Used by thousands of companies around the globe, Salesforce has proven itself to be an ultimate tool for boosting sales. The opportunities it offers for organizing work processes are immense, meaning endless things to benefit from when it comes to advancing your business.
Salesforce boasts a plethora of features that can optimize your teams’ daily work, save time, and cash. Handy auto-notifications, approval processes, email send-outs, the simplicity of keeping everything compartmentalized — this is just the tip of the Salesforce capabilities “iceberg” you may obtain. But to have it all running like clockwork with features customized right around your needs, your arsenal must have a competent Salesforce developer for providing right on the dot Salesforce support.scBD
In this article, we’d like to share tips on what you should bear in mind when searching for the ideal candidate and even give you some specific Q/A examples which you can use during interviews. Let’s get started!
How to Select a Candidate for the Interview: Guideline
The process of finding an ideal person to join your team and assist you in growing your business is a two-way street. Some things depend on the candidates, others are on you. Here’s what you should pay attention to prior to holding the actual interview.
Getting the Salesforce developer job description right
One of the first points to consider when searching for your perfect candidate is whether you have a clear vision of what you expect from a candidate and who’s the person you need in terms of the skill sets. Take the time to put together the ultimate description which would cover all the main highlights to narrow down the search and save your time. Some of the points not to miss include:
- State the type of Salesforce specialist that you need clearly, make sure it’s evident that the person you’re searching for is a Salesforce developer (vs architect or administrator, for example) as there are variations based on skill sets and background.
- Identify the specialist’s level of seniority (Junior, Senior, etc).
- Whether official Salesforce developer certification is obligatory.
- Specify the exact responsibilities which will have to be taken care of (i.e. implementing ready-made apps, creating custom code, integrating Salesforce with external systems, migrating data, etc).
- Indicate whether you need someone to join the team full-time/part-time, in-house/freelance, with remote work/in the office work, flexible/non-flexible hours.
Where to look for a Salesforce developer?
This may sound like something obvious and lying on the surface but the word of mouth is a powerful tool to utilize, so, optionally, you can start the search right within your company by notifying your employees about the opening. Share the job description with the teams and wait for referrals.
Of course, recruitment tools and platforms are the places to turn to as well. LinkedIn, Upwork, and the official Salesforce AppExchange are some of the most often used ones as of today, to name a few.
What a Salesforce developer should know
Let’s assume that now you have a couple of CVs in your hands. Great! How do you determine that this person is the one you should interview?
For starters, note whether the candidate has official Salesforce developer certification or not. In common cases, it’s considered to be more of a “nice to have” rather than a mandatory thing. On the other hand, opting for someone self-taught might not be the right way to go specifically for you. Overall it in much depends on the person’s particular expertise and on whether certification is important for you to fill the opening or not (f.e. if it’s in your company policy).
Making sure that the person has worked enough with the platform is no less important. Thus, recruiting the developer who’ll have not only technical knowledge of the CRM but also rich previous work experience in the field to back it up with would certainly be an advantage.
Note though that it is better to evaluate in detail the projects that the person has worked on as opposed to focusing on the number of certificates or years of experience he has indicated in the CV. As an option, to review the work that the candidate has done before, ask for a portfolio with examples and ask questions about the work details and what was the area of responsibility.
Plus, it is also vital that he/she has a thorough understanding of the processes of a business in order to catch on the specifics of yours quicker.
Speaking about the skills and knowledge base points to highlight in the resumes are:
- experience with an object-oriented programming language (Java, PHP, etc),
- knowing how to code in Apex,
- Salesforce API (Application Programming Interface),
- SOQL (Salesforce Object Query Language),
- SOSL (Salesforce Object Search Language),
- HTML & CSS.
Top Salesforce Developer Interview Questions
Now we’ve reached the interview stage. As a side-note, numerous companies prefer to split the interview into several steps, and the first one can be as simple as an intro conversation by phone which can be followed by scheduling a meeting in person. This common practice can spare you some time and brush aside the candidates who don’t quite match straight away.
What’s for the actual interview, asking the right questions will channel your conversation with the candidate in the right direction. There’s no need for you to be a guru of Salesforce yourself but it’s key to determine the level of expertise of the person who’s before you after the formal greeting part of the interview is through. Below are some examples of the questions and points to make a note of.
1. Apex-related questions
From the technical side, most questions should be regarding the programming language of Apex, the major one used in Salesforce. Created on the basis of Java, Apex has numerous peculiarities, therefore, it’s crucial for the developer to know it up and up and use the best practices. A couple of Q/A examples could be:
- Q: In which cases would you choose in favor of Apex as opposed to the Process Builder or a Workflow Rule?
A: When handling large amounts of information or in cases of external data pulls.
- Q: Which collections of Apex can you name?
A: Maps, lists, and sets are the three types of collections.
- Q: How is Apex code coverage used?
A: It is used for testing the safety of the code, I use it prior to deployment.
There are numerous questions you can ask Salesforce developers, if you need more Q/A examples, read here.
2. Salesforce platform knowledge
Of course, an experienced developer should feel right at home in the Salesforce ecosystem. Thus, asking a couple of questions regarding the platform wouldn’t hurt. Some of these could be:
- Q: What can workflow rules do?
A: They can help automate 4 action types, including email notifications, field updates, sending outbound messages, and creating tasks.
- Q: How are objects connected in Salesforce?
A: Objects can be connected in different ways, these are lookup, master-detail, and external lookup.
3. Learning more about Salesforce
Importantly, ask about how your candidate stays in time with the Salesforce trends as having your knowledge up to date with the latest features and the greatest of the innovations is essential for keeping the qualification level up and being comprehensively competent.
One step of the process is reading Salesforce documentation, various trusted resources and blogs, as well as professional literature. Ask which Salesforce books for developers has your candidate read, a good example could be “Practical Salesforce Development Without Code” by Philip Weinmeister.
Another way to gain Salesforce knowledge is continuously engaging time in Trailhead which was specifically created for educational Salesforce purposes. Plus, communicating with other Salesforce specialists in the Trailblazer Community is a great way to share your experience and ask questions.
4. Offering a small test assignment
To see your candidate in action, craft a not very time-consuming task which a specialist can perform right before you. Optionally, you can make use of online Salesforce assessment tools, even prior to the interview if you wish.
An example of a custom, quick, on-the-spot test assignment to complete could be asking your developer to create an Apex trigger. Such a code is needed to perform custom actions when you can’t use validation rules or workflows. Ask the developer to create an Apex trigger which would prevent users from creating tasks on Accounts which are marked “Inactive”. After completion, assess the quality of the work by checking whether everything works properly and how much time was needed to complete the task.
5. Learning about soft skills & getting to know the person better
Utmost technical knowledge is undeniably important but so are the candidate’s soft skills. During the interview, save some time for getting to know the person better. That said, the ease of communication on non-technical topics can help you to evaluate how well he/she will fit in your group and work environment as well as how simple it’ll be to deal with things together on a daily basis and in the long run. Will this person go the extra mile to get the task done to the best possible extent?
Mentioning what you may inquire about are how the developer handles time-management, whether he considers himself self-motivated or an easy learner.
Also, try to determine what matters to the candidate beyond the office boundaries, what are his hobbies, what are his interests, what’s important to this person apart from a fruitful career. Let’s face it, a proper work-life balance is crucial for any individual, not to mention for their health. And a happy and healthy employee is already a large chunk of work success and beneficial results.
What Else to Keep in Mind
Finally, don’t forget that the choice isn’t only up to you. Even if you like the candidate and wish to take him/her on, they have to choose to get on board with your company over other possible ones too. Remember that Salesforce developers are in demand, thus, there’s always a hunt for the best.
Before switching to the financial discussion of salaries, consider mentioning the opportunities for growth that you can offer along with any other additional perks that come with the job (such as extra paid time off or some social bonuses like medical insurance). These may actually end up tipping the scales in your favor.
All in all, We really hope that you’ve found these tips helpful and good luck in finding your perfect match!