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Salesforce Admin Technical Interview Questions with Answers and Tips  

By September 27, 2023No Comments


Salesforce has been an essential tool for many businesses and, as of the time of this writing, is an undisputed leader in the CRM market. A competent Salesforce Admin is crucial for successful implementation, admins and developers are the brains of any Salesforce org, they are the linchpins that ensure everything runs smoothly. As such, the interview process for this role should be taken seriously. This guide will walk you through some of the most common and critical Salesforce Admin interview questions. 

Table of contents:

Basic Salesforce Admin Questions 

  1. What is Salesforce? 

Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform designed to support sales, marketing, and other customer service interfaces. 

  1. Which Salesforce clouds have you had a chance to work with? 

Below are primary clouds provided by Salesforce, you’ll need to prioritize candidate experiences based on your company needs. 

Industry or domain-based editions: 

  • Sales Cloud: Designed to support sales processes, provides features for lead, contact, opportunity management, forecasting, and more. 
  • Service Cloud: A platform for customer service and support, offers features like case tracking, social media integration for customer service, and a knowledge base. 
  • Marketing Cloud: A set of tools for marketers to create and manage marketing campaigns, with features for email, mobile, social and digital advertising. 
  • Commerce Cloud: A solution for e-commerce businesses for digital storefronts across various channels. 
  • Community Cloud: Enables companies to connect employees, customers, partners, and vendors with each other, essentially a platform for building community portals. 
  • Health Cloud: Designed for the healthcare industry, it primarily provides features for patient management. 
  • Financial Services Cloud: Tailored for financial institutions, it helps banking, wealth management, and insurance companies manage their business.  
  • Nonprofit Cloud: Helps nonprofit organizations manage fundraising, programs, and volunteers.
  • Education Cloud: Aims at providing solutions for educational institutions, facilitating recruitment, student success, alumni engagement, and so forth. 
  1. Which Salesforce components have you worked with? 

Various Salesforce components include: 

  • Classic & Lightning Platform: Provides tools and services to develop, build, and deploy enterprise apps without writing much code. 
  • Einstein Analytics (formerly Tableau): An AI and analytics platform that integrates with other Salesforce clouds to provide data insights. 
  • MuleSoft Anypoint: Helps organizations integrate apps, data, and devices across on-premises and cloud environments. 
  • Einstein: Surfaces AI capabilities, that lets you build custom predictions and recommendations making it easier for users to take advantage of the latest AI developments. 
  • AppExchange: Apps and vendors marketplace offering applications, components, and services that integrate with Salesforce. 
  • Salesforce Chatter: An enterprise social networking tool within Salesforce. 
  • Salesforce IoT: Enables users to integrate the Internet of Things by processing large amounts of data and triggering actions in real-time. 
  • Salesforce Shield: A set of security and compliance features specifically for apps built on the Salesforce platform. 
  • Heroku: PaaS acquired by Salesforce that allows developers to build, run, and operate applications in the cloud. 
  • Salesforce DX: A suite of tools to allow developers to build and manage Salesforce apps across their lifecycle, integrating with tools like Git and Jenkins. 
  1. Can you explain the difference between a Profile and a Role in Salesforce? 

Profiles determine the level of access a user has to records, while Roles define the visibility a user has to the records. In simpler terms, Profiles state what you can do, and Roles dictate what you can see. 

  1. What is an Object in Salesforce? 

Objects are database tables that allow data storage specific to the organization. They can be standard (pre-built like Account, Contacts) or custom (created as per specific business requirements). 

  1. What is the difference between Lead, Contact and Account standard objects? 

A lead represents a potential sales opportunity or a prospect. Once qualified, a lead can be converted into an Account, Contact, and optionally an Opportunity. 

A contact represents an individual, usually associated with an account. This individual could be a customer, partner, or any other person that the business maintains a relationship with. 

An account represents a company, organization, or individual that you do business with. Can be Business Account (represents a company or organization and can have multiple associated contacts) or a Person Account (represents individual customers, it combines the characteristics of both contacts and accounts into a single record). 

  1. Describe the relationship types in Salesforce 

There are various relationship types in Salesforce: Master-Detail, Lookup, Hierarchical, Many-to-Many, and External Lookup relationships. 

General Configuration Questions 

  1. How do you create a new user in Salesforce? 

To create a new user, navigate to Setup → Users → New User, and then fill in the user details. 

  1. What are the different field data types that you can use when creating custom fields? 

Most used data types in Salesforce are Text, Number, Currency, Date/Time, Lookup, Master-detail, Checkbox. 

  1. How do you set field-level security? 

Field-level security can be set by navigating to Setup → Object Manager → (Select Object) → Fields & Relationships. From there, you can define the accessibility of the field. 

  1. What is the purpose of a page layout? 

Page layouts control the layout and organization of buttons, fields, controls, Visualforce, custom links, and related lists on object record pages. 

Advanced Configuration Questions 

  1. Explain the process of setting up a workflow rule. 

A workflow rule is a set of automation criteria. To set it up:  

– Navigate to Setup → Create → Workflows & Approvals → Workflow Rules. 

– Click ‘New Rule’, select the target object. 

– Define the criteria. 

– Add immediate or time-dependent actions. 

  1. What is the difference between Process Builder and Workflow? 

Both are automation tools, although Workflows are more about rule criteria and actions, whereas Process Builder offers a more visual representation and has more flexibility with multiple if/then statements. 

  1. How would you handle field dependencies in Salesforce? 

Field dependencies are used to change a field’s value based on another field’s value. Classical example is States picklist depending on the Country picklist selection. One can use picklist fields to create a controlling field (controller) and dependent field relationship. 

  1. Describe the purpose and usage of validation rules. 

Validation rules verify that the data a user enters into a record meets the standards you specify before they can save the record. They ensure data accuracy and integrity, they can be based on the patterns (RegEx), ranges (1-100), related lists (VLOOKUP), etc. 

Data Management Questions 

  1. How do you handle duplicate records? 

Duplicates can be managed using tools like duplicate rules, matching rules, and by running regular data deduplication tools like DataGroomr. 

Matching rules identify which records should be considered duplicates, duplicate rules define what action should be taken when duplicate is detected, and duplicate jobs can run periodically and generate duplicate record sets for reporting and cleanup.   

  1. What is Data Loader, and when would you use it? 

Data Loader is an application that allows users to insert, upsert, update, delete, or export Salesforce records. It’s useful when dealing with large numbers of records. 

  1. Can you explain the difference between an External ID and a Unique ID? 

An External ID is a custom field that has the “External ID” attribute, allowing upsert operations. A Unique ID ensures that no two records have the same field value. 

  1. How would you import and export data in Salesforce? 

You can use Salesforce’s in-built data import wizard or tools like Data Loader or DataGroomr for importing. For exporting, reports, Data Loader, DataGroomr or weekly export service can be used. 

data management

Security and Access Questions 

  1. What is the role of the Organization-Wide Default (OWD) settings? 

OWD settings are the baseline settings in Salesforce that determine the base level of access users have to records they don’t own. 

  1. How do record access settings (like OWD, Role Hierarchies, Sharing Rules, etc.) play together? 

OWD sets the base level access; Role Hierarchies open up more access upwards in the hierarchy; Sharing Rules can extend access based on defined criteria. 

  1. What are Permission Sets, and how are they different from Profiles? 

Both provide user access but in different ways. Profiles are mandatory and give the minimum necessary permissions, whereas Permission Sets grant additional permissions above what’s given in the Profile. 

  1. How would you handle a situation where a user needs access to a record but cannot see it? 

Verify OWD settings, check role hierarchies, examine sharing rules, and ensure the user’s profile and permission sets grant the necessary access. 

Reporting & Dashboards 

  1. Describe the types of reports available in Salesforce. 

Salesforce report types include Tabular, Summary, Matrix, Joined, and Bucket reports. 

  1. What are the limitations of a Joined report? 

Joined reports are only available in the Salesforce Lightning Experience and can’t be viewed in the Salesforce mobile app or exported to Excel. 

  1. How would you create a dashboard to monitor sales performance? 

Use Salesforce’s Dashboard tools, pull data from relevant sales reports, and visually represent the data using components like charts, tables, and metrics. 

  1. Explain dynamic dashboards and their advantages. 

Dynamic dashboards display data tailored to the specific user viewing it. This personalization offers a more relevant view for each user. 

Scenario-Based Questions 

  1. How would you set up a system to auto-assign leads to specific users based on geography? 

Utilize lead assignment rules, set up routing based on criteria like ZIP code, state, or country. 

  1. A manager wants a monthly report of closed opportunities but doesn’t want to run it manually. How would you help? 

Set up a scheduled report to run monthly and email the results directly to the manager. 

  1. How would you set up a process to ensure that all customer cases are resolved within 24 hours? 
  1. Define Clear SLAs (Service Level Agreements). Clearly define and document the requirement that all customer cases should be resolved within 24 hours. 
  1. Utilize Salesforce Case Management, using Salesforce Service Cloud will help managing and tracking customer cases. 
  1. Set up Case Assignment Rules to ensure that cases are automatically assigned to the right team or individual based on criteria like case type, priority, or customer tier. 
  1. Use Escalation Rules to automatically escalate cases that are approaching the 24-hour mark. This can alert supervisors to pay attention to the case and expedite resolution. Multiple escalation tiers can be set up, for instance, first at 12 hours, then at 18 hours, and finally at 22 hours. 
  1. Implement Email Notifications to notify support agents about the cases assigned to them, sending out reminders to agents for cases that near the 24-hour deadline usually helps, and if case is unresolved for more than a certain time limit it might be a good idea to notify managers. 
  1. Use Salesforce Reports and Dashboards to сreate custom reports that highlight cases approaching the 24-hour mark. 
  1. What would you do if a user cannot see a specific tab in Salesforce? 

Ensure that the tab is not hidden by checking the user’s profile settings, permission sets, and tab visibility settings.  

Best Practices and Miscellaneous Questions 

  1. How do you keep up-to-date with Salesforce updates and releases? 

By reviewing Salesforce release notes, participating in the Salesforce communities, attending webinars or training sessions. 

  1. What is Salesforce Lightning, and how is it different from the Classic version? 

Lightning is the newer UI for Salesforce. It provides a more modern and intuitive interface, has better customization options, and new features that are not available in Classic. 

  1. Explain the importance of sandbox environments in Salesforce. 

Sandboxes let developers and admins test changes without modifying prod environment, thus avoiding potential issues in live org. 

Few words for the candidates 

Preparing for a Salesforce Admin interview is not merely about memorizing answers but understanding the platform’s nuances and capabilities and recollecting your real-world experience. Your main goal during a job interview is to demonstrate your proficiency and ability to support specific needs of the organization by using the solutions provided by Salesforce platform. 

Aim to demonstrate a thorough understanding of Salesforce features, including customization and configuration, as well as efficient use of the out of the box features. Share your previous experiences with Salesforce implementation, rolling out updates, and day-to-day activities. 

Before the interview, do your research, your goal is to showcase that you understand their particular business and how important it is to align Salesforce capabilities with the specific company’s business processes and needs. Think about how the platform can be leveraged to solve some specific business challenges the company might face. 

On a broader note, interviewers want to find out your experience and adaptability, so be prepared to answer scenario-based questions that test your problem-solving skills. They will be assessing your ability to think critically and come up with effective solutions using the tools at hand. 

soft skills

Soft skills are important 

In your work, you’ll likely interface with two groups, business users and more technically oriented folks like developers, so you should try to demonstrate that you’d be able to effectively communicate technical details to non-technical stakeholders as well as be able to train and support end-users, helping them with Salesforce adoption. 

Try to emphasize your adaptability, given the frequent updates to the Salesforce platform, it is an important skill to master. Highlight your effective collaboration skills, exhibit having a proactive approach, that instead of waiting for the issues to escalate you are capable of anticipating them and addressing them before they happen. 

If you have any certifications, passed courses or trainings, make sure to highlight them. If you are involved in any Salesforce communities or user groups, mention that too.  

People are attracted to enthusiastic and social individuals, try to ask relevant questions about company pain points, future plans and opportunities. It not only shows your interest in a position but also helps you gauge how you can add value and if you’ll be a cultural fit. Being aligned with the company’s culture, values, and mission is important! 

In essence, your task on the interview is to present yourself as a valuable asset who can leverage the Salesforce platform to enhance business processes! 

Ben Novoselsky

Ben Novoselsky, DataGroomr Co-Founder, is a hands-on software architect involved in the design and implementation of distributed systems, with over 20 years of experience. He is the author of multiple publications about the design of the distributed databases. Ben holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from St.Petersburg State University.