There is a high chance you will appear before Elon Musk if you interview with Tesla or SpaceX. He even recognizes that he interviewed all the candidates regardless of their position in the early days of SpaceX and Tesla. So, are you ready to appear before one of the world’s most successful and intelligent entrepreneurs? Probably not. Therefore, you must prepare adequately for your upcoming interview by anticipating the questions you will likely be asked and coming up with great responses. Here are a few questions to help you prepare for your upcoming interview:
1. What Do You Know About Tesla?
Tesla, registered as Tesla Inc., is a multinational clean energy and automotive company headquartered in Austin, the capital city of Texas. It is known for some of the best electric cars and trucks and battery energy storage products and services. It owns Tesla Energy, the largest battery energy systems supply worldwide. Its name is a tribute to Nikola Tesla, a renowned electrical engineer, and inventor. Its Chief Executive Officer is Elon Musk, one of the wealthiest people on the planet, while Robyn Denholm chairs it.
2. Mention Any Groundbreaking Inventions By Tesla
Tesla has had several great inventions in the past. However, the most breathtaking were the Roadster sports car of 2008, the Tesla Model S in 2012, an electric sedan that was well received, the Model 3 sedan (2017), and the Tesla Semi Truck of 2022. The model 3 sedan was so loved that by June 2021, 1 million units had been sold worldwide, a record that any electric car hasn’t broken yet.
3. Where Did The Name Tesla Come From?
Tesla is a tribute to Nikola Tesla, a Serbian American inventor who played a massive role in developing several technologies we use daily, such as the remote control, smartphones, x-rays, wireless transmission, and laser beams. Some of the greatest inventions of Nikola Tesla include the radio, Tesla turbine, Tesla coil, induction motor, the magnifying transmitter, hydroelectric power, alternating current, Tesla valve, and neon lights, to mention a few.
4. Do You Think Electric Vehicles Are The Only Key To Sustainable Transportation?
Electric vehicles will definitely play a massive part in sustainable transportation as they will probably be powered by renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. However, they are not the only magic bullet to sustainable transportation. Others include hyperloop and high-speed trains, which are already functional in China and Japan. We also have self-driving technology, which allows people to move freely and safely.
5. Why Do You Think Tesla Has Managed To Stay Ahead Of Other Electric Vehicle Manufacturers?
Your commitment to design and innovation is the main reason you are ahead of other electric vehicle manufacturers. Your cars are aesthetically pleasing and fun, not just alternatives to petroleum or gas-powered vehicles. A Tesla veering off the road will definitely turn heads, which can’t be said for several electric car brands. You also hire some of the industry’s most creative minds, which helps with innovation. Lastly, Tesla has a functional charging network that lets Tesla owners charge their cars conveniently, making electric car ownership easy.
6. Are You An Entrepreneur By Any Chance? If Yes, What’s One Of The Biggest Lessons You Have Learnt So Far?
Yes. I am an entrepreneur. I own a sizable juice-production business that runs on green energy. We produce fresh juice from fruits obtained from naturally grown trees and supply them within Austin and its environs. An important lesson I have learned since the business’s inception is the importance of perseverance. I met several setbacks and even thought of closing the business. However, I decided to soldier on, take risks, and stay committed to my goals, and 12 years later, my company is one of the biggest suppliers of fresh fruit juice in Austin.
7. Mention Some Of The Most Exciting Developments Happening At SpaceX.
Like Tesla, SpaceX has several exciting developments going on at the moment. The most prominent and awaited of them is the Starship Spacecraft which is scheduled to take people to Mars in 2025 and 2027 if production is not hampered. It will fulfil your goal of taking people to Mars, one of the planets alleged to support life. The Starship will reduce the cost of space travel because it is reusable, allowing as many people as possible to explore space. I’m saving to be one of the first few people to get onto it once it’s done.
8. Why Choose Tesla?
There are several reasons why one would want to work here. As for me, I would love to work for Tesla because of its commitment to innovation and design. I am confident that my creativity and critical thinking will be put to good use here at Tesla, as I will be able to contribute to several notable projects. I would also love to be part of the ongoing auto industry revolution. Lastly, Tesla has several learning opportunities and consistent work, which I need now in my career. I am ready to exhaust all my knowledge, creativity, and experience to succeed if given a chance.
9. How Do You Think We Have Managed To Stay Innovative Over The Years?
I believe that both Tesla and SpaceX have managed to stay innovative over the years, owing to your investment in research and development. Most of your revenue and profits are ploughed back into R&D, a department that has highly skilled engineers and scientists constantly working on new products and technologies. You are also unafraid of taking risks, even when others think your ideas are impossible. Lastly, your commitment to space exploration and sustainable transportation has contributed significantly to where Tesla is at the moment.
10. Do You Think There Are Obstacles To Human Colonization Of Mars?
Like any new territory, Mars colonization comes with its fair share of obstacles. They include a lack of resources, a harsh environment, and a lack of sustainable infrastructure. The thin atmosphere and extreme temperatures witnessed in Mars may not be viable for growing crops and sustaining human life. However, I believe all the obstacles standing in the way of human colonization of Mars can be tackled through innovation and technology.
11. What Do You Know About SpaceX’s Latest Product?
SpaceX’s Latest product is StarLink, a low-latency internet connectivity system that has already been unveiled in more than 50 countries worldwide. It uses thousands of satellites that orbit the earth at 550 km that cover the entire globe. It offers breakneck speeds, more data, and fewer data limitations than competitors. The kit comes with a Wi-Fi router, cables, base, power supply, and StarLink.
12. Do You Think Artificial Intelligence Has Helped Shape The Future Of Tesla And SpaceX?
Yes. AI has significantly affected how Tesla and SpaceX have turned out. For example, AI continuously helps improve the safety and performance of the self-driving feature in Tesla cars. It’s also well-known that Artificial Intelligence is required to make rocket launches safer and more accurate, an area in which SpaceX thrives. Additionally, AI can help automate tasks and reduce astronauts’ workloads. We can only expect more from Tesla and SpaceX thanks to AI.
13. In Your Opinion, What Do You Think A Company Needs Most To Succeed?
The most crucial factor that any company needs to succeed is a clear and compelling vision that outlines the company’s targeted achievements. The company’s vision must also reflect the real problem it is trying to solve and should be well-known by the team and all the stakeholders. A company must also have highly skilled and creative staff to make progress. The team should be aligned with its vision and highly committed to continuous improvement and innovation, such as in your companies.
14. You Mentioned That You Are An Entrepreneur. What Advice Would You Give To Aspiring Entrepreneurs?
I had a talk with my father when I joined entrepreneurship, and what he told me has always guided me whenever I think of starting a new business. He advised me to always focus on solving a real problem and not on the money, reiterating that money comes automatically by helping people solve real-life problems. Using you as an example, I would also advise aspiring entrepreneurs always to take risks and stand tall in the face of challenges. Lastly, I’d let them know that starting and running a company is not easy and that they should refrain if they intend to give up after two or so months.
15. What Have You Learnt From Failure?
I have failed severally in my career and personal life. However, every failure makes me a better person owing to the lessons I learn. Failure has taught me to be persistent and persevering. I treat each incident as a learning opportunity while staying motivated and faithful to my goals. I have also learned that every time one fails, one should pick themselves up as fast as possible and try again. Most inventions came to light after repeated failures, meaning it’s normal to hit certain obstacles along the way.
16. Do You Think You Are A Leader? If Yes, Which Qualities Do You Possess?
I am confident that I am a leader. I can easily set clear goals and effectively communicate with my team members to ensure everyone is informed of our progress. I also have a number of qualities needed for successful leadership, such as determination, the ability to inspire others, and vision. I have always made tough decisions and taken risks where necessary in my former leadership, which are additional leadership qualities. Lastly, I can build a strong team and effectively delegate tasks, ensuring that all deadlines and priorities are timely met.
17. Mention The Skills That Can Make An Entrepreneur Stand Out From The Rest
After several years of being an entrepreneur, I have learned that anyone running a business should be able to take risks, persevere and find solutions to common problems. Other skills that an entrepreneur should possess include the ability to inspire others, excellent verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances quickly. It’s also crucial for every entrepreneur to have extensive knowledge of the industry and be able to improve continuously.
18. How Will You Prioritize Work Once You Are Employed Here?
I will break down work into simple and more manageable tasks, which I will then list in terms of importance and urgency. I would then start with the most important or urgent tasks to ensure I don’t miss any critical deadlines. I would also use an array of tools such as planners and calendars once I have prioritized work to stay organized and avoid missing important dates or deadlines. I also have to mention that I would liaise with the team to ensure everything moves smoothly and all tasks are accomplished.
19. In Your Opinion, What’s The Biggest Challenge/ Threat Humanity Faces At The Moment?
Even though the world was meant to be self-sustaining, our greed and harmful activities have weighed heavily on the environment, leading to climate change, which I believe is one of the biggest threats to humanity at the moment. I love the fact that Tesla is doing something about it by coming up with sustainable transportation and space exploration thanks to innovations such as the electric car. Additionally, AI is becoming a more significant threat day in and day out and should therefore be used safely and responsibly, or most of the things we see in movies may cease to be just fiction.
20. What Do You Think Is Tesla’s Goal For The Future?
I believe Tesla is interested in creating a better future for everyone by solving pressing problems, such as climate change. It encourages the adoption of sustainable energy sources, evident from its innovations and inventions, and aims to relocate some people to Mars to avoid overburdening the planet. Additionally, Tesla wants to create a better future for everyone by using Artificial intelligence safely and responsibly. Its vision is therefore premised on innovation and progress, aiming to create a better world.
21. How Will You Propagate A Culture Of Innovation And Creativity Here At Tesla?
I understand that Tesla’s success is premised on innovation and creativity, a culture I am willing and ready to continue. As a lead engineer, I will focus on the most critical and urgent tasks and properly delegate responsibilities if the need arises. I will also efficiently communicate with the team and empower them to make proper decisions and own their work. Lastly, I will urge the team to maintain a healthy work-life balance and prioritize their relationships outside work.
22. Do You Think Both The Private And Public Sectors Can Collaborate To Advance Technology And Find Solutions To Problems?
Yes. Private companies like Tesla or SpaceX can collaborate with government agencies to advance technology and innovation. For example, through SpaceX, you are currently in partnership with NASA, a government agency, to build the Starship HLS, which is expected to take people to Mars as early as April 2025. By working together, you are able to drive innovation and achieve meaningful goals such as space exploration. However, I believe both parties must clearly communicate, encourage collaboration and show commitment toward a common cause for such a partnership to work.
23. Walk Me Through How You Normally Make Important Decisions?
I have a number of decision-making approaches that have helped me deliver in the past few years. Overall, they revolve around gathering adequate information, finding out what other team members and experts think, and taking time to assess each option’s advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons). I usually stay open-minded through all these processes in case I encounter a new piece of information or a change of circumstance. Some situations also call intuition.
24. How Can We Ensure That Our Risks Are Practicable And Profitable?
Balancing risk-taking and innovation with profitability and practicality can be an uphill task for a company known to take huge risks. However, I believe that we should ensure our ideas are practicable and financially sustainable before pursuing them or taking risks. It’s also necessary for us to continuously adjust and evaluate our strategies to mirror external factors and volatile market conditions.
25. How Will You Prioritize And Manage Your Time?
I intend to manage my time well while working here by focusing on the most urgent and pressing tasks and delegating responsibilities when and where the need arises. I will also time myself to ensure I keep within the correct time limits when attending to tasks. Additionally, I will efficiently communicate with my team members and empower them to make decisions and own their work, which will give me time to focus on other issues. Lastly, I will schedule work, plan my week in advance, eliminate distractions, and prioritize my personal well-being and relationships outside work.
Getting interviewed by one of the most successful entrepreneurs on earth can be intimidating. Therefore, take time to find excellent answers to the above questions to increase your chances of succeeding in a Tesla or SpaceX interview, especially if your interviewer is Elon Musk. We wish you all the best.