Working at REI is a great learning experience, and can be a good career for you, but how do you increase your chances of getting hired? For a typical store position, there are a few things you can do.
One of the main factors of getting a job at an REI store is to show off a nice, genuine personality. Your previous experience and product knowledge are a plus, but the main factor that gets you hired at the REI store is being able to get potential customers interested in the outdoors.
While passion for the outdoors and product knowledge is an advantage, your people skills are what get you the job at REI. Even if you’re not the best with people, you can learn these skills the more you work in retail.
REI is looking for employees with good personalities and positive attitudes who are authentic and genuine. So, just be yourself and try to show off your people skills.
How Do You Get Hired at Rei?
REI hiring managers are looking for people with good interpersonal skills who are also great team players. That’s why most interviews are in a group where you’ll have a chance to show off those skills. If you can manage to do that during your interviews, you’ll increase your chances of getting hired at REI.
The one thing that needs to be done before you’ll be considered for working at REI is to apply online, either by checking the local REI page, or the REI jobs page. It’s not advisable to just walk in and ask for a job, without first applying online.
REI also cannot accept applications if there are no job postings due to varying document retention laws regarding job applications.
You could go to the store and inquire about the job, but make sure you applied first and that it’s not the weekend, because everyone will be busy and won’t have time to talk to you. A good time to go to the REI store and ask about a job is midday on a workday.
Timing is also important. Hiring at REI is slow and scarce from mid-January to mid-March, so if you’re unwilling to wait, try to apply outside of those months. The hiring will speed up from March and May onwards.
How to get a part-time job at REI?
Working at REI part-time is possible, but it depends on the store. You may be able to work on weekends or weekdays on 4-hours shifts, and the actual time will depend on the store’s flexibility.
To get yourself a part-time job at REI, it may be a good idea to talk to the store manager and see what their needs are, and which shifts are available. REI managers are usually flexible and accommodating.
Once you know their needs and times, you should select your availability during the application process, which looks something like this:
To increase your chances of getting hired at REI, you should make yourself available as much as possible. This rule applies to every retail company out there, whether you’re looking to get a job at Walmart, Target or Trader Joe’s.
Is It Hard to Get a Job at Rei?
Getting a job at REI isn’t especially difficult, but you’d want to prepare yourself a bit, not just for the possible group interview, but also for the awkward HireVue interview. If you learn how to answer a few questions mentioned below, you can significantly increase your chances.
Requirements to work at REI
There are no special requirements for the typical store job, though the minimum age to work at REI is 16 years old, some jobs require you to be at least 18. REI doesn’t seem to be hiring felons. REI also does a background check which you need to pass, but they don’t do any drug tests.
How Long Does It Take To Get Hired by Rei?
The amount of time it takes will depend on the store, and it could take anywhere from two weeks to a month. To shorten this time, try to apply after mid-March.
What Is REI Hiring Process Like in 2022?
Here are the steps for the typical REI hiring process for a store position:
- Apply at their website
- Do the HireVue interview
- Do the group/in-person interview
- Training for a week or so
- Getting hired and starting work
Some stores may do things differently than the steps mentioned here, as they may ask you simply to answer some questions in text or do an online interview and then a phone interview. This will depend on the store and its hiring processes.
Rei Job Application Process
The job application process at REI can be easily started by going to their page to look for REI jobs, selecting the job you want, and following instructions. After you apply, you’ll get a confirmation and they should get back to you with further steps.
How to check if REI is hiring and where to apply?
You can apply for a job at REI by going to their main page to search for REI jobs, and you can search by state, city, store location, or job function. Once you find the position you’re applying for, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Apply”.
This will take you to the next steps where you’ll need to enter your contact information:
After that, you’ll need to confirm some of the other requirements for the job and set your availability as well.
This application process shouldn’t take long, but you should take your time. No need to make mistakes when you don’t have to.
How long to hear back from REI after applying for a job?
Depending on the REI store and the position you’re applying for, it should take about 1 to 3 weeks for them to review and respond to your application. You can call your manager directly to check up on your status or shoot them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in mind that if you’re desperate for a job, you shouldn’t keep waiting after doing interviews, but keep on applying to other companies. Never put all your hopes in one single interview, because you’ll be losing time and momentum as you’re searching for a job.
REI Interview Process
The majority of applicants start with a pre-recorded HireVue interview. Once you pass that, you’ll be called for a group interview where you’ll be doing exercises and interacting with a team.
An alternative route is to have a phone interview with an in-person interview afterward, and this will depend on the store. The entire REI interview process from start to finish typically lasts for about 2 weeks.
Tip: Your experience may be different than described here, and this is store-dependant. For example, it may be possible to skip the awkward HireVue interview, if you can get into contact with the hiring manager, or whoever is in charge.
Step 1: REI HireVue digital interview
First, you’ll probably have a digital interview video through the HireVue platform. This is pre-recorded by REI where you’ll be filming yourself answering 5 to 6 questions, which will be a recording of someone asking the question. You’ll get 2 to 3 minutes to answer each question, and a minute to prepare for each one.
You can prepare for the REI HireVue interview by learning how to answer some of the typical questions mentioned below. You may also want to learn what co-op is, and what are REI values.
For the most part, you’re not expected to have any previous product knowledge before doing this interview, though some stores will be looking for a specific skill set. Therefore, it’s possible to get hired at REI without knowing any products at all, but it’s still better to have this knowledge.
To pass the REI HireVue interview you just need to come off as a friendly and down-to-earth person, who is willing to learn and is generally enthusiastic about getting people interested in the outdoors. Try to be specific, and passionate in your answers to give yourself an advantage. Here are a few other tips to get prepared for the REI HireVue interview.
Overall, during this digital interview, you’ll have generic questions about yourself, why you chose REI, and your typical customer service questions.
As you record these answers, you may also get a chance to re-do them if you somehow get interrupted. However, not all HireVue interviews will let your repeat an answer. It will depend on the store, and the type of position you’re applying for, so make sure you know this before you decide to re-do any of your answers.
After recording your HireVue answers, you’re done with the initial application process. If they reject you they usually don’t respond, but if you pass then you’ll get to step two, which is either a phone interview or an in-person interview, digital or otherwise.
Step 2: REI In-person Interview (group or 1-on-1)
After the awkward HireVue interview, you’ll get to the interview with a real person. This will be either a virtual online interview or an in-person interview, usually in a group. Some stores have regular in-person interviews or phone interviews instead of group interviews.
You can prepare yourself for these kinds of interviews by knowing what to expect at the REI group interview, and learning how to answer some of the questions.
What are REI group interviews like?
REI group interviews are often done in smaller groups of 4 to 5 people each, where you’ll be doing exercises by either giving new ideas or solving some problems. These exercises are created to show off your skills of working in a group and your product knowledge, and it will act as training as well.
While some interviews may require you to give fun ideas without showing off your product knowledge, others will require a lot of it. For example, your group may be asked to choose 5 products for a made-up person, and then present your outfit to the group explaining one piece of the outfit.
Other times you may have to pick some products for a certain type of customer. Whatever you do in an interview will be judged to a point. Therefore, the most important is how you interact with people, so try to engage in conversations, and stay calm and relaxed.
Additionally, you may be asked some random interview questions of which you’ll have no warning, and you’ll have to answer in front of other interviewees.
Everything you do will be a test, so try to do your best and don’t be shy to talk to others. These are usually relaxed interviews, so there’s nothing to worry about.
REI Interview Tips
- Do the HireVue interview outside. Since this is a company that sells outdoor equipment, they may actually like this. In fact, some hiring managers have commented how they liked when applicants record their HireVue interview outside, instead of inside the house.
- Be yourself. Keep in mind that being genuine during your interviews at REI is a strong factor that gets you the job. Therefore, authenticity is the key to passing the REI interview, HireVue or in-person. So just don’t pretend, and try to be yourself.
- Do some research on the company. Knowing a bit about what REI stands for, its values, and its products can give you an edge and show you as someone eager to learn and prove themselves. So try to do some research on REI as a company to see what they value the most in an employee.
- If you find it difficult to talk to your camera while doing your HireVue interview, you can ask your friend or someone in your house to sit just behind the camera as you answer, so it’ll feel much more natural. You can look at them instead of your camera.
REI interview questions and answers
Tell us about yourself and what experience you have.
To answer this question you can structure your response so that you talk about your present, past, and future. For the present, you can mention what you do and maybe your recent accomplishment, for the past you can briefly explain what you did that’s relevant to this position, and for the future, you can say why you’re interested in this job.
Why do you want to work for REI?
You can answer this one by first, researching the company a bit and learning what they stand for and how they differ from the competitors, and then making a list of the favorite things about the job that aligns with your career objectives. You can mention how you like the culture, how you like working in a team, and how you think this job will help you develop professionally in the way you’re aspiring to.
What does good customer service mean to you?
After learning about REI’s mission, vision, and values, you can structure your response that will align with the company’s philosophy. Try to be honest, be yourself, and give an example of when you did great customer service at your previous job.
This may be a good time to re-visit the STAR method to learn how to reply to these kinds of questions.
Tell us of a time when you overcame adversity.
Here you need to choose an experience from your past that shows resiliency by providing context to the specific situation, your responsibilities at the time, and how you took action to face adversity. Even if you have no prior work experience, you can mention something from college or anything that shows your resilience, initiative, or just a mindset to overcome the obstacles.
Here are some other questions you may get during the interview at REI:
What outdoor experience do you have that would prepare you to work at REI?
Tell us of a time when you were given a task with little direction. What was it, and what did you do?
What are your favorite outdoor activities/hobbies?
Why are you a good candidate to work at REI?
These are more specific to each person and you need to look into what’s positive about your experience, be specific and then make it relevant to the job at hand. Make yourself appear a good fit, if not a perfect fit, and always try to show enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and grow.
What to wear to the REI interview?
REI interview dress code is generally casual for most of the store jobs. REI hiring managers don’t really care what you wear, as much as they care about your personality, so dress comfortably, and be yourself. What matters most at the REI interview is your attitude, and your customer service skills, not what you’re wearing.