Safeway Interview Questions & Tips

Applying for an Interview

To begin the employment process with Safeway, an applicant needs to create an online job account. Follow the proper steps and list contact information, work history, education, and references. After completing the online submission process, applicants may wait up to two weeks to hear back from a hiring manager about scheduling an interview. Job hopefuls may interview over the phone with a hiring representative before a face-to-face or panel interview is granted. The retailer requires applicants to agree to drug testing and a criminal background check. Complying with all of these formalities should expedite the process.

What to Wear

If selected for an in-store job interview, applicants should arrive early and dress in business-casual attire. Men should wear button-down shirts and dress pants. Ties are encouraged. Women should wear appropriate and professional looking blouses with a skirt or slacks. Skirt lengths should be modest and not distracting. Safeway, like many other retail grocers, desires workers to have a clean appearance. Applicants should have good personal hygiene, including trimmed facial hair and clean fingernails.

Common Interview Questions

At the interview, prospective employees should expect to hear questions like:

  • "Why do you want to work at Safeway?"
  • "What makes you a good candidate for the job?"
  • "What do you consider good customer service?"
These inquiries are designed to detect certain skills the job seeker possesses. Some hiring representatives keep questions sparse and steer the interview in a more conversational manner. Other interviews may have a dozen or so questions. Applicants should remain focused on whatever path the interviewer decides to take. Stay positive and answer each question honestly, maintaining comfortable eye contact with the hiring representative.

How to Stand Out

While experience is always preferred, Safeway looks to hire applicants with problem-solving skills and the ability to learn quickly. Demonstrate these skills by offering examples of past experiences when you tackled a challenge or had to learn something quickly. Make sure to tell the interviewer about the positive results your actions produced. While some applicants may have had negative experiences at previous places of employment, it is advised that you communicate only the good things that came out of the past. Candidates may also want to discuss availability and how long they plan to be employed. While many retail food markets have high turnover rates, hiring managers are looking for workers who want to turn a job into a career.

Safeway Warehouse Worker Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Safeway Employee: I was an engineer order selector for Safeway stores in Fairfield, California. My duties were to read orders from a readout sheet, pack groceries in pallets, and drop them off before delivery to the stores.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Safeway Employee: Pleasant. I worked on my own. I listed the items I needed to pick up, so I was pretty much just working by myself.

Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
Safeway Employee: My coworkers. It was more like you had to work as a team. So, working with them and getting along with them made it a lot easier.

Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
Safeway Employee: Basically, I just picked orders for eight hours. I was on the clock, so every order was timed. So, I had to have the order at the back of the dock at a certain time.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Safeway Employee: Basically, I just went in, filled the application out. We talked for a while. They asked me my work history, personal questions like family, what were my activities, what did I like to do outside of the job, things of that nature.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Safeway Employee: Just go in there and let them know you really want the job. Be stern about it. Tell them what you can bring to the company to make the company better.

More Safeway Interview Videos:


  • brittney says:

    I have i tattoo on my arm . Could I still get a job at safeway. I would try and cover it up.

    • Katelyn Scott says:

      Yeah that won’t be a problem. In the location I worked at, you were actually allowed to have your tattoos visible, as long as they weren’t graphic or offensive. If they were somehow offensive, covering them is just fine.

  • caysters says:

    Krista, don’t think you would be. At least not near me. Pretty sure it’s 18 and older last time I checked here, or at least 16 and older. That would be something you’d need to check with your local Safeway about.
    And Brittney, with almost any job you would need to cover up your tattoo and be free of any visible piercings.

  • Kristal says:

    Do i need a high school deploma or Ged? To work at Safeway

  • Stephz says:

    It does ask if you have a high school diploma or GED when applying

  • just left safeway says:

    You can be 14 yrs old to work at safeway as a bagger.

  • Sunshine says:

    Work experience can take the place of a high shool diploma or GED in most jobs even Safeway.

  • wondering.... says:

    what kind of questions do they ask exactly in the interview?

  • paula says:

    what should you wear to the interview?

  • AD says:

    I am to interview with Safeway on Tuesday for the position of Store Manager over the phone. Can anyone tell me the process if i am selected for the next interview and what happens after that like online math test &, personality test etc. And what kind of questions do they ask in the interview. Just want to be prepared. Thank you.

  • Carolyn says:

    I tried and tried to get to the employment application for Safeway It kept sending me in circles so I guess I wil go intothe store and try!

  • Jordan price says:

    how long does it take for them to call you for an interview? (i just applied today for 3 openings on clerk courtesy) what days they usually call you?

    • Elizabeth says:

      You should call the hiring manger. I called the hiring manger a couple of times and she asked for an interview. Calling them will show you’re interested in the job.

    • Nathan says:

      It took me about 5 days, they called and asked me if I wanted and interview, I of course said yes, then after I went in I asked for the main office, which the cashier told me to take a seat, then after about 5 minutes I was greeted by the store manager. She was polite and professional, we walked in the back where all the produce is stored, then into her office. It then put ease on my shoulders when I saw call of duty posters and raider symbols on the walls. When I calmed down she started asking questions. Why did you apply for this job? Is this your first job? Are you a felon or have ever been convicted of a crime? Then she said we do take drug tests, and background checks but since you are a minor you do not have to do a background check. I then was asked if I had any questions for her. I asked things like “is the pay schedule biweekly? She said it is weekly. Then she started telling me about the union and when i can join. Then she gave me a dress code paper and said how i was dressed at the moment was almost accepted. She then told me I can be offered a position if i am still interested. I calmly said yes but on the inside I was screaming yes. Then she told me when training starts and when my first day will be.

      • Vinny says:

        When did they test you? Did they do it right there at the interview, or wait until you started

  • Claire says:

    They also drug test and do a background check.

  • Cassandra Williams says:

    I just had an interview with safeway.I was very excited to be interviewed the next day after calling a hiring rep. because I really wanted the job.I’m 53 and have alot of experience in all areas of a grocery store.I was being interviewed for the floral dept/bakery dept. I also have 1 year of floral exp. and even more the bakery dept., 20 years in cooking and catering.I was surprised when she said everyone starts at entry level . $7.25 an hour with a guarantee of 24 hours a week, maybe more. Also insurance after 90 hours.I’ve never heard of that ,maybe 90 days. And a 25 cent raise for every 400 hours worked. Well , if I work 24 hours a week it will take me 1 year to get up to 8 dollars an hour. And in the meantime,I’ll have to work 2 hours just to buy 1 gallon of milk and a loaf of bread after taxes.Shame on big corporations.You expect an employee to be willing to be at your beck-n-call .Days ,nights ,weekends and holidays, for high school wages. I’m pretty sure they would spread out the 24 hours over a 5 or 6 day work week also,so I wouldn’t even be able to work in another part time job.Safeway also does not pay holiday pay.People want to work .I want to work .I want to feel good about where I go to work, Corporations seem to want alot for a little. AGAIN, SHAME ON YOU. Even if this was a full time job @ that pay rate I can’t even be self sufficient. I’m very disappointed with Safeway.I will shop as little as possible at safeway because they don’t care about employee’s just themselves.Disappointed in RENO.

  • Alex says:

    I would really like to work at Safeway. I am 15 years old. A sophomore in High School still, Although i will be Sixteen 6 Months from now. I’m a very responsible and a hard worker, & I’ve also had some experience dealing with grocery stores. 🙂
    Do you think i have a shot at being hired?

  • adson says:

    i would like to work at safeway because i can do anything that you hire me for. thank you

  • Kelso says:

    I am 17, have not finished high school yet, applied online, they would not take resume in store. They called me a week later to interview me on the phone and set up a personal interview. I will get training as needed to be a cashier, I have previous experience working at McDonald and in a retail store. I would just dress cleanly and casually nice looking to the interview, your not applying to be a lawyer or anything. Im not sure if they do a drug test, and I know they do a criminal record check. I assume you can work there when your 15 as a bagger, but they are looking for people who can learn quickly, problem solve, are friendly, charismatic, dedicated and patient. They support multiple charities and are proud supporters of human rights, so they are a very multicultural, support woman and is just a friendly place.

    I received a call from Safeway after applying online. I joined their site and send in my resume and filled out the application, as well as took a short test, asking “sort names alphabetically.” I never really had to do that before but I think I must have done well enough because I got a phone call a week later. It can take up to 2 weeks for them to call you. I tried to bring my resume directly into the store but they tell you to go online and do it there. Im going to call them back tomorrow and they will interview me over the phone, then hopefully set up an interview in person. I hope to get all the training I need and to continue working with Safeway for a long period of time.

  • got interview tomorrow says:

    I applied yesterday for Safeway and they called me today for me to come in tomorrow at 2 for an interview. So it took just 24 hours for me

  • Talya says:

    What do you have to wear to a safeway interview?
    Can you give examples?

  • Ben says:

    I think it’s dumb we can’t show off our non offensive tattoos. As long as you are polite and courteous then who cares if you have a tattoo

  • Chaokun says:

    I want to find a job at Safeway.

  • Sam says:

    I have a few questions ;;
    If you want to work at safeway do you have to have certain grades in order to apply ?

    What do you reccomend i do first if i want to work there ?

    If safeway does a background check what do they check ?

    Could we do a interview over the phone if possible ?

    And last , whats the easiest job they have but pays well enough ?

    Id appreciate it if you could answer these questions for me

  • Sarah says:

    Hello! I am an ISR, or hiring manager, for the North Texas Safeway branch, Tom Thumb. My position is to hire and train all hourly store associates that are not in a management position, such as courtesy clerks, (or bagger/sacker,) cashiers, clerk positions, (such as deli/food service, Starbucks, meat market and bakery). A lot of you have some great questions and I’m thrilled you’re interested in joining the Safeway company! I’ve been with the company 2 years. I started as a Starbucks barista, (select locations have a Starbucks inside) and within a year was promoted to Starbucks manager. 6 months after that, I took on the additional position as the ISR, (Internal Store Recruiter). I will be happy to answer any questions about the interview and hiring process. Keep in mind, wages and age requirements may vary by state, so I’ll try to answer that as best I can. I’ll start with the sample questions and a few others I’ve seen:

    Should I bring anything to the Safeway interview? Any questions regarding the position you applied for. The job description is posted online when you apply for the job. Naturally it’s a brief overview of the duties. Plus, it shows you’re prepared and want to make sure you can perform the job and you want to do it right and give it your best.

    What education level (high school or college) is required for the job? This varies by job. With Safeway, experience trumps education. I would hire someone with 20 years grocery experience and a high school diploma over someone with a bachelors in history and no retail experience. Some positions do require experience, such as meat cutter.

    What other questions do they ask? How should you answer certain questions? Initially there is a phone interview. It basically verifies the information listed in your application, such as availability and the basic questions that are required to be hired. The in person interview varies. We have a selection of 16 questions divided into 4 sections that kind of test your abilities such as getting along with other, sales ability, problem solving and initiative. I say it varies because although the interviewer has to choose from each section, they can choose to ask all of them, or one or two from each section. They range from “Why would to like to work for Safeway?” To “Think of your favorite food. Pretend I’m a customer and persuade me to buy it”. Some of them are “Tell me about a time you had to take on another persons responsibilities. What was the situation and how did you handle it”

    What should I wear, or how should I dress for an interview at Safeway? Depends on the position. If its a manger position, I would go business casual. Men, slacks and a tie. Women a collared blouse and slacks or a skirt, but not one that comes above the knee. Cologne and perfume should be minimal. You don’t want the interviewer choking instead of focusing on your abilities. For retail positions and entry level positions, slacks or khakis for men, and dress pants or a nice skirt for women. Again, no skirts above the knee and a nice shirt. Men, tuck in your shirt. It looks more professional. No sagging pants either. No facial piercings. Please, do some research in this area. I had a guy come in with a septum piercing and his boxers showing the other day and I turned him away at the door and didn’t even interview him.

    How much do they pay? Will they ask about salary expectations, if so what should I say? For manager positions, human resources will discuss this with you. It’s on a case by case basis. For hourly and part time positions, it varies. Safeway does something called a 14 day wage request. If you have experience in the position you’re applying for and would like to negotiate a higher wage, they request a higher wage for you based on your performance during that two weeks. Human resources has to approve it and it is not guaranteed. You are paid at the entry level pay for that first two weeks and then if your skills and performance warrant the higher wage, you will get it. Safeway has 6 month employee evaluations and you receive pay raises based on your eval. They also have merit raises for attending conferences or learning workshops or anything that furthers your knowledge of your position, but it may lower your eval raise. Managers receive yearly evaluations and can bonus.

    Does Safeway drug test? Yes.

    What about second interviews? When should you expect a call after the interview? I’m not 100% sure about that. Some stores may choose to second interview. I usually know after the first one if I want to hire you or not.

    A lot of you have asked about whether you’re old enough to work at Safeway. State laws set minimum age requirements. In Texas, it’s 16, but the only positions you can work are sacker, cashier and Starbucks. This is because of the equipment used in other departments. In Texas, you CAN work at 14 or 15 but you have to have a hardship permit that is issued by the state, or work in a family business. All other positions are 18+.

    Safeway does background check. We use an outside company that does the checking. It mainly searches for felonies. If you have a felony charge, that does not mean we won’t hire you, but it depends on what it’s for.

    I hope I was able to answer a majority of your questions. If you’re interested in a great company that will help you advance your career, I say choose Safeway. I don’t think I’ve ever walked into work and not wanted to be there. I love the people I work with and the people I work for. And to those who may have nailed that interview you talked about on here, welcome aboard!

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