SpaceX Structural Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

SpaceX Structural Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at SpaceX

20 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
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11
6

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3.9
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Helpful (3)  

Structural Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
No Offer

Application

I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX.

Interview

After applying online, I was contacted by HR at SpaceX to set up a phone interview. The interview was a technical one. I was interviewed by a current structural engineer at SpaceX. He asked several questions regarding mostly beam theory. I thought it went well, but it was hard to gauge because the interviewer sounded like he didn't really want to be interviewing someone and was just reading a list of questions off of a piece of paper. After the questions he asked if I had any questions and the interview lasted about a half hour. Two weeks later I was contacted and told that I was not selected for the position

Interview Questions

  • What shape cross-section would you use for a cantilever beam?   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for SpaceX

  1.  

    Structural Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    behavioral phone screen with recruiter, technical phone interview with manager, on-site interview consisting of 20-25 min technical presentation and 5-8 one-on-one technical interviews. If they don't like your presentation, they'll send you home after, otherwise you move onto the one-on-ones

    Interview Questions


  2.  

    Structural Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at SpaceX.

    Interview

    First went through a brief in person chat at career fair. I was then invited to have an introductory behavioral interview. This was followed up by a longer more in-depth technical interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Why would you make a plane fuselage out of aluminum instead of steel.   1 Answer
  3.  

    Structure Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hawthorne, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in February 2014.

    Interview

    Telephone interview followed by onsite. The on site was close to a full day process. Had to give a presentation on a project I wanted to highlight. Had one-on-one with Sr. Director, Lead Engineers, Managers and structures engineers. There was written test as well. It was basic mechanical engineering question on beams, strength of materials etc

    Interview Questions

    • Whats was the most important lesson from your previous job   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (3)  

    Structures Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at SpaceX.

    Interview

    Lots of interviews. 1 initial phone screen, followed by 2 technical phone screens. Face to face interview included 6 one on one interviews, a presentation, and an engineering test (fundamental questions. Not difficult). 2 further highly technical phone interviews with the VP prior to offer.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe how to select a carbon fiber material selection. What parameters are important and why?   Answer Question

  5.  

    Structures Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    Initial interview is a phone screen prior to being brought onsite. Promising candidates are brought Tonite for a long, grueling interview focused on technical ability, culture fit, and quick thinking. Interview was a series of one on ones lasting 5 hours total.

    Interview Questions

    • You are in a canoe in a pool. What happens to the water level when you throw in a rock? A beach ball?   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (4)  

    Structures Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hawthorne, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in February 2016.

    Interview

    I was first contacted by a recruiter on linkedin in September 2015 asking if I was interested in applying. I had a quick phone screen with that recruiter shortly thereafter, and was put in touch with a recruiter in a different department more aligned with my interests shortly thereafter. This 2nd phone screen was fairly difficult- this particular recruiter had an engineering degree, and really grilled me on the technical aspects of a few of my projects. I'm not sure if this is normal for recruiters at SpaceX, but keep in mind that this phone screen may not necessarily be an easy one.

    I then had a phone interview with an engineer, who asked me a ton of technical questions about my project, as well as a few general technical questions and a brain teaser (all outlined below). After that interview, I didn't hear back from SpaceX at all for 4 months. I emailed and called my recruiter multiple times, but never heard back. I assumed that they were not moving forward with my application, and continued my job search, applying with other companies.

    You can imagine my surprise when a 3rd recruiter called me in late January 2016, asking if I would be interested in "re-engaging" with SpaceX. I was set up for a phone interview with a 2nd, more senior, engineer, who asked more technical questions about my project. He was very apologetic about it taking them so long to get back to me. It was a really interesting discussion, and was a very enjoyable interview on the whole- really forced me to rethink certain aspects of my project from the perspective of a rocketry engineer. A few days later, I was contacted asking me to come out for the on-site interview.

    When I got to HQ in Hawthorne, I got the tour of the facility and then gave a presentation to ~8 engineers on a technical project I had worked on. It had to be 15 minutes long, but took about an hour with all of their questions. After the presentation, I was taken to a separate room to wait while they debated on whether or not I should move on to the next stage of the interview process (one-on-one interviews with each of them).

    In the end, I did not make it any farther in the process. It's hard to say why exactly, I thought I nailed the presentation and answered every single one of their questions accurately and succinctly. All my recruiter said was that they didn't think I'd be a good fit on their team, though she also mentioned I could try again when I had more experience. That would make sense considering I'm currently entry-level, though I do have multiple internships under my belt.

    Interview Questions

    • cantilevered beam w/point load, failure location?
      statically indeterminate problems
      design for corrosion problems
      how would design change if the product lifecycle was tripled? any testing needed?
      three lightbulb problem (google it)   Answer Question

  7.  

    Structures Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hawthorne, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    I knew someone at the company that was able to push my resume along to the right people, a few weeks later I got an email to set up an initial phone screening with the recruiter. After demonstrating that I was interested an competent, she then set up a technical phone interview with the structures manager. This was moderately difficult as it brought up a lot of courses that I had taken in the past (focus on Strengths of Materials, Statics, FEM). After the interview, I got an email that night that they wanted to fly me out to Los Angeles to do an onsite interview. They covered everything for travel (flight, hotel, rental car, $40 for food a day, mileage to the airport). When I arrived to their facility, the recruiter met me and gave me a tour of the entire facility, which was amazing. After that, I lead a half hour long presentation about a technical project I had done in front of about 5-6 engineers and my recruiter. This presentation could've been from school or prior work experience but the point was to demonstrate how you go about solving a problem, what your capabilities are as an engineer and if they think that you're a good fit. At the conclusion of the presentation, you leave the room and they briefly deliberate as to whether or not they want to continue on to the 1 on 1 interviews. I personally did not make it past the presentation. They felt I wasn't a good fit, needed more experience and needed to explain some of the things in my presentation better. I wasn't too disappointed because I did not like LA at all, your opinion of the city may be different.

    Interview Questions

    • What sort of design considerations should you take when designing a cantilever beam/column, and where it's going to fail?   Answer Question
    • If you have a rock sitting in a canoe inside a pool and you throw the rock out of the canoe into the water, what happens to the water level?   Answer Question
  8.  

    Structures Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hawthorn, PA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a week. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorn, PA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    I got a call from a recruiter and she set up an interview for the next week. The interview lasted about 30 minutes and was very technical. Beam bending etc.

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (2)  

    Structures Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at SpaceX in December 2014.

    Interview

    After coordinating with an HR rep by email, I spoke with one of the engineers from this department on the phone. He asked me about the projects I had listed on my resume as well as some brain teaser type questions. During a follow-up call, I interviewed with the manager for the department I was applying for. He asked more specific strength of materials/mechanics questions related to spacecraft structures, as well as some basic controls (frequency response) questions. In the end, I did not make it any further into the interview process.

    Months later, an HR rep from another department (different engineering role) "found" my application and asked if I wanted to start another interview process. By that time, I had already accepted a full-time position at another company.

    Interview Questions

    • Where on the Earth can you walk one mile north, one mile east, and then one mile south and end up at the same place you started?   1 Answer

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