Salesforce Sales Engineer Interview Questions | Glassdoor

Salesforce Sales Engineer Interview Questions

Updated Apr 1, 2017
21 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (7)  

Sales Engineer Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
Declined Offer
Negative Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at Salesforce (San Francisco, CA) in March 2017.

Interview

Do you like wasting your time? Do you like begging for and receiving charity? Do you like dull managers? Do you like being low-balled on salary? Welcome to Salesforce.

I was contacted by a recruiter for a phone screen. Asked usual questions and came to my salary and would not budge when I said I don't feel comfortable sharing it.
Recruiter: "Finance won't let me proceed on interviews without your salary, its just our standard process. I just can't let you proceed with the next interview without that information."
Right from the start they make you feel like they are doing charity for you and attempt to bully you. I didn't cave in and kept deflecting for later discussion on salary.

Next had a couple of phone screen interviews followed by on-site with managers. Sales Engineering Directors were outright dull in their responses to my questions.
Me: "What's your favorite part about working at Salesforce?"
SE Manager: "The people are just so great. We work hard, we have fun, its a nice company."
That's really your best answer and way to inspire me on joining the company? So at all the other companies people aren't great, don't work hard and don't have fun? haha all their answers were just as dull.

Next was the final on-site presentation. They give you a week to prepare for it. They attempt to throw you off with random questions during the demo and won't let you finish within stipulated time. I wanted to laugh at how lame some attempts to waste time are. Overall I've given over 1,000 demos, I'm used to it. I kept going and finished in time, gained consensus from the room that it went well. They wouldn't provide any feedback though and we were out of time so I left. I emailed managers and HR about it repeatedly but no feedback.
You're the candidate. After you spent 1 week preparing for the interview, deliver it on-site, how dare you ask for feedback? You're just a candidate among many. You should feel privileged and feel our charity should we decide to proceed with you towards an offer.

What came next was so appalling I couldn't have predicted. Recruiter delayed for 2 weeks without responding. I got another offer with a deadline during this time. Recruiter calls me on the day of my other offer deadline saying they need to interview all other candidates before making a decision. Are you kidding me? No presentation feedback yet and now making me feel like they would select me from a list of candidates and do me an charitable favor that I need to wait for.
Recruiter: "I can't tell you what to do with your other offer but this is our process and we will need to wait for other interviews to be completed before making a decision. We need to wait for 4 more days."
18 more days pass and not a word. I have given up, not bothered to even reach out to them because why beg for charity? I assumed its over, accepted the other companies' offer and couldn't have been happier.

Funnily enough, I finally hear from the recruiter saying they want to give me an offer. Haha sounds like the process and other candidates all worked out well.
The fun part was they decided to offer me less than my current salary. Remember I never gave them my salary? They decided to low ball me. I thanked her for the time and said I won't be able to accept it because its less than my current salary.
Recriter: "Okay tell us your current salary and we'll match it". Nah, thanks, I don't need you to do anything.

Trust me spend your time elsewhere, its not worth it. I'm just disappointed that a well-known company can be so broken and depressing. I read elsewhere that Salesforce is not the cutting-edge place it used to be. Now I got to experience it first hand. Good luck to their team, hopefully they will improve in the future.

Interview Questions

  • They will try to throw you off with random questions during the demo, just keep calm and deflect.   Answer Question

Salesforce Response

Apr 27, 2017 – SVP, Global Recruiting

Thank you for sharing your experience and bringing this to our attention. The etiquette and issues you encountered during your interview process are very disappointing. This review has been flagged... More

Other Interview Reviews for Salesforce

  1. Helpful (26)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Salesforce (New York, NY).

    Interview

    Standard interview process for a Sales Engineer in the SaaS space:
    1 - Phone Screen
    2 - Phone interview with Hiring Manager
    3 - On Site multiple interviews. A case study is provided and you need to present PowerPoint and demo. They are very role-based during the mock case study asking difficult questions to see how you do under pressure.

    Interview Questions

    • What would you do if a new client said they didn't want the product anymore, even after using a trial?   1 Answer

  2. Helpful (20)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed 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
  3. Helpful (21)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed 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

  4. Helpful (3)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed 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

  5.  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at Salesforce in April 2014.

    Interview

    Lots of interviews. Nice people. Focus on previous roles. Many of the same questions across multiple interviews. Many interviews were trying to get to know me - my background, interests. Many questions focused on the culture fit.

    Interview Questions


  6. Helpful (8)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 8+ months. I interviewed 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.   3 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.


  7. Helpful (6)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed 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
  8. Helpful (5)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed 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!


  9. Helpful (1)  

    Sales Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5+ months. I interviewed 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


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