Elon Musk’s favourite question to ask in job interviews

Elon Musk’s favourite question to ask in job interviews

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Friday 2nd July 2021


Elon Musk’s favourite question to ask in job interviews

This is Elon Musk’s favourite question to ask in job interviews – and it leaves most people stumped.

Job interviews are nerve-wracking enough, because you never know what tricky questions will be thrown your way.

But imagine you’re being interviewed by none other than Tesla and Space X CEO, Elon Musk, the nerves would probably be truly frayed.

Especially since the billionaire reportedly asks job candidates one head-spinning question that is designed to show a hopeful’s full potential by putting them under pressure.

Mechanical engineer, Tanya Zakowich (@pinkpencilmath) has shared a TikTok about Musk’s infamous riddle which now has more than 790,000 views.

You can watch the video in full here.

She begins: “Elon Musk asked this question to people that interviewed at SpaceX and Tesla. Think you can get it? Let’s try!

“You’re standing on the surface of the Earth. You take a walk one mile south, one mile west and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?”’

It appears that people have also been left just as baffled as to what the correct answer could be, with thousands commenting their thoughts.

One person said: “Still finishing the interview…”

Another person asked: “Well…what the heck is the answer?”

Someone else joked: “You’re at a Tesla factory in China, India, or Texas.”

“At your office. Interview? Right?” A fourth person quipped.

Others provided more serious suggestions as to what the correct answer could potentially be.

One person wrote: “There are a few solutions. One is the North Pole but anywhere one mile north of a place close to the South Pole where you can walk in a west-east direction where a full rotation is 1mi/1/2mi/1/3mi etc.”

“Logically, ‘the equator’ could also work as a starting point, where you could figuratively end up back to where you started but not literally,” another person replied.

Someone else answered: “The North Pole, as you’ll walk in a triangle, ending back at the North Pole, easy.”

“Bermuda Triangle,” a fourth person offered.

In true Elon fashion, there are actually two possible answers to the riddle in an unexpected twist.

The first answer is the North Pole – which is guessed correctly by most candidates and by some on TikTok (well done you clever lot).

Though Musk then throws a curve-ball by asking candidates a follow-up question: “Where else could you be?”

The second – and less obvious answer – is the South Pole.

Since, if you walk one mile south, the circumference of the Earth becomes one mile, according to Musk’s biographer Ashlee Vance.

“Fewer engineers get this answer, and Musk will happily walk them through that riddle and others and cite any relevant equations during his explanations,” he added.

Fortunately, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t get the correct answer.

Therefore, like most job interview questions, Musk uses this exercise to see how people approach problem solving and process information.

So if you ever apply for a role at Space X or Tesla, keep this question in mind.


The New 7 Wonders of the World

  1. Taj Mahal — India

The New 7 Wonders of the World was an online popularity poll that began in 2000. Millions of people cast their votes from a shortlist of 21 monuments. Finally, in 2007, an unofficial list of the new seven wonders was revealed. The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, made the cut. Considered an architectural masterpiece, the 17th-century white marble mausoleum attracts up to eight million tourists a year.

  1. Petra — Jordan

Nicknamed the Rose City, Petra features tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs. UNESCO has described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage.” Incidentally, Swiss Bernard Weber was inspired to initiate the New 7 Wonders poll, after the Taliban destroyed two Buddha statues that were similarly carved into stone in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, in 2001.

  1. The Great Wall — China

Known amongst the Chinese as the “Long Wall,” this structure made of cement, rocks, bricks, and dirt was meant to protect the north of the Chinese empire from enemy attacks. Stretching 21,196 kilometers (around 13,170 miles), it is the longest structure ever built by humans. Contrary to popular belief, it cannot be seen with the naked eye from space.

  1. Chichen Itza — Mexico

Located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Chichen Itza is famed for its largely preserved massive step pyramid at its center. It was a religio-political hub of the Mayan empire, which explains the fusion of various architectural styles from different regions. However, it is rarely as empty as seen in this picture: millions of tourists come here every year during the spring equinox.

  1. Machu Picchu — Peru

While Machu Picchu is a source of tourism revenue for Peru, foot traffic from thousands of tourists is doing irreparable damage to this ancient Inca city. While local politicians want to increase the tourist masses with cable cars and elevators, UNESCO demands stricter rules and fewer visitors. The expansion of the infrastructure around Machu Picchu has resulted in recurring landslides. The

  1. Colosseum — Italy

The Colosseum is the only European structure to make the list of the world’s new seven wonders. It was the venue in ancient Rome for gladiator fights and animal battles, and before it was built with a basement, the interior is said to have been partially flooded with water to recreate sea battles. Today, the amphitheater is one of Rome’s top tourist draws.

  1. The statue of Christ the Redeemer — Brazil

Standing 30 meters high (98 feet), weighing 1,145 tons, and with a total arm span of 28 meters, the monumental “Cristo Redentor” stands guard over Rio de Janeiro on Corcovado Hill. The iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, which was completed in 1931, beat out competitors in the online vote, partly because the Brazilian state actively drummed up support for it.







Happiness is…knowing you could handle an Elon Musk interview.


To all those people who don’t know what real panic is: Try blocking the toilet in your future parents-in-law’s home.


Love is…when a lifetime is just not enough.


A time to work out the solution to the Elon Musk question…A time to walk away from it thinking what’s the point such a waste of energy and brain power, I have better things to do in my life!


2nd July

2012: Meteorological Office figures showed that June 2012 had been the wettest since records began in 1910, with double the average amount of rain in the UK. It was also the dullest June on record and the coolest since 1991, with average temperatures of 12.3 degrees C.

1992: The one millionth Chevrolet Corvette America’s first sports car came off of the assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The car had first been shown as a prototype at the 1953 Motorama in New York City.

1973: The birth, in Bolton, of comedian Peter Kay. He has sold over ten million DVDs, more than any other comedian.



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Reflections of a Top Hit Record

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©2021 Phil M Robinson