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This is what it was like to have a job interview with Elon Musk

Zach Epstein
June 20th, 2016 at 9:00 PM
Elon Musk Job Interview Questions

Elon Musk is one of the few people in the world with the vision and the resources to help shape our future. It sounds like a cliche, but it’s true. Musk’s Tesla business has already had a profound impact on the automobile industry, jump starting the electric car market and pushing the pace of electric car proliferation years ahead of where it would otherwise be. His company SpaceX now plays a huge role in space missions, and the Hyperloop rail system he dreamt up could end up changing the way we travel yet again.

Can you imagine what it might be like to interview with Musk?

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Interviewing with Elon Musk must be nerve-racking, right? He probably asks all kinds of complex questions designed to stump you, right?

A thread on Quora posed the simple question, “What’s it like to have a job interview with Elon Musk?” and the top answer came from someone who was one of the first people ever to have been interviewed by Musk at PayPal.

“I interviewed with X Commerce in 1999 (later renamed to PayPal), and it was one of the strangest interview experiences of my career,” wrote Jeff Nelson, the former Google engineer who headed the company’s first Chromebook project.

He continued, “At the time, the company had something like 10 employees, none of whom were serious backend engineers except Elon Musk himself, so when they brought me in for the first day of interviews I talked to several people, but it was all soft skills. They kept telling me that Elon would do the tech interview.”

So, just how technical did the interview with Musk get? He asked a grand total of two questions during the entire interview:

  1. What do you want to be doing in 5 years?
  2. Do you have any questions for me?

Check out Nelson’s full answer on Quora to see how the interview went.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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