The strange question Elon Musk asks in interviews

Aisha Nozari

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The strange question Elon Musk asks in interviews

Featured Image Credit: David Branson / APFootage / Alamy

Ever wondered whether you’re brainy enough to get hired by Elon Musk?

Well, if you can answer the following question, you’re off to a good start.

When he first started interviewing potential Tesla and SpaceX employees, the billionaire liked to ask one question in particular. 

Heads up: Musk’s favourite brain teaser involves mathematics, so if you’re anything like us, you probably don’t stand a chance in hell of getting it right. 

Ever wondered whether you’re brainy enough to get hired by Elon Musk? Credit: David Branson / Alamy Stock Photo
Ever wondered whether you’re brainy enough to get hired by Elon Musk? Credit: David Branson / Alamy Stock Photo

Writing in 2015, Musk’s biographer Ashlee Vance said the tech whizz’s go-to question was: “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?”

For those scratching their heads, the correct answer is the North Pole, and according to Vance, most of the engineers sitting opposite Musk correctly answered the question. 

Reporting on Musk’s line of questioning earlier this year, Yahoo! shared some equally perplexing interview questions favoured by business aficionados.

For example, Jules Walters, Slack’s monetisation product lead, likes to ask interviewees: “Among the people you’ve worked with, who do you admire and why?” while Etsy’s former CEO Chad Dickerson favours the question: “Tell me about a time you really screwed something up. How did you handle it, and how did you address the mistake?”

Meanwhile, if you ever find yourself sitting opposite Duolingo’s CEO Luis Von Ahn, you can expect to be asked: “What would someone who doesn’t like you tell us about you?”

If you can answer the following question, you’re off to a good start. Bob Daemmrich / Alamy Stock Photo
If you can answer the following question, you’re off to a good start. Bob Daemmrich / Alamy Stock Photo

“Describe yourself in three words,” is Spanx CEO Sarah Blakely’s go-to line of questioning, while Cindy Smith - head of strategy and partner operations at Upstart - would ask: “Tell me about a topic that you’ve taken upon yourself to learn about.”

But back to Musk and his business ventures, it was reported earlier today (4 October) that trading of Twitter shares have been paused after a report claimed Musk’ll make another U-turn and buy the social media platform after all. 

Back in April, Musk offered to buy Twitter for $44 billion, but in July, changed his mind and attempted to back out of the deal.

However, a report in Bloomberg today claims he is now offering to buy Twitter at his original offer price of $54.20 a share, pushing Twitter shares up by as much as 13 percent before trading was suspended. 

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, Elon Musk

Aisha Nozari
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