How to Get Hired at Costco: Insider Tips & Tricks

Securing a position at Costco may seem daunting, but with the right strategy and approach, it’s definitely possible. The hiring process typically involves 2-3 interviews, and positions may not always be available.

To increase your chances, one of the best ways to stand out is by visiting your local Costco and introducing yourself to the front end manager, expressing your interest in the job and willingness to be interviewed when they are looking for help.

Costco values employees with strong customer service skills and retail experience, particularly those with backgrounds in McDonald’s or Home Depot. Most new hires begin as stockers, cart crew, or front end assistants, and the company promotes from within, providing ample opportunities for growth and advancement.

How to Get a Job at Costco?

Costco wholesale building entrance

Taking a multi-faceted approach is important to increase your chances of getting hired at Costco. Start by applying online, then visit your local Costco at a non-peak time (weekday mornings) to speak with the manager and express your interest in working at Costco.

Tell the manager how you’ve applied online and that you would want to work at Costco. If you have something to show, bring multiple copies of your resume so they will go to different department managers.

Another way to stand out during the hiring process is by highlighting your relevant experience and skills. Be sure to emphasize your customer service experience and any experience in retail or merchandising. Also, having a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and willingness to learn will make you a more attractive candidate.

Seasonal positions are often a great way to get your foot in the door at Costco, so inquire about any available seasonal positions. Remember to be persistent and friendly, and ask about Costco jobs and positions they usually hire for.

This shows your motivation and eagerness for the job. Additionally, it’s important to note that Costco always accepts applications, so don’t hesitate to apply.

Check out these useful articles on getting hired at Target and getting a job at Walmart.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job at Costco?

Getting a job at Costco can be challenging, as the company is known for its strict hiring process and high standards for employees. The process involves multiple interviews, and positions may not always be available.

However, with the right approach and strategy, you can increase your chances of getting hired. Some tips include visiting your local Costco, speaking with the manager, highlighting your relevant experience and skills during the interview, and being persistent and friendly.

It’s also important to note that Costco does not have specific “hiring periods” like April and May, and they accept applications all the time, so there is no specific time that is better to apply.

Requirements to work at Costco

Here are some key requirements for getting a job at Costco:

  • Employment eligibility: You must be legally able to work in the country and have the necessary paperwork, such as a valid ID and social security number.
  • Clear criminal record: Costco conducts background checks and does not hire individuals with serious legal offenses.
  • Interview process: You must pass multiple interviews to be considered for a job at Costco.
  • Educational qualifications: A GED is not required for most jobs but is preferred.
  • Customer service skills and teamwork: Costco values employees who can work well in a team and have strong customer service skills.
  • Flexibility: Costco is a fast-paced environment, and employees are expected to be able to help wherever the pressure points are and adapt to different roles and tasks.

It’s also important to note that Costco is a team-oriented company that places a strong emphasis on working together and supporting one another, so be prepared to share examples of how you have worked well in a team in the past and how you plan to contribute to the team dynamic at Costco.

What Is the Hiring Process for Costco?

Costco’s hiring process consists of several steps:

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 for the summer season, so this may be the best time to apply.

After the initial screening, Costco will contact qualified candidates after the initial screening to scheduling an interview. Depending on the position and location, candidates may be interviewed by a human resources team member or the department manager.

Costco’s interview process typically consists of one or more in-person or video interviews. The number of interviews and the type of questions asked will depend on the position and location. Candidates may be asked about their work experience, skills, availability, and fit with Costco’s culture and values.

If a candidate is selected to move forward in the hiring process, they will be asked to undergo a background check and drug test. This is typically done after an offer of employment is extended.

After successfully passing the background check and drug test, candidates will be given an orientation and start their new job.

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 your answers. Costco job applications can always be submitted because they’re always accepting them.

You should apply for any job option on the app to get the most chances. After a few days, you’ll get a call after a few days to schedule a face-to-face interview if they’re hiring. 

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 any time soon.

Costco wholesale building

For most companies, you must wait up to two weeks to hear back after applying, 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.

Costco Interview Process

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

Costco’s interview process typically includes an initial phone interview, followed by an in-person interview at the store where the job opening is located. Depending on the position for which you are applying, you may also be asked to complete a pre-employment assessment or participate in a group interview.

How do I pass a Costco interview?

Here are some tips on how to pass a Costco interview:

Research the company. Before the interview, research Costco’s values, mission, and products to demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the company.

Prepare for common interview questions. Review and practice common interview questions, such as “Why do you want to work for Costco?”, “Can you tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult customer?” and “What is your availability like?”

Emphasize customer service skills. Costco highly emphasizes excellent customer service. Be prepared to discuss specific examples of how you have provided great customer service in the past.

Be punctual and presentable. Show up to the interview on time and dress professionally. A good first impression can make a big difference.

Highlight your relevant experience. If you have previous retail or customer service experience, highlight it and explain how it has prepared you for the role you are applying for.

Be enthusiastic. Show your enthusiasm for the company, position, and the opportunity to work with a great team.

Follow-up. After the interview, send a thank-you note to the interviewer. It’s a great way to remind them of your interest in the position and show enthusiasm.

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.

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

What to keep in mind for Costco Interview?

Remember that Costco is a team-oriented company that strongly emphasizes working together and supporting one another. Be prepared to share examples of how you have worked well in a team in the past and how you plan to contribute to the team dynamic at Costco. Showing you can be a valuable team member will help you stand out in the hiring process.

It may be useful to learn the Costco Mission Statement (Code of Ethics) and consider 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.

What happens at the 2nd interview at Costco?

At the 2nd interview, you’ll either be told you’re hired or asked very similar questions to those 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?”.

For 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.” 

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.


How to tell if Costco is hiring and where to apply?

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

How Long Does It Take To Get Hired by Costco?

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

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

It takes about a week between having your last interview and getting called for your orientation. They must 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?

To check the status of your Costco application:

  1. Log in to your account on the Costco Careers website.
  2. Check your account dashboard for an update on your status.
  3. Contact Costco’s recruitment team if you don’t see any update at 1-800-284-4882
  4. Check your spam/junk folder for any communication.

How far back does Costco’s background check go?

Costco’s background check typically goes back 7 years. It is conducted by a third-party vendor and covers criminal history, education, and employment verification. However, the exact parameters of the background check may vary depending on the position and location.

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.

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. Depending on your state, you’ll have to do a saliva or urine test.

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of! 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!