How to nail down an interview with the Aurora self-driving outfit

  • Aurora is launching its autonomous technology with Volvo this year.
  • The startup has a ton of cash and recently acquired Uber’s self-driving team.
  • Aurora is looking for employees from different pools and different industries.
  • You can find more articles on Insider’s business page.

Jeff Bezos-backed, California-based self-driving startup Aurora is not only building the technology needed for autonomous vehicles, but is bringing that technology to market in hopes of accelerating the auto industry’s take-over of autonomy.

According to Tara Green, Aurora’s VP of People, this is a challenge that only candidates who can creatively apply their unique experiences in their field can rise. Not only does Aurora draw from diverse pools of technical talent, it also creates a mosaic of skills within its ranks by bringing together executives and candidates outside of the tech industry.

“We need a workforce with different perspectives,” Green told Insider.

The key questions Aurora uses for interviews are designed to help determine whether the candidate’s goals align with those of the company. According to Green, many of Aurora’s interview panels present a case study or assignment that measures a candidate’s ability to think through a problem and structure a solution. It is also checked whether they ask clarifying questions throughout the process.

Not asking questions during the entire interview is an absolute must in Aurora’s book. No insightful questions or questions to help the candidate figure out if Aurora is right for them indicate a lack of interest in the company and the industry, Green said.

“We know that not all local candidates think and express themselves well,” Green told Insider. “That is why we also attach great importance to candidates who provide concrete examples from the past that prove relevant specialist knowledge.”

This is important as Aurora makes teamwork a priority by encouraging its employees to “win together,” which Green said is one of the startup’s core values. The intricate problems associated with developing self-driving technologies require different teams in the company to work towards a common goal. Aurora’s drivers work with the perception and simulation teams to create virtual test drive simulations, while the hardware and design teams work on making Aurora’s lidar sensors. There are even some teams that are involved in all of the company’s operations, like the security team.

Outside of teamwork, the startup considers setting “outrageous goals” a priority. “We’re looking for people who like to make an effort, think big and achieve what others think is impossible,” said Green.

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Aurora is a place for growth and development, and encourages candidates who are trying to solve problems outside of their immediate area of ​​responsibility, helping others grow, while embracing goal setting and teamwork.

“We solve a complex and unknown problem at Aurora, so we don’t expect everyone to have the perfect answer,” said Green. “However, we would like to see how candidates think through a problem, ask questions to understand requirements and parameters, and how this process leads them to the optimal solution.”

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