So it follows that you’re going to have to answer some tough interview questions to get the gig.
Each year, more than 700 interns join SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, for 80-hour workweeks at about $22/hour in departments like avionics, dynamics, launch operations, manufacturing, and enterprise information systems.
The hiring process typically consists of two in-depth phone interviews, during which intern candidates have to answer questions like the following, which we found on Glassdoor.
- “What are composites?”
- “What is the size of an integer on a 32-bit system?”
- “Let’s say you have a variable ‘var’ assigned to be ‘2’. What will display if you print ‘var++’? If you print ‘++var’ on the next line, what will be displayed? What is the final value of ‘var’?”
- “What is a null pointer?”
- “If you have a large, heavy object moving very, very fast, how do you safely slow it down?”
- “How would you go about a design for an electrical harness to protect it from a sharp object falling from above?”
- “Imagine a cantilever beam fixed at one end with a mass = m and a length = L. If this beam is subject to an inertial force and a uniformly distributed load = w, what is the moment present at a length of L/4?”
- “How would you find a cycle in a singly-linked list?”
- “What happens when you run a high current (spot welding) through a nickel piece touching a copper piece?”
- “One side of a beam is attached to a wall and the other is free. If a force is applied, where would it break, and what would you need to know to determine the force that would break the beam?”
- “Describe the design process of a series of pipes to be used in a rapid fueling system for a liquid propellant rocket engine. Be sure to include which equations would be best for the case at hand for fluid pressure calculations and structural considerations.”
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