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SpaceX Structures Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at SpaceX

20 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
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Getting an Interview
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6

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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.  

    Structures Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in June 2014.

    Interview

    I applied online and what set me apart was I included photos from several previous projects. (SpaceX wants to see tangible results from previous projects and loves to ask what you learned.) There are several phone screenings in the beginning of the process with engineers and management. If you complete this, you will go to HQ in Hawthorne for a group presentation on a project you worked on in the past. The room is full of several departments who will ask you questions on it in different disciplines, the goal is to figure out if you were just a member of the team or the one who drove the project. After this, there are 5-8 one on one interview sessions. Expect the whole process at HQ to last 6-8 hours, you will be very tired when is done.

    Interview Questions

    • If you are presenting on mechanical topics, expect questions in electrical, fluid or project management to see how dynamic you are.   1 Answer

  5. Helpful (2)  

    Structures Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in June 2016.

    Interview

    Recruiter phone screen, engineering director phone screen, all day in person interview including a presentation to a group, an engineering knowledge/skills quiz, and many 1:1s, and finally after the interview went well, two executive management phone calls and your 3-5 bullet point executive summary of highest accomplishments goes across Elon's desk.

    The in person interview begins with a presentation to a group on a design project. You have one hour to present and take questions from the people in the room. Many applicants are from Formula SAE or other project teams, and many engineers at SpaceX are design judges at the national competitions, so be prepared for tough questions. If they don't like your presentation, you'll be asked to leave after that. If they do like your presentation, you'll go on to eat lunch with a manager and then take a structures/other kind of engineering quiz depending on the position you're applying for. Then there are 3-4 hours of one-on-ones with engineers, managers, and directors.

    Overall a very through process. I ended up learning a significant amount about the company as well, and left the in person all day interview feeling very excited about the potential future opportunity. If they like you they will tell you that it went well and get you excited about potentially working there.

    Interview Questions

    • Mechanical engineering fundamentals questions, including beam bending, shear and moment diagrams, buckling strength, cross sections and moments of inertia, open ended design questions, materials strength and properties basic knowledge and understanding, questions to address corporate culture and fit, questions to see if I was scrappy, quick on my feet, intelligent, and had the correct work ethic   Answer Question

  6.  

    Structures Engineer Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 6 days. I interviewed at SpaceX (Los Angeles, CA) in October 2016.

    Interview

    Met with recruiters at my university's career fair and networking events. Applied online to a variety of full time and internship positions. Got a phone call from a recruiter to schedule a phone interview with managers for my potential future team. They called me right one time and I had a 30 minute phone interview. The same recruiter from the first call called me back about 24 hours later with the offer and offer details.

    Interview Questions

    • Resume-focused at the beginning - asked to explain an engineering project and my role on that team.

      Then we started talking about my experience with a school design team, why design decisions were made versus others.

      Asked me some specifics about equations I should know that are specific to rocket propulsion systems since that was what I was interviewing for.   1 Answer

  7. 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
  8.  

    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

  9.  

    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

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