How to apply for a job at Harbor Freight

Last updated: April 21, 2024
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How to apply for a job at Harbor Freight
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If you’re someone who enjoys the world of DIY and hardware, then Harbor Freight might be your ideal employer.

With many different job opportunities to choose from, including retail and corporate positions, there’s something for everyone.

But what’s it like working at Harbor Freight? What careers are available? And how does the application and interview process work?

This article will dive deep into the application process at Harbor Freight. We’ll cover background checks, interview questions, and what to expect when working at Harbor Freight so that you can land the job you want without a hitch.

What is Harbor Freight?

Harbor Freight Tools, also called Harbor Freight, is a well-known discount tool and equipment retailer. It offers several different hand and power tools, including saws, drills, and jacks.

With over 1,300 stores, Harbor Freight is extremely popular. In the U.S., 68% of people know of Harbor Freight as a DIY hardware provider.

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The company has around 25,000 employees with many positions — all the way from entry-level to management.

Some of the most popular Harbor Freight locations include:

  • Calabasas, California

  • Los Angeles, California

  • Austin, Texas

  • Dillon, South Carolina

  • Florence, South Carolina

  • Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Camarillo, California

  • Houston, Texas

  • Longview, Texas

  • Johnson City, Tennessee

It has hundreds of other locations as well. So chances are good that you’ll find a store in — or, at least, close to — your area.

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What types of careers does Harbor Freight offer?

Harbor Freight offers a wide range of career opportunities for people with different interests, qualifications, skills, and experience.

The company has entry-level positions, mid-career positions, and experienced positions — all of which require different skills and education levels.

Harbor Freight careers fall into four major categories:

  • Retail: In-store positions, such as sales associates, stockers, cashiers, and store managers.

  • Remote: Positions employees can work in from the comfort of their homes. Some Harbor Freight employees get the option to work virtually after they’ve been with the company for a while.

  • Distribution center: Positions in Harbor Freight’s warehouses and distribution centers, such as warehouse associates, inventory controllers, and operations managers.

  • Corporate: Positions that take place mainly in the office, such as human resource coordinators, financial planners, product developers, and marketing coordinators.

Learn more about the different careers Harbor Freight offers. Interested in working remotely? Discover the top benefits of remote work.

What to expect when working at Harbor Freight

Harbor Freight offers many benefits to its employees. Some of the most notable are:

  • Vision and dental insurance

  • Paid time off

  • Life insurance

  • Company matched 401(k)

  • Employee Assistance Program

  • Accident, critical illness, and hospital indemnity

  • Family-building program

Many online reviews from Harbor Freight employees suggest that the company has great management and friendly workers. As such, the company is considered a good place to work.

Harbor Freight application process

Applying for a job at Harbor Freight is straightforward. Follow these steps to apply:

Step 1: Visit a job page

You can start by heading over to Harbor Freight’s main employment page or Jobcase’s job board.

If you’re using Harbor Freight’s employment page, you can simply enter the position you’re looking for and your location into the search bar. You can search for either a specific position, such as “sales associate,” or a position you’re interested in from one of the four main categories mentioned earlier: retail, remote, distribution center, or corporate.

Alternatively, if you’re using Jobcase’s job board, you can type “Harbor Freight” into the search bar and enter the location of your choice.

Step 2: Find a position

Next, you can scroll through the available job listings and find a position that suits your needs, experience level, and skills.

Be sure to read through the job description carefully to confirm that you have all the skills required for the position.

Many entry-level positions require a high school diploma or equivalent, while management positions often require a bachelor’s degree or several years of experience in the field.

Each position requires different skills. Some of the most common skills that you’ll come across are:

  • Customer service: All Harbor Freight employees (but especially those working in retail) need to have excellent customer service skills. These skills include the ability to communicate, listen, work as a team, and show empathy.

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  • Collaboration: Harbor Freight employees need to be able to work well with others. Without teamwork, processes will fall flat, and operations won’t be able to run smoothly. Thus, if you have experience working in team settings, make that clear on your resume.

  • Organizational skills: Employees need to be able to prioritize tasks to make sure everything gets done on time. This is especially important for management and leadership positions since they have to manage multiple tasks at a time.

Step 3: Create an account

Once you find a position that’s perfect for you, you can apply. To do this, both Harbor Freight and Jobcase will require you to create accounts.

Here’s how you can create an account on each of these platforms:

  • Harbor Freight: Once you’ve found a position, go to the bottom of the description page and click the green “apply to job” button. You can sign up from there by clicking “don’t have an account yet.” This will take you to a page where you must fill in your information, including your email address, your password, and a security question.

  • Jobcase: Once you’re on Jobcase’s job board, click the orange “join” button in the upper-right corner of the page. From there, you’ll be taken to the sign-up page, where you can fill in your name, surname, email address, and password.

Step 4: Apply for the position

Once you’ve created a profile, you can go ahead and apply for the position.

The job application consists of three main sections:

  • Personal information

  • Educational history

  • Work experience

You’ll need to submit your resume alongside your application.

Don’t have a resume yet, or have one that needs some work? Discover the top 15 resume tips to land a job.

Step 5: Check your application status

Applicants typically receive a callback from the hiring manager within one to two weeks of applying.

If you don’t receive a call, you can follow up on your application status by calling them yourself, sending an email, or visiting the store.

Harbor Freight background check

Harbor Freight is an equal opportunity employer and believes in giving all candidates a fair chance.

The hiring team at Harbor Freight will check your background thoroughly, regardless of the position you applied for. This check will cover traditional hiring information, such as your previous employment history, and criminal record.

Harbor Freight does hire people with prior convictions for some positions. However, whether the candidate is hired will depend on the severity of the crime.

Harbor Freight interview process

The interview process at Harbor Freight takes less than a week most of the time. However, it can also take up to a month for some positions — depending on the number of candidates and the background check timeframe.

Most employees undergo an on-site interview. Some may also receive a screening phone call beforehand.

Tips for passing the interview

Here are some of the top tips you can follow to ace your interview:

1. Dress appropriately

Make sure you dress professionally for your interview. Harbor Freight recommends that you wear business casual attire.

For example, you could choose to wear:

  • A knee-length or maxi dress with a pair of pumps

  • A button-down shirt with chinos and closed-toe shoes

  • Slacks or business dress pants

  • Simple but professional accessories, such as a watch, scarf, or belt

You should avoid wearing:

  • Shorts

  • Crop tops

  • Clothing with inappropriate logos or text

  • Flip flops

  • Backless or low-cut tops

Learn more about what you should wear to a retail interview.

2. Research the company

Make sure you research Harbor Freight before your interview. Try to align your strengths with the following Harbor Freight core principles:

  • Community

  • Doing the right thing

  • Excellence in execution

  • Humility

  • Collaboration

  • Frugality

  • Continuous improvement

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These are the things that matter most to the company, and you can use them to highlight your own strengths during the interview.

For example, if you’re great at teamwork, mention a time when you worked extremely well in a group setting and what you achieved.

3. Ask questions

It’s a common misconception that asking questions during an interview may come across as rude or too forward.

On the contrary, asking questions during an interview shows the hiring manager that you’re really interested in the company and the job.

However, there are a few questions you should avoid. For instance:

  • Don’t ask about the position’s salary (unless the hiring manager mentions it first).

  • Don’t ask what the company does. This is something you should already know from your pre-interview research.

  • Don’t ask how many holidays you’ll have off and how much vacation time you’ll get. This could give the interviewer the impression that you’ll want to take leave often and that you’re more concerned about the time off than the job itself.

4. Be prepared

Prepare for common interview questions so that you’ll know how to answer anything the hiring team throws your way.

Common questions that Harbor Freight asks during its interviews include:

  • Have you operated a cash register before?

  • Tell us about yourself. What makes you a good fit?

  • Tell us when you worked in a team. What did you achieve together?

  • What’s your availability?

  • What does good customer service mean to you?

  • How would you handle an upset customer?

FAQs about working at Harbor Freight

How long does it take to get hired at Harbor Freight?

Once you’ve submitted your application, and if you’re a good candidate for the role, the Harbor Freight hiring team will be in touch with you within a week or two.

The length of the hiring process will depend on the position you’re applying for. For example, a person applying for a management position may need to wait longer than someone applying for another position, as there may be more rounds of interviews or supplementary tests.

What qualifications do I need to work at Harbor Freight?

The education requirements for jobs at Harbor Freight differ from position to position.

Some positions don’t require any college degrees or certifications, while others, such as management and executive positions, often require a college degree in a particular field as well as several years of experience.

What is training like at Harbor Freight?

Training varies from position to position. For some positions, it only takes a couple of days to complete. Other positions, such as leadership roles, may require more extensive training — often a few weeks or longer.

Apply for a job at Harbor Freight today

Whether you’re looking for an entry-level or more senior-level position in the DIY and hardware industry, chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for at Harbor Freight.

However, if you can’t find a position that suits your needs, experience, and qualifications, there are loads of other positions available at other companies.

Take a look at some other hardware companies and positions on Jobcase’s job board.

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