presentation in front of 7 or 8 people about a project I had worked on, fielding technical and critical questions throughout. It is expected you can defend your decisions and analysis.

    Afterwords I had a series of one-on-one interviews (maybe 6 of 7) which ranged in difficulty. Mostly everybody was concerned with my ability to think through a problem and consider details. How would you set up a test to evaluate X Y Z? That sort of thing. If you are sharp and can think critically, you will do well. Everybody was really nice, nobody was trying to trick me, just asked me to consider challenging problems and walked through various scenarios. It was a tad bit exhausting, but I enjoyed the people I was interviewing with.

    Interview Questions

    • Of a fixed cantilever beam with a point load on the end, "Where would this fail? Why?"   3 Answers

  5. Helpful (6)  

    Mechanical Design Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX.

    Interview

    SpaceX has always been a difficult target, and it seems knowing someone on the inside is better than the standard HR gateway. Most bewildering to me is that I have been on site for a in person interview only to have the manager cancel, not once but twice. It seems they know they are in a hiring market (especially for them).

    Interview Questions

    • Technical questions may be unclear, or difficultly worded. Ask for clarification. Example: Where is the weakest point on a structural column. (which depends on column geometry, and if buckling is thee driving factor)   1 Answer

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