Image of Costco shopping carts and a felon interviewing for a job. The caption reads "does costco hire felons."

Yes, Costco does hire felons, but this does not mean that they will hire all felons. Some felony convictions will immediately disqualify you while others are easier to get hired with. Costco will give you a chance to explain your felony before they decide to hire you or not.

Does Costco Hire Felons

As stated above yes Costco does hire felons. Our Organization Help for Felons has heard back from some clients that have been hired on for various positions at Costco stores and distribution centers. I do not consider them an overly felon friendly employer as they are selective, but it is possible to get hired in some instances.

Below you will find my guide on getting hired by Costco with a felony. Please thoroughly read over this entire post, it contains a ton of information that will help you get hired! No fluff, no BS… Just facts.

Guide: How to get hired by Costco with a felony

The simple steps listed below are critical to turning a no into a yes or a maybe. Filling out applications and hoping someone will hire you rarely works, or it takes forever. Because you are at a ridiculously terrible disadvantage when compared to other applicants you must work harder and smarter than applicants without a criminal record.

Step 1 – Job position selection

You can increase your chance of Costco hiring you with a felony by simply selecting the easiest job to get. It does you no good to apply for positions where your felony is a bigger issue than it already is. Do not apply for management, security, or team lead positions. If you can get your foot in the door you can apply for these positions a bit farther down the road where your felony will not be so cumbersome.

The most “felon friendly” positions to apply for are as follows:

  • Cashier Assistant
  • Cashier
  • Stocker
  • Food Service Assistant
  • Bakery Wrapper
  • Service Deli Assistant

Step 2 – Costco Application

You can fill out a Costco Application online here but please do not do anything until you have read all this article so you can have the best chance at being hired. The application is pretty straightforward and easy to fill out. The good news is that Costo does not ask about a criminal record or felony convictions on their application. Make sure that you are 100% honest on your application about your job history and references since Costco will have them checked out.

To increase your chances of being hired over other applicants you want to make your availability as open as possible. You also have the option to apply to “Any Position” on the application  . Here is the availability questions on the application.

Image of the Costco applications regarding availability.

If possible also answer yes to the holiday question as shown here.

Image of the Costco applications regarding working on holidays.

Step 3) Costco Interview

This is your time to impress the Costco hiring manager that will be interviewing you. I am not going to go into detail on how to interview well as I am not an expert on that particular subject. What I am an expert on is how to deal with this felony and make it a lesser problem than it is.

Even though Costco knows nothing about your felony this is the time to bring it up with the person that is interviewing you.

Why? Because this is the only time you will have any control over explaining your felony. If you leave the interview and the hiring manager gets a “surprise, felony record” fax a week later from the background check company they will be much more apt to cut you than if it is not a surprise and they know your history.

How to present you felony to the Costco interviewer

There are some things you can do to explain your felony in a way that makes it sound “softer” to the Costco interviewer. You must be prepared to present your felony to the interviewer both orally and in written form. Here are the details.

Explaining your felony to the Costco hiring manager

  • Timing is everything – Do not bring this up until the interview is almost concluded, but not after it has ended. This allows the interviewer to form a good opinion about you before you bring up the bad news. Nine times out of ten towards the end of the interview the hiring manager will ask you if you have any questions. This is the time to let then know about your criminal record. Do not use the word felony yet.
  • Explain your felony – Now everyone’s story is different so some variation may be needed for your particular situation. You need to explain in brief how you got in trouble and what happened. Be brief and do not dwell on this part. Limit this to a minute or less.
  • Explain what you have done since your felony – This is especially important and should be well thought out. Talk about what you have done to change your life including but not limited to; education, classes, skills gained, lessons learned and how you want to continue your life by finding a home at Costco. Keep the attention on the present and not the past.
  • Final note – After you have done your explaining it is time to ask the interviewer if they have any questions. After the interview is concluded thank them for their time.

Make sure that you are sincere and honest throughout the entire interview. Many hiring managers have years of experience interviewing applicants and they easily pick up on when people are trying to snowball them. Do not do it. Be calm and truthful.

Written Explanation

It is important to have a short letter concerning your felony. Keep it brief and to the point and do not provide too many details. The most important part of this is not the letter but what goes with it.

Attached to the letter provide any awards, certifications, diplomas, and a few letters of reference attesting to your character. After you have explained your felony to the interviewer then give them the letter and attached documents.

Video: Interviewing with a felony

This is an excellent video full of great information.

Location matters

The Location of the Costco store that you are applying to will make a big difference since some states have laws limiting how far back they can check your background

Twelve states do not allow any felony conviction information older than seven years to be reported. The seven years starts from your release date in most states.

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York *
  • Texas *
  • Washington*

(* exceptions based on pay/salary)

You can find more information on 7-year background check states here.

Costco drug testing policy

I don’t have much to say about this except that Costco does drug test as part of the hiring process and randomly if you are an employee. Don’t blow your chance with a dirty test!

Felony expungement

If you don’t already know felony expungement is a legal procedure that removes a conviction from your record.

It can be expensive and many felonies can not be expunged but it is well worth investigating. Each state is different. Most law firms that  specialize in expungement will give you a free consultation. If you can successfully expunge your record, then companies like Costco will have no clue that you were ever convicted.

Costco Interview Questions

Being prepared for your Costco interview is vital and will make your interview. Remember that you are going to have to compete with applicants that do not have a felony record. You MUST outshine them in every other way! Here are the top three interview questions that you may be asked during your interview.

  • When there’s a lull in your day, what do you do?
  • If you are working on a high-priority task and a customer approaches you looking for help, what do you do?
  • Tell me about a time on the job that now, looking back, you wish you’d handled your customer service responsibilities better. What would you do differently this time?

This article “How to answer Costco Interview Question” may be very useful to you.

High Paying Jobs For Felons – Tired of low paying crap jobs? In this article you will find some great job and career ideas that actually pay well!

FAQ about Costco employment

Q. How far back does Costco background check?

A. Some states limit background checks to 7 years while other states do not place any limits. Costco will follow whatever state law dictates so each location is different.

Q. How long is Costco’s hiring process?

A. From the time you complete your application till your first day of work is usually about 2 weeks.

Q. How much does Costco pay for entry level jobs?

A. On average about $13,50 per hour

Q. How often does costco pay?

A. Every two weeks