Trader Joe’s Interview Questions & Tips

How to Get a Job at Trader Joe's

Applicants in search of Trader Joe's jobs must submit hiring materials in-store at a location of choice and then await contact from a manager to schedule an initial interview session. Two in-person interviews prove customary in order to obtain employment at Trader Joe's. The grocery retailer has interested workers sit in with a supervisor, or "Mate," and then with a "Captain," otherwise known as a store manager. The first interview with the Mate generally serves as an icebreaker and allows the hiring official to get a better idea of individuals vying for available positions. The second interview builds on topics covered during the initial Trader Joe's job interview and features more intensive questions.

Interview Questions and Topics

Trader Joe's interview questions often remain the same for part-time and full-time job seekers. Hours of availability tends to rank as a hot topic during interview discussions. Applicants must also field questions related to strengths, weaknesses, conflict resolution, favorite products, former employers and coworkers, and reasons for wanting to work for Trader Joe's. Candidates have room to expand upon possible answers and demonstrate personalities when responding to common Trader Joe's interview questions, such as:

  • "What are your favorite foods and why?"
  • "Do you respond well to conflict, and how would you resolve disputes in the workplace?"
  • "Do you have a sense of humor?"
  • "Why do you want this job?"

How to Stand Out

Playful and fun-loving personalities navigate the Trader Joe's interview process best. Applicants should demonstrate a sense of humor and a genuine love of food and serving customers. Grocery stores like Trader Joe's host millions of customers each year. Knowledgeable individuals able to assist customers in sometimes high-stress work environments also perform well during Trader Joe's job interviews. The Trader Joe's hiring process takes at least a week to complete, with some applicants spending as long as three weeks completing Trader Joe's required interviews.

What to Wear

All Trader Joe's interviews allow for informal and candid dialogue between hiring representative and applicant. Workers should dress appropriately for each interview session. However, due to a lack of any real, serious dress code at Trader Joe's locations, applicants may wear casual but sensible clothing to each job interview. Friendly and honest individuals win out over other personality types during the Trader Joe's interview process. Focus on creating fun work environments and emphasizing teamwork to gain further hiring consideration.


  • kathy says:

    What questions will they ask during the interview?
    What should we wear during the interview?
    Who will be the person interviewing me?

    • D. Pearson says:

      Step 1. Apply online
      2. Print your resume & a cover letter, then visit your chosen location. Ask to speak w a manager, then introduce yourself letting them know you filled out the online application and wanted to bring your resume by so that they could put a face to your name. They will then have what they call a conversation with you, which is actually your first interview right then and there. The biggest thing they are looking for is an open availability, and how many hours a week you are asking for. If they like what they see, you will be contacted within about a week for your first interview.
      3. At my first interview, I was asked the basic questions of tell me about yourself, why do you want to work at trader joe’s, and I was asked to describe an experience in which I received outstanding customer service. If you pass this interview, you will receive an additional phone call scheduling your second interview.
      4. The second interview asks more detailed questions about your background, your work history, and what makes trader Joe’s stand out to you. This interviewer is trying to get a feeling for your personality. I heard this statement in both”we are looking for people who can provide a wow customer experience. We are looking for engaging people we can teach you the rest.”
      4. The final interview is with the store manager. At this point, you have already had two of the store managers assistance recommend you for employment! This interview entails the manager describing the position in more detail, and salary negotiation. They really just want to get to know you. Where my first two interviews were 40 minutes and 60 minutes long, this one was only 30.
      5. It would be a good idea to either leave a handwritten note or send an email thinking each interviewer for their time.
      Casual. Dress casually! Everyone in the store is wearing jeans or Jean shorts, and a t-shirt. If you show up to overdressed you look already like you don’t fit in with the rest of the team! So my first interview I wore a casual skirt with a 3/4 length t-shirt. Always wear something that shows personality like statement earrings if you’re a woman or you bracelets or a watch or something if you’re a man. Of course don’t wear screen printed T-shirts or jeans with holes in them, although, jeans are okay. I would not recommend for guys to wear any sort of t-shirt. A short sleeve collared shirt and clean jeans would be perfect.

  • Marisa Andrews says:

    what kind of questions will be asked?
    how much is pay?
    what should you wear to the trader joe’s job interview?

  • mari says:

    What questions will they ask during the interview?
    What should we wear during the interview?
    Who will be the person interviewing me?

  • kathy says:

    I am older. Would I have to do stock & lifting or can I be a cashier or bagger? I can do whatever but heavy lifting.

    • Vera says:

      If you become a “Crew Member” you are expected to work in all areas, including stocking and doing some heavy lifting, but you can lift using the buddy system (having another employee assist). You also need to sweep, clean restroom, do cart runs, bag groceries, cashier and more. Checkout their website because it specifically states the duties required!

  • David Golinsky says:

    I just came from a Trader Joe’s interview for a Crew/Mate position at the new Brick New Jersey location. I was dressed appropriately, and answered all questions thoroughly and honestly. I thought the interview was going well until they told me that I’d be cleaning toilets as part of my job. I was a little disappointed. I’m a 61 y/o highly decorated honorably discharged US Army veteran. I thought I’d be offered something better that doesn’t include cleaning toilets.

    • james B says:

      Hi David, my name is James and i am a recent hire of Trader Joes! Even the ‘Captain’ who is the Manager of the entire store routinely cleans toilets. It is a task that everyone does so that there is no sense of hierarchy (while still there must be for business purposes) however interpersonally Tj’s attempts to create an equal playing field where all individuals are respected and valued.

      Don’t be discouraged. We appreciate your service to our country.

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