How to apply for a job at CVS (+Top tips to stand out from other candidates)

Last updated: February 28, 2024
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How to apply for a job at CVS (+Top tips to stand out from other candidates)
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Chances are, you’ve been to a CVS near you to fulfill your convenience, grocery, or pharmacy needs.

They’re a well-known chain with various employment opportunities at different levels. This means that if you’re looking for a job, CVS may have an opportunity in your area that suits your needs.

Landing the job doesn’t have to be intimidating.

In this article, we’ll detail the CVS application and interview process and reveal some tips and tricks to help you get the CVS job you want.

What is CVS?

CVS Health is a well-known pharmaceutical and retail establishment that aims to be a healthcare innovator and reinvent the pharmacy experience.

The company strives to help people navigate their healthcare by improving access to necessary products and lowering costs wherever possible.

In 2021, there were close to 10,000 CVS locations across all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Some of its most popular locations include:

  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island

  • Hartford, Connecticut

  • Boston, Massachusetts

  • New York, New York

  • Chicago, Illinois

  • Kansas City, Missouri

  • Providence, Rhode Island

  • Phoenix, Arizona

  • Dallas, Texas

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The company is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. It doesn’t discriminate based on race, gender, ethnicity, age, or disability in hiring and recruiting processes. Instead, it provides equal opportunities and is proud to have a diverse workforce.

CVS Health is a great place to start or continue your career as it offers advancement opportunities for many of its positions.

What is CVS’s hiring process?

When you apply for a job at a CVS near you, you can always expect to complete an application and go through an interview process before you’re officially hired.

Let’s walk through the five steps of the CVS hiring process.

Step 1: Search for a job

Searching for open CVS jobs is the first stage in the application process.

CVS typically has thousands of part-time and full-time open roles across the country at a time. You’ll be directed to an application when you find a role that suits your availability, skill set, and experience level.

How to find an open CVS job position depends on the site you’re searching on.

When looking for jobs using Jobcase, you’ll be automatically sent to the relevant online application when you click on the role you’re interested in.

Step 2: Fill out an application

You’ll need to create an account to complete a CVS application online.

Once you have an account with CVS, you can use it to apply to several different open roles throughout the company.

If you’re starting your CVS application on the CVS website, select the position you’d like to apply for and click the “Apply” button above the job description.

To create a CVS account, you’ll need basic information like your name, email, and phone number. You’ll also need to select a role that interests you.

Next, you’ll be directed to the relevant CVS job application, CVS pharmacy application, or CVS health application for health jobs, depending on the role you selected.

The application will take you about 30 minutes to complete. Let’s walk through the major sections.

First, you’ll need to upload a resume. Your resume should include any relevant work experience, skills, education, and references.

Here are helpful tips for creating a good resume:

  1. Keep your resume simple and related to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a pharmacist assistant job, don’t include tutoring experience, as it’s not relevant to the position.

  2. Use a resume template for guidance. Also, look at examples of related job applications to make sure yours is up to par.

  3. Highlight your most important hard skills so they stand out and make you a more desirable candidate.

  4. Proofread your resume multiple times to check for spelling or other errors. You can even ask a family member to double-check it for you.

  5. Keep your resume clear and concise, as this will make it easy to read and understand.

Even though it may also be listed on your resume, you’ll need to directly input your work experience and education into the CVS application form.

Pay close attention to the “responsibilities” section for each position you include in your work experience. This description will likely signal to CVS recruiters whether you’re a good candidate for the position.

Use the same descriptions CVS uses in the job listing to describe your experience.

For example, you might put “worked cash register” on your resume, whereas the job listing states “cashier experience.” Use the words “cashier experience” to avoid getting caught in resume filters and to clearly signal to CVS that you’re right for the role.

To make your resume even more impressive, use “power” words.

And, of course, list all relevant education. This section is for post-secondary education only — licenses and certifications come later.

If you qualify for veteran or disability status, you’ll need to let CVS know.

To qualify for a job at CVS, you’ll need to clearly state your availability and work status in the U.S. Be as generous as possible with your availability at this stage.

Employers tend to prefer employees who are willing to put in extra hours when necessary. This shows them you’re willing to do what it takes to succeed and help their business grow.

There’s a specific part of the CVS application to record different licenses or certifications that you may have. If you don’t have any, consider completing a free certification course online to show CVS that you’re serious about your skills.

Here are several free sales associate certifications that could be valuable when applying for a retail associate position.

At this stage, you’ll also have to provide more details about your education. Note that some positions may require you to complete a virtual job tryout.

Since CVS screens over one million job applicants every year, it must ensure that it remains fair in its hiring decisions.

A virtual job tryout helps CVS achieve this by giving job applicants several exercises where they can “try out” the job. In doing so, the company can learn about applicants’ job-related experience and skills.

Step 3: Review

Once you submit your application, CVS recruiters will review it to see if you’re a good fit.

How long it takes CVS to respond to an application depends on how many applicants have already applied for that role and how urgent it is for them to fill it.

You can check your application’s status by logging back into your account.

Step 4: Interview

If your application is accepted, you’ll be asked to take a phone interview or to come in for an in-person interview. Depending on the role, there may also be a follow-up video interview or a second in-person interview.

You need to prepare for the interview. Make sure you do your research about CVS so that you can answer any questions about the company the interviewer throws your way.

You can also prepare in advance for certain common interview questions (which we’ll look at in the next section). Practice your answers, and make sure you show your personality.

Here are some tips you can follow to ensure you make a great impression during your interview:

  • Adjust the tone you use to that of the company. Since CVS has a confident and caring tone, showcase your ability to be compassionate using the same tone.

  • Use the STAR method to answer questions about your skills and experience. This means your answers should describe the following:

  1. A particular situation in which you were required to perform a specific task

  2. How you handled that task

  3. What you learned from it

  • Arrive early for your interview. This will give the interviewer a great impression of you — it will show them you’re eager to work for the company. They may also believe that since you’re willing to show up early for an interview, you’ll be more likely to show up early for work.

  • Provide examples of projects from your previous positions so the interviewer can see your capabilities. Explain each project’s significance and how it affected the company. You can print this information into a presentable portfolio or send a link to the interviewer if the work is only available online.

Step 5: Offer

Finally, if you pass the interview stage, you’ll be called and given an offer.

Check out what our Jobcase community has to say about the CVS hiring process.

What are potential interview questions at CVS?

The exact interview questions that you’ll be asked are up to the hiring manager, but this list includes 15 that have been reported by CVS applicants across several different job forums:

  1. Tell me about yourself.

  2. What do you know about CVS?

  3. Why do you want to work at CVS?

  4. What does excellent customer service mean to you?

  5. Do you like being around people?

  6. Tell me about a situation when you gave excellent customer service.

  7. How would you handle an upset customer?

  8. Do you prefer working on your own or in a group?

  9. How would your former boss describe you?

  10. What did you like least about your previous job?

  11. How do you handle work pressure?

  12. How do you handle workplace conflict?

  13. Tell me about your pharmacy experience.

  14. Are you planning to continue working as a pharmacist?

  15. What characteristics are necessary for a CVS employee?

CVS jobs and careers

CVS offers a wide range of career opportunities in different fields.

While CVS locations near you may have several open roles at once, most of CVS’s career options can be put into the following categories:

  • Warehouse: These jobs include picking products to fulfill orders, taking inventory, loading trailers, driving trucks, delivering, and more.

  • Customer care: These jobs typically include retail or pharmaceutical associates that help CVS customers and work with them directly on the sales floor.

  • Pharmacy technician: These jobs include supporting patients, helping to fill medications, supporting pharmacists, and more. Remote opportunities are also available.

  • Seasonal: These jobs are typically in larger quantities during the summer and holiday seasons when extra retail and customer service assistance is needed.

Some of the most popular jobs that typically have openings at CVS include the following:

  • Retail store associates: Also known as cashiers, retail store associates play a vital role within the CVS Health Family. They manage transactions, provide great customer service, and support store openings and closings. As a cashier, you may also be required to help maintain the sales floor by stocking shelves.

  • Beauty sales consultants: These professionals ensure that customers have an excellent beauty advisor experience. In addition to helping customers find the right beauty products for their needs, beauty sales consultants are required to encourage upsells and strive to develop long-lasting relationships. These professionals must be confident and great at storytelling to establish trust with customers.

  • Pharmacy technicians: Pharmacy techs are responsible for helping pharmacists safely prepare and distribute prescriptions, maintaining inventory, and keeping patient records. They are also required to provide customers with necessary healthcare information, such as directions for medication use.

  • Pharmacy managers: These workers oversee the pharmacy’s day-to-day operations. They manage pharmacy staff, create working schedules, dispense prescription medications, advise clients, and more. They also ensure compliance with all applicable regulations and laws.

  • Licensed nurses: Licensed nurses are responsible for monitoring patients’ vital signs, maintaining detailed health records, collecting blood or urine samples, and changing bandages. They also communicate health information and treatment plans to patients to ensure they follow the instructions properly.

  • Shift supervisor management trainees: These trainees work with store management to assign, direct, and follow up on all activities necessary to run the store effectively. They also assist customers with questions, problems, and complaints. This entry-level position prepares employees for higher-level supervisory roles.

  • Operations managers: Operations managers oversee daily operational activities. Some of their duties include hiring and training employees, strategizing process improvements, and managing quality control. They need to ensure that all employees complete their duties efficiently and on schedule.

Does CVS have a background check policy?

CVS does have a background check policy where it conducts background checks for all applicants who are selected for an interview, or even those who weren’t selected but look qualified.

The company uses a third-party background check company to conduct these checks, which verifies all the information on the applicant’s resume and checks for criminal history.

The criminal background check will look for any felonies that the applicant has on their record, and CVS will consider the severity of the felony to determine whether the applicant is suited for the role.

Thus, all applicants are encouraged to be completely honest on their resumes.

What skills does CVS look for?

The types of skills CVS looks for depend on the position you’re applying for. For example, it’s crucial that pharmacists know medical terminology and have analytical skills, whereas it’s vital for retail shift supervisors to have excellent management skills.

If you want to learn more about the particular skills you need when applying for a specific position, read through the description before applying.

However, some of the general skills that the company looks for are:

Communication

They need effective communication skills to communicate with customers and fellow employees.

Some employees, such as customer service representatives, advertisers, and managers, will also need written communication skills since they’ll often need to communicate via email or social media platforms.

Customer service

CVS is highly focused on the happiness of its customers. As such, excellent customer service is a skill the company looks for in all its employees — regardless of their position.

Employees must help with customer queries and ensure they find the right products easily. If a customer has a query that the employee doesn’t have the answer to, they need to escalate it to the appropriate staff member.

Listening skills

Employees need to have great listening skills to effectively follow instructions from their managers so that all tasks are completed efficiently and on time. They also need listening skills to assist customers and help them solve any issues they may have.

Organizational skills

CVS employees will often need to take care of several tasks simultaneously. This means they need to have excellent organizational skills to prioritize and ensure that everything gets done on time.

This is especially important for employees in managerial or leadership positions, such as store managers, head pharmacists, etc.

Bilingualism

Since CVS serves customers who speak languages other than English, they prefer employees who can speak more than one language for some jobs. When browsing CVS job openings, you might notice positions that are aimed specifically at bilingual applicants.

So if you can speak multiple languages, highlight this skill on your resume, as it will give you an edge over other candidates.

Teamwork

CVS prides itself on providing exceptional customer care. This means that customers need to have a great experience at every touchpoint throughout their journey. For this to be possible, employees need to work together.

Employees need to be able to communicate with their co-workers to provide them with accurate information. They should also be able to collaborate to find the best possible solutions to customers’ problems.

7 tips for applying for a job at CVS

These tips and tricks will help you land the job at CVS that currently interests you the most.

Tip 1: Read over the job description

Before applying for a position, ensure you have all the skills and experience the employer seeks. If you have all the requirements, tailor your resume by adding professional experience and relevant skills to the job.

Your resume will stand out by clearly expressing how your skills, knowledge, and experience can help the employer achieve more success in their business.

Tip 2: Look professional

Use a professional email address and name when applying for a CVS position online. This will show the employer that you’re serious about the position.

If you get called in for an interview, remember to dress professionally. When interviewing for management positions, you should dress in executive casual. For other positions, business casual clothing will work.

Tip 3: Tidy your social media profiles

If you’re applying for the job online, make sure your social media profiles convey a positive, professional image. Many employers will look at applicants’ social media profiles to verify claims on their applications.

Check your privacy settings to make sure employers can’t access any personal information you’d rather they didn’t see.

Tip 4: Be flexible with hours

CVS hours of operation aren’t 9-to-5 jobs, and in many cases, nights, weekends, and holiday work is required. The more flexible job seekers are with their availability, the better.

Tip 5: Be charismatic

Especially for retail roles, CVS is looking for people who’ll be good customer service representatives. Be prepared to discuss what good customer service means to you.

Showcase your interpersonal skills and make sure that the employer knows you have what it takes to help them achieve higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Tip 6: Have references ready

A strong reference will put you ahead of other applicants. Former bosses or colleagues are best, but a friend or family member works if you’re just starting out.

Tip 7: Bring a resume

Print a copy to give to your hiring manager, and be prepared to answer questions about your professional background.

FAQ about applying at CVS

How long do CVS applications take?

The hiring and application process at CVS takes about one to five weeks. That being said, some positions require more comprehensive processes and checks.

For example, pharmacists and nurses may wait longer since the company must verify their qualifications, experience, and skill sets to ensure that customers are in the best hands.

Is it hard to get a job at CVS?

It’s not uniquely challenging to get a job at CVS. Since the company has multiple positions to choose from, chances are good that you’ll find a position you’re qualified for. The hiring process is also simple and relatively quick — usually only consisting of two interviews.

If you make sure that your resume stands out and that you have all the necessary skills for the position you’re applying for, you should have a good chance of landing a job at CVS.

How long is a CVS interview?

In-person interviews at CVS usually last between 20–30 minutes. Since the company prides itself on having a fair evaluation process, it tries to make interviews as simple and straightforward as possible — and usually avoids asking trick questions.

CVS has many open roles that might be right for you

Getting a job at CVS is possible with the tips and tricks we discussed today.

If you’re interested in one of the many job opportunities available at a CVS near you, check out current job openings on the Jobcase job search.

Interested in working in retail? Take a look at the nine highest-paying retail jobs to consider.

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