My Job Interview With Salesforce's Marc Benioff Was The Weirdest 7 Minutes Of My Career

Business Insider

If you find yourself lucky enough to be up for a top job at Salesforce.com, you might be whipped into CEO Marc Benioff's presence for a job interview.

Prepare yourself for an odd experience, says hot startup Okta, Inc.'s COO and co-founder, Freddy Kerrest, with a chuckle.

Kerrest studied at Benioff's knee, joining Salesforce.com in 2002, when it was a $30 million, two-year-old startup.

Kerrest describes his first meeting with Benioff as "the weirdest job interview I ever had." It lasted seven minutes and consisted of rapid-fire questions on every detail on his resume.

Kerrest has a degree from MIT and mentioned a few tech skills on his resume. Benioff made him explain those skills in technical detai. For instance, he had to describe how an application server worked and what the Internet protocol TCP/IP was.

It was a test to see if Kerrest was fudging about his technical knowledge. Remember, Benioff is himself a bona fide geek. He started programming when he was 15.

Benioff also grilled him on other stuff, like how he won business contracts against Benioff's big competitor of the day, Siebel Systems, while at his previous job. (Oracle bought Siebel in 2005 for $5.8 billion .)

Suddenly Benioff stopped, said "You're hired," and walked away. He told his executive assistant, Allie Covarrubias, to work out the pesky details like what the job was and how much it would pay. (Today, Covarrubias works as recruiter for Box.)

The job turned out to be a sales engineer position — the third employee on the marketing team — and it made Kerrest's career. He stayed five years, after Salesforce.com went public in 2004.



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