The recruiting procedure at Tesla and SpaceX is renowned for being extremely meticulous, and previously Elon Musk himself insisted on interviewing every applicant before they were accepted. Musk will still ask you questions during the interview process, however you can no longer count on running into him. Therefore, stop searching for an answer to Elon Musk’s questions. In this article, we at founderactivity will examine some of Elon Musk interview questions and offer suggestions on how to respond.
Optimism, pessimism, f**k that; we’re going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work.– Elon Musk
The most stressful situations in life are job interviews. Elon Musk, the richest man in the world and CEO of Tesla, is widely known for his demanding and quirky demeanor, so we can only image how unsettling a job interview with him would be. In reality, we do not need to work too hard to envision; lately, Musk claimed he asks one question during each interview to identify liars. Science claims that it is effective. You would be wise to find out what it is because every prospective possible boss you will meet with is reading about it.
How to answer Elon Musk’s interview question
This conundrum may be leaving you bedazzled in your head, but you are not the only one. The good news is that Musk was not very concerned with applicants giving him the correct response. Interviewers use brainteasers like this one to test a candidate’s ability to think critically and function under stress, not necessarily to find the right answer.
What Elon Musk Is Looking for in Your Answers
Due of the unique things that Tesla and SpaceX are undertaking, they are running into issues that they have never encountered before. When choosing applicants for the job in this circumstance, you cannot base your decision on prior experience in problem-solving. Elon Musk and his recruiting supervisors must thus seek for other criteria:
- Excellence: How do you approach and resolve issues?
- Being at ease under pressure: doesn’t imply you shouldn’t feel anxious, but does the pressure cause you to get agitated?
- There will be a lot of ambiguity in your position, therefore it will be important how you handle it. Do you possess the curiosity to move forward when there isn’t a clear course to follow?
- Your sincerity: do you really have the qualifications you say you do?
Elon Musk Interview Questions
Elon Musk is renowned for giving oddball responses in interviews. Therefore, it is not surprising that he also asks somewhat different questions during the interview process for his firms. Below are some of his favorite questions and ideas on how to effectively respond.
1. You are standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?
The question assesses one’s understanding of science, logical reasoning, and speedy information processing. It is the ideal opening query when speaking with prospective rocket scientists.
However, it is beneficial in other ways as well, even if the applicant is unable to provide an answer. A person who claims, “I am not sure. Please elaborate “demonstrates a number of admirable qualities, including sincerity, integrity, and a desire to learn.
How to answer – The North Pole is one solution that may be right, but Elon often asks, “Where else could it be?”
“Near the South Pole” is the quick response. If certain criteria are met, there are unlimited points you might be since there are infinite points on a circle. Consider a ring encircling the South Pole. The South Pole need not even be in the center of it. Simply have the South Pole inside of it will do. The second requirement is that the circle’s diameter be one mile.
Now, if you begin one mile north, you must travel one mile south until you reach the circle’s edge. You make a mile-long westbound walk around the circle before heading back to where you first saw it. You now need to travel one mile north to get back to where you started.
2. Tell me about one of the most difficult problems you’ve worked on and how you solved it.
Anyone can claim to be the greatest at what they do, but it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether they are being sincere.
Fortunately, Musk made his idea public at the 2017 World Government Summit. He always asks the same question to every applicant he interviews: “Tell me about some of the most difficult problems you worked on and how you solved them.”
Because, as he put it, “the individuals who genuinely solved the problem know exactly how they did it.” They are aware of and skilled at describing minute details.
How to answer – Someone who was genuinely instrumental in the solution of a problem will be aware of all the minute details about it and be able to describe to him in great detail what the thought was during the process, according to Musk, who claims that this inquiry reveals to him who is being sincere.
Use the STAR approach, which stands for the following, to respond to questions like these in a brief and convincing manner. The STAR approach is excellent for putting your experience into a story and demonstrating your logic. The STAR approach will open up a world of other chances for you if you can master it while getting ready for your Tesla or SpaceX application.
3. Walk me through the process of something you designed. Now, if you were to do it all again, what would you change?
It is fantastic to talk about your successes and best qualities, but you might also need to address your shortcomings or places for improvement.
How to answer – The secret to responding to this question is choosing an issue that you have devised a solution for that includes as much technical failure and complexity as you can conceive of. Give further details about this. Then, describe the many options you may have used to address the problem and explain your decision.
Discuss your learning as you worked on the problem, in addition to how you would approach it better now that you have completed the entire process, for extra credit.
This Elon Musk question is intended to provide you the chance to demonstrate how thoroughly you think about challenges, how you approach challenges, and what you have learnt from a real-life situation, similar to the goal of the aforementioned “identifying a liar” question.
4. You are on a small row boat in a lake with a rock in the boat. You throw the rock overboard. Does the water level in the lake rise or fall?
This is supposedly one of the Elon Musk interview questions from SpaceX.
How to answer – This brainteaser is enjoyable. Of course, without the stone inside, the boat is lighter and will float higher on the water. The rising water is shown by this. The lake is more overflowing with debris, so will the level rise?
The water will rise, is the answer. This is the cause. When the rock is in the boat, the weight of the rock causes the water to be moved. But when it’s thrown into the lake, it moves the water about in proportion to its size.
5. Why would you like to work for us?
This is a really good question, but it is also really misunderstood.
How to answer – Most individuals assume that when they hear this question, the interviewer is just asking them to give the organization kudos for being such a desired workplace.
Even if this could occasionally be the case, seize the chance to demonstrate how thoroughly you have investigated the organization and the position.
You may articulate how important these aspects of the firm, their goals, and their culture are for you and your life, and why you think that makes you the ideal candidate for the position.
But you should not limit your investigation to Elon Musk and his businesses. You must conduct study on the issues they are facing and comprehend them in order to perform your work effectively. As much as you can, find out what the businesses are focusing on and what issues they are having. During the interview, take the effort to show that you have done your homework on these challenges and to explain what you would do to assist in their solution.
Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough– Elon Musk
How to proceed if you are uncertain about the answer
Imagine that you are being interviewed and a question like this is asked of you. How do you behave? Do not worry first. Keep in mind that interviewers may not always be searching for the right response. They only wish to have a better understanding of your method of information processing and problem-solving. Second, resist the urge to sidestep the question.
You are welcome to ask follow-up questions if necessary to further explain the interviewer’s inquiries. This will demonstrate your curiosity and show them how you approach difficulties. Then, even if you are unsure about the response, begin outlining your reasoning. Explain your assumptions, break the problem down, and then show exactly how you would arrive at your solution, whatever it may be.
To wrap it all up, our work is made much simpler since you are aware that Musk is looking for quality, flexibility under pressure, how you handle uncertainty, and if you were actually technically engaged in producing the outcomes you cite in your application.
Through a combination of planning and practicing your responses to elon musk interview questions as well as practicing solving brainteasers, you may significantly enhance your responses.
The possibility that Elon musk’s bodyguards aren’t called musketeers makes me sad.