Costco Interview Process in 2022 (All you need to know)

Costco interviews often start very soon after you apply for an open position.

There are several interviews a typical entry-level candidate needs to pass to get hired at Costco. These interviews are pretty straightforward, so there’s nothing to stress about.

Here’s what you can expect from a typical Costco interview process.

costco interview process (with blur background of a retail store)

What Are Costco Interviews Like?

There are typically two to three Costco interviews for most positions, usually bundled together on the same day. Often, the phone call is counted as the first interview, seeing the supervisor or manager as the second interview, and seeing the AGM/GM as the third one.

However, in the interest of keeping it simple, we’ll refer to the supervisor interview as the first one. After all, a phone call rarely consists of any questions and is just about scheduling an in-person interview.

For some people, this may still seem like too much for retail, but this is still nothing to fret about. Costco is known for having a bit more demanding hiring process for a retail company. However, the two interviews are often combined to happen on the same day, and often you’ll get hired on the spot.

What Is Costco’s Interview Process in 2022?

Costco interview process typically includes these steps:

  • phone call
  • an interview with this supervisor or manager
  • an interview with the assistant general manager
  • drug test and getting hired

Next, we’ll describe what the Costco interview process looks like for a typical entry-level position, with questions to answer and tips to follow.

Costco’s Phone Call

First, you get a phone call to schedule an interview. You may be asked a few questions about your interest in the position, or they may just call to schedule an interview without asking much. This step is sometimes also called the first interview, but the actual in-person interview comes after this.

Costco’s 1st Interview

The 1st in-person interview is usually with the supervisor or the manager, or both. They’ll ask you about your experience, some hypothetical questions for your job position, and the typical interview questions for retail, as mentioned below.

Questions asked at the first Costco interview

The first interview will be focused on generic questions often asked in the retail industry where customer service is of utmost importance. Some of the regularly asked questions are:

  • Why Costco?
  • What do you know about Costco?
  • How well do you work in a team?
  • How would you handle a coworker not doing their part?
  • Tell me of a time you dealt with a difficult customer.
  • What do you consider good customer service?

To know how to answer these questions, check out my post about getting hired at Costco, and more specifically about passing the Costco interview. Based on the input from current and former Costco employees, I’ve advised on answering these questions in the best way possible, which can help you in getting the job.

Costco 2nd Interview

After the first interview with the supervisor, you’ll be passed to the assistant general manager for the 2nd in-person interview (usually the final interview). This is typically a relaxed interview where you may be asked about your hobbies, family life, and what you’re expecting from your career at Costco.

The 2nd and the 3rd interviews often happen on the same day, as well as getting drug tested and getting hired. Some Costco locations are desperate for employees these days, so you can expect a similar, fast-paced experience. 

You’ll rarely do these interviews for several days, but it depends on the role and how desperately Costco’s location needs new hires.

Costco Interview Tips

Here’s some advice that can help you nail the Costco Interviews. 

Before an interview, do some research about Costco as the company on the culture, the values, and what’s it like working for Costco. Show them that you know about Costco, that you buy there regularly, and you can even say how the store values its members and provider great member service.

Next, keep in mind to show up 15 minutes early. Nothing surprising here, it’s always good to show up early. This shows your eagerness to work and your responsibility to stick to a schedule. 

If not already mentioned, you should let them know about your open availability. When applying at Costco, it’s a good rule to make yourself available as much as possible, and that’s a big plus. If you can’t that’s fine, but if you can be flexible it will raise your chances of quickly getting the job.

Some people choose to use buzzwords, such as “escalate to supervisor” or “the member” (which is the customer). This is a slippery tactic and can fire back, but it may help you appear as if you’ve done all this before. 

At the end of the first Costco interview, you’ll be able to ask a few questions if you want. It is often suggested to ask questions at the end of Costco interviews because it shows that you can take charge when you need the information and shows that you want the job. Here are some of the questions to ask during an interview.

You can ask about benefits you’ll get as a Costco employee, growth opportunities, company culture, and any kind of specific questions about the job or the team you’ll be joining.

Costco 3rd Interview

The 3rd interview at Costco is either a very quick interview similar to the previous ones, or it may just include the drug test and signing the background check papers. Oftentimes, it lasts only 5 to 10 minutes, so there’s nothing to worry about this one. You may be asked about your hobbies and similar.

This final interview is often with the hiring manager who typically just enters your info into the computer, and asks you to take a swab drug test. They’ll congratulate you, and tell you that you’ll be called for orientation soon.

How Long to Hear Back After the Interview?

Costco hiring managers will typically let you know within a few days and up to a week whether you’ll have an additional interview or if you’re getting hired. The time to wait after Costco interviews will depend on whether HR is actively hiring for that role and whether you’re applying during a busy season.

If they’re not in a hurry, then you’ll be waiting on a phone call or a final interview for at least a day or two, otherwise, you might be hired on a spot.

What to Wear for Costco Interview?

For your typical entry-level job position, business casual is usually preferred. Avoid jeans and suits if you can. Slacks and khakis are a better choice with a button-up shirt. A tie is optional at best, and usually only suggested for managerial positions. 

men's dress code from business-formal to casual

In general, try to appear professional, with a clean-cut appearance. If there’s a chance you might be working that day, you should wear comfy shoes. If you must wear jeans, then avoid ripped jeans as well as t-shirts, and if you have a beard, trim it and don’t appear bushy. 

women's dress code from business-formal to casual

Does Costco Drug Test During Interview?

Costco may drug test you during your interview, or afterward. They may do this either during your first interview to speed up the hiring process, on one of the following interviews, or even after your final interview. There are no rules and is location-specific.

The type of drug test depends on the state you’re in, and it’s usually a saliva or urine test. They may send you to a lab to do a urine test, and you may be escorted by a manager to a clinic.

Wrap-up: Costco Interview Process is often quick and easy

With so many Costco locations looking for employees these days, their interviews often become a fast-paced experience, often done on the same day.

For some locations, you’ll get hired before you realize it, but others may require proper interview experience.

Therefore, getting familiar with the Costco hiring process, the steps, and the questions often asked, increases your chances of landing a job at Costco and potentially starting a rewarding career.

Author

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of HowMonk.com! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!