Tesla Hiring Process (Application, Interview & More)

While the Tesla recruitment process can vary depending on the HR team and your role, there are several steps most candidates go through.

You can improve the likelihood of getting hired at Tesla by becoming familiar with these steps, and knowing what to expect, from the phone screen to the job offer.

Tesla hiring process (with logo)

What Is the Hiring Process at Tesla?

Tesla hiring process usually includes these steps:

  • Applying online at the Tesla website
  • phone screen interview
  • online assessment test
  • interview with the manager
  • on-site panel interview
  • job offer and negotiating

Tesla recruiting process starts with you either connecting with a recruiter or directly applying on the Tesla website. Lots of people get a chance simply by applying but there are various options to increase your chances, such as getting someone to refer you or connecting to a recruiter on LinkedIn first.

If you have your resume tailored to be relevant to the role you’re applying for, plus you have some relevant experience, you’ll be selected for a phone screen.

Those selected for a phone screen are picked among a few, usually about 10% of those who applied. The majority of applicants pass the phone screen, which is often just a quick chat.

After the quick phone screening, candidates will typically have to take an online assessment test. This is either just the personality test or combined with the online technical test.

Once you pass the online test, you’ll be invited to the next steps which typically include a few interviews, but may include group discussions as well as presentations. Candidates for technical positions will have tests relevant to their field, mechanical, coding, or any other. 

After this, comes the job offer, first verbal, then official. You can choose to negotiate if you feel you deserve it, which will prolong the process.

How Long Is Tesla Hiring Process?

Tesla’s recruiting process can take anywhere from three weeks to three months depending on the HR team, and it’s usually at least 3 weeks before you can get a verbal offer. The length of the process will usually depend on the ability and availability of the hiring team.

Tesla Application Process

The application process usually starts with you sending in your application through the Tesla website. You can either send in your application by selecting one of the Tesla teams or by searching for the job position manually.

What you should be looking for here, is a way to get at least a phone screen. The typical way is to tailor your resume to the job position, but you can also figure out the recruiter for the desired role, and reach out on LinkedIn. 

The requirements for a typical Tesla position are usually known, but the recruiters and hiring managers are a bit more difficult to find out.

How long to hear back after applying at Tesla?

Usually, you’ll only hear from Tesla if you’re at least a possibly good fit, and this can take anywhere from one to six weeks. They rarely reply to those whose applications they reject, and the response time is typically within a few weeks.

What is Tesla’s acceptance rate?

If by acceptance rate you mean the number of people who get accepted to Tesla compared to everyone who applied, then this is about 1-2%. If you mean the number of people who get to the phone screen stage, this is about 3-4%, for a typical engineering position.

Let’s calculate. Tesla gets about 2 to 3 million applications per year. That’s 166 000 – 250 000 each month. Tesla hired about 28,500 full-time employees in 2021, which is about 2,375 per month. Finally, 2,375 out of 166-250k per month is about 1 to 1.4%.

Tesla gets hundreds of applicants per position. Let’s say 500 for a highly popular engineering position. Out of those 500, HR may pre-screen those down to about 10% (50 candidates), and then shortlist these to about 15-20 relevant candidates. So, 15 to 20 candidates will start the process with the phone screen, which is about 3-4% out of all who applied.

Tesla Interview Process

Tesla interview process typically includes these steps:

  • Phone screen
  • Online assessment test
  • Interview with one or two managers (1 hour)
  • Onsite panel interview (3-4 hours)
  • Possible presentation

The first part of the Tesla interview process is usually a phone screen with HR. You’ll be asked about your interest in the position, your desired salary (don’t say!) and you’ll schedule an interview. You might also be asked some basic behavioral or technical questions.

After the phone screen, comes the online aptitude test. Candidates for software roles will also have to do an online assessment test. It will involve some basic coding and should last about 30 minutes for most entry-level positions.

Then you’ll probably have an interview with one or two managers for about an hour, possibly just with the hiring manager. Candidates in technical roles might get a mix of behavioral and technical questions, but nothing too difficult. 

After this comes the on-site panel interview with several team members lasting 3-4 hours in total. You’ll get about 30 to 45 minutes with each team member and go through various questions relating to your past experiences, projects, and skills. 

Tesla interviews are often done virtually, over Zoom. Before you begin the interview, they may give you a requirement to prepare a presentation ahead of time and use about 25 to 30 minutes to present it. It will usually be about some project you worked on in your previous job. 

Tip: You can use PowerPoint, Visio, or any other programs to prepare it. You’ll be given tips on how and what to prepare, so you’ll have lots of direction on what to do, and how to do it.

There’s also the possibility of having a group discussion with about 5 to 10 people, with a 30-minute presentation and about 15 minutes of QA from the group. After this, each of the candidates will have a 30 to 60-minute interview.

Interns may often get less demanding interviews, and often just one 30 minutes or 1-hour-long interview with one or two managers. This will depend on the position, but in general, interviews for Tesla internships are often less demanding and usually shorter.

How many rounds of Tesla Interviews?

There are usually 3 to 4 rounds of interviews at Tesla, depending on the position. This includes a phone interview, an online assessment test, an interview with the hiring manager, and an onsite panel interview. Interns and entry-level candidates may have fewer rounds.

While your on-site interview will actually include many shorter interviews of about 30 to 45 minutes each, we’ve counted all these as one full interview. In reality, this on-site interview consists of about 3 to 5 smaller interviews with different interviewers tied together.

How long is the interview process at Tesla?

The interview process at Tesla for a typical engineering position usually takes from two weeks to a month, but can sometimes stretch depending on the hiring team. The interview process for an internship position usually lasts for one to three weeks.

The actual time spent interviewing will depend on the role and the level you’re applying for. Interviews for internships can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours in total, while the number of rounds is reduced. Full-time positions demand longer interviews, often on-site panel interviews lasting several hours.

Here are some tips on Tesla internships, with useful info on salaries and benefits.

How hard is the Tesla interview process?

The difficulty of the interview process at Tesla will depend on the job role you’re applying for. For some roles, such as process tech, the interviews are fairly easy, but passing an interview for an engineer is a different story.

The main challenge in passing the Tesla interview for an engineering position is the huge amount of candidates you’ll be going against. Tesla is getting more and more popular as time goes by, and so they’re getting more and more qualified candidates applying for their jobs. You need to stand out.

You can read more on the difficulty of getting a job at Tesla, and what qualifications you’d need.

Types of Tesla interview questions

The first type of questions are behavioral, and everyone will get these. Behavioral questions at Tesla include examples such as:

  • ‘Tell me about yourself.’
  • ‘Why Tesla?’
  • ‘Where do you see yourself in the next [X] years?’
  • ‘What motivates you to work in this role?’
  • ‘Tell me about a problem you worked on and how solved it.’
  • ‘Tell me about a time when you had to work in a team to solve a problem’
  • ‘Tell me about [X] from your resume.’

There are many more examples of what you did, how you see yourself now, and where you see yourself go. Practice these and prepare to answer them in a relaxed way, without memorizing them like a script.

In the 2nd round with the managers, candidates for technical roles will have a mix of behavioral and interview questions.

As far as the specific technical questions, they will depend on your position. There are hundreds of possible Tesla questions you can get, but the most common ones are the questions about the projects you’ve done. An interviewer may dive deep into these, so be sure to know your resume well.

How long to hear back from Tesla after an interview?

Depending on the position and the ability of the HR team, Tesla will typically respond within a week or so but it could be up to a month. This applies to both regular full-time positions and internships. 

Odds of passing the Tesla interviews

Let’s say a popular engineering position at Tesla got 500 applicants with 25 applicants ready to start the screening process. Now, let’s say about 50% of candidates pass this step. That’s about 12 candidates out of 500, who originally applied, which means that 2.4% of those who applied will get an in-person interview

Out of those 12, one person will get hired to a particular position. Therefore, once you get to the in-person interview rounds, your chances of getting hired are about 8.33% (1 out of 12 candidates). Since Tesla sometimes hires more people and switches them to a different team, then your chances are often higher.

Tesla Job Offer

After you pass the interviews and Tesla HR decides you’re a good fit for the role, they will typically make you a verbal offer first. You can then decide to negotiate or accept the offer. A good strategy is not to accept or commit to anything before thinking about this. 

If you accept the verbal offer, you’ll receive an official offer letter once your background check clears.

If you decide to negotiate, you’ll need to set a clear intent on what you feel your salary should be, and make this intent clear before the call. There are levels for each position, and if you think you deserve it, you can ask for an increase in the salary based on the payscale for that position. Tesla pays below market for the tech industry, so it may be a good idea to negotiate.

How long does it take for Tesla to make you a job offer?

If you’re a good candidate for the job position and did well on the interview, you should receive a verbal offer in a day or two, and the official offer letter in about a week after your background check clears.

Does Tesla tell you if you didn’t get the job?

Tesla will typically let you know only if had an interview, but will not respond to an application alone for the big majority of applicants. If you had an interview with Tesla, they will give you a call or send you an email letting you know that you weren’t selected for the role. 

For those applicants who only applied but did not receive a call or email, whether you’ll receive a reply will depend on who’s handling your application.

Keep in mind that Tesla doesn’t typically reply to applications that aren’t a good fit. For some teams, they only talk to a small percentage of applicants, while for others they only talk to those they poach themselves, such as the Autopilot AI team.


What is Tesla’s Background check?

Tesla’s background check includes SSN and education verification, employment verification (past 5 years), and criminal history (past 7 years). Tesla background check is typically done in under two weeks but can take up to a month, depending on your history.

What are Tesla common background check disqualifiers?

Tesla common background check disqualifiers include some types of criminal records, such as violent offenses or fraud, falsifying employment history or providing false references, falsified or misrepresented education, and a failed drug test.

What does Tesla look for in candidates during the hiring process?

Tesla looks for candidates who are passionate about their work, have a strong technical background, are innovative, and have the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of HowMonk.com! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!