21 May, 2020
By Mike Simpson
Salesforce is a giant in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) space. The company has a firm grip on around 20 percent of the market.
Pretty impressive, right? Plus, its influence keeps expanding.
But keeping ahead of the competition isn’t easy, even for a tech powerhouse like Salesforce. It requires diligence, guts, and dedication to innovation, for one. Having an incredible team by your side is also a necessity.
This is especially true during these strange times. The coronavirus altered the business landscape dramatically. In some cases, it’s practically unrecognizable. Plus, so many people found themselves unceremoniously unemployed.
Companies like Salesforce can be a bastion of hope. Not only can they help businesses regain traction through customer insights, but they are also still operating, making them a potential employment option. Many professionals relish the chance to join the organization’s ranks. That means the company can often have their pick of top talent. That’s great for them, not always so much for you.
If you want to become one of the company’s 49,000 employees, you have to stand out from the other candidates. How do you show Salesforce that you’re the right person for the job? By nailing the Salesforce interview questions that get thrown at you, of course.
Not sure how to make that happen?
Don’t worry. We’ve got your back. If you want to shine during your Salesforce interview, here’s what it takes.
How to Answer Salesforce Interview Questions
Alright, we know you’re here for Salesforce interview questions and answers. But, before we dig into that, let’s take a moment to cover an incredibly important question: What’s the best way to answer interview questions in the first place?
Well, technically, there isn’t a single best way. Each question is unique, so it may need something different from you. But, by learning a couple of reliable techniques, you can be ready for just about anything.
What’s the first method for success? It’s research. We know, not very exciting, but it’s nonetheless critical.
By scouring the job description, reviewing the company’s mission and values statements, and devouring its social media posts, you can learn a ton. The job description lets you know what the hiring manager needs to find, giving you points that you have to cover on your resume and during your interview.
With the mission and values statements, you learn about an employer’s priorities and get clues about its culture. Social media is an excellent way to learn about recent events and more about the company’s vibe.
Yep, that’s the power of research. But that alone isn’t enough. You also need a great way to tell the hiring manager about your valuable skills and traits.
With straightforward interview questions, that’s usually pretty easy. In most cases, you’ll affirm that you have a capability, and follow that up with an example proving it. If you don’t, then focus on telling the hiring manager that you’re willing to learn or how you’re personally striving to improve in that area. Done.
Behavioral interview questions are the tricky ones. Luckily, we’ve covered two techniques in-depth before that are perfect for these. Just combine the STAR Method and the Tailoring Method. When you do, you get a ridiculously compelling and relevant answer, increasing the odds that you’ll stand out from the proverbial pack.
Top 3 Salesforce Interview Questions
Salesforce hires for a wide variety of roles. While much of their workforce is tech-oriented, they also need marketers, customer service representatives, accountants, and nearly every other specialty required to run a company.
This means that you may encounter different Salesforce interview questions depending on the nature of the role. However, a select few are somewhat universal, giving hiring managers helpful information when filling any position.
With that in mind, here are the top three Salesforce interview questions:
1. What does Salesforce do?
While it may seem odd for a hiring manager to ask you what the company does, in their eyes, this is an easy way for them to identify top candidates. If you can’t provide a basic overview of the solution, the hiring manager is probably going to assume that you aren’t overly interested in the job. Why? Because an engaged applicant would have a clue.
Now, you don’t need to be able to describe the ins and outs of every solution the company offers. But you do need an accurate response. In most cases, a simple, high-level rundown is fine.
“Salesforce is a CRM software provider. The cloud-based solutions empower enterprises to make the cost of their customer data, allowing them to track activities, review details, and gather insights to enhance the relationships efficiently. In essence, its streamlined brings companies and customers together, providing multiple departments – like sales, marketing, customer service, and commerce – a shared holistic view for wiser decision-making and well-timed action.”
2. Do you have any experience using Salesforce?
Hiring managers ask this question to determine how familiar you are with Salesforce’s offerings. Technically, there is no wrong answer here. Even if you don’t have any experience, that doesn’t mean you won’t get selected. You just need to tackle the question properly.
Ideally, before your interview, you should find some free Salesforce tutorials, instruction videos, or similar resources. That way, you can get a grasp on how the solutions work.
“While I haven’t worked with Salesforce’s solutions during my career, I’m confident in my ability to learn the ins and outs of the software. Additionally, I’ve already taken some tutorials and reviewed educational material about Salesforce, ensuring I have a solid foundation to build upon and that I would have the knowledge necessary to excel in this role.”
But, if you do have Salesforce experience, be ready to talk about it. You should also have a few numbers at the ready, as quantifying the details is particularly powerful for a question like this.
“Yes, I gained Salesforce experience while working for my last employer in the marketing department. Salesforce allowed us to enhance our customer experience, dramatically increasing sales. For example, by using the Marketing Cloud to create personalized content marketing, we were able to achieve an 80 percent increase in buyers. Ultimately, I used Salesforce for two years and found it to be an incredibly valuable solution.”
3. Tell me about a time you worked on a project that was failing. What did you do?
This question isn’t really asking you to focus on the failure. Instead, it’s the hiring manager’s way of figuring out how you handle adversity.
While you do want to be honest and describe a project that didn’t go as planned, pivoting is also important. Transition from discussing what went wrong to reviewing any lessons learned or corrective steps you took after. That way, you are showcasing how failure led to growth.
“In my previous position, I was leading a project team for the company’s biggest client. It was a massive undertaking, and my manager gave me the option of expanding my team to ensure we had enough hands on deck. I was concerned that more people would make the project more complex and believed that the current team could handle all that was required. However, even though myself and every other team member were diligent, the project became overwhelming. We missed the initial deadline for phase one.
At that point, I realized the error of my initial decision. I asked to expand the team, as I should have originally. Once the right members came on board, we had to reexamine the approach and create a new one, practically starting from scratch. However, by preserving, we were able to bounce back, and the client was ultimately happy with the result.”
32 More Salesforce Interview Questions
Here are 32 more Salesforce interview questions you might encounter, depending on the nature of the role:
- Why do you want to work for Salesforce?
- In your own words, what does CRM mean?
- Describe Salesforce’s database architecture.
- Can you explain the difference between profiles and roles?
- Which object relationships does Salesforce use?
- Can you name all of Salesforce’s service offerings?
- Can you name the Salesforce subsidiaries?
- What is an “app” in Salesforce?
- Tell me about a time you struggled while working as part of a team.
- What motivates you to succeed? What hinders your motivation?
- What challenges do you think come with working at Salesforce? How will you overcome them?
- Have you ever had a deal fail? What went wrong, and how would you do better next time?
- Why are you the ideal candidate for this role?
- What benefits does Salesforce CRM provide?
- Given the choice, would you rather work as part of a team or independently?
- Describe your experience generating insights from data to support better decision-making.
- Which of your traits do you think will be the most valuable addition to a team?
- If you and a coworker disagree on how to proceed with a project, how do you handle the conflict?
- If you could add any feature to Salesforce, what would it be and why?
- How do you stand out from other candidates?
- Have you ever attended Dreamforce?
- What new challenges did the coronavirus outbreak cause for companies? What Salesforce tools can help them solve them?
- What benefits do cloud solutions provide over on-premises solutions?
- When you’re part of a team, what role do you usually play?
- How would you describe your teamwork skills? How would your last manager or colleagues describe them?
- Can you tell me about an account win that you’re most proud of?
- How do you develop a value proposition for products you sell?
- Describe your experience with consultative selling.
- When a deal starts to fall through, what steps do you take to get it back on track?
- When launching a new product, how do you use research to increase its chance of success?
- How do you handle customer objections?
- Describe your ideal work environment.
5 Good Questions to Ask at the End of a Salesforce Interview
When you’re done answering Salesforce interview questions, you usually get a chance to ask a few yourself. Make sure to seize this opportunity. By asking smart questions, you can figure out if the job is a great fit for you, and that’s just as important as showing the hiring manager that you’re the best person for the job.
If you don’t know what to ask, here are five outstanding questions for the end of a Salesforce interview that you can have at the ready:
- What does a typical day at Salesforce look like?
- How would you describe Salesforce’s culture?
- What is the biggest challenge Salesforce is facing today? How can this position help solve it?
- What do you enjoy most about working for Salesforce? What do you like least?
- Are there any skill gaps in the current team that I could possibly fill?
Putting It All Together
Ultimately, just landing a Salesforce interview is amazing, so you should be proud of making it this far. Now, take advantage of all of the advice above. That way, you can show the hiring manager that you’re the stellar candidate you know yourself to be. With a little practice and preparation, you can stand out from the crowd. So, keep your chin up, take a deep breath, and be ready to shine.
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Check out our other articles in our Company Specific Interview Series:
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