JCPenney Interview Questions & Tips

How to Get a Job at JCPenney

A retail chain with a little over 1,000 locations nationwide, JCPenney serves as one of the oldest department store chains in the United States and offers thousands of opportunities for employment. Job seekers may find work with the major retailer in a variety of fields ranging from customer service and sales to unique departmental jobs, loss prevention positions, and managerial careers.

Getting Started
The company hiring process requires applicants to submit specific information on employment background, availability, references, and the most convenient ways to reach candidates. A human resources representative or hiring manager, depending on the position desired, contacts respective candidates to schedule job interviews.

Multiple Ways to Screen Applicants

JCPenney uses a combination of online screening, phone interviews, panel interviews, group interviews, and 1:1 interviews to pool for employees. Oftentimes, the initial job interview serves as an overview of the company given by an HR representative.

Group interview vs 1 on 1
If attending a group session, candidates may interview with up to 20 other job applicants. Interview formats for entry-level positions typically begin with either 1:1 interviews or group interviews. A group interview generally proves necessary if the department store chain needs to hire on multiple potential workers at once. Otherwise, the JCPenney interview process features a more selective and personal one-to-one format.

Managers regularly go through more than one interview during the hiring process, but not exceeding four.

The number of interviews for loss prevention, stock, or custodial positions typically varies.

When Will I Know I Have the Job?

A basic string of questions touching on vary broad and general topics serve as ideal gauges of eligibility. Based on answers given to basic JCPenney interview questions, hiring managers usually learn enough about candidates to make informed decisions and extend job offers, invite the applicant to a subsequent round, or dismiss the candidate and thank the individual for participating.

Regardless of position, most applicants finish the interview process within three to four weeks.

What Happens if I Don't Get the Job?

Applicants dismissed or passed over in the hiring process should await later contact or reapply for jobs, as the department store generally maintains resumes on file for up to six months.

Popular JCPenney Interview Questions

Later interviews, if necessary, feature more specific and deliberate interview questions. For example, aspiring employees with JCPenney may respond to:

Way to Improve Hiring Odds

Workers should arrive on-time or early to every interview and prepare the night before or days in advance to ensure solid performance. JCPenney primarily looks at applicant sales and social skills. The ability to carry on a conversation in a genuine and engaging manner greatly benefits prospective sales associates. Loss prevention officers often need to demonstrate discipline and possess terrific diligence. Professional attire benefits all candidates vying for jobs.

What Should I Wear?

The ideal clothing for JCPenney interviews is business casual. Khaki pants with a dress shirt or blouse are ideal. Avoid wearing bright colors or showing too much skin. To look professional, women should have neat hair and minimum jewelry, while men must be clean shaven.

JCPenney Salon Stylist Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
JCPenney Salon Stylist: Well, at JCPenney I was a stylist in the salon, but I also helped in the layaway department because it was right across from us. So, when I wasn’t working in the salon, I went over to help [the layaway associate] to check out and basically do stocking and catalog orders.

Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
JCPenney Salon Stylist: A typical day at the salon… well, we did walk-ins and appointments, mainly appointments. So, if we had a lot of appointments, it was a good day. That was a good money-making day. But if we didn’t, then I went over to the other side and basically did the catalog orders and stocking and helping her pull back stuff. It was pretty easy. It was always busy, though. There was never a dull moment in between. It was always busy.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
JCPenney Salon Stylist: The interview process… I had to go through two because of the salon and the store. I went through with my salon manager, and that was just basically getting my license information and my school information and everything as far as styling. As far as the store manager, he wanted to know my abilities as far as working as a cashier and being able to stock and lift and everything like that.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
JCPenney Salon Stylist: For JCPenney, they never wanted you to turn anybody away. Their thing is you can never say no. The question is: “Would you ever turn someone away if it’s 8:59pm and you’re getting ready to go and you have a customer that walks in?” You cannot turn them away. If you were to turn them away, you would be fired on the spot. But, at the same time, never turn them away.

Interviewer: What set you apart from the other candidates?
JCPenney Salon Stylist: I don’t think too many people would have been too willing to work in two different departments at one time. So, I guess it was my willingness to be able to flip back and forth, to do both of those departments at one time.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
JCPenney Salon Stylist: Be professional on both ends. You have to be a professional at all times with JCPenney. Their atmosphere is very professional. The work dress is very professional. So, act your best, be professional, and don’t go in with your expectations up – “I know I can do this” – because even in layaway, the job comes with a lot, and you have to be able to read numbers off and know where things go exactly or you will mess up the whole, entire inventory. So, you have to be professional and know what you’re doing.

JCPenney Stock Associate Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
JCPenney Employee: I was a stock associate. It was during the holiday season. When the customers had orders placed, I would go to the stockroom. I would also stock shelves with merchandise.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
JCPenney Employee: It was nice, especially during the holiday season. We weren’t allowed to take tips, but a lot of customers wanted to tip us. It was very fun.

Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
JCPenney Employee: My favorite part about working at JCPenney was the hours. It was like nine-to-five; I didn’t have to rush. Like I said, it was during the holiday season… a lot of friendly people during that time of the year.

Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
JCPenney Employee: Typical work day: you come in, get your order, get your lot numbers ready, then you go stock shelves or put merchandise on shelves. Or, you’ll wait for customer service to call, take customers’ items to their car.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
JCPenney Employee: It wasn’t difficult. It was smooth. I was referred; someone referred me to the job, so I knew what to expect. They knew what to expect from me. So, it was kind of easy for me.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
JCPenney Employee: What were my future plans, how long I planned to stay with this company because it was a seasonal job, and would I come back.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
JCPenney Employee: Go try. I mean, it’s a nice place to work. It’s no hard work. If that’s what you’d like to do in retail… a stock associate. But, go ahead and try.

More JCPenney Interview Videos:


  • sanjay says:

    Would a suit be too formal of attire for JC Penney when I go for an interview? I am thinking that really dressing up might impress them. What do you think?

  • Mike Douglas says:

    I think that a nice shirt and a tie would be enough, but yes, a suit might cause a good impression on your interview.

  • Felicia says:

    Does anyone have some good tips for the interview? This is gonna be my first job interview and I’m nervous. Help please!!

  • Rick roll says:

    Well, dont be nervous, you gotta be secure on your interview and demonstrate that you are confident, that will cause a good impression on them. Most places dont like to hire insecure people.

  • Current employee says:

    I got interviewed there last week, and i just landed the job in shoe dept!!!! Ok heres some tips, DONT look down when you talk to them, look them straight in the eye. DO look up on there company, i got asked questions about what awards they just won. DO dress up!! NO pants, NO tshirts, NO sneakers. YOUR TRYING TO GET A JOB PEOPLE, NOT VISIT YOUR BOYFRIEND!! DO, smile!! they love to hire happy friendly people, that can get over being nervous easily. DO get your interviewers card, phone number and email. DO send a thank you email for the interview, be to the point, and direct, it sets you apart from every one else. DO look up common interview questions on google, almost all of the questions i went through, i got asked at my interview. DO. arrive at least 20 min early, it shows you value being on time and also if they redirect you to go somewhere else ( like they did me, on the other side of the store) you wont be late. And finally, be honest, nod your head when there talking ( you know what i mean) Have questions prepared for them afterwards, ( Trust me, a simple, ” No i dont have any questions” Isnt gonna cut it.) and be formal but nice, shake their hand, smile, ask how there days been, you’ll make a lasting impression. Good Luck!!! 🙂

    ps and after you get that job, make sure you ask about the dress code, before you go to training, they dont tolerate jeans at all. 🙂 Hope i helped!!!

  • Nairy Kevork says:

    Nairy This is my first interview when I’ll get a job so may be I’ll be nervouse coz this is my first expereince how to get job and how can Iprepare my self for work…….

  • Milan says:

    Hello People, I am Milan.H.Patel. I had applied for job in J.C. Penney as a Sales Associates and after 2 months I was called for an Interview in J.C. Penney and after one month i recieved a call from Supervisor to start training in J.C. Penney during the training period i was told about the job responsibilities which i have to do and at the same time my training manger told me that i don’t have to deliver goods to the customers cars and when i started working in stores i had a call from catalog that i have deliver one big cabinet to the customers cars and the next day i quit that job because they have done partiality with me and since i quit the job i am keep calling my supervisor for my cheque to mail it to me but i still did’nt reciveve it.

  • eze.b says:

    how long does it take to get called for an interview after you applied?

    how long does an interview usually take?

  • Nae says:

    I just had an interview with JCP yesterday and got hired on the spot ! this is actually my first job . Look them straight in the eyes always ! I wore a striped button up with skinny black pants along with flats (business casual) . When decribing what type of person you are include examples do not just say i am hardworking; How are you hardworking. Be confident in your answers do not stutter if you find yourself doing so take a deep breath and collect yourself.

  • mairim says:

    oh my god my interview is tomorrow and is also my first interview im very nervous i have no idea what to ware please help =)

  • Sandra says:

    I just had my second interview with the general manager at J.C. Penney today. Also got hired on the spot and I start training as soon as they do a background check. My advice would be to smile and just be completely honest. They’re people just like you are, there’s no reason to be nervous. Be confident! You got this. 🙂

  • diana says:

    i have an interview tommorrow and im kind of nervous if they ask if i have any questions should i ask??? what are questions i should ask??

  • magen says:

    I just had an interview at Jc Penny just yesterday. I stayed honest the whole time and always responded to any question with full answers. Always keep good eye contact and always have input. I wore a nice shirt with a black sweter/coverall and a nice pair of slacks and flats. I had my first interview than immediately was asked to have my second interview. They were very friendly. If you have the option of working in the jewelry department and that’s what you would prefer say “I would like the challenge” my interviewer seemed to love that response. I got hired and now all I have to do is wait for mybackground check to come back and I start my training. I wish you all luck.

  • Karen says:

    Does anyone know what should be expected during the training process? Or how long it will be, or if we get paid while being trained?

  • Kandace Simpson says:

    If you apply at JCPenny, how long will it take to get a call? This will be my first job, so I’m hoping I get it. I love JCPenny & how they help everyone needs. I’m still waiting for a call from the JCPenny in White Oak Village. Please call 🙂

  • T says:

    does jc penny drug test?

  • rosalie says:

    I’m forty something year old with a full time job, I have been seeking for a part job to make end meet. I notice that the company doesn’t call back. In my opinion I think it may be my recent salary that I write down or is it my age?

  • Court says:

    I have an interveiw tomorrow and i was wondering what questions to ask? and do all places have 2 interveiws?

  • mady says:


    I applied on line and called them three days later. I just asked for the person in charge of hiring, since the person was unavailable,I left a message inquiring about my application and two days later I was called back,got my first interview!!!!!!

  • z says:

    After 2 days i am interviewed in JCPannay Pl tell me what should i do.This is my 1st job.Give me few tips…Thanks

  • Sarbear says:

    I have an interview at JCpenny’s in two days,this will be my first job,
    I’m currently a stay at home mama to a little girl..and am also 20 years old.
    Ive heard through the grapevine and reading reviews on the internet that they do background checks,When i was 16 i was at the WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME,with my older brother and was guilty by association…i’m 20 years old now…and have stayed out of trouble since and plan on doing the same forever…does ANYONE know if they will disqualify me due to a FOUR year old juvenile record?!

  • Taylor says:

    I apply to JcPenney alittle less than two weeks ago and just received a call about the Customer Service Associate position yesterday (which was on a Sunday, my aunt stated that was unusual to be called for interview on Sunday and they really are in need for a Customer Service Associate ) and have a interview for tomorrow at 10 AM when the store opens. I help update you guy about interview and if I was hired or not. Wish me luck 🙂

  • Shandra says:

    There are certain things that you can do to increase your chances in ANY interview. But here’s what I’ve learned about clothing stores, in particular: The EASIEST way to RUIN an interview is to leave awkward silences in between questions. If you are responding to the questions and not elaborating enough, causing the interviewer to have to move through her list of questions too quickly, that will kill your chances. You should be doing at least half or more of the talking. And the most important time to keep talking is when she asks about your weaknesses or skills you don’t have. For instance, “Do you have experience with a cash register?” Answering “No” is very bad. I answered, “No, but I have had a job in which I had to type numbers quickly and accurately.” Turn it around so it sounds like a positive.

    And on questions about what you would do if…. , focus on taking care of the customer. Retail stores are all about that.

    Finally, do everything in your power to NOT LOOK SCARED. If you aren’t confident, then practice faking it, and soon you’ll feel more confident for real. Good luck, everyone!

  • Mell says:

    Im nervous about my interview tomorrow as a replenishment associate, i was wondering what kind of questions should i ask?? how is it working in that position?? pay??

  • moby says:

    I’ve always wanted to work at Jcpenny’s for my first job, and when I turned 18 I applied. Since my mom works at Jcpenny’s also but in a different city, I had connections. I talked to the store manager there and on the same week I got a call and it was for an interview for Sephora. However, since it was my first job and I have never been to an interview before and I didn’t think to look up interview questions, I was not prepared for what she asked. So my interview had ended horribly wrong. I hardly answered her questions and it was just horrible! Well it wasn’t a surprise that I didn’t get the job. Then a week later, I went to the manager again and asked him for another position. He said he’ll see what he can do. But two weeks passed, nothing. So I called and called and called again. And he said that another manager will call me. But still no call. I have no clue what to do. I really need the job and it would be great if someone told me what I should do next. Thank you.

  • Secret says:

    Do they drug test?

  • dhaer. says:

    got interviewed a while ago. they told me to wait for their call on Monday or Tuesday because they are busy doing lot of things…do you think that’s a good excuse if I passed the 1st interview or not?. If i don’t have get any call within that day, they said I should call them to follow up. I hope they will call me…

  • dhaer. says:

    I had an interview for jc penney last friday, they said they will call me this Monday or Tuesday, but I was the one who followed up for the 2nd interview, what a surprise. The manager said I was hired and my background check was done. I will just wait for their call within this week for my training which will start on Monday nxt week. happy….

  • Current Seasonal Employee says:

    I went to a group interview recently, where everyone else there was wearing jeans. I wore black slacks, a button up, a cardigan and flats- the sort of attire you would wear while working. Some common asked questions are (along with mistakes I heard others put foward) : How will you deal with an upset customer? Do NOT say you will give them anything for free. What have you been doing over the last few years? Do NOT mention medical problems, that’s too personal. What’s good customer service? You should not need to rehearse this answer, think about the places you go, and how you are treated. Be honest about the hours you can work, don’t write down everyday then at then end of the interview ask to change your hours. Go in with a smile, keep smiling and actually look at your interviewer when they speak to you. We were told we would get a call back in 3 to 4 business days following the interview – I left the interview thanking them for the opportunity (no one else did this), and was called back 2 hours later that night. I will be starting my seasonal job there immediately. Hope this is helpful!

  • moenay says:

    Does JCPenney drug test and how long does it take to get called back for training ?

  • sarah says:

    Do I need to take a resume?

  • AllieMarie says:

    I applied online for 5am replenishment position. I was called back 3 hous later that same day. I have a group interview tomorrow at 10 am. They had openings from 10am and noon group interviews but I chose the earlier to be sure I had the best chance and the positions didn’t fill up. I am going right now to a nice dress suit for the inyterview right now. Although people keep telling me this will be too dressy and I should just wear slacks and a blouse, I would rather make the best impression necessarry. I feel I will have more of a chance of getting hired than someone wearing jeans and a tshirt. I have been doing customer service since I as 16…..I am now 30( minus the 5 years I did in home child care) and dressing in business attire has gotten me hired over others many times before so let’s hope it works out this time. I will update after the interveiw with any new info and tips. Good luck to all of you who also have an interview with them. I have my fingers crossed and am sending positive thoughts your way 😉

  • Chilis Chick says:

    I was interviewed today at Penney’s, by both the Assistant Store Manager and the Store Manager. I went to have lunch right after and got back home about 2-1/2 hours after my interview time and there was a call on my answering machine from the Assistant Store Manager asking me to call him back. I was hired for a seasonal position and they’ll contact me after my background check is completed to schedule when to start my orientation. I thought the interview went fine until I answered that I thought lack of self-confidence was my weakness. I would THINK no employer would want to hear THAT, but they hired me anyway! I think it’s possible to have low self-confidence but STILL do a good job. I’m hoping this turns into a permanent position, as I’m retired from working for the government after 35+ years. I would say to just be honest and not try to hide anything from past jobs, they’ll find it out in the background investigation anyway! I was asked what I thought my greatest weakness was, what my greatest strength was, how I would handle a disgruntled customer, what I did at a previous job that benefited both myself and my supervisor, and about the hours I was available (which I had already indicated when applying online). I have to say that I was presently surprised with the pay they offered me, as Kohl’s paid almost a dollar an hour less than Penney’s and KMart offered even less than Kohl’s!

  • Been There, Done That says:

    I worked for JCP for 2 years, and I have been recently rehired for seasonal employment. Here is my advice–if you applied online (follow-up in store or by calling HR mgr. at store), business casual is appropriate for interview/ instore follow-up, smile (you do not have to be overly confident to work in retail but a friendly attitude as JCP’s standard is “Customer First”), you shop all the time, so think about your own expectations of great service, and relax (you will more often than not get the job (KEY: if you follow up after applying and the store is hiring). The training schedule is usually a few days of watching videos, shadowing in depts., and cash register training. There is a background check, but no drug testing. GOOD LUCK!

  • Chantel says:

    Question: Is it true that you can see your pay stub on Wednesday so you can find out what your getting on Friday? If that’s true what time can i see it and what do i click on to get to it on my associate kiosk?

  • Vanessa says:

    I got hired there a month ago. My interview was super easy! this is my first job and I got hired on the spot the day after I filled out an online app! Smile a lot and sit up straight! good luck (:

    @Chantel: if you go to and then click on the associate information. Once you get in the kiosk you click view my paystub.

  • Renee says:

    So has anyone been a part of the pricing and signing team? How do i join?

  • Kandice says:

    how long does it take for them to do a background check and call you for training? i had an interview about a month ago and i still haven’t received any information.

  • Cynthia P says:

    How long does it take for a background check? I have an interview next Thursday. I am a positive upbeat person and am hoping they hire me. I hope I can work there!

  • john says:

    JCPenney is starting a disturbing new trend, like other big companies they have done away with pensions, full time employees, but the two latest things may cripple their salons. They have removed the ability for their stylists to fairly charge for length and texture of hair causing their stylists to loose money and calling it fair and square, as of may 2012 their stylists will no longer be paid commission. All stylists will now be paid hourly and they threw out a vague reference to bonus checks. By paying hourly, JCPenney will no longer be able to attract talented stylists, the new stylists will be inexperienced, I just hope the experienced ones that have been there for a long time will stay. In hiring their new CEO he obviously has no experience in this field and has set a new standard of pay.

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