Salesforce Sales Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Dec 17, 2014
Updated Dec 17, 2014
16 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (6)  

Sales Engineer Interview

No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview
No Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through other source. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at Salesforce.

Interview

I had a total of 5 interviews. The first two were phone screening by a recruiter and then another HR person, the third was another phone screening by the hiring manager, the fourth was in person at the headquarters in SF, the fifth (final presentation round) was in person at the headquarters as well.

My first 4 interviews went extremely well. I struck a rapport with the interviewers and answered all of the behavioral questions flawlessly. The only difficult part was the fourth interview where high level manager in sales tried to give me a hard time by asking me to conduct a role play where he was my grandfather and I was his grandson setting up a VCR. The object was to have me explain a detailed technical concept to someone poorly equipped to comprehend the details. He kept asking follow up questions and pretending not to understand as a way to test me.

I got invited for a final round. It was a hypothetical sales presentation to a client team. It would be 30 minutes and I was given information on the fictitious company I would be selling to. They offered me a dry run to give a version of the presentation which would not be evaluated in their final decision. And we set the date for my actual final presentation (due to schedule limitations this was set almost a month later).

This is where things went south for me.
* I planned 30 minutes worth of material, without building in time for questions
* they intentionally interrupted me a lot which threw me off of my rehearsed pitch
* They played hostile & skeptical
* I was unable to finish my presentation & demo in the allotted time due to the interruptions
* I did not take them up on the offer to do a "dry run", which in retrospect was a big mistake (although I made that calculated decision based on my availability and a desire not to 'appear weak' which very bad idea)
* I believed all the elements in the story/context document I was provided were fictitious, but some of the elements were real such as Salesforce's competition Goldmine (which is what the client was currently using). Had I done enough research I would have spotted this and done a thorough analysis of the benefits of Salesforce over the current *real* product
* I appeared to have a superficial knowledge of sales, and didn't use basic techniques such as creating a sense of urgency
*because of them giving me a hard time they made me a little visibly/audibly nervous, they disliked this and became increasingly hostile (actually hostile, not just in the fictitious context)
*I mostly prepared by giving my presentation to friends and family (who are not very critical), watching their online sales webcasts and creating really really nice slides (I prepared a lot, but not the right way).

I had a post-interview with the recruiter to talk about the process. He was very respectful and said the team thought I was a stunning candidate until I flubbed the final presentation. He did not offer any specific feedback though.

Interview Questions

  • Was asked, "Is that how they present at <<my current employer>>" -- Intended as a derogatory quip   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for Salesforce

  1. Helpful (8)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at Salesforce.

    Interview

    It started with some back and forth with a very busy recruiter. Time went by and the hiring manager called. All of this transpired over a few months. Had a great call with the hiring manager and then had an in-person meeting. We planned for the demo/panel presentation a few weeks from when we met in person.

    Preparing for the demo is a lot of work. The goal is to focus on the value Saleforce brings to the mock company in the case study, not to what bells and whistles you can show and configure. You'll get as help as you need during this process. It will become a night/weekend second job for a few weeks.

    The demo went well. There are a variety of people in the room that will ask you different questions. Some I honestly didn't know the answers to - sometimes I guessed, others I said that we'd discuss it on our next call. It's impossible to know everything about the platform in a few weeks - they just want to see how you react to something you don't know.

    Focus on talking what you know about, tell lots of stories and mention successful Salesforce customers.

    Interview Questions

    • Why should we buy Salesforce over XXX (other platform you're familiar with)?   Answer Question
  2.  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at Salesforce.

    Interview

    This is a multi-week process. Two recruiters, Sales Engineer Managers, directors, sales staff, then a demo and more interviews. I wanted to work here, but the process was too long and I took another job.

    Interview Questions

    • Really standard questions in this field. No gotchas. They are not looking to trip you up, they are looking for someone who knows their stuff. So you will get technical questions and sales questions.   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (3)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 8+ monthsinterviewed at Salesforce.

    Interview

    Interviews were over the phone, with one onsite presentation/demo. The questions were a little about my experience, and a lot more about how I would handle certain situations. The interviewer wanted to see a flexible approach to sales situations and presenting demos, and was interested in how I would make the decision about how and when to engage customers and present demos. The interviewer was looking for my approach to customer discovery, and also how I would show business process and value rather than talking about software functionality exclusively.

    Interview Questions

    • Building and giving a demo, with the audience throwing in distractions, was the toughest part.   2 Answers

    Negotiation

    Salesforce provides fairly good terms and compensation (though others do pay more) and there's very little negotiation. The background check was quite extensive.

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  5. Helpful (2)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at Salesforce (New York, NY) in June 2013.

    Interview

    I was referred to SFDC by a former boss who was a sales manager there at the time. Recruiter reached out immediately for an initial screening. Sooner after, he scheduled time with the hiring manager approximately a week later. The call went well and he outlined next steps including a mock presentation and a sample scenario he would like to me cover, which I took as a good sign. Multiple weeks went by and eventually I had to reached out to the recruiter several times to get an update. Eventually he scheduled another interview with the same manager, this time in person. The manager did not remember anything about me or how I found SFDC, which was a turn off. He did express his disappointment that I was unable to attend a SFDC hiring event a few days earlier, although I never committed to attending. Over the next couple of weeks, I had calls with the manager's counterparts in other regions as well as his boss. None of the conversations were very compelling and SFDC lost its luster for me by the end. The boss did mention he had a concern that I did not have previous experience in a dedicated sales engineer role, but asked if I was open to looking at other positions within the company potentially. I agreed to explore other options, but never heard back from anyone at SFDC nor did I reach out. Other SFDC recruiters have reached out since but my experience was so poor I would not interview with them again.

    Interview Questions

    • Rather standard question for a software sales engineer position.. nothing difficult or thought provoking   Answer Question
  6.  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Salesforce in November 2012.

    Interview

    I submitted my resume online through Linked in. In 2 weeks, I go an email for a phone interview. During that interview, we realized my experience is different than what they were looking for. So that was it!

  7.  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5+ monthsinterviewed at Salesforce (New York, NY) in February 2012.

    Interview

    Multiple phone/skype/in person interviews followed by onsite presentation interview where I had to deliver an actual demo to the team.

    Interview Questions

    • Given my success, why do I want to leave my former employer   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    Standard offer

  8.  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at Salesforce (Cincinnati, OH) in August 2011.

    Interview

    2 phone interviews and 1 video interview (Skype)

    Interview Questions

    • Financial application use case   1 Answer
  9. Helpful (1)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Salesforce (South San Francisco, CA) in February 2010.

    Interview

    FIrst I spoke with a recruiter then the hiring manager. That was followed by a presentation to a couple of managers. Then a phone interview with a peer and an executive

    Interview Questions

    • Build a demonstration from a trial org and organize a presentation around it   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    Non-negotiable

  10.  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Accepted Offer
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    One phone interview, one day-long meet the team interview with a demonstration / presentation

    Interview Questions

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