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Top 20 Salesforce Admin Interview Questions and Answers

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February 18, 2020Jobs

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Every hiring manager brings their own set of interview questions to the table. But when you’re interviewing for a highly specialized role such as a salesforce administrator, you can expect some standard interview questions to assess your proficiency.

Your interviewer will want to make sure that you understand the Salesforce system, as well as how you go about implementing your skills on real-world projects.

You may know some of these answers already if you’ve taken the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam, but it’s always a good idea to brush up on your knowledge.

Before you sit down for an interview, spend some time studying these 20 Salesforce admin interview questions to help you ace your hiring manager’s questions.

What is a Salesforce admin?

First, what exactly is a Salesforce admin? The Salesforce blog describes the role as “a business leader, deeply knowledgeable about how their company operates, intertwined in making all departments successful through process automations.”

That may sound like a vague description, but the truth is that being a Salesforce admin is a versatile role that varies from company to company.

The main thing that Salesforce admins have in common is that they know the platform inside and out, and can create customized productivity systems for any business.

Tasks can range from setting up new user accounts, to creating dashboards and apps, to troubleshooting system errors and keeping the database organized.

Being a Salesforce administrator involves everything from soft skills and customer-facing activities, to hard skills such as CSS, HTML, and Javascript programming.

According to Salesforce, admins earn an average salary of $88,230 per year, with over 3,000 new job openings in the U.S every year.

Many Salesforce admins get their credentials through the online Trailhead certification program, which offers a range of courses and specializations, but other programs offer comprehensive Salesforce admin courses as well.

If you’re looking for a job as a Salesforce admin, being able to answer these interview questions will go a long way toward proving that you’re up for the task.

Some may seem basic, but remember, the important thing is to show that you have a broad range of knowledge, from the general to the technical.

Related read: Everything You Need to Know About Recruiting Agencies 

Here are 20 salesforce admin interview questions you need to know:

1. Q: What is SaaS and how does it relate to Salesforce?

A: SaaS stands for Software as a Service and refers to cloud-based software that can be run from any web browser. Salesforce is a type of SaaS product. Specifically, it’s a CRM service that includes a suite of other cloud-based enterprise products.

2. Q: How does SOQL differ from SQL?

A: SOQL refers to Salesforce Object Query Language and is similar to SQL (Structured Query Language), which is used for data management. SOQL is used to create queries in order to search for specific information in your Salesforce database.

3. Q: What is a Salesforce object and what are their properties?

A: An object in Salesforce refers to a table and is used to store information. Objects can be standard or custom. Custom objects can have fields, relationships, and layouts that are specific to your organization, while standard objects are those that come built into the Salesforce system and include reports, dashboards, accounts, and contacts.

4. Q: What are three types of relationships in Salesforce?

A: Relationships in Salesforce are used to link objects together, to make it easier to view related datasets. Lookup relationships are used to link two objects, for example, to link a bug report to a customer case. Master-detail relationships are more closely linked; when you delete a master record, related detail and subdetail records are deleted too.

The third type of relationship is called many-to-many, and occurs when multiple objects are linked together. You can use a junction object to connect two other objects.

5. Q: How do Roles and Profiles differ and who needs one?

A: All Salesforce users must have a Profile, but not all users have a Role. Profiles are used to determine whether the user can view, edit, or delete particular records.

Roles are used to set hierarchies. Users with a higher role can see the records of users below them, but users with a lower role will be limited in what they can see.

6. Q: What kinds of reports can you create in Salesforce?

A: Salesforce allows you to create four kinds of reports -- Tabular, Matrix, Summary, and Joined -- each of which structures your data into a different visual format.

7. Q: What is an Audit Trail and what is it used for?

A: The Audit Trail is used to view the 20 most recent changes to your Salesforce Setup. It’s particularly important if you have more than one administrator and need to figure out how something went wrong. You can view who made the change and when they made it. You can also download up to 180 days of Setup history as a CSV file.

8. Q: What is a sandbox and what are the different kinds?

A: A sandbox is a copy of your production environment used to try out changes without compromising your existing setup. A Developer sandbox is used for limited testing with up to 200MB of data, while a Developer pro Sandbox can handle up to 1GB of data.

A Partial Data sandbox can include up to 5GB of records, with data that you specify as part of a sandbox template. A Full Copy sandbox includes all of your existing records, including metadata, and can only be refreshed every 29 days.

9. Q: What is the difference between single tenant and multitenant architecture?

A: Single tenant architecture means that each user has their own instance of a software. Multitenant architecture means that all users rely on the same infrastructure. Salesforce uses multitenant architecture, so upgrades and patches are installed automatically.

10. Q: What Governor Limits are used in Salesforce?

A: Because Salesforce uses multitenant architecture, its resources (storage, CPU, etc.) are shared by many clients. In order to avoid any one client overusing these resources, Salesforce applies several Governor Limits. These include a limit of 100 SOQL queries per transaction, and a limit of 50,000 records retrieved with each SOQL query.

11. Q: What types of email templates are available in Salesforce?

A: Salesforce offers four email templates: Text, HTML, Custom HTML, and Visualforce. Only administrators and developers can create Visualforce templates, while any users can create text templates. HTML templates can also incorporate letterheads.

12. Q: What is data skew and what are the three types?

A: Data skew refers to a condition when a single record has over 10,000 child records. This can lead to performance issues when updating the system. The three main types of data skew are known as account data skew, ownership skew, and lookup skew.

13. Q: What is Force.com and how does it differ from Salesforce.com?

A: Force.com is a PaaS, or Platform as a Service, not an SaaS. While Salesforce.com is ready to go right out of the box, Force.com is not. Instead, it’s a framework that you can use to develop your own apps, workflows, and customized systems.

14. Q: What is Apex used for and what are the three Apex tools?

A: Apex is a platform used to develop third-party applications built on top of Salesforce’s back-end. The three Apex tools are Apex Builder, a drag-and-drop interface, Apex API, which can be used by external Java applications to access raw data, and Apex Code, which is an object-oriented programming language deployed on Salesforce servers.

15. Q: What is bulkification and what are its benefits?

A: Bulkification means your code can process multiple records in a single batch rather than handling each one as a separate operation. Bulkification happens automatically with some flows. Bulkifying your code helps you stay within governor limits.

16. Q: What are static vs. dynamic dashboards?

A: Static dashboards display the same information to every user, and can be useful for showing data from an entire region or organization. Dynamic dashboards show content that’s specific to each user, for example, individual sales figures and quotas.

17. Q: What are the two types of Apex trigger?

A: A trigger is a script that runs after a certain event or action occurs, such as updating, merging, inserting, or deleting a record. Triggers can be either before or after triggers. Before triggers update a record before saving it to the database, while after triggers make changes in other records and save the triggering record as read-only.

18. Q: What types of actions can be part of a workflow?

A: Workflows can be used to automate tasks, email alerts, field updates, and outbound messages. Actions can be either immediate or time-dependent, and are tied to specific criteria. For example, a task can run every time a record is created and edited.

19. Q: What is a Salesforce app and what are the two types of apps?

A: In Salesforce, an app refers to a collection of tabs that serve a particular purpose, not to be confused with a standard web or smartphone app. A console app is built on top of the Salesforce user interface, and is intended to boost productivity allowing the user to complete tasks from a single screen.

You can also build custom apps on the Force.com platform, which can be shared with other users. You can brand custom apps with your own color and logo.

20. Q: How do Visualforce pages differ from other pages?

A: Visualforce pages are served from a different domain in order to increase security in the web browser. If it were served from the same domain, it could allow access to other pages within your organization. This protects users from cross-site scripting.

Find the right Salesforce admin job today.

These are just a few of the questions that might come up during your Salesforce admin interview. Remember, your HR manager may tailor their questions to your industry, and may ask questions about your prior experience working with the platform.

You can also expect more personal questions, such as how you work on collaborative Salesforce projects, and whether you’ve ever trained someone to use Salesforce.

You might be asked about how you’ve handled a serious data loss, or whether you’ve worked as a Salesforce admin on a limited budget.

Whenever possible, draw from your own personal experience and avoid giving textbook responses. This shows that you have a broad understanding of the platform.

Stay up to date with your Salesforce expertise by getting the most relevant certifications for your industry at the Salesforce Trailhead.

Refer your peers to rewarding positions at high-growth organizations. 

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Veronica Feldmeier avatarVeronica Feldmeier