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How to Get a Job at A Grocery Store?

By Ferdi Vol
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Grocery stores are a great place to work if you’re looking for a part time job or having hard time finding any other. A lot of people are interested in these jobs, as it doesn’t require any previous experience and there is not even an age limit. Sadly, they do not know how to apply for it; or what to expect at the interview.

All you need to do to land a job at a grocery store is to apply properly and leave a good impression on your interview. Try to show a positive personality as they are more likely to hire an enthusiastic applicant over a gloomy one.

Now I’ll explain the details that you probably should know. Everything from all the different kinds of work there is, to what you should do at the interview. I hope after reading this, you'll know everything you need about how to get a job at a grocery store.

Available Positions at a Grocery Store

What a lot of people do not know is that Cashier isn’t the only job at a grocery store; especially, if it’s a chain shop or a large shop. Even the smaller grocery stores have different positions available depending on the number of customers they get.

A Grocery store usually has the following structure.

  • The General Manager
  • Assistant Manager
  • Produce Handler
  • Clerks

Most of the medium to large grocery stores would have a structure similar to this.

The clerks are separated into positions that we are all more or less familiar with.

They are divided into the following categories:

  • Cashier
  • Packaging/Wrapping Staff
  • Restock Staff
  • Janitorial Staff

The number of positions and their functions can vary greatly depending on the location of the store, how much customer flow it has, and most importantly, the size of the store itself.

For instance, smaller grocery stores might expect the cashier to do the bagging as well, especially if the store has a slower customer flow. But most standard stores do not do that these days.

Here are some things you need to know about these roles.

Cashier:

Cashier’s job usually involved ringing up customers steadily throughout the day. They need to be quick at working the register and be good at counting changes. But most importantly, they need to be calm when under pressure.

Cashiers act as the face of a store, as most people will see them while coming in and going out. And they are the only employee who is guaranteed to interact with a customer if they buy something.

When selecting candidates for a cashier’s post, your employer will check if you can stay calm or not. That is the most important aspect of being a cashier. You have to interact with a lot of customers, and sometimes customers can be unpredictable, and in those cases, it’s more important to have someone with a cool head.

Wrapping/ Packaging Staff:

Packaging and wrapping people’s items is an easy enough job, but doing it right takes practice. You have to also coordinate with the cashier so that you don’t finish too late or too early.

Restock Staff:

Restock staff walks around filling the shelves of the isles and pulls items out from the back to put them on display after a customer takes something. The store might also expect them to organize carts and other miscellaneous things from time to time.

Janitorial Staff:

Some stores may have a separate position for the janitorial staff, or they might expect everyone to pitch in and keep the place clean, or if they are a chain store, they might even hire a different company to oversee the cleaning. So it depends on the situation.

How to Apply at a Grocery Store

These days everything has been digitized, so you can probably find an application form for the grocery store you want to apply for on the internet. But most stores still carry the paper forms with them.

All you have to do is go to the store and ask one of the clerks about the job, they will either tell you to see the manager for an application form. They might hand you one themselves.

Grocery stores usually check the submitted applications and select the ones with the most potential for a background check. After that comes the interview. The whole process may take a couple of weeks, or it might be much faster depending on how much work pressure they have or if a holiday season is near.

The Interview

The first thing about an interview is dressing properly, try to be professional but don’t overdo it. Wear a shirt but not a tie. Try to avoid open-toed shoes and jeans, and you should be fine.

It's a good idea to visit the store first before the interview to get a feel for the atmosphere. If all the employees are wearing casual clothes, then it’s probably a good idea that you don’t show up wearing full formal clothes.

A grocery store has the same kind of interview as most other job sectors. They will usually ask some generic questions about why you want this job or if you have any prior experience with it.

If you have previous experience, then that’s a good thing, but they will not hold it against you if you don’t. Make sure you seem interested and optimistic about the job. No employer will hire people with too much gloom and negativity. That’s especially true for grocery stores, as they want people who can interact with customers in a friendly way.

They might ask you random questions about unexpected topics. It is to see if you can handle unexpected situations calmly.

Skills That you Need for a Grocery Store Job

The greatest thing about grocery store jobs is that they don’t require any prior experience whatsoever. But that means you’ll probably end up being the packaging guy or the restock clerk at the start. When you start your journey at a grocery store you usually have to start at the bottom.

That said, you need some minimum requirements to apply for these jobs. They are not that hard as far as requirements go. Here’s the list:

  • Need to have a flexible schedule (usually involves working on holidays).
  • Strong enough to lift a standard amount of weight (usually a little more than 22 kg).
  • Needs to be able to work while walking (there are leeways if you have a medical condition).
  • You may need to work in wet or dry conditions.
  • You must be able to use basic tools, like tape, knife, etc.
  • You need to be able to move around a lot. Climb ladders if necessary.

This job has the possibility of exposing you to cleaning chemicals. That’s something to keep in mind.

These are the basic things you need to be able to do. But grocery store employers won’t be hiring you for these. Anyone can fill these requirements very quiet easily with a bit of training. Instead, what they look for is a positive attitude. Happy and positive people are much better at handling customers and dealing with unexpected situations calmly.

That’s more or less all you need to know about how to get a job at a grocery store. If everything goes well, your new employer will contact you about a week after the interview. There are a lot of people applying for these posts, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t succeed on your first try.

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About the Grocery Store Academy
The Grocery Store Academy is a blog about everything that has to do with grocery stores. This is your #1 spot to find the right information for your needs.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has worked several years in a grocery store and has a passion for good food. He's happy to share his passion with you!
About Ferdi Vol
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