How to Get Hired at Costco? [in 2022]

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  • Post last modified:April 16, 2022

Getting hired at Costco isn’t rocket science, but there are still 3 interviews you need to pass, and they don’t hire all the time. So, how do you stand out?

Once you’ve applied online, go down to your local Costco and try to meet the front end manager. Tell them you recently applied and that you’d like to be interviewed when they are looking for help. This is the best way to get hired at Costco and will make you stand out.

Costco is looking for people with strong service skills, with retail experience and merch being highly sought after. Experience in McDonald’s and Home Depot always stands out.

Most new hires start as stockers, cart crew, and front end assistants. This is how Costco works, and almost everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. They promote from within instead of hiring off the street, so there’s a lot of room for promotions.

How to Get a Job at Costco?

Costco wholesale building entrance

The best way to get hired at Costco is to apply online, then go to your local Costco when it’s not a crazy busy time (weekday mornings), to speak with the front end manager there. Some places are often hiring for seasonal, which is the best way to get your foot in the door, similar to getting a job at Target.

Costco accepts applications all the time, so you can even bring several copies of your resume to give to the manager. 

Tell the manager how you’ve applied online, and that you would want to work at Costco. Multiple copies of the resume will go to the different department managers. Similarly, this can work well with getting hired at Walmart, too.

Even without a resume, you can just go there to make yourself known to the manager. They’re probably getting several applications for each person they hire, so you got to go the extra mile to stand out.

Go to your local Costco, and speak with the front end manager.

If you don’t get called a few weeks after, go there again and simply ask about a job. Being persistent and friendly goes a long way. You can also ask about the usual Costco jobs, and the positions they usually hire for, which is both useful and shows your eagerness and motivation.

How do I know if Costco is hiring? (where to apply?)

Costco is usually hiring in April and May, but they accept applications all the time. You can apply for Costco jobs externally via Cadient, and via Taleo for IT jobs. There are open positions all the time, but the best thing to get through Costco hiring is to go down to your local Costco and meet the manager. Get yourself known.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job at Costco?

Getting a job at Costco isn’t difficult, but there are several interviews to go through, and you have to stay persistent. Costco can be rigorous for folks that aren’t fully motivated and serious about work, so it’s important to show them that you are.

There are certain “hiring periods” at Costco, such as during April and May, but they are always accepting applications and separate applicants by week/2 weeks/month, so you should try to keep applying.

For some people, it can be a great career with great pay and benefits. For others, it’s just a job to get through each day. In any case, you can always prepare yourself to stand out and pass the requirements. If it’s too difficult to get in for you, try getting a job at UPS, or applying at USPS.

Requirements to work at Costco

Generally, there aren’t any high requirements, except that you don’t have any serious legal offenses, that you’re eligible for employment, and that you pass the interview process. GED isn’t required for most jobs, but it is preferred. You need to be able to help wherever the pressure points are, being someone who works well in a team and can deal with customers with calm and composure.

How Long Does It Take To Get Hired by Costco?

Takes about a week or so to get hired at Costco during hiring season (April/May), from applying online to getting a call for an orientation. This time can be longer during the off-season, or if Costco isn’t hiring at all, yet you still applied online.

What Is the Hiring Process for Costco in 2022?

Costco hiring process consists of several steps:

  • Applying online at Costco website
  • Getting a call to schedule interview
  • Doing the Interview Process (2-3 interviews)
  • Post-interview drug test and background check
  • Orientation and starting work

First, you’ll have to apply online and fill in the questionnaire as best as you can. They typically start in April/May with the interviews to be ready to go for the summer season, so this may be the best time to apply.

After your application is checked by the hiring manager, you’ll be called for an interview. You’ll have to pass 3 interviews to get hired at Costco, where the first one is the main one and the longest, and the rest of them are much shorter.

Costco’s seasonal hiring process is very similar, except they will lay off seasonal employees, and call them back when business starts to pick up again. Seasonal hiring can also start in October and you’ll work through January.

Costco Application Process

The application process starts with you applying at Costco online. Hiring managers pay attention to the questionnaire you fill out online, so you should try to pay attention to what you answer. Costco job application can always be submitted because they’re always accepting them.

On the app, you should make sure to apply for any job option, so you get the most chances. If they’re hiring, you’ll get a call after a few days to schedule a face-to-face interview. 

How long does it take Costco to process an application?

Depending on whether your local Costco is hiring, you may get called after one day, a month, or never. Since Costco is always hiring, you can always apply. However, this doesn’t mean there’s an opening for your application to get processed now, so you may not be called now.

Costco wholesale building

For most companies, you have to wait up to two weeks to hear back after submitting an application, but Costco is much quicker. To increase your chances of getting a call, you may want to go down to your local Costco and try to speak to the front end manager. Tell them you’ve applied and that you’re looking for a job. Give a few copies of your resume if you can. They’ll call you when there’s an opening.

How long does it take for Costco to call you for orientation?

Takes about a week or so between having your last interview and getting called for your orientation. They need to process all the tests and background checks and organize the orientation. The time it takes to get a call after an interview may vary during the busy season.

How do I check the status of my Costco application?

You can check the status of your application by calling Costco Human Resources at 1-800-284-4882. However, it’s generally not recommended to call to check the status of your application. Instead, go to your local Costco, speak to the manager and tell them you’re looking for a job. Get yourself known.

Costco is always accepting applications, even when they’re not hiring, which means that your resume will remain with these managers so they can pull up your application when they need to hire.

How far back does Costco background check go?

Costco background checks usually go about 10 years back, and they check your driving records, criminal history, education verification, and several other things.

How long does the background check take at Costco?

The background check at Costco usually takes about 3 to 5 days to clear but can last up to 2 weeks during the busy season. Once the background check clears, you’re hired.

After that, all you need is to start working and try to settle down into your new job.

Costco Interview Process

Costco does 3 interviews total, but they combine the first two interviews because there are usually two separate interviewers, so you end up being interviewed only two times. The 3rd interview (2nd time) is with a GM or AGM, which can decide to hire you.

The interviews are fairly rigorous for the level of work you’re required to do, so you should probably prepare a bit using the interview questions below.

How do I pass a Costco interview?

You can pass a Costco interview by practicing how to answer the typical Costco interview questions:

  • Why do you want to work at Costco?

Don’t say “I just need a job”, “I see as a step to bigger things”, or “I’ve heard Costco offers good pay and benefits”. 

Instead, flip this question and think in terms of “Why am I good for this company?” Think about what knowledge and experience you have that will benefit the company right now, and tell them. Mention how in the past job you met and exceeded your employers’ expectations. Tell them how you will complement the company’s culture, and how well you will fit in.

Think in terms of “Why am I good for this company?”

  • What do you know about Costco?

Do some research on the company, so that you can answer in a few sentences to show them you have the basic idea about what Costco is. Read on how they operate in your area. Read about the upper management and say something about how inspiring the Costco philosophy is regarding their ethics or the way the company works.

  • How well do you work in a team? 

It’s all about teamwork at Costco, so you’ll want to come across as someone who has experience in working in a team. Tell them about a time when you worked successfully in a team, and you achieved something great, or you solved a problem.

  • What hours can you work?

Start by being honest, and tell them the times you can work. Show them that you are flexible and if you can work weekends, late shifts, and holidays. This is all a plus because you’re solving their problems and you haven’t even started working there. You need to show that you’re reliable, and can help when the help is needed.

  • Tell me about how you dealt with a difficult or an angry customer in a prior job.

You may want to start this off by telling them you’ll be ‘de-escalating’ the problem, which means that instead of frustrating the customer you’ll be keeping your composure and calming them down, and then you’ll go above and beyond to solve the problem they’re having. If you can, mention a short story on a previous job where a similar situation occurred.

  • What do you consider proper customer service?

There are many ways to answer this, and several key concepts you should know. Tell the interviewer that it’s all about keeping a positive attitude, always remaining in control of yourself and the situation, and also focusing on solving problems. Check this blog post on delivering great customer service.

  • What did you do that time you were really stuck on a project and needed help?

This is something you can only answer from your own experience. Be sure to mention how you worked well with others (teamwork). If you were a manager, then tell them how you delegated responsibilities to others, and how you persevered and continued to solve the problem with your team, until you guys solved it.

In general, be ethical, and sell yourself as a very loyal employee. You’ll need to prove to them why you’re a good fit for the role, and emphasize loyalty, work ethic, and willingness to work.

The first interview at Costco usually lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

Here’s a video on how to prepare for Costco interview questions:

What happens at a 2nd interview at Costco?

At the 2nd interview, you’ll either get told you’re hired, or you’ll be asked very similar questions to ones in the 1st round, often relating to your experience. For example, they may ask you questions like “Why do you want to work for us?”, or “What does the word “ethical” mean to you?”.

The first question we explained above, and for the 2nd one you could say something like: “The word ethical means respect towards both my coworkers and customers and being honest towards the company. Ethical is the culture at Costco, which I admire.” 

It may be useful to learn the Costco Mission Statement (Code of Ethics) and think about your experiences relating to this job position. Tell them how you admire the culture, that you like how Costco takes care of people, that they always do the right thing, and how you’ll fit right into that culture.

The 2nd interview at Costco should last anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour, and it can take place the same day as the first one.

Does Costco drug test?

Costco drug tests if you appear a good candidate for the job. They may give you a drug test during the first interview to expedite the hiring process, or afterward. You’ll have to do either saliva or urine test, depending on the state you’re in.