If you’re like me and think that job interviews can be absolutely harrowing experiences, you might want to rethink applying for a job at SpaceX, because holy crap is their interviewing process crazy. According to former SpaceX employee Josh Boehm’s report to Business Insider, the company tries to speed up the interviewing of potential job candidates by having the interviewers, like Boehm, conduct disrespectful interviewing tactics toward the interviewees.
Once he realized that a person wasn’t right for the position for which they were being interviewed, Boehm said that he was instructed to abruptly cut them off mid-sentence. This means that the full day of phone conversations and 7-8 hour long interviews can end without a moment’s notice. Could you imagine how heartbreaking that must be for the people being interviewed?
Boehm, who worked at SpaceX from 2013 to 2016 and is now cofounder and COO of online communication company Cyph, said,
If you know in the middle of an interview that [an applicant answers a question] that totally changes your mind, you’re not supposed to just be polite and finish it out. You have to end it right there and escort them out.
Boehm indicated that, of course, this made things really weird and “actually led to a couple of uncomfortable situations,” while also noting that the process was “frustrating at times.” Yeah, duh.
Boehm later said that this was SpaceX’s way of determining who the top-level talent coming in would be.
Elon and Gwynne [Shotwell] from the top down said we only really want top talent coming in. It was really difficult to bring people in and get them on the team.
However, he did say that the cutting off of interviewees’ sentences wasn’t necessarily common and that things differed depending on who was doing the interviewing. He said, “While there are high standards across the board at SpaceX, culture and policies can still differ vastly from department to department and team to team.”
Okay, but still, just the idea of that happening is enough to scare me away.