Since its inception, Tesla has been in the limelight for being a revolutionary, innovative company. While this makes for an extremely interesting and exciting workplace, Tesla’s work culture is also quite challenging. Constantly working on creating new things can be a great learning opportunity for engineers.
Software engineers who are passionate about innovation and who thrive in fast-paced environments often have Tesla at the top of their “dream companies” list. If you are one of them, this article will help you in your endeavor of landing a job at Tesla. We’ll cover:
Constant Innovation: As a leading company of cutting-edge innovations, Tesla always works on advanced technologies. This drives as a motivational factor for employees knowing that they’re going to provide innovative models. This reflects in their recruitment process as well. They look for candidates with innovative ideas.
Exclusive interview with the CEO, Elon Musk: If you make a great impression in the initial interview rounds, you might get a chance to speak to and impress Elon Musk. In the final round, Musk meets a few candidates or talks or speaks to them over the phone. (This might not apply to all roles.)
The Interview Process at Tesla consists of 4 rounds:
Tesla wants you to showcase your expertise in practice. They sometimes ask the candidates to assemble something or give a coding problem to solve. The company doesn’t have any specific criteria to select the candidates, but they look for three traits: being innovative, driven, and a team player.
The employees should be willing to experiment, test, and learn things. It’s ok to fail at something, but you need to learn from it and move on.
You also need to be very good at problem-solving. In a 2017 interview, Elon Musk said that there is one question he asks every candidate — tell me about some of the most difficult problems you worked on and how you solved them. He went on to say that candidates who have actually solved a problem will know exactly how they did it, including the tiniest of details.
The question is used to filter out real problem solvers from the ones who are posing. Therefore, make it a point to convincingly describe your experience of solving problems by backing it up with detailed facts.
At Tesla, you can expect a lot of coding questions that will test your problem-solving ability. The best way to prepare yourself is to solve common coding problems and come up with a pattern to help you solve any unseen problem.
In this section, we’ve covered some practice interview questions categorized by job profile.
Software Engineer Interview Questions at Tesla:
Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions at Tesla:
Algorithm Engineer Interview Questions at Tesla:
Backend Engineer Interview Questions at Tesla
Cracking the Tesla interview is very challenging. The kind of questions asked at Tesla are unique and require in-depth knowledge of the concepts. Interview Kickstart (IK) can help you to prepare for these taxing interviews. At IK, you’ll get the unique opportunity to work with and practice mock interviews with tech leads and hiring managers from FAANG and other Tier-1 tech companies.
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Tesla recruiters shared the following key points to keep in mind to land a job at the company:
Recruiters say that they don’t have a predefined formula for selecting candidates. Elon Musk is famous for his first principles, which means instead of figuring things out based on what happened before, “you boil things down to the most fundamental truths ... And then reason up from there.” This is the thinking behind every innovation at Tesla.
Recruiters expect people to show practical skills in whichever role they apply for. If you’re applying for a factory role, you’ll be asked to assemble something in front of them. If you’re applying for tech roles, you’ll be asked to demonstrate your skills on a whiteboard. So prepare yourself to be comfortable doing things instead of just “speaking” at the interview.
Tesla looks for people who demonstrate immense potential to grow and people with determination. You don’t need to have a degree from a top university, but showcasing your skills might just show the right bit of determination.
You don’t need to have massive work experience to apply at Tesla. You can show off your relevant extracurricular activities to show that you’re passionate enough to learn and a good team player. Tesla’s Chief People Officer, Gaby Toledano, explains, “We have candidates who participate in Formula SAE, solar club, or coding competitions, serve of boards, have written white papers, or are involved in sports or other things that show that the person is well-rounded, passionate, and a team player.”
Recruiters say that a candidate who stands out does their homework before the interview. They know what kind of problems they’re trying to solve. For example, if someone’s applying for a Sales position, they need to make sure they’ve visited a Tesla Store and discuss how they can improve a customer’s experience.
Q. How long is the Tesla Hiring process?
A. Tesla’s hiring process takes about two or three weeks on average.
Q. Can you apply for Tesla without a degree?
A. Yes. You can apply for Tesla without a formal degree. According to Elon Musk, your level of education or what school you went to do not matter — what matters is whether you have the skills needed for the job. During a 2014 interview, Musk said, “There’s no need even to have a college degree at all or even high school (to work at Tesla).”
(All information is based on research conducted at the time of writing. Speak to your recruiter to get the latest information.)