“You’re 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?”Does this question seem familiar to you? According to Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, a biography of Elon Musk written by Ashlee Vance, this is the favorite question of this business magnate with the Midas touch.
For Elon Musk’s interview, people cannot prepare for it by just studying textbooks or gaining knowledge through school or college courses. The candidate must be more than that. And the candidate must have numerous innovative responses that will persuade him to hire them as an employee.People who have worked closely with him state that Elon Musk is involved in the day-to-day operations of each company he oversees, including hiring.That begs the question of what one of the world’s most intelligent people looks for in a candidate. We have done all the legwork and jotted down Elon Musk’s recruiting methodology inspiring recruiters worldwide.
Elon Musk’s lighthearted explanation of what he looks for in a candidate:
“In general, I look for someone with positivity. It is very important to enjoy life with coworkers; else, your career will be rather dreary.”He states that SpaceX has fired employees for being difficult to deal with. While being a team player is a frequent job requirement, it’s surprising that a corporation seeking the best minds has a no-jerks policy. You can be a rocket scientist, but Musk will not hire you if he perceives you as abrasive toward coworkers. This demonstrates that even the most successful businesses benefit from a collaborative work atmosphere.
Is Elon Musk involved in the hiring process?
Yes and NO! This means he no longer conducts personal interviews with everyone, but he still reviews and approves each full-time appointment personally. That is not the case with contract work or internships.Over the years, the entrepreneur has established some quite distinctive hiring methods. Even if your company’s goal is not to populate another planet, you can borrow some of his techniques for recruiting the greatest candidates. This is how.
Musk poses a controversial brain teaser question.
For a brief period, employment interviews featured riddle-like cognitive puzzles. Google promoted them. However, the business subsequently discontinued the practice after discovering its ineffectiveness.You are standing on the Earth’s surface. You walk a mile to the south, a mile to the west, and a north. You return to your starting point. Where have you gone?The purpose of these questions is not always to determine a candidate’s intelligence by determining whether they provide the correct response. Rather than that, you may gauge their problem-solving talents by seeing how they reach a solution. However, Musk is engaging in both when he poses this question. He’s looking to see if the candidate considers the topic from every viewpoint and offers the obvious and obscure solution.
He makes candidates resolve issues during the interview.
Candidates on Glassdoor have complained that they were posed engineering and physics questions during their interviews.Here’s an example: You’re seated in a canoe floating in a pool, your lap filled with a brick. You toss the brick into the water. What will be the water level in the pool? It falls because, while the brick was in the boat, it displaced an amount of water equal to its weight; now, it dispenses an amount equal to its volume.
Tell me about some of the most challenging difficulties you’ve encountered and how you overcame them.”
Musk does numerous interviews with engineers for Tesla and SpaceX. Thus the question makes sense: He wants to see how they resolved a difficult issue step by step. “Those who truly solved the problem understand precisely how they solved it; they understand the smallest nuances,” he remarked at the time.Wherever you’re interviewing and for whatever job, one thing should be clear: offering as much detail as possible will only benefit you, whether you’re talking with a recruiter in the earliest stages or the hiring manager in the final round. Most importantly, you’ll want to use all of that data to demonstrate how you provided value to past employers, overcame enormous obstacles, and/or ultimately left a project in a better state than you found it.
Elon Musk’s method for spotting a liar
According to Musk, “those who truly solved the problem” know precisely how they did it. “They should be capable of recalling every minute detail.”Musk’s strategy is predicated on the assumption that someone making a fraudulent claim will not back it up convincingly, which is why he wants to hear them discuss their step-by-step process for resolving a difficult issue.
How is working with Elon Musk?To work with Elon Musk, you must be prepared to deal with an enormous amount of pressure; he values problem solvers among his employees. He also expects some intelligence from you.Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, does his utmost to inspire his staff by encouraging them to succeed and fostering a sense of belonging.
How does Musk accomplish this at his businesses?He challenges his senior executives to find selfless ways to excite and inspire their people. Musk proposes that leaders accomplish this by “de-emphasizing noise in their job.”If you work at SpaceX and Tesla at the management level, your team is not there to serve you. You are responsible to serve your team and make sure they are working to their full potential for the organization.
Elon Musk’s Interview Techniques for SpaceX and Tesla
Pursue the proper mindset.
Although extraordinary talent is critical, Musk also searches for people who exhibit a good mindset. Additionally, he evaluates if their coworkers would enjoy working with them—what he refers to as a stringent “no-assholes policy.”
Not concerned about degrees.
Musk does not require his candidates’ college degrees—or even high school diplomas. His reasoning: Some of the world’s greatest innovators have achieved amazing things without obtaining a college degree. Musk noted that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Larry Page, co-founder of Google, lacked college degrees.
Accept no less than the best applicant.
That is true for all levels of management, from top to bottom. Dolly Singh, a former SpaceX talent director, recalled Musk telling her to locate the single finest individual on the planet for any given job, regardless of the role.
The business culture of Tesla
When it comes to corporate culture, Tesla Inc. is on par with Google, Facebook, and Netflix. It’s simple to understand why — for all of his apparent eccentricities and capacity to divide the crowd, Tesla creator Elon Musk is visionary and nothing short of genius. His vision and determination to do things differently have been disruptive forces that the automotive and business worlds have been in desperate need of for some time.
Tesla’s organizational culture is comprised of the following five critical components:
- Ambitious innovation
- Consistent application of the ‘First Principles’ technique.
- Taking a new approach.
- Absence of bureaucracy.
- Employing intangible motivating tactics to motivate employees.
Musk discusses the pernicious effects of communication hierarchy on effective problem-solving. Rather than that, he argues, the most successful communication occurs when everyone may communicate with anyone else at any time.“Any employee at his company can speak with anyone in the company to fix a problem as soon as possible. There is no hierarchical barrier when it comes to communication inside the organization. “Moreover, you should regard yourself as bound to continue doing so until the proper thing occurs.”Musk is well aware that Tesla requires a means to differentiate itself from its larger competitors.There is a fundamental lesson here for every expanding business: excellent communication is necessary for problem-solving, and hierarchies can obstruct the proper flow of information.A simple method to accomplish this is to establish a company structure that minimizes hierarchy friction and fosters an organizational culture that values flexible and fluid communication.
Eliminate fear and implicitly trust your team.
How is this accomplished? By creating an environment that values trust, collaboration, and learning. Tesla nailed the concept that if you want individuals to fully own and be accountable for their work and decision-making processes, you must trust and empower them while displaying confidence in their competence.Micromanagement is ineffective and fosters an atmosphere of dread and hostility — the polar opposite of imaginative and creative problem resolution. One principle motivating Tesla staff is the company-wide conviction that there can never be a ‘wrong’ response when attempting something new. This kind of thinking immediately eliminates any worry about making a mistake or choosing the wrong one.Tesla recognizes the importance of collaboration and a willingness to learn over experience and credentials. You might think that encouraging collaborative work would be difficult for a firm with more than 40,000 people – but by hosting problem-solving forums, Tesla can bring together the brains and thoughts of employees from across the world in less than 24 hours.
WE ARE ALL COMMITTED
Tesla’s corporate culture attempts to unite all employees in thinking and acting together to develop the business in various ways. Rather than pushing employees to fit a mold, each person’s abilities, values, and behavioral characteristics are considered to ensure maximization, hence providing fulfillment for both the employee and the organization.This motivates employees to take ownership of their roles and hold themselves accountable, as their actions directly impact their competitiveness and success. Thus, the business can always be confident that its strategy, operations, and procedures are innovative and will never become stagnant and thus obsolete.By providing a “financial well-being” benefit, Tesla enables active employees to manage their debt and expenses without resorting to more expensive alternatives such as a 401(k) loan, high-interest credit cards, or traditional payday loans. This alleviates some of the pressure on people considering leaving the company to seek higher wages and may help reduce attrition.
Tesla’s Top Benefits and Perks:
Outstanding disability insurance
Tesla provides its employees with outstanding disability insurance. This includes long-term disability, in which the employer pays 60% of the employee’s income if the employee is not able to work due to a medical condition. A maximum benefit of $5,000 is available.Tesla will pay 66.7 percent of the employee’s salary for up to 17 weeks of short-term incapacity. The weekly maximum is $1,000 in this case.
Tesla products are discounted for Tesla employees.
Tesla provides employees up to 35% off items and various services such as travel, childcare, and entertainment.Tesla merchandise is quite popular, especially among staff. Tesla opened employee-only pop-up stores at its Nevada Gigafactory in 2019 to mitigate the impact of nationwide layoffs and retail closures. Company clothes and other merchandise were quickly sold out. This incident was dubbed “Merch Madness.”
In Fremont, California, Tesla created the Tesla Learning Center to keep personnel on top of their game with cutting-edge technological capabilities. Here, employees receive ongoing training in the cutting-edge technologies required to construct their highly specialized automobiles.
Healthcare and insurance coverage is comprehensive.
Tesla employees receive extensive health insurance as part of their benefits package. The organization provides coverage for essential medical services, medication, and medical supplies and services.Additionally, benefits include Accidental Death and dismemberment Insurance, which provides policyholders with a lump-sum payment equal to two years’ salary in the event of death or dismemberment.
Perks for paid time off
Tesla is one of the dozens of prominent technology businesses that offer paid staff unlimited vacation days. This means employers are not required to pay out wasted vacation hours because employees cannot earn them. Actual vacation time must be negotiated and agreed upon with the managers.Unlimited vacation time is proven to be advantageous for businesses seeking to recruit younger employees who value greater freedom. Additionally, it is rarely abused; the 1% of organizations implementing this strategy report increased team trust and accountability. Allowing employees more independence results in happier, more productive employees. As such, it is a benefit for both employees and employers.
Tesla employees can enroll in its 401(k) plan following their first payment. Additionally, they receive Life Insurance and other benefits up to a maximum of $1,000,000.Employees can receive a 15% discount on Tesla stock twice a year through the company’s Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP).