If you’re looking to join the Salesforce ecosystem, expand your circle of influence and are keen to increase value in what you do everyday. If you’re striving to have a positive impact in the community, and tackling cross cloud projects:
Welcome to the Salesforce world!
I have been recently asked on the subject of “Admin Interview Questions & Prep” and in all honesty I found the content out there is inaccurate, narrow minded and very poor. I’m sorry to break this to you, but a potential employer is not going to ask you “What are profiles?”.
The question on why is then so much of the same thing out there, is a simple answer on SEO: targeting keywords/key search terms. We touched briefly on the subject last entry: Let’s go FORWARD! Product ethics is key, so let’s focus on value and impact over quantity and noise.
While preparing for a Salesforce Admin interview, we often hear that we need to tell ourselves “I can do it!” and hold that infamous “power pose”; although that may alleviate some doubts in the very moment, it doesn’t quite have the lasting effects that one may have hoped for. In fact it can function as trying to suppress an inner voice rather than opening the understanding to it.
What to do? I have come to realise that asking oneself the Hows and Whys is so much more powerful. Cultivating curiosity helps us to think more deeply and widely about things, and that enables us to come up with more creative solutions.
Being curious in meetings, in interviews, approaching a promotion, a bid, a challenge; this fosters innovation. It helps our minds to open up, seek understanding, and be playful. So when job hunting, I suggest you ask yourself: “How can I convey my context, my experience, my uniqueness… as a narrative worthy to be listened to? To be memorable. To be remarkable.
OK, the interview day is getting closer so, something has sent you on this search to grasp an idea on what they may be asking so you can prepare.
The first place to look is the job application itself. Having written over the years many of those and triaged even more, in the opening position description you have key info right there and hints to the problems they are trying to solve by adding someone new into the organisation.
Some examples and conclusions I’d draw:
- “You will gather key requirements for optimisation of the Salesforce platform” → need for alignment and seeking internal cohesion to move forward.
- “APEX & Visualforce experience” → for an admin? Oh well there is no harm for asking right? Here there are two things: 1, how over-complex is the org already and 2, you may want to understand their understanding on what this position entails.
- “Assist users with their day to day technical and operational requests” → you will have a ticket queue to work through all sorts, find out if there is a creative part of this placement and opportunity to enhance the system.
- “Workflow customizations and supporting the Service teams” → get ready to talk about quick actions, macros, actions from list views, embedding relevant contextual data in pages etc.
- Also check company news, has anything happened recently? Such as a merger, new product release or new team/exec addition?
In terms of questions on the D day expect things such as:
1. What drew you to apply for this role?
Time to broadcast how you fit their needs from your preparation on the job advert and what sort of placement you are after.
2. How do you organise time to ensure delivery while working on your own? And when working as a part of a team?
Either as solo admin or working within the broader team, you will be liaising with all parts of the business, or at least you should be ready to. How can you explain your team player trades, stakeholder skills and time management?
3. How would you spot a list of lapsed customers, for example; who haven’t closed a deal in the last 12 months?
Have a play with reports and cross-object filters, it can really superpower surfacing data without the need for convoluted processes. Also check the subscription functionality on reports, a hidden gem not many use!
4. How would you approach a scenario where the user is unable to access a record that they should?
What are the troubleshooting steps you can take, which questions can you ask the user to replicate and spot if something has in fact has changed. Salesforce sharing is an important one to have tons of experience in, demonstrate it!
5. What is the coolest thing you have built in Salesforce?
Time to shine, narrate it as a story, from inception, the problem to solve, how did you gather data to generate insights and draw conclusions, there’s always more than one way to achieve something. What was challenging about it? What did you do? And why are you proud of it?
Remember requirements are not what brings value, but what the users can do. Think impact.
The Salesforce ecosystem is so broad that there is space for everyone. So don’t try to fit in a box. Find your niche, think of what you are passionate about.
Practice makes perfect. That’s also true in product development, so get hands on! Try things out and learn from your experiments. That becomes your portfolio, your narrative and your uniqueness.
As simple as: Be yourself, Mean Well (Empathy & Humility) and Supercharge with Curiosity and Consistency.
Also remember, an interview is bi-directional. It’s your time to find out if their placement fits what you are looking for, does it support your short-medium term plans. Either or, it’s a great opportunity to make connections, after all we humans are social creatures. Enjoy the conversions and the journey!