7 SaaS Interview Questions With Sample Answers (Plus Tips)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) refers to a business model where users pay to access cloud-based software instead of installing and maintaining the applications on personal devices. If you are seeking a related role, you might get asked to attend a job interview as part of the hiring process. Preparing for a SaaS interview can increase your confidence, help you showcase your skills and experiences to the hiring manager, and assist you in establishing yourself as a suitable candidate. In this article, we discuss a few SaaS interview questions with sample responses and share tips to help you prepare for future interviews.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

7 SaaS Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Here are a few SaaS interview questions that a recruiter might ask when you are applying for a related role:

1. What is SaaS and what are its benefits?

Interviewers usually begin the interview with simple questions to ease the candidate's anxiety before moving on to more advanced ones. Expect a few beginner questions while attending interviews for entry-level SaaS positions. To answer this question, briefly explain the meaning of SaaS and then elaborate on the benefits of using SaaS applications.

Example: 'SaaS are cloud-based applications that act as a replacement for expensive and outdated offline software. SaaS solutions offer numerous benefits to businesses, such as reducing the cost of IT infrastructure and increasing the speed of software deployment while improving efficiency, and overall ROI. Another benefit of SaaS software is that it is accessible on all devices and at all locations, making it an immense advantage for companies with a distributed and remote workforce.'

Related: What Is Software As A Service (Saas)? (Examples And FAQs)

2. What is the difference between SaaS, PaaS and IaaS?

SaaS, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) are the three main categories of cloud computing. Recruiters may ask this question, as candidates often confuse the meanings of these three terminologies. To answer this question, briefly describe and provide an example of each of these services.

Example: 'SaaS, or software-as-a-service, is the most popular cloud service and offers organisations and individuals cloud-based applications, and tools to perform various daily tasks. IaaS, or infrastructure-as-a-service, helps companies manage their critical business infrastructure, such as data storage, servers and networks, on the cloud. PaaS, or platform-as-a-service, products help developers and businesses host, develop and implement applications on the cloud. IBM Cloud is an excellent example of IaaS, Red Hat OpenShift for PaaS and Dropbox and Jira for SaaS.'

Related: Types Of Cloud Computing (With Definitions And Tips)

3. What was the last SaaS product you worked on and how did it help customers?

Irrespective of whether you are interviewing for a role in sales, product, marketing or support, hiring managers expect you to know the unique selling proposition (USP) of SaaS products you have worked with previously. In your answer, name a specific customer and explain how it benefitted them. This demonstrates that you value customer interactions and learn from them.

Example: 'Previously, I worked at TrackYourCalls, a conversation intelligence SaaS solution. The USP of the product was that it helped customers gain clear insights into every sales call. It offered various AI-driven features, such as an automated call summary, a library, battle cards and call scores, making it easy for sales teams to improve conversions and optimise the onboarding process. I remember our product helping an e-commerce client increase sales by 60%, as it helped them gain accurate insight into why customers abandoned their shopping carts.'

Related: What Is SaaS Operations? (Definition And Responsibilities)

4. What would you do to retain a customer who is not happy?

This question helps the interviewer evaluate your customer service skills. They ask this question to learn more about your working style and whether you take proactive measures to pacify customers who are not happy with the service they receive from the company for which you work. Use the situation-task-action-result, or STAR, interview response method to answer this question.

Example: 'In my previous role as a customer success manager for a SaaS company, I handled several customers who were not happy and regularly reversed the situations, resulting in positive outcomes. One time a client was discontent because our product did not deliver the promised benefits. As a result, the customer did not want to continue the subscription for the next quarter. Even though I was not the assigned customer success manager, I proactively handled the issue by setting up a meeting with the client's technical team.

During the call, I noticed that the customer's technical team had made a few key mistakes during product setup, which resulted in three features not working. I collaborated with the team to resolve these deployment inaccuracies and the product began working well. The customer was ecstatic about our prompt service and renewed their subscription for the next two years.'

Related: 'How Would You Handle An Angry Customer?' (Interview Question)

5. Can you explain the different SaaS pricing models?

With the growing adoption of SaaS, companies offer innovative pricing models that suit each customer's requirements. The recruiter might ask this question to evaluate your knowledge of the different pricing models and the advantages and limitations of each. Answer this question by briefly listing the popular SaaS pricing models and explaining their benefits and drawbacks.

Example: 'There are different ways to price a SaaS product, and each has its strengths and limitations. For example, in the usage-based pricing model, the subscription fees vary depending on the customer's usage. In the per-user pricing model, a company charges a fixed monthly rate for each user. Flat-rate pricing is the simplest of all pricing models, as it offers the product at a predetermined uniform price to all customers. It is a universal pricing strategy, where the business charges customers the same amount irrespective of the number of users and usage.

I prefer the tiered pricing model, as it allows customers to choose their preferred package based on their usage requirements. In this model, the company offers different versions of the products at various prices. Usually, there are two to five tiers and customers can choose any option based on their needs. It can also benefit SaaS companies, leading to higher conversions and increased revenues. Upselling is also easier in this model, as customers can move to the next tier when their business grows and their needs outgrow the current package.'

Related: 13 Cloud Computing Interview Questions (And Example Answers)

6. What is the difference between single- and multi-tenant SaaS architecture?

The hiring manager might ask questions about the SaaS architecture to evaluate whether you have an in-depth technical knowledge on the subject. Prepare for similar technical questions by revising the fundamental SaaS concepts and updating your knowledge on the latest SaaS trends. Structure your answer by explaining the core differences between single- and multi-tenant architecture and highlighting their advantages and drawbacks.

Example: 'In single-tenant architecture, each client has a separate database and does not share infrastructure with other customers. The benefits are security, dependability and increased customisation. The biggest drawback of this architecture is that it is expensive, as customers pay premium prices for the entire environment. In multi-tenant architecture, multiple customers share a single software instance and the supporting infrastructure. It is more affordable than single-tenancy architecture and offers easier integration with other applications using APIs. The major drawback is that it compromises security, as multiple users work on the same database, though they do not share data.'

Related: 35 Interview Questions For A Cloud Engineer (With Answers)

7. What do you know about APIs?

An application programming interface (API) helps to connect SaaS applications with other apps. It is the primary mode of data retrieval and updates for SaaS solutions. The interviewer is likely to ask questions about APIs. Show your proficiency in SaaS application development by explaining more about APIs and your experience of programming with them.

Example: 'An API is a software intermediary that helps SaaS applications connect with other software and hardware. For example, consider a banking SaaS application that allows customers to calculate the interest on their savings accounts. Instead of developing a calculator application to perform interest calculations, a customer can use an existing calculator application by connecting it with their banking app using an API. APIs are key for SaaS applications, as they help developers access and use the functionalities of other software. They offer enhanced customisations, improve customer experience and speed up development time.'

Related: Commonly Asked REST API Interview Questions (With Answers)

Tips To Prepare For A SaaS Interview

Here are some tips to help you in a SaaS job interview:

  • Research the company. Learn about the company to know more about its mission, goals and industry. Understanding the organisation's products, its USP and competitors helps you create your responses to align with the company's requirements.

  • Be prepared for the question 'Why do you want to work for us?'. Interviewers include this question to know more about your professional interests and determine whether you are the right fit for the organisation, and role. A well-prepared answer can help to distinguish you from other candidates, increasing your chances of securing the job.

  • Use the SaaS product. Irrespective of whether you are applying for a role in engineering, marketing or sales, using the SaaS product aids you in understanding its features and functionalities. This helps you answer questions about the product confidently and convincingly.

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