What does an interview at Tesla Motors look like for a vehicle or manufacturing engineering position?

Updated on : January 17, 2022 by Mayson Sims



What does an interview at Tesla Motors look like for a vehicle or manufacturing engineering position?

This was my interview for the "Powertrain Test Engineer" position, a full-time position. I think this should be applicable to any full function related to mechanical engineering, such as the aforementioned vehicle engineering or manufacturing functions.

Throughout the entire interview process, there were two main points that the interviewers wanted to address.

  1. How passionate you are about the company and its mission. Do you have a compelling reason to work there?
  2. Can you handle the stress and start running? It's hard working here and no one will hold your hand.

Phone screen

This is where the recr

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This was my interview for the "Powertrain Test Engineer" position, a full-time position. I think this should be applicable to any full function related to mechanical engineering, such as the aforementioned vehicle engineering or manufacturing functions.

Throughout the entire interview process, there were two main points that the interviewers wanted to address.

  1. How passionate you are about the company and its mission. Do you have a compelling reason to work there?
  2. Can you handle the stress and start running? It's hard working here and no one will hold your hand.

Phone screen

This is where the recruiter just wanted to meet you, learn about your skills, and chat with you about the position. Be prepared to tell the recruiter what you know about Tesla and why you want to work there.

Telephone interview with the team

Your hiring manager or a senior engineer will discuss your experience with you and try to dig into the technical details. They didn't ask me any specific crazy physics questions or I greeted you during the interview. Instead, the interviewer asked me to expand my experience, explaining how things worked, the problems I solved, etc.

Interview on site

Before the interview, I was asked to create a presentation about my previous work. My presentation was about my internship project in a different company. I presented for about 30 minutes, which included a question and answer session for a panel of about 6 people. The panel consisted of the hiring manager, senior engineers, and managers.

After the presentation, I have a series of 1 on 1 interviews with each panelist. It was a combination of technical probing questions about his previous work, knowledge of fundamental engineering topics (kinematics, statics, and dynamics), and behavioral questions. They would often ask you technical questions outside of your domain to see if you can figure it out (they asked me some EE and coding questions). There may be an additional telephone interview if someone is unable to attend.

Overall, the process wasn't difficult, but they really want to see if you are passionate about Tesla and its mission. I really like the interview process because they are not only looking for someone who is capable, but also someone who is really passionate about working for the company and the space they are in. It helps to weed out people who are only interested in the company by name.


UPDATE - (4/11/2016)

Tesla has updated its selection process to be even more rigorous than before. Some rough estimates show that Tesla hired 0.3% of all applicants in 2015 (possibly including store product specialist positions). In addition to being passionate about the mission, knowing the fundamentals in your field of study or specialty is very important now. Expect many more technical screening questions during the interview process.

Usually that depends on the team you are interviewing with and the personality of the recruiter himself (or herself). But let me give you a more detailed explanation as I had the opportunity to interview three different teams from Tesla Motors. Before reading further, please note that I have no experience related to vehicle engineering or manufacturing, but most of the process is certainly similar considering that the pattern was followed across all three teams.

1. Spring 2014: I
was in the process of completing my second second semester during my Master's course

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Usually that depends on the team you are interviewing with and the personality of the recruiter himself (or herself). But let me give you a more detailed explanation as I had the opportunity to interview three different teams from Tesla Motors. Before reading further, please note that I have no experience related to vehicle engineering or manufacturing, but most of the process is certainly similar considering that the pattern was followed across all three teams.

1. Spring 2014:
I was in the process of completing my second semester during the course of my Master of Science in Energy Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. I had missed the information session hosted by Tesla Motors on my campus because I never knew what was happening in the first place. A classmate who attended the event told me that all interested students were asked to apply online. I went ahead and submitted my application for a summer internship as an electrical engineering intern. It took roughly three to four weeks before I received an email from a recruiter saying she was interested in going ahead with a phone phone screen. I received this email on a Friday afternoon and was very excited to get on with the process.

BUT, there was a little problem. I had received an offer from another company earlier in the same week and had been given two weeks to accept the offer. I mentioned this to the recruiter and also specified that I was extremely interested in working with Tesla. I did not receive a response until Wednesday of the following week and your emails were not in the least courteous or helpful to my situation. After constantly trying to convince her that he really wanted to go ahead with the interview process, he arranged an interview on Friday. This was by far the worst phone interview I have ever given. He called me 45 minutes late and spoke to me for about 12-15 minutes, even though I had set a thirty minute phone screen based on the email. And most importantly, I hardly ever had a chance to speak and most of the time was spent with his job description. I didn't see this go ahead and although he promised to let me know the result at the end of the day (since I was supposed to request an extension of the deadline of my existing offer), he did not respond to me until I requested for the same the following week.

Now I'm pretty sure this could be a unique case and I was unlucky enough to have been picked up by this particular recruiter, but hey, that's the first team I interviewed and it was associated with developing the discharge load. speed. ports.

2. Fall 2014:
The summer passed, I had a fantastic internship experience, and when I returned to complete my last semester of the program, I started using LinkedIn to connect with companies rather than fill out application forms online. I contacted engineers at Tesla Motors right at the beginning of my search (I didn't want to repeat my mistakes) and one of them was interested in my profile. He forwarded my profile to his recruiting team and soon, over the next two weeks, I had a phone interview setup with the Power Train team. This time, the recruiter was courteous and quick. He called on time and we had a great conversation. He immediately set up my next phone's screen with a technical manager to assess my technical skills. This call was great too, but I missed a couple of questions. It all happened with an interval of about a week between each call. Later, my recruiter contacted me and told me that I would be a better fit in a different team associated with energy storage.

This was followed by communication from another recruiter and the process was repeated. This time, however, the technical interview was much more difficult. In fact, the technical phone screen was preceded by a thirty minute in-place coding challenge (which was much easier than the technical questions during the phone screen). They told me that the team is very young and small and that they expected a lot of experience in firmware development. The questions were varied and insightful, reflecting the need for work experience in the firmware development field. I did not have a very positive feeling at the end of this interview and, as expected, the interview process did not progress any further.

So, to summarize, if you end up with a good recruiter, the entire Tesla Motors interview process is amazing. The technical displays of the phone are extremely attractive. Your interviewers are exceptionally talented and intelligent people. They are very passionate about their work and it definitely reflects in the way they talk to you and guide you through some challenging questions if you get stuck without an answer. The interviews are eye-opening and you definitely get a feel for Tesla's work culture and understand why being able to work there and the reputation it would follow is so important.

If you are in the process of interviewing Tesla, all the best! May the force be with you: D

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