How to get hired at Trader Joe’s today

picture-2Are you one of the people expected to line up at Trader Joe’s at Court Street and Atlantic Avenue today for a job application? Don’t wear a business suit, make sure you’ve got a brand-appropriate hobby like ice-kayaking and know your portobello ravioli from your dried mango with chili. So says a Trader Joe’s Mole, who supplied us with inside info on what the store will be looking for in new hires and how it’s all going to go down. All you, Mole:

The store will be accepting the first 70 applicants both today, from 5 to 7, and tomorrow, from 3 to 5. What they will probably do is take your completed application, bring the 70 people upstairs and briefly screen each one. Then they’ll review everyone and call certain people back for follow up interviews. No one at the store is sure how many people they’re looking to hire right now (one of the bosses said “it depends on how busy we are”) but there’s no one on the crew doubts that we could use lots of extra hands right now, what with a wave of departures recently and our new 10 p.m. closing time. None of the interview questions are stumpers: They’ll ask you about your past work experiences and what you favorite products are at Trader Joe’s, etc. 

picture-3It’s hard to say exactly whether there’s a secret ingredient to getting hired, but mostly they look for smart, hard-working people with an identifiable streak of friendliness. They try to represent the diversity of the neighborhood and the store’s customer base. Most of the current crew have college degrees, and nearly everyone has some other passion they’re pursuing on the side that doesn’t quite pay the bills (music, art, writing, acupuncture, etc). Contrary to popular belief, TJ’s doesn’t go after these people specifically, it’s just that those folks are drawn there for the health benefits (which you get after three months), flexible schedules, laid-back atmosphere and more than decent pay … and occasional intersection with a Julia Roberts movie set.

picture-4Last time they accepted applications, the line was so long some customers got confused and thought it was the checkout line. I even spotted one or two people in the line wearing suits (completely and utterly unnecessary, fyi, especially if you’ve seen the typical… let’s say “casualness” … of your average Trader Joe’s BK employee).

So the best advice to anyone looking for a job would just be: be friendly, be yourself, and for  god’s sake don’t try to steal anything.

Thanks, Trader Joe’s Mole, and good luck everyone else! (PS Employees get 10 percent discounts, but non-employees can get 100-percent discounts by Dumpster diving there on Sunday nights, which we hear is kind of a thing.)

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