How to apply for a job at Kroger: Complete guide

Last updated: May 20, 2024
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How to apply for a job at Kroger: Complete guide
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Kroger is one of the largest grocery store chains in the world, so there is an excellent chance that one near you is hiring. The company is nearly always hiring — and many people apply for a job at Kroger because the company is known for an outstanding benefits package, competitive pay, and a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know before you apply for a job at Kroger. You’ll see why Kroger is a great employer, the types of positions available, and tips on how to stand out as a candidate and increase your odds of landing the job.

Why apply for a job at Kroger?

Kroger is the fourth-largest grocery chain in the United States by revenue. Only Walmart, Amazon, and Costco sell more groceries.

You may not necessarily have a “Kroger” grocery store in your area, but chances are you have a store that’s operated by Kroger. Kroger has nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states, which operate under the following names:

  • Baker’s

  • City Market

  • Dillons

  • Food 4 Less

  • Foods Co

  • Fred Meyer

  • Fry’s

  • Gerbes

  • Harris Teeter

  • King Soopers

  • Jay C Food Store

  • Kroger

  • Pay-Less Supermarkets

  • QFC

  • Ralphs

  • Smith’s Food and Drug

As you might expect from a company that operates several thousand stores, Kroger employs a lot of people: As of 2022, Kroger had around 430,000 employees on the payroll.

And Kroger employees enjoy solid pay and great benefits, including a retirement plan, sick leave, and health insurance. Kroger employees also get associate discounts when shopping at Kroger brand stores, as well as plenty of opportunities for career advancement.

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Of course, compensation and employee benefits will vary depending on your job title, work experience, and location. But some of the perks and benefits you may receive include the following:

Competitive wage

There are different estimates for average wages at Kroger. Third-party website PayScale lists the average wage for Kroger workers in the U.S. as $13.09 per hour. Kroger itself lists the average pay as $17 per hour.

For context, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, while state-level minimum wages can reach up to $15 or more per hour.

There are career development programs and promotions available to help you boost this amount as well. Kroger does a good job of hiring and promoting from within, meaning checkout associates can potentially work their way up into management positions (which come with higher pay and more benefits).

Health and wellness

Health and wellness benefits include health and dental insurance. Healthcare perks like free flu shots and well-child visits feature as a part of Kroger’s preventative care and wellness programs.

Kroger health insurance benefits are also offered to the family members of associates in many cases. Given the high cost of health insurance in America, this can be a big perk.

Retirement benefits

Want to prepare for the future? Kroger offers support with 401(k) retirement plans. Some of your pre-tax income can be put away for your senior years, and the company will match a portion of your savings. Some positions may also be eligible for pensions.

Financial benefits

Budgeting and managing money can be overwhelming. To make it easier, Kroger has a range of financial planning tools for its employees.

Associate discounts

There are employee discounts at Kroger. These can be used on household items and Kroger’s Our Brands products across all locations.

Employees can also access a variety of deals throughout the year, providing them with additional savings.

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Emotional wellness

Free counseling sessions and other resources are available for employees to support their emotional wellness while navigating life’s challenges. This is not a commonly offered employee benefit, so it’s great to see Kroger investing in their employees’ emotional wellbeing.

Ongoing education

Kroger supports lifelong learning with programs to help employees further their education, both professionally and personally.

They offer support and funding for everything from GEDs to Ph.D. degrees. Up to $21,000 in educational funding is available for associates pursuing degrees and lifelong learning opportunities.

Growth opportunities

There are several tracks for career development and growth at Kroger.

Employees can access formal learning programs, get training on the job, and have support through a personalized development plan. Kroger has filled many leadership and management positions by hiring from within, helping entry-level associates work their way up to higher-paying careers.

What jobs are available at Kroger?

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The Kroger human resources team is consistently looking to fill employment opportunities. There are locations across the country, and jobs can be part-time, full-time, or seasonal. Some of the most common Kroger jobs are listed below.

Kroger retail clerk

A retail clerk position is the most common Kroger career available. The term “retail clerk” is a broad job description that covers the following job types:

  • Cashier

  • Bagger

  • E-commerce clerk

  • Grocery clerk

  • Produce clerk

And many more, depending on location.

A retail clerk’s job could include any of the following responsibilities:

  • Checking out customers

  • Bagging groceries

  • Stocking shelves

  • Building displays

  • Gathering products to fulfill online orders

  • Serving any additional customer needs in the store

Retail clerk positions are offered both full-time and part-time, with some overnight shifts available.

The average hourly wage for a retail clerk at Kroger is $11.75.

Courtesy clerk

A courtesy clerk is similar to a retail clerk but focuses more on helping customers and providing them with the best in-store experience possible.

Here’s what the job involves:

  • Greeting and welcoming customers

  • Bagging groceries

  • Ensuring checkouts never run out of bags

  • Helping customers with their shop:

  • Putting items in their cart

  • Helping customers find the items they want

  • Taking their cart to the checkout

  • Taking their items to their vehicle after purchase

  • Checking out customers during busy periods

  • Cleaning the shop floor

  • Restocking shelves

The average rate for a courtesy clerk position is $10.33 an hour and can increase over time based on performance and time with the company.

Department manager

Department managers are tasked with running certain departments of the store. For instance, a grocery store might have a deli manager who is responsible for running the deli and prepared food departments.

Department manager roles may involve the following duties:

  • Overseeing daily operations in their department

  • Scheduling workers

  • Setting prices through managers’ specials

  • Managing the supply chain to keep items stocked

  • Handling customer complaints

Department manager roles vary depending on the specific department.

Kroger department manager roles pay around $19.47 per hour, on average.

Assistant manager

The assistant manager is second in command to the store manager. They help the store manager oversee different departments in the store and fill in for the manager when they’re not around.

The role helps manage the day-to-day running of the store, making sure that sales and profits are on track to reach targets.

Here’s what some of the job involves:

  • Merchandising

  • Managing order guides

  • Delegating tasks on the shop floor

  • Scheduling day-to-day work

  • Customer service (particularly dealing with customer queries or complaints)

  • Managing employees

A Bachelor’s degree isn’t essential for this position, but some managerial experience is preferred.

Kroger’s assistant manager roles typically pay around $59,853 per year (roughly $30 an hour) based on experience.

Store manager

The store manager is in charge of all day-to-day operations in the store. Working with the assistant manager, they’re responsible for making sure their store hits their sales target.

As a result, they need to be creative and innovative with ways they can increase sales and improve the buyer experience.

Take a look at what else the store manager is responsible for:

  • Hiring new employees

  • Training and development for employees

  • Delegating work

  • Supervising entry-level employees

  • Exceptional customer service (particularly dealing with customer queries or complaints)

  • Administration

  • Disciplinary action when required

  • Identifying areas of sales growth

  • Ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, and division policies

The minimum requirements for this role include a high-school diploma, three years of experience in an assistant manager role, and successful completion of the Division’s Management Training Program.

A Bachelor’s degree is desirable but not required.

The average salary for a store manager is $75,672 per year, but it can vary based on previous education and experience.

Pharmacy technician

Many Kroger locations include pharmacies. At those locations, Kroger directly hires pharmacy technicians to help with activities in the pharmacy department.

These activities might include:

  • Preparing prescriptions

  • Receiving refill requests over the phone

  • Obtaining health information

  • Performing computer data entry

  • Ordering medications and processing received orders

Kroger clinical pharmacy technicians can apply for both full-time or part-time roles during daytime and evening shifts. You must be 18 years of age to apply.

On average, Payscale reports an hourly salary of $12.98 per hour.

Customer service delivery driver

To transport groceries, Kroger employs customer service delivery drivers to deliver customer orders directly to homes.

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Responsibilities include the following:

  • Driving a company delivery vehicle

  • Showcasing safe, efficient driving behavior

  • Following Kroger’s driving standards

You can apply for both full-time and part-time positions, and you must be 21 years of age to apply.

The average Kroger delivery driver wage is $15 per hour.

Warehouse technician trainee

Warehouse technician trainees are part of Kroger’s team of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. They work in a highly automated distribution center to support Kroger’s store pharmacies.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Preparing orders for pharmacist review

  • Packaging

  • Shipping

  • Managing inventory control

Warehouse technicians can work part-time or full-time shifts. You must be 18 years of age to apply.

Wages for warehouse employees at Kroger average around $13.02 per hour.

Call center representative

Kroger call center representatives can work in a call center environment or remotely from home. They answer customer queries over the phone and online.

Some of their daily job duties include:

  • Answering phones

  • Making phone calls

  • Typing notes

  • Responding to emails

  • Responding to online queries

  • Providing outstanding customer service

The average hourly wage for a call center representative in the U.S. is $15.80, while the average Kroger customer associate earns $11.49 per hour.

Administrative assistant

Administrative assistants work for Kroger’s corporate departments. This is an office job, and you’ll need collaborative skills and computer skills.

This role can be part-time, full-time, or temporary.

What’s involved in the job? Here’s a rundown:

  • Answering phones

  • Supporting the office team

  • Maintaining records

  • Entering data

  • Typing documents

  • Working with confidentiality

  • Meeting deadlines

The average wage for these Kroger employees is $22.79 per hour. Experienced team members can make even more.

Maintenance mechanic

Maintenance mechanics work in Kroger distribution centers. They make sure all equipment is maintained and that the building is in working order.

Daily tasks include:

  • Repairing minor electrical faults

  • Performing preventative maintenance

  • Using carpentry and plumbing skills to make repairs

  • Communicating with members of the team

  • Keeping accurate records of any repair work

You’ll need to ‌have maintenance experience to work in this role. A high school diploma and driver’s license are also on the must-have list.

The average wage for these workers is $20.64 per hour.

How to apply for a job at Kroger

To apply for a role at Kroger, you’ll have to fill out a Kroger application.

How to apply for a role at Kroger differs depending on your preference. You can apply through Kroger’s online application form or a print-out application. It’s easiest to find Kroger jobs online to browse positions in your area.

The application process for an entry-level job is the same as the one used for store managers. Job seekers complete a Kroger job application for the job title of interest to begin the hiring process.

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Once the application is completed, you’ll be contacted by a Kroger representative if you are being considered. From there, you’ll go through an interview process, background check, and other routine procedures before getting hired.

How do you apply for Kroger in person?

If you choose to apply with the print-out application, you should deliver it directly to your preferred Kroger store location. You can obtain a hard copy directly from the store or print out an application online.

Filling out a hard copy application may speed up the process of your application review but might not be an available option for all positions. Check with the store to see whether they accept hard-copy applications.

If they do, make sure you update your resume and cover letter and hand these to the manager in an addressed envelope. Dress in business casual clothing when you do this, as you want to appear professional and show that you’re taking the application seriously.

How do you apply for Kroger jobs online?

You can apply on the Kroger website for any available positions. Alternatively, you can browse available Kroger jobs on Jobcase. Hint: In addition to searching for “Kroger,” you can search for the local affiliate name. For instance, you might search for “Fred Meyer” jobs or “Fry’s” jobs.

There are three steps for any online application:

  1. Search for positions

  2. Create a candidate profile (uploading your resume, cover letter, and any other supporting documentation)

  3. Submit your application

To complete the Kroger application, you’ll need to create a Kroger profile requiring an email and password. You only need to complete this profile once, and you can use that same profile to apply for multiple Kroger jobs. Kroger typically uses the same system for all applicants, regardless of which Kroger brand they’re applying to.

Once you’ve created a profile, you can submit online job applications.

To apply for a job online, you simply select ‘apply now’ on the job description page.

You’ll then be prompted to complete the online application, which involves the following:

  • Providing your personal information (all of this should automatically populate from your profile)

  • Uploading your resume and cover letter.

  • Answering specific questions about the job

Once you’ve applied, you’ll be able to check your application’s progress online, too.

11 tips for your online Kroger application

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Kroger’s online application, let’s take a look at some top tips to give you the best chance of success when submitting your application.

1. Keep your resume and cover letter brief but informative

The documents section requires you to provide a resume and cover letter, which we recommend uploading in PDF format. Make sure that the PDF looks good and uploads correctly. Check for any technical issues before submitting it.

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You can upload the following types of files and documents to your profile:

Your resume should include a summary, skills, education, work experience, and certification section. In your cover letter, explain why you want to work for Kroger and the skills you have, and express enthusiasm for the opportunity.

2. Include a letter of recommendation

Asking for a letter of recommendation from a former employer will put you ahead of other applications.

Reach out to a trusted former employer or colleague to write a stellar recommendation for you. Never assume a person will recommend you. It’s important to check with them first.

Also, make sure this person is someone you have worked with recently. Why? An employer from 10 years ago won’t be able to verify your current skills.

If the person isn’t comfortable writing a letter of recommendation, they may prefer to give a phone reference instead.

3. Include all relevant contact information in full

Choose an email address and phone number you regularly check. This is where Kroger will contact you to let you know if you got the job. Use a professional-sounding email address. Also, you may wish to re-record your voicemail message to make sure it sounds professional.

4. Include your most relevant work experience first

Most people list work experience chronologically. But if jobs further back in your experience are more relevant to the one you’re applying for, list them first.

The job description will give you clues about the skill sets and experience the hiring manager is looking for.

At the very least, you’ll need to list your job duties, dates worked, and company names. Make sure the details are accurate because they can be verified.

5. List all relevant education, even if incomplete

Be sure to include all your educational experience on your application. This is true even if your education is still in progress.

Include any free online courses or self-education as well.

6. Consider free online certifications to put your resume at the top of the pile

Many organizations offer free online certifications for all types of roles, like this one for cashiers. Taking a free certification course relevant to the position you want will increase your chances of getting a job.

And, of course, if you have relevant certifications, like a license for driving a forklift, list those in full, too.

7. Get a referral who works at Kroger (if you can)

Kroger asks for general information, including your connections with Kroger, if any. If you know someone who works there already or who’s worked there in the past, ask them to formally refer you.

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A positive referral can improve your chances of getting a job.

Don’t have any connections with this employer? Check with those in your professional network. A sibling, friend, or co-worker may know someone at Kroger.

Remember, you can also ask managers and colleagues from past jobs to vouch for you.

8. Be generous with availability (within reason)

In some cases, stores are looking for coverage for specific hours, so be as generous as possible with the hours you’re willing to work.

Be honest when talking about availability. If you say you’re available at “any time,” the hiring manager will take you at your word. You may even be locked into specific shifts for a set period.

If you can work weekends or on short notice, this can improve your chances of getting the job. Some stores also have overtime available, so flexible availability can be beneficial.

9. Be honest about bad experiences in your past (while staying positive)

If you’ve been fired or had negative work experiences, explain why.

The hiring manager might even have experienced something similar themselves at one time or another. Include a description of what you’ve done ‌to improve your skills.

It’s important not to withhold information. Kroger will eventually call previous employers to check for accuracy. If the company finds out that you’ve withheld information, you may not get the job.

Here’s an example of the type of information you’ll need to provide about your previous employers.

10. Disclose any criminal history and outline the reparations for your actions

The most important thing to remember here is to be honest about your background upfront. If there is anything that may show up on a background check, talk about it during the job interview.

This is your chance to explain your situation in your own words. For example, if you have past drug convictions, you can talk about how you’ve since changed your life. Maybe you’ve been through rehabilitation, or the charges were many years ago. Kroger might be prepared to give you a second chance as long as the hiring manager feels that there’s no risk to customers and active associates.

11. Use resume keywords

These days, many employers, including Kroger, use automated tools to help comb through applications and resumes. These tools scan for relevant phrases and keywords that signal that the applicant has the right kind of job experience.

Using appropriate keywords in your resume can increase your odds of getting your resume through the automated system — which, in turn, improves your chances of getting hired.

The Kroger interview process

So let’s say you’ve sent your application in, and you’re invited for an interview.

Great! But what can you expect from the interview process, and how can you prepare for the interview?

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Let’s take a look at some common Kroger interview questions so you can have an idea of what to expect. We’ll also outline some top tips to prepare for the interview.

Common questions for Kroger interviews

Here are a few common interview questions that past applicants were asked during their interviews with Kroger:

  • What do you know about Kroger?

  • Why do you want to work at Kroger?

  • Tell us about yourself.

  • Define excellent customer service in a grocery-store setting.

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • A customer is upset. How would you handle it?

  • Tell us about a time when you’ve been unable to give the customer what they want, and what did you learn from it?

  • What did you like most about your current/former job?

  • Do you have any questions for us?

These are, of course, just example questions. Each interview will be structured a little differently. You may also be interviewed in person or virtually.

How to prepare for your Kroger interview

Here are some of our suggestions and tips on how to prepare for an interview with Kroger.

Understand the company

It’s good practice for any interview to make sure you have a solid understanding of the company you’re applying to.

Before your interview, spend some time researching the following:

  • The history of the company. For example, when were they founded? How has the company changed over time? Understand a bit about their background before the interview.

  • Their top competitors. Familiarize yourself with who Kroger is competing with. This will show the hiring manager that you’re aware of the marketplace and that you’re taking the job seriously.

  • Their goals for the future. What does the company want to achieve in the future? Do they have financial goals they want to hit? Do they want to reach a new target market? See if you can find out any information about this online before the interview.

  • Their morals and values. Companies want to hire people who respect and embody their company morals and values, so make sure you know what these are.

All of this research might seem a bit excessive, especially if you’re applying for an entry-level role. But it shows Kroger that you’re serious about the job and that you want to help the business grow and succeed.

It also gives you a good starting point for questions to ask (more on this later).

Summarize your previous experience in a few sentences

Chances are, you’ll need to summarize your experience in the interview. You want to give a clean, brief overview of your education and employment timeline.

To do this, it helps to have an outline memorized beforehand. This allows you to state your history without going off track and without taking up too much time.

So think about your timeline of work and education and create an outline to use in the interview. Prepare this beforehand, and you’ll be able to talk to the hiring manager about your background as clearly and concisely as possible.

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Know your strengths and weaknesses

It’s important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are so you can openly address them if the interviewer wants to know more about them.

When it comes to your strengths, make sure you can outline them clearly and show how they apply to the job.

For example, if you’re great at working in a team and you’re applying for the retail clerk position, this will help you collaborate with your peers and be more efficient in your day-to-day work.

You’ll also need to address your weaknesses and think about how you can twist a negative into a positive. For instance, let’s say you pay too much attention to detail.

Sure, this can be a weakness because it means you focus too much on one particular task. However, it means you’re thorough and precise with your work.

Check out this article to find out more about how to talk about weaknesses in an interview.

Have questions prepared

At the end of the interview, you might get asked if you have any questions. It’s good practice to always have questions prepared for when this time comes.

Why? Because it shows the interviewers that you’re interested in the job and the company.

Fortunately, if you’ve done your research about the company, you’ll have solid ground for asking questions. For example, you could ask about their goals for the future and how this will impact retail staff.

You could also ask specific questions about the role. For instance, what working hours will be required, or how much the hourly pay will be.

If you want some more inspiration, take a look at these top 15 interview tips to make a good impression and get hired.

Does Kroger do a drug test?

If you get a Kroger job offer, you may be asked to take a mandatory drug test. This isn’t a requirement for all positions and can depend on the individual store.

From the time of your job offer, you’ll have 24 hours to take the drug test. If you don’t, the offer may be withdrawn.

The most common test requires either a mouth swab or a urine sample. It’ll be sent to a third-party laboratory for testing, and any substances in your system will be flagged. If you fail the test, you won’t get the job.

There can also be random drug testing done in the workplace.

Does Kroger do a background check?

Yes, Kroger typically does a basic criminal background check on all applicants who proceed to the interview process. You may be asked to agree to a background check either before or after your interview. During this check, Kroger will check if you have a criminal record.

If you do have a record, that doesn’t mean you can’t get hired. It’s just one of the many things that Kroger considers when looking at applications.

How to choose a Kroger location to work at

There are essentially three jobs categories at Kroger: in-store jobs, warehouse jobs, and corporate jobs. Corporate jobs are typically in one of Kroger’s corporate hubs (most of which are near Cincinnati), while warehouse and in-store jobs are available all over the country.

You’ll want to choose a location that’s convenient for you. Remember, Kroger owns 20+ different grocery store chains, including Fry’s, Fred Meyer, and QFC.

Where to find a Kroger job

The simplest way to find Kroger jobs is to browse the Jobcase job board.

The Jobcase job board makes it easy to find great employment opportunities in your area. You can sort by location, job title, keyword, and more.

In addition to jobs at Kroger, Jobcase lists jobs with Kroger-affiliated companies and firms operating within Kroger stores. For instance, independent coffee shops owned by different companies often operate inside Kroger stores. You can find these jobs and much more right here at Jobcase.

Apply for a job at Kroger today

Now you know everything there is to know about how to apply for a job at Kroger. If you’re ready to apply for your new career, browse available Kroger jobs today and start applying!

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