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How to Prepare for Tesla Interview in 2 Months: Prep Tips and Interview Questions

Tesla’s software engineering interview extensively evaluates your programming and problem-solving abilities. Tesla’s technical interview is one of the toughest among tech companies, with as little as 0.5% of engineers making the cut. To crack Tesla’s technical interview, we recommend you adopt a solid prep strategy that adequately covers core data structures, scalable systems design concepts, and analytical problem-solving.

Tesla has one of the most rewarding work environments, enabling software engineers to enjoy an exciting professional career. Software engineers at Tesla are paid an average salary of $140,760 per year, over 30% higher than the national software engineer's salary. Employees at Tesla also receive additional benefits such as cash bonuses and stock options.

If you’re gearing up for your Tesla interview and just beginning your prep, this post will help you understand the interview process, what questions to expect, and how to implement a 2-month Tesla interview prep strategy to help you ace the interview. 

If you’re a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! 

Having trained over 13,500 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest-ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies. Our reviews will tell you how we’ve shaped the careers of thousands of professionals aspiring to take their careers to new heights. 

Want to nail your next tech interview? Sign up for our FREE Webinar.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at the important elements of a foolproof Tesla interview preparation plan. This article will help you answer the question — how to prepare for Tesla’s interview. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How Hard Is it to Get a Job at Tesla?
  • The Tesla Technical Interview Process
  • The 2-month Tesla Interview Preparation Plan
  • Tesla Interview Questions for Practice
  • Tesla Interview Preparation Tips to Crack the Interview
  • FAQs on Tesla Interview Preparation

How Hard Is it to Get a Job at Tesla?

Well, the answer to this question is that it’s not very easy. Tesla receives thousands of applications each year for software engineering roles. But the acceptance rate is a mere 0.5%. This clearly reflects the difficulty of the interview process and the depth of preparation needed to ace Tesla’s technical interviews.

The company’s hiring process is reflective of the company’s core principles which include:

  • Doing the best
  • Taking risk
  • Environmental consciousness and
  • Constant learning

To ace Tesla’s interview, understanding the interview process correctly and devising a foolproof prep strategy are essential. 

Tesla Technical Interview Process 

An interesting fact about Tesla’s hiring process is that recruiters thoroughly look at every resume. 

The company’s core hiring principles are defined by diversity and uniqueness. To land an interview, using a suitable resume template, presenting a good project portfolio, and creating a strong LinkedIn profile that LinkedIn’s algorithms can detect are critical.

The interview process is designed to evaluate your problems solving and programming skills.

The process takes about 4-6 weeks and consists of three main rounds:

  • Initial Telephonic Screen - A conversation with a recruiter about your experience, skills, and expectations from the role. It lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • The Coding Assignment - One or two Medium-Hard/Hard Leetcode problems around data structures and algorithms. It also includes some systems design and behavioral questions.
  • The In-Person Interview - Consists of 1-2 coding rounds, 1-2 systems design rounds, and 1-2 behavioral/cultural rounds.

To learn more about the Tesla interview process, check out our post on Tesla Software Engineering Interview Process.

The 2-Month Tesla Interview Preparation Plan

To prepare for Tesla’s grueling technical interview, giving yourself sufficient time to prepare should be the first thing to consider. We recommend that you spend a minimum of 2 months to prepare before giving your interview, simply because of the vastness of aspects to prepare and the difficulty level of the interview. 

Week 1 

  • Take note of the topics to prepare for your interview. Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to standard. 
  • For your resume, make sure you use the correct template that succinctly conveys information about your profile.
  • As for your LinkedIn profile, make sure it is updated with the right keywords to be detected by LinkedIn’s bullion algorithms.
  • Review the important topics in data structures and algorithms. Go through the essential design concepts to cover as well.

Week 2 and 3

  • Start your prep by practicing problems in core data structures and algorithms. Tesla’s interview extensively tests your coding and design skills. 
  • Start with arrays, strings, linked lists, and sorting algorithms. These are the easier topics to cover. Aim to practice at least 2 coding problems a day. You can also read our guide on coding interview practice to learn how and what to practice to crack coding interviews.
  • Your performance in the interview isn’t proportional to the number of problems you practice. Instead, it largely depends on how you approach problems through analogous patterns. Identifying patterns in problems you solve is key to giving yourself the best chance at tackling tough problems at the interview.

Week 4 and 5

  • Move on to the more advanced algorithms and data structures topics. These include graphs, trees, graph algorithms, dynamic programming, hash tables, and recursion. 
  • Again, aim to practice a minimum of 2 problems a day and focus on pattern recognition and implementation. Alternatively, you can also learn the best way to learn data structures and algorithms.

Week 6 and 7

  • Begin your prep for the systems design interview. Start by learning systems design case studies, the type of questions asked, and the approach to building arbitrary systems. 
  • Cover the important topics in low-level and high-level design. These include databases, network protocols, batch processing systems, online processing systems, object modeling, and API modeling.
  • Understand the nuances in designing different scalable systems with low latency

Week 8 and 9

  • Practice mock interviews with industry experts and FAANG+ hiring managers. Interview Kickstart is a dedicated interview prep school that allows you to practice mocks with industry experts and hiring managers from FAANG+ companies
  • If you’re prepping for a domain-specific interview, start preparing your domain concepts and practice mocks with domain experts. 
  • Make sure to continue solving and practicing 1-2 problems every day and identify patterns in every problem you solve.

Week 10 and 11

  • Prepare for behavioral and leadership interviews. Focus on framing your answers correctly and using the STAR method to deliver answers to common behavioral questions.
  • Go through interview experiences from engineers who’ve interviewed at Tesla.
  • Revise the important concepts in coding and systems design.
  • Check out the behavioral interview questions asked at FAANG+ interviews for directions to ace these interviews.

Recommended Reading: 7 Tips to Create a Stellar Software Engineer Resume

Tesla Interview Questions for Practice

In this section, we’ll look at some interview questions to practice as part of your Tesla interview preparation strategy. 

Tesla Interview Questions on Coding

Tesla's coding interview questions are primarily based on algorithms and core data structures. Your Tesla interview preparation plan should majorly focus on practicing such problems. 

The following concepts are important for Tesla’s coding interview:

Below are some sample Tesla coding interview questions for you to practice:

  1. Write a program to find the missing element in a rotational array.
  2. Write a program to find the missing elements in an unsorted array.
  3. Write a program to print the left view of a binary tree.
  4. Write a program to check if a given string is a Palindrome or not.
  5. Write a program to find the strongest connected elements of a directed graph.

Visit our Problems Page to find more sample software engineer interview questions on coding. 

Tesla Interview Questions on Systems Design

Your Tesla interview preparation plan is incomplete without dedicating at least 1-2 weeks to cover concepts in distributed systems design thoroughly. 

Following are the important design concepts to cover:

  • Concurrency
  • API Modeling
  • Servers and maintenance 
  • Databases
  • Processing Systems
  • Object Modeling
  • Case Studies

Following are some sample Tesla interview questions on distributed systems design:

  1. What aspects will you consider while designing a proximity server?
  2. What elements will you consider while building a distributed, scalable application?
  3. How will you ensure that scalable systems have robust security?
  4. How would you integrate a chatbot and notification system for Tesla’s vehicles?
  5. What aspects will you consider while designing a shared drive on the cloud?

To practice more questions, check out these 40+ Tesla Interview Questions.

Tesla Interview Questions on Behavioral Psychology

Behavioral interviews are an important part of Tesla’s hiring process. Let’s look at some commonly-asked behavioral questions asked at Tesla’s interviews.

Below are some behavioral questions asked at Tesla’s interviews -

  1. Tell us about the most difficult project you worked on and the learnings from those projects.
  2. Why do you want to work at Tesla? What aspect of the company do you like the most?
  3. How do you ensure that your productivity doesn’t drop while working on software projects?
  4. Do you have a good work-life balance? Why do you think it’s important?
  5. Tell us about a time when you had to learn new skills/technologies for a particular project.

Want to practice more behavioral questions? Check out this extensive post on Behavioral Interview Questions for Software Engineers and Developers.

FAQs on 2-Month Tesla Interview Preparation Plan

Q1. How long should you ideally spend preparing for Tesla’s technical interview?

You should spend about 10-12 weeks preparing for Tesla’s interview. The areas to prepare include coding, design, and behavioral/leadership interviews.

Q2. What is the average salary of software engineers at Tesla?

The average Tesla software engineer salary in the United States is $140,760 per year.

Q3.What are some tips to prepare for Tesla’s coding interviews?

Tesla’s coding interviews are fundamentally based on core data structures and algorithms. Some Tesla software interview preparation tips include i) identifying and classifying problems based on patterns and using power patterns to solve new problems, ii) practicing at least 1-2 problems a day, and iii) running multiple test cases to understand different solution angles.

Q4. How long should you ideally spend preparing for Tesla’s behavioral interview?

Ideally, you should spend at least 1-2 weeks prepping for Tesla’s behavioral and leadership interview.

Q5. Are Tesla interviews tough to crack?

It is extremely difficult to pass the Tesla interview. The questions asked at Tesla are one-of-a-kind and require in-depth knowledge of the concepts. Interview Kickstart (IK) can assist you in preparing for these difficult interviews.

Gear Up for Your Next Technical Interview

Are you getting ready for an upcoming technical interview? Register for our technical interview webinar.

At Interview Kickstart, we’ve trained over 13,500 engineers to land lucrative offers at the biggest tech companies. Our instructors, who are FAANG hiring managers, know what it takes to nail tough tech interviews at top technology companies.

Register for our FREE webinar to learn more.

Interview Preparation
Last updated on: 
August 10, 2021
Author

Ashwin Ramachandran

Head of Engineering @ Interview Kickstart. Enjoys cutting through the noise and finding patterns.

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