Question for people who've had retail or fast food jobs

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Well-Known Member
Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Wendy's, PetCo, The Home Depot, casinos, supermarkets, movie theaters, places like that, and especially if they're national companies.

My question: how did you get the job? Did you have to call the store and ask them if they looked at your application? Did you have to wait for them to call you for an interview? Did you have to know someone to get in?

I've applied at places like these dozens of times over the years and I never got an interview, much less a job. Even during the holiday shopping season when stores hire people just for December, I couldn't get a job.

Suffice to say that this has been a significant source of my depression. It's hard to explain to people why I don't have a job.

total eclipse

SF Friend
Staff Alumni
IF you have handed in an application or applied on line yes you call the stores and ask to speak to management and say you are following up on your job appllication and wonder if it has been looked at and if you could come in for an interview After an interview you call again and say you are following up on your interview and if they have come to a decision yet squeaky wheel gets noticed hun hugs.


Antiquities Friend
I agree with TE that you should follow up your application with a phone call or a polite and neatly dressed visit in person. My one franchise job at a Carvel ice cream store I started because my two years older brother had been working there for a year so references help too.


Well-Known Member
I've always had a hard time with making phone calls, and I think that that was what contributed to my difficulty in getting hired while in high school. I eventually worked up some courage and often did call to follow up on a review and I'd be told things on the phone like "so-in-so reads the applications," "we're not hiring," "we hired someone already," "we'll let you know," "the manager hasn't looked at the applications yet," and so on.

With computerized applications I often get a message like "thank you for applying, but please do not call the store," and then I never hear from them again. Target, Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, and Petco all do that.
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Well-Known Member
Yeah, I could probably follow up to local places like supermarkets through email rather than phone. I don't think that's possible with major stores and their application kiosks though.


Chat Buddy
SF Supporter
Working at several retail/food stores, no manager likes being harangued about an application. Get to know you local employees and ask them to put a word in for you. That's honestly the best way to get an in. Otherwise, have a killer resume and cover letter and keep reapplying until one hits.


Well-Known Member
I'm in the same boat as you Athnys. The only job I've had is one that was essentially just handed to me when I was 15, so I didn't exactly have to do anything for that. After that ended, I'd apply everywhere online, since I'm too much of a nervous wreck to go in person, but never get a call back. Some people I knew that got frequent interviews told me that the best thing to do is wait a week or so after applying, then call in and ask about the status of your application. This gets you noticed a lot more and actually shows that you're interested in the job or that you're still in need of one and willing to be hired. Also knowing a few of the employees at the target store you're applying to as references helps a lot as well.

Best of luck to you in finding a job.


Quiet Observer
SF Supporter
I work at walmart.
What happened was.. One night I got fed up with everything.
So I sat down and filled out 4 online applications. Spelling my name
Slightly different each time. different passwords. I figured hey why not?
I want to be noticed. I was angry at life in general.
Then I got a call 3 days later for an interview.
Wish I could be of more help. :/


Well-Known Member
I work in a box retail store currently and have in the past worked in a grocery store briefly.

With any job you have to follow up on the status of it. This also acts as a reminder to them and shows them that you care for the job and it also makes you stand out. Wait about a week before following up though. If they say they haven't had a chance to but will be soon wait another week and call again. If they say they will at x date wait 2 - 3 days after that date and call again. Just keep on calling them. Also if possible it's best to apply in person, although i know nowadays a lot of companies are moving towards the online applications. Regardless you still have to follow up as you would if had handed it in to them in person.

Some bonuses you can do are get to know the employees, find out the name of the manager or who ever is in charge of hiring and address their name when calling rather than just asking for whoever is in charge of hiring.

Good luck. Right now is a good time to start applying as they're increasing hours starting to look for seasonal employees. Also even if you just get on for seasonal you still have a chance to stay long term if they like you and have the hours.
Personally, I've had to call and call and call again to check up on my application to get an interview. I think they look for persistence because I've been hired for every position for which I used the "bug the crap out of you till you hire me" method lol.


Well-Known Member
I agree with the "bug them until they hire you" method. When I was a teenager, after putting in a retail application, I would return to the store IN PERSON, NEVER BY PHONE, over and over again and say "I'm so and so and I was just wondering if you needed anybody or might be hiring yet," something to that effect. Always state your name and show your face. I was always surprised at how quickly I got a job, even during the worst recessions with high unemployment. If they say they absolutely aren't hiring then do it every week or two. If they might be hiring then every few days for sure. What it does is put your name and face into their mind so that it's what comes up when they decide they need to hire someone. They think, that person is always in here. They must really want to work here, might as well call them for an interview.

IMO, you have to "pound the pavement" not your phone buttons!

Oh, and you should definitely have a resume, no matter how little experience or education you have just because having one is more impressive than all the people who put in applications without one and "fills out" the picture of you more than just an application. Also, some small independent businesses won't have applications so you can just give them your resume.
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i applied to CVS. i was appalled at the idea of working for some tight ass hipster dyke for $8/hour 12 hours a day. they made me do this online test. i answered every question the exact opposite of who i was and got a 99%. this old guy who worked there was so impressed lolololol

tried temping but they treat you like shit

now i sell stuff on ebay and teach some piano


Forum & Chat Buddy
I work at Taco Bell. :) I applied and they called me back. I had already worked at a taco bell before, so I had the upperhand advantage.
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