In her biography of Elon Musk (Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future), American journalist Ashlee Vance explains some of the hiring processes at SpaceX, Musk’s flagship company. If you want in on one of the most ambitious space ventures in history, these tips are for you.
- Having a Type-A personality, according to Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, the men who coined the term in 1959, means: having a permanent sense of urgency and being hyperactive, high-strung, and a card-carrying workaholic.
- Go to swank schools and get straight A’s.
- Win some robotics and race-car design competitions. Mechanical engineering genius a plus.
- Get published in some juried scientific reviews and score some invites to world-class sci-tech congresses – that puts you on the radar of Musk’s recruiters.
- Say Yes when invited to a bar for a SpaceX interview
- Make the short list by surviving a raft of ferocious cuts.
- Draft your why-I-want-to-work-for-you essay to Elon Musk
- Interview with Musk in person (30 seconds to 15 minutes). Don’t worry if he doesn’t even look up from his email, then fires a single (or a dozen) questions at you.
- Correctly answer the famous Musk riddle: “You’re on the Earth’s surface. You walk 1 kilometer south, 1 km west, 1 km north. You’re back where you started. Where are you? Answer: “The North Pole.” Musk: “Where else could you be? Answer: “Right around the South Pole.”
- High five! Welcome to SpaceX! Your new workweek is 90 hours.
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