Top Interview Qs for Salesforce Developers

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It’s a healthy job market out there for Salesforce developers (Dice currently lists over 900 open positions across the United States). According to Payscale, starting salaries start in the low $50,000 range, and a developer with the right experience could potentially make upwards of $140,000.

But if you’re newly certified, or don’t have a wealth of experience, how should you prepare for a job interview?

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Dice asked several Salesforce developers to get a handle on the kinds of questions often asked in interviews. The examples presented here should give you some direction if you seek employment in the field.

David Liu, a Salesforce MVP and technical architect at Google, started out in marketing. He “knew nothing about writing code” and found it difficult to access good information about Salesforce platforms. “There was plenty of documentation online,” he said, “but it was all catered towards people who already knew how to code.”

As he built his skill set, he created SF99, a comprehensive site that covers nearly everything an aspiring Salesforce developer needs to build competencies. Here are just five of the many questions he said you should be prepared to answer during an interview:

  • Name three governor limits.
  • When do you use a before vs. after trigger?
  • What’s the maximum batch size in a single trigger execution?
  • What are the differences between 15 and 18 digit record IDs?
  • Provide an example of when a custom setting would be used during development.

London, U.K. based Vipul P. Taylor, a Salesforce.com evangelist, technical solutions architect, and consultant, offered his own input on Salesforce-related interview questions, suggesting that candidates be knowledgeable about the following:

  • Object oriented programming concepts like encapsulation and inheritance.
  • Concepts like VLOOKUP and how to use it.
  • Permission sets and profiles, and the differences between them.
  • When and how to use controllers, both custom and standard, as well as when to use extensions.

Of course, not all companies that use Salesforce are created alike, and you might want to do some detective work in order to better tailor applicable answers to the demands of a specific business.

What Specific Employers Ask

Michael Lobel, a developer and founder at Austin, Texas-based MyTennisLessons.com, offered examples of other questions an employer might ask, as related to a specific firm’s needs:

  • What are the necessary steps for deploying an APEX trigger to production?
  • A sales manager is attending a conference over the weekend and plans to collect lead information at a booth. She want anyone with the lead source “Sales Conference” to be assigned to her in Salesforce. How would you assign the conference leads to the sales manager?
  • Describe the environments you use to develop and deploy Salesforce projects.

David Glettner, of the Los Angeles-based business-solutions firm Foundation5, said he generally opens his candidate interviews with these sorts of queries:

  • What are custom settings and what is the advantage of using them?
  • Why should you use an external ID in a Salesforce record?
  • What API types does Salesforce support?
  • Define SOQL and SOSL, and list how they differ.
  • What are the different object relationships in Salesforce?

There are many websites, blogs, twitter feeds and Facebook pages that can help you on your journey. Don’t hesitate to investigate and ask questions as you work toward making yourself an optimum candidate.

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