The California-based electric vehicle and clean energy company, Tesla, offers some of the world's best career opportunities for software engineers. It currently employs several software engineers who work on, develop, and maintain different types of software. This includes user Interface software and embedded software for vehicles, to name a few.
What makes Tesla an ideal company for software engineers is that it offers a host of employee benefits and lucrative salaries. In fact, the average annual pay for Tesla software engineers is around $126,000. That's nearly 21% higher than the national average.
Naturally, the Tesla software engineer interview is quite a tough nut to crack. But it’s certainly not an impossible feat if your tech interview prep is solid. This blog covers everything you need to know to prepare for your tech interview at Tesla.
The overall hiring process at Tesla takes roughly two weeks. You can either apply through job websites or directly through the company’s website.
Based on the experiences of several current and former Tesla employees and after studying multiple reliable resources, we have compiled the following skeleton of how a Tesla software engineer interview works.
It typically comprises the following phases:
The online assessment consists of 2 questions, and you’ll get around 90 minutes to solve them. This will be followed by the first phone screen. Here, the recruiter will review and follow up on the online assessment questions. They will also discuss the core details of the job role with you in order to familiarize you with the job responsibilities.
Such rounds also help the recruiter to assess your communication skills, fluency, and confidence.
After this, you will have the second phone screen. At this stage, you can expect an informational call with the hiring manager, who is likely to ask you some behavioral questions.
The on-site interview at Tesla is typically divided into 5 rounds, wherein each session lasts for about 45 minutes. These are discussed below:
There are three technical rounds.
The first one covers design problems. Here’s an example of a question that you can expect during this round:
Design a service to execute the following operations given a bunch of Redis instances.
The first round will be with a Senior Manager. The second round will be with the hiring manager, who will ask behavioral questions along with your current work-related questions.
Besides these, you can also expect take-home interview problems. Here’s an example of a take-home interview problem at Tesla Autopilot:
"Find the smallest distance for a Tesla car to drive from one charging station 's' to another, 't' in a Tesla charging station network. The maximum range of the car in question is 320km, so it needs to charge in intermediate stations. However, each station has a charging speed of km/hr, indicating how many more kilometers the car can drive per hour charging before the car reaches the 320km maximum range.
The input is the names of the destination station and the starting station. A header file is provided with a list of charging stations with their names, coordinates, and charging speeds.
The output is a single line in the following format: starting station name, first intermediate station name, charge time in hrs, second intermediate station name, charge time in hours, …, …, destination station name.”
Based on the role you’re gunning for, you might also have a final round with Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla. Musk usually focuses on discussing past projects where you successfully solved a problem.
There are several software development teams in Tesla, all tasked with different roles and responsibilities. Some of these teams are as follows:
We’ll discuss in detail a couple of these software engineer roles at Tesla. You can get more details on Tesla’s official website.
You are expected to specialize in front-end software development and create exceptional user experiences. You will also have to collaborate with Tesla's top-notch back-end developers and design teams. Basically, you need to be determined enough to set the bar for what a car UI can be and create an interface that flows naturally. Responsibilities include:
As a Tesla software engineer in this team, you will have to contribute to one of the most popularly deployed and advanced computer vision stacks in the world. You will be working with deep learning algorithms, real-time software and deliver safety-critical features to several customers. Responsibilities include:
There are a total of 6 levels of software engineering posts at Tesla:
If you have fluency in any of these programming languages preferred at Tesla, take that as a solid boost to your tech interview prep.
To give you a clearer idea of what to expect during the Tesla software engineer interview, we have compiled a list of questions. It comprises questions covering both technical and behavioral rounds.
Behavioral interview questions are a part of every tech interview. These are used to test your soft skills and see if you are a good fit for the company.
If you are an experienced software engineer, questions related to teamwork and project management will be of higher weightage. Listed below are some behavioral interview questions that you can expect at the Tesla software engineer interview:
Check out Tesla Interview Questions for more.
While preparing for a software engineering interview at a company like Tesla, make sure you follow the steps mentioned below. These remain indispensable even if you have considerable experience in your arsenal.
Recommended Reading: FAANG Interview Tips for Software Engineers
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1. What should you wear to a Tesla interview?
Based on several candidate responses as compiled by Indeed, the following are some of the recommended dress codes for Tesla interviews:
2. What are the top skills and requirements to work as a software engineer at Tesla?
The top skills and requirements are listed below:
3. What are the requirements to be a Systems Software Engineer at Tesla Autopilot?
Some of the requirements are as follows: