Let’s face it, most of us don’t enjoy going on job interviews. This “show and tell” has so many unwritten rules to follow, and it can sometimes just be hard. But interviews are super important not only for you to “make the sell”, but to also get to know the employer with whom you may spend many years.
Plus, it is becoming more and more common for companies to hold interviews in several phases, meaning that if you’ve made it to the final one where you meet the interviewees in person, this is a great sign and a chance not to blow.
We won’t focus on self-explanatory things and will only mention that when going to the actual interview, you must look tidy, wear neat and smart clothing, smile, be modest, and polite. These reminders are implied, and hopefully, you already know this. In this piece, we’ll gladly share some advice on how to prepare for an upcoming Salesforce developer interview and what to focus on in order for things to go well.
What You Should Do on Salesforce Interviews
Sure, you’ve done your research on the employer before the interview, Googled some reviews on the company that’s currently seeking Salesforce support and talent, asked around for referrals. But now you’re here, ready to meet them face-to-face. How do you make the most of the experience?
1. Be Prepared to Communicate
Even if you aren’t a chatterbox by nature, in order for the interview to go well straight away, avoid one-word and “Yes/No” answers. This is your time to showcase yourself in the best possible way and to share your Salesforce work story.
Talk about your previous work experience from the point of view of an expert. Since they’re searching for tech talent to hire, they’ve probably seen your portfolio already. If they haven’t, it’s wise to have it with you or at least have the opportunity to share some examples of your work really quickly. Describe the things you’ve worked on engagingly, and focus more on which benefits this brought to the project as a result of your work rather than go deep into setup technicalities.
An example of this could be, bringing up a case of how the Lead Survey you’ve created via Visualforce has helped the company to generate more qualified leads and know their customer preferences better.
Optionally, if the conversation flows in the direction, describe the challenging Salesforce cases you faced and how you’ve overcome them. Here you may also mention which features have been developed at your suggestion and that is now in circulation only because you took initiative. For instance, you instigated the creation of a help desk, or you had to do some learning in order to take care of a difficult integration of the company’s “product warehouse” in Salesforce with an external system or website.
It is also crucial that you bring across the impression of a person who’s quick off the mark communicator who boasts not only great technical skills and portfolio but also is someone who understands business processes in general. So, step up your game by knowing what the company does. This will show that you’ll get on board with them faster as you get the peculiarities of the business and sphere. Importantly, adding a dash of enthusiasm when talking about work to show that you truly enjoy what you’re doing wouldn’t hurt as well.
2. They’ll Ask You Technical & Salesforce-Related Questions
You’ll be expected to know Salesforce development like the back of your hand. This is exactly why there’s a big chance that you’ll be asked questions regarding Apex and Salesforce setup processes.
Some examples are:
- How is Apex used for creating custom logic?
- Which Apex best practices can you dwell upon?
- Based on which factors do you choose when to use Workflow Rules, the Process Builder, or Apex?
- What are the cases when Approval Processes are used?
Most likely, they’d want to check your platform knowledge too, so expect at least a few questions such as:
- What are the types of rules in Salesforce? In which order are they processed?
- How are objects connected?
- What would you use SOQL for?
- Is there a difference between Lightning and Visualforce (in your opinion) and which is better?
The number of questions and their difficulty will vary from case to case. But if you want some more examples, feel free to browse the larger collection of Salesforce Developer interview questions.
3. The Official Certification Question May Come Up
While you most likely will be expected to be a college graduate with a tech degree, the matter of whether you have official Salesforce certification or not may also arise. Although the importance and benefits of being certified in Salesforce are often debated, you have to be prepared for the questions that are related to having (or not having) the certification.
The thing is that your hands-on previous experience of working with the platform will in any case outweigh having several certificates. On the other hand, if you don’t have enough prior experience in Salesforce development, then the presence of your appropriate certification can be that very minimum requirement that’ll weigh the scales to your side.
There are many types of Salesforce certificates that can be obtained on a paid basis, some of the more common developer-related ones are:
- Salesforce Certified Admin.
- Salesforce Platform Developer I.
- Salesforce Platform Developer II.
- Salesforce Platform App Builder.
- Salesforce Certified Sharing and Visibility Designer.
- Salesforce Data Architecture and Management Designer.
- Salesforce Application Architect.
- Salesforce Accredited B2B Commerce Developer.
Of course, if you have both the experience and the certificates under your belt, good for you. In such a case, make sure to point out that you’ve both studied the platform well enough, passed certification, and maintain your certificates on a regular basis.
Moreover, a good tip to help you prepare for the upcoming Salesforce Developer interview is to try to pass a trial test for Salesforce certification. You’ll refresh your knowledge and re-familiarize yourself with some features you haven’t encountered in a while.
4. Be Ready to Share the Ways You Expand Your Salesforce Knowledge
Things change, this happens quickly. With the plethora of Salesforce updates and new features coming out all the time, it is vital to keep track of them and quickly learn how to use them.
Even if you’re not asked directly which ways you boost your knowledge of Salesforce and how important it is to you, this is a nice thing to mention at least airily. A couple of things you can touch upon here:
- studying official Salesforce documentation,
- reading specialized literature (names of specific books and their authors is good to know),
- browsing trusted Salesforce blogs and watching workshops (again, a couple of names would be great),
- investing time in educating yourself using Trailhead or other great sources such as Focus On Force,
- attending Salesforce meetups and conferences,
- staying in touch with other Salesforce specialists in the Trailblazer Community.
5. Spoiler Alert: You May Be Offered a Test Assignment
If your potential employer hasn’t asked you to perform a test task prior to the interview, it is very likely that you’ll be asked to do so right on the spot. Don’t be caught unguarded or panic, such tasks are usually crafted to be not very time-consuming or difficult and generally take something around 1 hour or less. These are needed to see how well you can do apart from theory.
Some examples of a test assignment you can be asked to complete on a Salesforce developer interview are:
- writing an Apex trigger to solve an ongoing problem,
- setting up an Approval Process,
- creating a Visualforce page, say, a simple mood survey for employees.
What Not to Do on Salesforce Interviews
Maybe you’ve heard of such interview scenarios (or even been in similar situations yourself) when everything seemed to go well, you have a feeling that the probable employers loved you, and then “BAM!”, you get turned down. What’s that about?
There are many reasons why that could have happened, including the very possible option that they’ve chosen in favor of someone with more experience, with whom they’ve “clicked” better, or whose salary expectations met their hiring budget. But what if that’s not the case?
You could have hit some “stop topics” which brought you out not in the most flattering light and made the interviewers radically change their opinion about you in an instance. The golden rules in order to not have job interview hurdles are that you must leave the past in the past and that honesty isn’t always the best policy when it comes to your intentions or plans.
1. Don’t Come Unprepared
Some of the silliest things that you can do before your Salesforce developer interview is not to know what the company does. Obviously, all of the job specifics won’t be stated in the job opening description, but do your homework, prepare a list of clarifying questions.
Don’t look incurious. Yes, you may feel shy but showing some enthusiasm even by asking questions or trying to find out more is in your best interest.
Try to remember the names. This one may seem obvious but forgetting the name of your interviewer, the recruiter, or anyone else who you’re chatting with is awkward.
2. Don’t Fall in Their Traps
Here’s what you should avoid speaking about by all means, even if the interviewers are trying to “trap” you with their questions.
- Talk in a positive manner about former employers or don’t talk at all.
If you and your former employer have left things on the wrong foot, keep your personal dissatisfaction with your ex-boss to yourself. Blabbing about what an evil man Mr. Ex was won’t put a positive spin on your reputation. The only conclusion the interviewer will make is the assumption that if things go wrong in your possible work relationship, you won’t hesitate to speak ill about them too.
- If you weren’t able to find common ground with your former employers, don’t bring it up.
Don’t mention things like, “I was continuously asked to do the impossible in terms of Salesforce development which resulted in mutual resentment”. Even if that’s true, refocus on how you handled tough situations and which solutions were reached to have common ground.
- Your previous salary may also become another “no-no” subject.
Make life a whole lot easier on yourself, don’t make the mistake of saying something like, “My previous employer didn’t pay me well enough so now I’m browsing other options. After all, skilled Salesforce developers are always in demand, right?”
Yes, money is important, but it is better to turn this question around and ask about this company’s bonus systems or how often salaries are reviewed.
- Even if you’re looking for a temporary job, don’t mention it.
Also, don’t dig yourself a hole stating that you’re looking for a job for only a couple of months since you’re planning to, say, set off on a trip around the world. These employers are most probably seeking for a long-term work relationship, especially with the Salesforce developer who’d be taking care of numerous internal processes.
Plus, you can’t argue with the fact that plans tend to change. You might like this job so much that you’ll end up postponing your plans for a year. So, by saying something like this, you automatically trigger the employer to hit the “Next” button.
- Finally, don’t lie.
Often people tend to get carried away during Salesforce Developer interviews and can blurt something over the top. Remember that employers do their research on who you are too, so if something comes up, you don’t want to come out being a liar.