Why do Employers ask Tough Interview Questions?
Smart Salesforce hiring managers normally ask smart job interview questions to find top candidates. While asking tough interview questions is difficult to provide a perfect summary of yourself, it is a helpful context for employers to understand.
Another reason why hiring managers ask difficult interview questions is to learn about your thought processes. They don’t try to find a specific answer during the job interview but rather asking hard interview questions to see if you can think quickly and support your answer with some logic or explanation.
Tough interview questions are supposed to challenge a lot of candidates, but you can be prepared for the first round interview ahead of time.
Top 10 Toughest Salesforce Interview Questions & Answers
We’ve compiled some of the toughest Salesforce interview questions and best sample answers here.
Question 1/ What do your coworkers most often criticize about you? How do you respond to that?
- What do your co-workers/ boss say about you?
- What does your manager say about you?
- What does your subordinate say about you?
You might want to minimize the most frequent part: “most often criticize” in your answer. You should not say: “I’m frequently criticized for..” as it will suggest that you might bring some underlying baggage to the next job. There is a better way for you to consider is to replace it with the word “feedback”
Be careful how you answer this interview question. You don’t want to imply that you are criticized consistently on the job, but you also don’t want to imply that you’re perfect.
It makes sense to mention things that are related to the job for which you’re applying during the job interview. However, you want to emphasize that they would not affect your ability to perform this new job in the best way.
You might also choose to mention a “weakness” that might actually be considered a strength on the new job.The best kind of answer will explain how you improved upon the greatest weakness you once had.
Generally, I don’t receive frequent criticism from my colleagues. But, obviously, some co-workers do have feedback for me. “Sometimes people have expectations that either I didn’t set clearly or they just didn’t understand what was possible or not.”
I have been receiving some feedback for being quite outspoken and forceful in putting my ideas to the group during meetings to keep us on the agenda during my previous job. It was always done with the best of intentions but I am aware that I must be mindful about how I put my point across.
In order to improve on this, I always take a notepad and pen into meetings. Now I can put my ideas to paper and therefore will not forget them. This enables me to wait for a more appropriate opportunity to press my point. Or I can wait until the end of the meeting and submit my notes for further consideration. Instead of interrupting the meeting and being outspoken, I became someone who is really trusted to be paying attention and support the meeting.
Question 2/ Have you ever Failed in your prior job? How did you overcome it?
- Tell me about a time you failed.
- What is your biggest failure?
- Have you ever been fired? (Strong version)
You should notice that those are really difficult questions to answer as you absolutely need to be honest, but at the same time, you need to answer them in a sense that doesn’t shift the blame away and doesn’t put you in a line that may end the interview.
To answer this question, every job seeker should prepare for an interview story about failure or being fired and it should be real.
The story is the most important part of answering this question. It should give the interviewer a sense of the situation (S), the task (T), the actions you took (A), and the final result (R). The acronym is STAR.
SAMPLE ANSWER: HAVE YOU EVER FAILED? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
In my last job, our CEO gave me a chance to interview and hire entry-level people for our Salesforce Developer team. I chose to hire someone who seemed to have a lot of potential and technical skills but also had some “red flags” or things that worried me.
It ended up being a big mistake. They had a poor attitude and dragged the team down until my CEO had to fire them. I learned to be more careful and not rush my decisions and to speak with other Salesforce Developers and Analysts on my team who have more experience if I’m unsure of something.
I also realized how important the role is and each hiring decision is, which made me a better Salesforce manager in the last couple of years of my career.
Since then, I’ve hired 8 other people and never had a bad experience like this again. But it was a great lesson to learn early in my Salesforce career.
SAMPLE ANSWER: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN FIRED? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
There was a company that hired me in as a Salesforce Administrator and they actually gave me the responsibility of two levels up from where I was hired, something different from what I was supposed to perform.
Obviously, I was trying my best to support them and fulfil my role, but they were impatient and constantly saying that I was not good enough.
I tried to explain that I’m a Salesforce Administrator, not an Architect, but they just weren’t happy with me and they let me go (reframe the word “fired”)
From there, I decided to start studying and made a lot of effort to become a Salesforce Architect. I didn’t regret what happened as it motivated me to be a better version of myself now and develop my Salesforce Career.
Question 3/ “Are you telling me that, now that you’re forty-something, you would be willing to start at an entry-level position just to get your foot in the door here?”
- Are you willing to start an entry-level position without any experience?
- What makes you want to start this new job without any experience?
This is a really tricky question as you have to show how you are willing to start all over again and begin a new job from entry-level. And obviously, it’s not easy for anyone to do.
Before the interview, you should do some research about the Salesforce field and the trend to know about Salesforce Job opportunities and how this field attracts you to take a new step in.
Next, you need to know how to present your goal and strategy when starting a new Salesforce job.
More importantly, you should connect your previous experience and strength with the new Salesforce job, make them in-line with those required for this position.
Finally, you should definitely show your attitude and mindset, how determined you are when applying for the position and how you will develop yourself in the future.
Yes, I’m willing to start at an entry-level position just to get my foot in the Salesforce Ecosystem as I’ve been doing a lot of research and learned that Salesforce is the hottest Industry I will experience in my lifetime.
What’s more, Salesforce is the world’s number one CRM, which will provide 3.3 million job opportunities in the Salesforce ecosystem by 2022
I’ve been preparing myself to start the career path as a Salesforce Developer during the last 6 months. I started the Apex programing course and will finish it within 3 months. I set my goal to become one of the top 20 Salesforce Developers in San Diego by 2022.
I believe that my 3 year experience as a Lavarel developer and 2 year experience as a Project Manager will be beneficial for me in this new job.
I understand that sometimes I need to take a step backward to move my career forward. Therefore, I’m willing to learn from the ground up and accept a lower range of salary. Knowing that I will make it to become the top Salesforce Developer makes me feel very excited.
Question 4/ When I call your referee, what will they say are your greatest weaknesses and greatest strengths?
- What are your greatest weaknesses and strengths as a Salesforce Administrator/ Developer/Consultant…?
- What makes a great Salesforce Administrator/ Developer/ Consultant…?
The phrasing “call your referee” is tricky. By planting the idea of calling your current/last manager, the interviewer is trying to subconsciously encourage more honesty (Some candidates immediately start thinking, “What if he actually calls her?”). Therefore, you should be selective about choosing the right answers.
It is important to concentrate on the weaknesses that would not make you appear as someone unable to carry out the job in the Salesforce area. It should be related to the Salesforce field, but a weakness that you are aware of, actively improving and no longer affects your proficiency.
When you mention your strengths, discuss attributes that will best qualify you for the specific Salesforce job and set you apart from the other candidates. You can also mention the skills that make you become effective at your Salesforce job.
I worked as a Salesforce Administrator during my previous job, and if my referee would say something about my weakness, I guess it may be that sometimes I’m a bit too honest when I provide feedback to other co-workers in the company. My personality is naturally very straightforward and to the point, and most of my colleagues really value that, but I have learned that there are times on the job when more diplomacy is required.
Therefore, I took a training class on conflict management and it really opened my eyes to the need to communicate differently with different people. So now I am much better at providing constructive feedback, which is really beneficial for my Salesforce Administrator role, even if it doesn’t always come naturally.
About my strength, I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to resolve potentially difficult situations. With five years’ experience as a Salesforce Administrator dealing with more than 10 thousand clients, I have learned to understand and resolve client issues effectively.
On a related note, I also have strong communication skills, which help me to work well with clients, Salesforce Administrator team members, and executives. I am known for being an effective team member with a talent for giving presentations.
Question 5/ How have you changed the nature of your last job?
- How did you improve your work performance?
- What did you do to change the quality of your work?
No matter how well you perform any task, you can always do better than you did yesterday. The same goes for your work performance.
For this question, the goal is to share your efforts to make the job more efficient and let the interviewer imagine you in this position — and see you succeed.
To answer this question in a good way, you should explain how you have improved efficiency, productivity, and show your smart methods of working smarter, not harder.
You can also mention how you focus on continuously improving your skill set and learning new things as it is a great way to boost your confidence and help you become the best version of yourself.
I wanted to expand my technical skills in working with Apex, specifically in developing better skills working with Apex Triggers. However, there were no courses offered at my university which covered anything beyond the basics. So I enrolled in an online Apex certification course, which I have already completed.
In addition, I learned to be organized and always made plans for my work. I understand that making a detailed plan in advance is very useful for identifying which tasks I want to prioritize or which tasks I want to postpone. This helped a lot with my productivity and I proved that by showing good results. I successfully developed 4 apps for my company and tripled my income.
I’m also strengthening other technical skills including Salesforce.com platform and Force.com platform, which I’m working on currently. I noted that these are important skills for my job and I wanted to make sure I was prepared to be productive.
Question 6/ If you knew that things at your company were rocky, why didn’t you get out of the company sooner?
- Why didn’t you quit your job earlier when your company was having a crisis?
- What made you stay at your company while they were under a crisis?
Was it the right time to quit my job? This is a question you’ve all asked yourselves at one point or another. Most people wait until they feel they must leave their job or organization, and choose another job.
Though you may feel a bit tripped up on this interview question, remember it’s not the only thing a hiring manager will take into consideration with regards to your candidacy.
So when you provide a list of reasons for not quitting the job earlier, all you have to do is:
- Explain how the company needed you
- Explain how you were a good employee
- Show your attitude toward the company’s situation
I used to be a Salesforce Consultant at a small company. I valued my work and the effort I’ve been putting to help with the development of the company as well as how much I’ve learned from my managers and co-workers, so when I knew that it was under a hard time, I tried my best to help the company and I felt that I had an obligation to the job.
After a few months, things were not getting better because everyone around me was being cut off. The management problem emerged as the new Consultant Manager was not as efficient as the previous one and it damaged the result of the whole team. At that time, I was overwhelmed and decided to look for another job.
Question 7/ I see from your resume that you worked at ABC for four years, and that’s terrific. But I also noticed that you weren’t promoted during that time. Why not?
- Why didn’t you get promoted during your last job?
- Why haven’t you been promoted to this level yet?
There are a lot of different reasons why you might not have been promoted. In your response, it’s a good idea to be straightforward, without getting defensive or emotional.
In your response, emphasize the relevant skills you do have. Your goal in responding to this question is to present your background and job experience in a way that shows that you are now ready to take on a leadership position.
Use this question as an opportunity to demonstrate that you’re qualified for the role at hand and ready to make the move to a position with more responsibility.
If you were not promoted because another candidate was more qualified, you can use this response to share how you worked on improving the skills you were missing.
WHAT’S NOT TO SAY:
- Criticize your previous company
- Dishonest about your answer and show confusion
- Lower your qualifications
Well, that’s one of the reasons I’m looking for new opportunities. Company ABC is a small company, and the organizational structure is flat.
That’s been beneficial for me as an employee since I was able to learn a lot and expand my responsibilities beyond the formal definition of my role.
But now, I’m ready to work at role XYZ, and after discussions with the company CEO, it’s clear that I’ll have to work elsewhere in order to hit that career milestone.
Question 8/ What did you like and dislike about your previous job as a Salesforce Administrator?
- What did you enjoy most in your last role as a Salesforce Consultant?
- What did you dislike about your last role as a Salesforce Developer?
- What were the best and worst aspects of your last employer?
You should try to focus on the positives of your previous job and to talk about how your experiences there have prepared you to assume a progressive and challenging new role with a different employer.
You also need to show how honest you are and highlight your values as an employee. If you work at a company for the long term, it would be nice to mention.
Start by mentioning positive points. Then mention the negative ones and try to pivot back around to something positive.
You don’t want the interviewer to think you’ll also speak negatively about this job or the company should you eventually decide to move on after they hire you. Neither do you want to provide them with the first impression that you’re a complainer, hold grudges, or are difficult to work with.
I enjoyed the people I worked with. It was a friendly and fun atmosphere, and I actually enjoyed going to work each morning.
I felt that the Salesforce leadership team was great too. They knew all of their employees on a first-name basis and tried to make those personal connections. I also enjoyed the fact that the office tried to do community outreach with local organizations.
While the people at ABC Company were terrific to work with, I felt that the opportunities for me there were limited by the structure and size of the company.
I believe that a larger company with an international presence can offer challenges and opportunities unavailable at a smaller firm. The position as a Salesforce Administrator with your company is a great match for my skill set, and I feel that I would be an asset to your Salesforce department.
Question 9/ Have you had a conflict with your boss? How did you handle it?
- Have you had difficulty working with your previous Salesforce Employer?
- Tell me a time you had an issue with your boss?
- Tell me a time you disagreed with your boss?
Employers want to know that you are respectful of your leaders. While you do not always have to agree with your leader, the interviewer wants to see that you respond to them with kindness and respect.
If possible, discuss the strengths your past supervisors had and how they helped you succeed.
The key to successfully answering this interview question is to impress upon the interviewer that you are a respectful employee who treats others with dignity and kindness.
I have had differences of opinion with previous managers. Our disagreements were not significant, but some had to be confronted and resolved. I have learned that two parties typically quarrel when each one refuses to consider the other’s perspective. Therefore, I asked the manager I disagreed with to explain his or her perspective, and then to consider my point of view.
One instance that comes to mind was regarding the distribution of my accounts when I was transitioning to another role. My boss had a plan that conflicted with the recommendations, which was a problem because I know some of my accounts specifically disliked those account managers. I laid out the reasons why I was upset and frustrated with the decisions he was making. He explained why he was making them, and in the end, we identified three accounts that could be switched around so that everyone was happy and the branch didn’t lose any business.
Question 10/ How does your prior experience prepare you for this job as a Salesforce Consultant
- Tell Me About Your Work Experience
- Do you think your experience matches the needs of the role?
- Do you think you’re qualified for this position?
- How will your past experience translate to this job?
You should focus on your greatest accomplishment and minimize the differences between jobs, when possible. You should also mention the possibilities and relevances, and the aspects of your work history that show you to be a great employee.
Avoid answering too broadly as it can drastically harm your job interview chances Try using specific examples of how past work might prepare you for the new role. The closer a match you are to the job requirements, the better your chances of being selected for an interview.
During my 5-year experience as a Salesforce Consultant, I have developed extensive skills in working with clients even when they were distressed.
I’m excellent at de-escalating situations and finding a way to make the clients happy. I like solving business problems with the platform and becoming a trusted guide for my clients. Our client satisfaction rating rose 10% during my tenure at my previous employer.
Since the role of your Salesforce department is to improve clients’ impressions of the company, my experience would be a great asset to your team. I aim to integrate my individualized approach to helping clients have the best impression of the company