How Elon Musk Can Tell If Job Applicants Are Lying About Their Experience

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors (electric car) and CEO and CTO of SpaceX, was at Business Insider’s Ignition conference. He was asked how he knows if applicants are qualified for the job. He said that he read books and talked to people about solving problems.

“When you struggle with a problem, that’s when you really understand it. And that’s one of the ways … when I’m interviewing somebody (about a job with his companies), I ask about them to tell me about a problem they worked on and how they solved it. If somebody was really the person who solved it, they’ll be able to go down through multiple levels … really down to brass tacks. And if they weren’t, they’ll get stuck (explaining the situation and the subsequent solution). That means this person wasn’t the one who solved it. If they were, they wouldn’t forget any of the details."

Q. When you are interviewed, what will you tell employers about your problem-solving abilities?

Q. When you interview, what problem will you ask the interviewee to tell you about?