Salesforce was named one of the best companies to work for in 2020. Here's how to nail the interviews and land a six-figure job at the software giant. (2022)

  • Salesforce is incredibly selective when hiring for technical roles like software engineer and data scientist.
  • Business Insider asked Salesforce executives for their insights into the application and interview process.
  • We learned about the importance of leveraging your professional network and showing that you care about something bigger than your job.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Salesforce was just named one of the top companies to work for in 2020 by Fortune – a recognition the enterprise-software giant has also earned in past years that helps significantly when trying to attract new talent.

To help maintain its edge, the 20-year-old organization also relies on the clout of cofounder and CEO Marc Benioff (co-CEO Kevin Block resigned from the role on Tuesday), who regularly ranks high on Harvard Business Review's list of top leaders.

On top of a standout workplace and impactful CEO, the pay isn't too shabby, either. Lead software engineers can make over $200,000 a year, while data scientists can pull in salaries topping $170,000, according to Glassdoor, which relies on self-reported data from current and former employees.And Salesforce prioritizes fair compensation. In 2018, Salesforce undertook a $10.3 million effort to adjust pay disparities between male and female workers across the enterprise after an internal analysis showed wide variation in salaries.

Hiring at Salesforce, in brief

Companies across the globe — like State Farm, Adidas, T-Mobile, and Toyota — rely on Salesforce to manage, among other things, their customer relationships. Marriott, for example, relies on Salesforce's platforms to manage the mountains of information from the hotel chain's millions of customers.

But getting a job at Salesforce is hyper-competitive. And the company recently finished up its biggest hiring push of the year. From November to January, the enterprise-software giant brings on the bulk of its annual hires to prepare for the next fiscal year.

It has ample résumés to pick from. Salesforce receives over 1 million applications every year and interviews over 80,000 people for positions in its 59 offices. Of those 1 million applicants, the company hires only about 10,000 new employees each year across its business units.

With interest in the company so high, a big challenge for candidates is simply getting noticed. To stand out, potential employees need to focus on the core competencies that Salesforce's best performers exhibit, and embody the four values that Salesforce swears by: trust, innovation, equality, and customer success.

"We want people who are going to bring us their special sparkle and who are going to shine. And the only way to do that is by truly focusing on the competencies," executive vice president of global recruiting Ana Recio told Business Insider.

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Recio has been with Salesforce since 2013, and has helped the company figure out exactly what makes the best Salesforce employees. We asked her and other top execs for their best advice to position yourself for a job at the company and nail the interview process. And because Salesforce doesn't rely heavily on outside recruiters, according to one headhunter, these officials are the gatekeepers for aspiring employees.

Here's what we learned.

Get your foot in the door with a referral from a current employee

At most organizations, your chances of getting a job offer are higher if you were referred by a current employee than if you weren't. At Salesforce, your chances are much higher. Roughly 52% of new hires at Salesforce come through referrals from existing employees, according to Recio.

"My biggest advice would be to leverage your referral network," Recio said. "Salesforce has 45,000 employees globally, and so you're bound to know somebody here" — preferably somebody who can vouch for the quality of your work and the value you'd add to the organization.

The company has a referral program, under which employees who suggest candidates that eventually get hired are rewarded with a cash bonus. Referrals are provided unique links to apply for jobs — which are different than those on the internal job board — and the employees who recommended them are able to then track their progress through the interview process.

Many Salesforce employees also started out as interns there. Salesforce said it hires 15% of its workforce from its internship program, and those associates tend to stay at the company longer than those hired through other pathways.

Prepare for the interview by knowing the answer to 3 questions

Salesforce was named one of the best companies to work for in 2020. Here's how to nail the interviews and land a six-figure job at the software giant. (2)

Salesforce

Salesforce takes seriously its four foundational values: trust, innovation, equality, and customer success.

Equality, for example, was illustrated in founder Benioff's opposition to an Indiana measure that would have allowed business owners to discriminate against LGBTQ patrons.

And in 2013, when Salesforce was on the verge of losing Merrill Lynch, its biggest customer at the time, leadership quickly mobilized to remedy the situation — a clear example of putting client success above all else. Top executives traversed the US to visit the wealth management firm's various offices to learn what issues it was having and how to fix them, Benioff recounted in his recent book "Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change."

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In the hiring process, Recio and her recruiters seek candidates that exemplify the values. They ask three questions to determine whether a candidate's values align with Salesforce's.

  1. What are the values that drive you?
  2. What is your purpose?
  3. What was your best professional day ever?

There's no template response to these questions. Instead, Recio wants applicants to show they're committed to something bigger than their day job, like making a positive impact on their community — a focus that comes from the top.

"When bright employees see misalignment with their values, they view it as a personal betrayal — and then they walk," co-CEO Benioff wrote in "Trailblazer."

The company employs a model it calls "1-1-1," where employees are encouraged to spend 1% of their time on philanthropic endeavors. Salesforce also then donates 1% of its profits and 1% of its resources to charity. But it goes beyond just outside involvement. One former employee said Salesforce looks favorably on those individuals who also get involved internally, including joining or leading employee groups.

A key red flag for recruiters, however, is arrogance.

"The whole Silicon Valley, the whole globe, is full of really talented people. And it's individuals who think that they're a little bit more special than the rest. That's not going to work," said Recio. "If you walk into a room, and you have this sense that you're the smartest one there, you're probably not going to have a good experience at Salesforce."

While applicants are encouraged to talk about themselves, recruiters are watching for whether someone fails to adequately credit the team behind a major accomplishment. That means potential hires should watch how often they say "I" during interviews, a strategy that pays off at other companies as well.

Emphasize your ability to inspire a team

Salesforce was named one of the best companies to work for in 2020. Here's how to nail the interviews and land a six-figure job at the software giant. (3)

Salesforce

Based on biannual employee surveys, Salesforce learned what really makes a great leader there. Jody Kohner, Salesforce's senior vice president of employee engagement, shared with Business Insider her key takeaway from the surveys.

The company's best leaders don't just make their numbers, whether that's revenue or new client leads. Beyond that, Kohner said, "We're able to hold managers accountable to creating teams that are enthusiastic about Salesforce and who are having a great experience."

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Specifically, those people managers cultivate psychological safety, or an environment where people feel comfortable taking risks. If you do land a leadership role at Salesforce, you can assess your own team's level of psychological safety with five questions based on research by Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson, though this strategy is useful for managers at any organization.

Salesforce applies these findings in both its hiring and promotion processes. Every leadership position at Salesforce has different requirements, but if you're applying for a people-management role, be sure to highlight the ways you've kept teams engaged and motivated in the past.

If you want a software developer job, learn Java

Salesforce strives to release three new products each year. To do that, it needs to keep a robust pipeline of tech talent that actually builds the offerings. This year, for example, the company rolled out a voice-assistant on its Einstein AI platform that allows employees to manage tasks like updating customer records conversationally.

The most important skill set is Java, a software-programming language that has been around for decades but remains critical due to its use in everything from applications that manage financial transactions to algorithms that automatically trade on the stock markets.

"There is never going to come a point at Salesforce that we're going to say, 'Oh no, we've got our fill, we're all good.' We can never have enough Java developers," Recio said.

Artificial-intelligence developers and data scientists are also a hiring focus for Salesforce. Finding that talent, however, is increasingly difficult as much of corporate America is rushing to adopt the advanced tech and seeking experts to help develop the applications.

Over the next decade, US companies are projected to need an additional 1 million more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals, according to federal statistics.

To overcome that hurdle, Salesforce sources tech candidates through internal referrals, outside applications, and internships. During job interviews, recruiters ask applicants to solve problems that Salesforce might face to test their problem-solving skills.

Standout candidates are those who keep the customer top of mind and seek to build a roadmap to address the challenge. Recruiters want to hear candidates ask questions such as:

  • Who is the end user for this product?
  • What does success mean for the customer?
  • Who is the team, and what are the resources?
  • Who are the other stakeholders involved?

If you don't get the job, take Salesforce's advice and try again

Salesforce was named one of the best companies to work for in 2020. Here's how to nail the interviews and land a six-figure job at the software giant. (4)

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Salesforce

Some career experts advise job candidates to request feedback from the hiring manager on why they were rejected. At Salesforce, candidates don't even need to ask.

The company tries to make its feedback to denied applicants as beneficial as possible. It's so effective that many of those individuals end up applying again and getting other jobs at the company, according to Recio.

Recio urges her recruiters to outline the candidates' strengths, as well as areas where they underperformed compared to other interviewees. Recruiters also suggest courses on Trailhead, Salesforce's online learning platform, that can boost their chances of landing another job at Salesforce down the line.

Trailhead programs are open and free to anyone, including people who don't work at Salesforce. Professionals can take courses online and earn badges in areas like coding and data management.

From Salesforce's perspective, it pays to spend time and energy telling applicants how to improve their candidacy.

It helps to build "an amazing relationship" with job candidates because they "took a lot of time to come and interview, prepare for Salesforce," Recio said. She added, "Here's the return on that investment. You spent time with us and as a result you can come away with really great objective feedback."

Standout applicants who weren't selected are also placed in an internal database to ensure the company stays in touch with them. Even if these people never end up working at Salesforce, they could become customers or partners in the future.

"It really is just a matter of time before you come back into the Salesforce ecosystem," said Recio. "It's really a responsibility to treat our candidates much like we do our customers."

If you are a current or former Salesforce employee who would like to share your experience with the company's hiring process, contact the reporters at jwilliams@businessinsider.com or slebowitz@businessinsider.com.

This post is an update of an earlier story.

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FAQs

What is Salesforce interview answer? ›

Here's a short and straightforward answer to this salesforce interview question - Salesforce is the most effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product that is delivered to subscribers as a cost-effective software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Why did you choose Salesforce as a career interview questions? ›

Our advice is to give 3 reasons why you have chosen Salesforce, and in your answer, focus on (1) their impressive track record of achievement, (2) their company values and culture, and (3) how this is a place you can learn, grow and develop.

What is Salesforce answer? ›

Salesforce is a company that makes cloud-based software designed to help businesses find more prospects, close more deals, and wow customers with amazing service.

Is Salesforce a good company to work for? ›

Salesforce is one of the best places to work, not only for the generous compensation, benefits, and culture, but also due to the initiatives spearheaded by leadership – they are frequently the first to advocate for certain socio-economic issues.

Is it difficult to get a job at Salesforce? ›

As one of the most respected companies in the world, the hiring process at Salesforce is a very competitive one. According to employee reviews online, it looks like the recurring theme is one of “internal referrals” when it comes to filling open positions.

How do I prepare for a Salesforce interview? ›

How to prepare for a Salesforce interview
  1. Understand what the hiring manager is actually looking for.
  2. Note down some examples of the work you have done, that is going to be useful to the hiring manager.
  3. Research the company.
  4. Research the hiring manager.
  5. Be confident and be honest.

How many rounds of interviews does Salesforce have? ›

The Salesforce Solution Engineering interview consists of 5 rounds. The first round is the Recruiter Phone Screen, which is then followed by an interview with the Hiring Manager. The third round consists of interviews with other team members.

How long does Salesforce take to hire? ›

The entire hiring process for Salesforce usually takes between three and five weeks. The first step in the hiring process for all positions at Salesforce is submitting an application and resume, which can be done online.

What should I wear to a Salesforce interview? ›

Plan to dress business casual. Think slacks and a button-down, not a t-shirt and flip-flops.

Is Salesforce hard to learn? ›

Though Salesforce is extensive, it is not difficult to learn. If you put your mind and head into learning the Salesforce CRM and at the same time take up any Salesforce Training course, you will be able to master Salesforce within weeks.

Does Salesforce require coding? ›

Well, you don't need to be a coder to be a Salesforce Administrator. In fact, many of the most successful Salesforce Administrators have little or no coding experience. Salesforce Admin's real-time duties involve everything from managing user accounts to handling the work environment.

Why is Salesforce the best? ›

Its proficiency in on-demand software helps reduce the costfor customers as it provides a common networking, hardware and software platform. Customers can improve sales and enhance communication through various SaaS offerings of Salesforce namely Salesforce Chatter, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud applications.

Does Salesforce pay well? ›

The average Salesforce salary ranges from approximately $48,881 per year for Senior Business Development Representative to $205,642 per year for Director. Average Salesforce hourly pay ranges from approximately $12.41 per hour for Retail Sales Associate to $73.00 per hour for Project Manager.

Why do people like working at Salesforce? ›

Salesforce is a fast-paced environment where we have to adapt constantly to new features, products, and customers. Thus, career opportunities are numerous, and the company's exceptional growth has a positive impact on the growth of our careers.

How much do Salesforce sales reps make? ›

The average Salesforce Sales Rep earns $171,027 annually, which includes a base salary of $93,162 with a $77,865 bonus. This total compensation is $60,499 more than the US average for a Sales Rep. Sales Rep salaries at Salesforce can range from $36,000 - $290,000 with equity ranging from 0-50K+.

Do you need a degree to work at Salesforce? ›

What you really should have is experience with the platform and certifications that show your expertise and knowledge of the Salesforce system. So while you can definitely have a Salesforce career without a degree, you will need to pursue more knowledge and learning in order to be successful.

Can I get a job in Salesforce without experience? ›

Definitely not. Salesforce Certifications can help you get a good IT CRM job, and Salesforce jobs can be highly profitable. In reality, becoming “employable” demands far more than a certification. Hence, you must also have real-world experience in the job role that you aspire to take up.

Is the Salesforce Admin exam hard? ›

Yes, the Salesforce admin exam is hard.

It takes three to four months of dedicated study to gain the knowledge and skills needed to become a Salesforce admin. On average, it takes six weeks to become Salesforce Certified.

How do I prepare for Salesforce recruiter interview? ›

Here are some tips to prepare for your interview. Review our Candidate Resources—they should help answer many of the questions you may have.
...
Here are some ways to shine during your interview:
  1. Be a great storyteller. ...
  2. Keep your answers clear and concise. ...
  3. Tell us about yourself. ...
  4. Dress for the role you want. ...
  5. Be curious.

How do I prepare for a Salesforce interview for experienced? ›

We've compiled tips to help you stand out on the screen.
  1. Prepare the Basics. Some of these may seem obvious, but they are so important, we have to mention them. ...
  2. Master The Digital Handshake. ...
  3. Treat It Like Any Other Interview. ...
  4. Show Your Passion. ...
  5. Embrace Feedback: ...
  6. Ask Questions. ...
  7. Send Thank You Notes.

How can I win an interview? ›

How to win the interview: before the interview
  1. Do comprehensive research. ...
  2. Prepare your supporting cases and stories. ...
  3. Prepare your questions. ...
  4. Dress appropriately. ...
  5. Punctuality is key. ...
  6. Stay positive and objective throughout. ...
  7. Watch out for your nonverbal cues. ...
  8. Be yourself.

Does Salesforce require drug test? ›

No, Salesforce does not drug test.

Salesforce does not drug test employees before hire, nor does it drug test employees with any consistency once hired. However, Salesforce may ask an employee to take a drug test if it believes that employee is under the influence while working.

How do I crack Salesforce jobs? ›

Learn How To Crack Salesforce Interview In The First Attempt

How long does it take to hear back from Salesforce interview? ›

It depends. It sometimes takes multiple attempts but when timing lines up it can be within a week or two.

Can you negotiate salary at Salesforce? ›

Unfortunately, Salesforce pays below top of market, but they are willing to negotiate offers, which can help narrow the gap.

Does Salesforce give signing bonus? ›

Salesforce. On average, Salesforce has a 23-month retention rate, even when it offers its new employees a signing bonus of $28,314.

Can I get job in Salesforce as a fresher? ›

The company holds global merit and remains an optimistic platform for IT aspirants and freshers. Its innovative and supportive environment will help make applicants have a featured and bright career. Therefore, our research highly recommends that freshers approach and apply for various job roles at Salesforce.

How do you stand out in a virtual interview? ›

That leaves more time to prepare, so focus on these three important things you can do to stand out in a virtual interview.
  1. Be professional. Professionalism is key in any interview! ...
  2. Prepare thoughtful questions. ...
  3. Set expectations about next steps.

What is Salesforce testing interview questions? ›

Top 50 Salesforce Interview Questions And Answers
  • Q #1) What do you mean by Salesforce? ...
  • Q #2) Define a Custom Object in Salesforce? ...
  • Q #3) Define Field types in Salesforce? ...
  • Q #4) What is a Data type? ...
  • Q #5) What is TAB in Salesforce? ...
  • Q #6) Define Formula Fields? ...
  • Q #7) Define a Validation Rule?
24 Sept 2022

How do I become a Salesforce developer without coding experience? ›

As Salesforce is a low-code or no-code application development platform, you don't need to have a coding background to become a Salesforce Developer which makes it a perfect career choice for you if you wish to launch your IT career without any prior coding experience.

Can a non IT person become Salesforce administrator? ›

A NON-IT person can choose an Admin job in Salesforce in which point and click means the customization features are available so it will be easy to learn quick switch from NON-IT to Salesforce. Salesforce is one of the popular CRM tools available in the market today.

How long does IT take to become Salesforce admin? ›

You can become a Salesforce Administrator in as little as 18 weeks. The self-paced program requires a commitment of approximately 10 to 15 hours per week. You will receive instructor feedback and support throughout the program, which is designed to reinforce the materials you are presented with.

How long does IT take to get Salesforce Developer certified? ›

The average time to get Salesforce Certified is 6-8 weeks. However, the time needed to prepare for a Salesforce certification depends on the aspirants' passion, interest, and experience.

Is IT hard to become a Salesforce developer? ›

It takes 14 to 16 months to become a Salesforce developer.

From there, with proper dedication and training courses, it may take 3 to 4 months to learn Salesforce Admin skills, 5 to 6 months to go through Salesforce Developer training, and 6 (or more) months to learn Salesforce Consultant skills.

What coding language is Salesforce? ›

Salesforce Developers will typically use two programming languages: Apex and Javascript.

What's unique about Salesforce? ›

Salesforce allows you to unify email, social, phone, and chat support and helps manage every channel from one view. Customize Data: Salesforce allows you to handle and customize different types of data. It helps you track real-time analytics and enhance the customer experience.

Why does everyone use Salesforce? ›

Great analytics and business intelligence

Report generation helps businesses to access data which helps to improve products and services quickly. With easy access to deep insights and analytics, businesses have no reason to complain about Salesforce.

Why is Salesforce so popular for businesses? ›

Salesforce is also popular due to services like creating and tracking marketing campaigns, keeping track of customer issues based on their escalation and resolution levels, visual dashboards and extensive reporting features.

What is Salesforce in detail? ›

Salesforce is the world's #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform. We help your marketing, sales, commerce, service and IT teams work as one from anywhere — so you can keep your customers happy everywhere.

Why did you choose Salesforce? ›

Salesforce lets you efficiently unify different principal functions of your business so you can achieve customer success. You can sell, provide service, market, collaborate, know your customers, and build apps on a single platform.

How do I introduce myself in Salesforce interview? ›

Include the following in your answer: Who you are: Explain who you are professionally and give them some insight into your personality and skills. Career highlights: Highlight the top 3 – 5 points about your career you want to get across. Include companies, roles, and successes.

What is the function of Salesforce? ›

Salesforce Functions is designed to boost developer productivity by reducing your infrastructure responsibilities and enabling you to build and integrate Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) apps using the languages and tools of your choice.

Does Salesforce require coding? ›

Well, you don't need to be a coder to be a Salesforce Administrator. In fact, many of the most successful Salesforce Administrators have little or no coding experience. Salesforce Admin's real-time duties involve everything from managing user accounts to handling the work environment.

Is Salesforce hard to learn? ›

Though Salesforce is extensive, it is not difficult to learn. If you put your mind and head into learning the Salesforce CRM and at the same time take up any Salesforce Training course, you will be able to master Salesforce within weeks.

What are the problems with Salesforce? ›

The most common issue of data mapping encountered during Salesforce integration is the mismatch of data and field types. The field types vary from one application to another. For instance, the address fields in Salesforce may be given as street, state, city, etc.

What are 6 benefits of Salesforce? ›

While the benefits vary by department or industry, six benefits of CRM platforms that affect every user include:
  • Trustworthy reporting.
  • Dashboards that visually showcase data.
  • Improved messaging with automation.
  • Proactive service.
  • Efficiency enhanced by automation.
  • Simplified collaboration.

Why is Salesforce so successful? ›

Salesforce is also popular due to services like creating and tracking marketing campaigns, keeping track of customer issues based on their escalation and resolution levels, visual dashboards and extensive reporting features.

Does Salesforce pay well? ›

The average Salesforce salary ranges from approximately $48,881 per year for Senior Business Development Representative to $205,642 per year for Director. Average Salesforce hourly pay ranges from approximately $12.41 per hour for Retail Sales Associate to $73.00 per hour for Project Manager.

Is Salesforce interview hard? ›

When asked in an Indeed survey about the difficulty of their interview at Salesforce, most respondents said it was medium. Indeed's survey asked over 103 respondents whether they felt that their interview at Salesforce was a fair assessment of their skills. 92% said yes.

How do you introduce yourself? ›

A self-introduction should include your name and occupation (or desired occupation) and key facts that will help you make an impression on the person you're speaking to. In a few sentences, cover the most important things others need to know about you.

How many interviews does Salesforce have? ›

In the Salesforce interview you will face around 5-6 interviews testing you on: problem solving/data structures/algorithms, design, behavioral, and a Hackerrank challenge.

What are the main features of Salesforce? ›

Sales Cloud
  • Contact Management Software.
  • Opportunity Management.
  • Lead Management.
  • Forecast Management.
  • Mobile CRM Solutions for Business.
  • Activity Management.
  • Pipeline and Forecast Management.
  • Sales Automation.

What is one advantage of Salesforce CRM? ›

Efficiency Enhanced with Automation

Don't make tracking and managing customer information harder than it needs to be. CRM ensures your data is in one place and can easily be updated by anyone, anytime. Automation is an advantage CRM platforms offer users, and it can be seen throughout the company.

What are the features available in Salesforce? ›

Salesforce CRM features and benefits are discussed below:
  • Contact Management. ...
  • Opportunity Management. ...
  • Quote Management. ...
  • Quote to Cash. ...
  • Einstein Analytics. ...
  • Salesforce for Small Business. ...
  • Lead Management. ...
  • Watch marketing activities across all channels.

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