Most potential employees of Home Depot apply online, through their easy to use web portal.
You can also apply in-store at an application kiosk. This might be preferable to some, as you get to meet some of the people you’ll be working with, and even do a store walk-through.
Minimum Age Requirement: All Home Depot employees must be at least 18 years old, unless given special permission by the state or a local Home Depot store.
Hours of Operation: Most stores are open 6 AM to 10 PM, Monday through Saturday, and 8 AM to 9 PM on Sunday.
Methods to Apply: You can apply online or in-store. The in-store application is a bit shorter than the online application, but could vary slightly from store to store.
When you apply online, you’ll have the opportunity to choose from several different service areas, including Retail, Supply Chain, Home Services, and Contact Center.
Since this guide is mainly for entry-level positions, we’ll be focusing on Retail exclusively, since all of the other positions require more experience.
With a retail job comes the need to be friendly, or at least the ability to fake it. This will be the source of most of the questions you’ll be asked, so make sure to emphasize any positive customer service experiences you’ve had.
If you’ve worked in retail before, make sure to bring that up if given a chance.
If you have back problems or are a smaller person and have trouble lifting heavy objects, make sure to check the job description and see if it requires you to lift a large amount of equipment. Most of these positions require you to be able to lift around 80 pounds on average.
Make sure to specify your desired schedule, because hourly employees (as all of these positions are) tend to have flexible hours, but only if you request it up front.
Keep in mind that you will be coming in at the bottom of the ladder, and you might not get the times that you want first thing.
Home Depot has set up a quiz that will help you “Find Your Fit,” which will show you what position they recommend you apply for. This is a wonderful tool to point you in the right direction, but it does point you to other options than strictly retail, so keep that in mind.
The application process also has a section where you can upload your resume, which is always helps your chances of getting the job.
If you do not have a resume, don’t worry. It’s not required, but it would be helpful.
Should You Follow Up?
Since you created an account with your email address, once you apply you will get an email from Home Depot telling you that your application has been completed and accepted. They will look it over and then contact you by phone to come in for an interview.
You can log onto the application site see what the status is, or you can search on the Store Locator to find the number for your local store and call the manager to see if they have received your application.
You should wait at least seven days before doing this.
Positions and Salary Information
As mentioned above, most of the positions at the retail level are customer service based. The other positions are either management level, or restocking jobs that require the usage of a forklift or the ability to lift heavy objects.
Sales: Work with customers to locate the products that they need and up-sell them to better items if possible. $12/hr.*
Customer Service: Help customers find the products they are looking for, walk them to various stations (such as the key cutting station), answer questions. $12/hr.
Lot Associates (Operations): Help load purchased items into customers’ vehicles, and keep the store clean. $11/hr.
Freight Associates (Operations): Work to stock merchandise and organize the sales floor. $11/hr.
Cashiers: Assist customers in using self-checkout, perform check-out of equipment. $10/hr.
Assistant Manager: Manage the employees, make sure that they are performing good customer service, maintain the stock.
Manager: Review reports from the Assistant Manager, implement policies to fix issues.
*Home Depot does not list their salaries on their website. These figures are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glassdoor.com and Payscale.com averages.
Best Entry-Level Positions
Home Depot pays well even at the entry-level, and focuses on keeping their employees happy so they can pass that happiness on to their customers. The entry-level positions are literally on the ground floor, walking the shop floor and dealing with customers.
These jobs go hand-in-hand at most Home Depots, and some stores combine them into one position.
Both these jobs focus on meeting the customers’ needs, taking them to the parts or items they are looking for, and providing several levels of those items for the customer to consider (copper, titanium, and steel sinks, for example).
This position has two aspects. If you work in a store with self-checkout kiosks, there is a cashier that monitors all self-checkout machines and assists in the process.
Or you can work as a standard cashier, checking out the items the customer brings to you, and finding someone to load them in the car for you.
Lot Associate (Operations)
Load the items into the customers’ car once they’ve purchased them, dispose of trash and other refuse left at the front of the store, and greet customers as they come in.
Freight Associate (Operations)
These employees work through the night stocking up the store’s items, making sure the store is clean, and organize the sales floor by setting up the marketing displays and restocking any sold-out parts.
Home Depot Careers in Management
Home Depot has two management positions, and they work to complement each other. The Assistant Manager and the Manager positions both work to keep the store running and the employees and customers happy.
The Assistant Manager works on the floor of the shop with the employees and occasionally helps with their jobs in order to better understand them. They listen to employee complaints and encourage employees to do the best job they can do.
The manager works with the Assistant Manager to implement new policies that help the employees work better for the customers. The Manager also deals with any major customer complaints, and reorganizes the store if some stock has not been used in a long time.
Some Home Depots will do the first interview over the phone, so it might be a good idea to add the number of your local Home Depot to your phone so you can recognize them when they call.
Focus on speaking clearly, and don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat themselves if the phone connection is having issues.
If you are asked to come in for your first interview, or once you’ve made it to your second interview, make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early, and to dress nicely. Don’t dress up too much, but make sure your clothes don’t have tears or holes in them.
If you are being interviewed by the Assistant Manager, it might not be a bad idea to ask them (if they have time, of course) to walk you around the store and show you where you would be working. You’ll get a sense of whether you really want to work in that store, and it makes you seem all the more interested.
If you’re a night owl, you might mention to the interviewer that you would feel comfortable working the night stocking shift.
Possible Interview Questions
Describe a Time You and Your Team Accomplished a Goal
This question is to determine how well you work with a team, so focus on a time when you led a group of friends, coworkers, or classmates to complete something.
These stories can be fun, and it can be a good opportunity to connect with your interviewer. If you ever led a class project, or were part of a sports team, you can use that story to answer this question.
Name a Time When You Had to Think Quickly on Your Feet
This is similar to the above request, but with a slight twist. Instead of leading a group of people, you are being asked to share a time when the situation demanded that you respond quickly and properly.
Don’t get too off-track in this story. Instead, focus on an event that happened, such as realizing you had a paper due yesterday, and how you solved that problem.
What Would You Do If a Customer Asked You About a Project You Knew Nothing About?
This will probably happen to you at some point in your time at Home Depot, as many customers come in looking for help on specific home improvement projects.
This is where your management and coworkers come in. The answer is simple: you would find someone for the customer who does know about the project.
Helpful Research for Your Home Depot Interview
Home Depot was founded in 1978 by four individuals who had a vision of an all-encompassing store for do-it-yourselfers.
They opened two stores at the same time in Atlanta, Georgia. They were focused on providing incredible customer service, not just about finding items in the store, but also how to perform repairs and certain home improvement projects.
This friendly and knowledgeable approach paid off, and in 1981, they went public with the store. Their 100th store opened in 1989, and they have been expanding their operations around the world.
They have stores in Canada, Mexico, and China, and are looking to expand even further.
Did You Know?
The founders of the store believed that the customer was not always right, but that they did have a “Bill of Rights,” which meant the customer was to be given access to the products they needed, when they needed them, and advice on how to use them.
They are the world’s largest home improvement retailer.
They have donated a significant amount of their profits to various charities, including their own Framing Hope Program.
They are working to reduce electricity usage in their stores by using more efficient lighting and turning off unnecessary lights and electrical devices.
What Employees Say About Working Here
Home Depot’s employees consistently talk about how the company cares about them. They get paid slightly higher than most service workers, and there are good opportunities for advancement.
They do mention that the hours can be long and the physical work sometimes grueling, and that unless you are a full-time worker, you don’t get many benefits.
There was also a general consensus that the customers at Home Depot were generally pretty nice, albeit sometimes rough around the edges. There were few mentions of having to deal with a rude or insulting customer.
One employee mentioned that there is a competitive bonus structure, which is true. Home Depot gives bonuses based on performance and sales in many cases.
For some employees, this was a definite positive, as it directly linked performance to reward. For others, it was too much pressure, and didn’t fit well with the generally friendly, non-competitive attitude that they felt existed in the rest of the store.
Overall, the biggest pro was the friendly and supportive atmosphere, and the biggest con is that they expect you to work long hours occasionally.