Image of a woman shopping at Target, a shopping cart and a job tag. The caption reads "Does Target hire felons?"

Yes, Target will hire felons, but this does not mean that they will hire all felons. Targets job application does not ask if you are a felon, but they do run a background check. The good news is that each felons background will be looked at on a case by case basis.

Does Target Hire Felons?

Our organization, Help for Felons provides support and information regarding job placement, housing and more for felons. Below you will find all the information you need to have the best chance at being hired by Target with a felony record.

We make no guarantees that you will be hired but promise that you will have the best chance possible is you follow this guide.

Guide: How to get hired by Target with a felony

Yes, Target stores will hire felons as of October 2020, I promise. In the past, Target was known for preferring to not hire anyone with a criminal record let alone a felony conviction. However, over the years they seem to have reversed this stance. In fact, in 2013 Target led the pack in removing criminal background questions from their job application. Target was a leader in the ‘Ban the Box’ movement.

That being said, Target will run a background check on you and drug test you later during the hiring process. There are many ways that you can minimize the impact of your felony so you can have the best chance at being hired by Target.

Image of a man holding the Target Logo.

Step 1 – Determine if you are eligible to be hired by Target

The first step in getting hired by Target is to determine whether you have a shot at getting the job. There are a few felonies that will make you 100% ineligible to be hired.

Ineligible types of felonies

Before we get started it is important to note that Target will not hire you if you have certain types of felonies. There is nothing you can do to change their mind. These felonies include the following: felony assault, any type of sex offense, armed robbery, or robbery.

If you have any of these conviction in your background, I suggest you check out my page about high paying jobs for felons to look at other options. In addition to that skip down to the portion of this article titled “Location of the Target store” because that information may help you since some states limit how far background checks can go.

Moderate types of felonies

These types of felony convictions make it hard for you to get hired by Target, but it is not impossible. The more time that has passed since you have completed your sentence then the better.

These types of felonies include the following: theft, shoplifting, forgery, grand theft, theft be deception and theft of services. If you have any of these convictions, I suggest you move forward with applying to Target but do not get your hopes up.

Easiest types of felonies

Any felonies related to drugs, particularly possession or DUI are easier for Target to overlook. When you combine this with the other information in this guide then it becomes very possible for Target to hire you.

Location of the Target store you are applying at

The Location of the target store that you are applying at will also make a big difference. Some states limit how far back they can go back when they run your background check.

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.

Step 2 – Target application tips & positions

Before you fill out your application for Target read everything on this page first, so you have an understanding of the entire process and what you’re going to need to do to overcome for felony.


The application can easily be filled out online. It is particularly important that you are 100% honest and accurate about everything you put on your application. Keep in mind that target’s application will not ask you about your criminal record or if you have ever been convicted of a felony.

What position you should apply for

Your goal should be to get your foot in the door and then worry about moving up and making more money. Once you are in Targets system and an employee your felony is going to become meaningless to them.

Do not apply for any management positions, team leads or store security positions. Having a felony record is going to put you under extra scrutiny already so let’s not add to that by applying for positions other than entry level.

These are the best positions, or easiest to get at Target as a felon:

  • Overnight Stocking
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Guest Advocate (Cashier)

Step 3 – Target interview & hiring process

Target does their interviewing and hiring a bit different than most companies. Here is what is going to happen.

After you submit your application you will be called for an interview. The average time for them to call you for an interview is about 3 to 5 days. During the interview you do not need to disclose that you have a felony or criminal record.

Target, in years passed has had some lawsuits against the for discriminating against felons when hiring so they are incredibly careful now. After the interview they will decide about whether they are going to hire you or not.

If you pass the interview you will be asked for permission to run your background check. You will have to give permission online to do this through a third party. They will ask you if you have ever been convicted of a crime.

You must be honest

It is imperative that you are honest about any and all convictions, felonies or misdemeanors. They are going to find out either way. The good news is that you are going to get a chance to explain your criminal record rather than to have someone judge you without your input.

Explain your felony

Now everyone’s story is different so some variation may be needed for your individual situation. You need to explain in brief how you got in trouble and what happened. Be brief and do not dwell on this part.

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 Target. Keep the attention on the present and not the past.

Target Interview Questions

Target often asks the same interview question to each applicant. You need to be prepared to answer these questions.

  • What would you do if an angry customer became verbally abusive?
  • If a customer is looking for a product, but is having trouble describing it, what would you do?
  • Tell me about a time when you were innovative on the job.

I suggest that you check out this post about Target interview questions, it is very helpful.

Step 4 – Waiting for the outcome

After you submit your information the 3rd party will run your background check and read the information you provided. Target will then make their decision; I hope for your sake they hire you but be prepared to be turned down. I can promise you that target will hire felons… Remember that does not mean all felons will be hired.

Targets new hiring practices

In the past, Target was known for preferring to not want to hire convicted felons. However, over the years they have reversed this stance. In fact, in 2013 Target led the pack in removing criminal background questions from application questionnaires. This was mostly due to a number of lawsuits filed against them.

Here is what Target has to say now:

“Since then, we’ve revised our hiring practices, removing the criminal history question from our employment application nationwide. Now, we gather criminal background information in the final stages of the hiring process. This ensures individuals are considered for employment based on their qualifications, interview and availability.”

Sorce: Target Corporation Press Release

Expungement and Target

I will only touch on this briefly. If you do not know what expungement is it is basically a legal way to wipe your felony off your record.

Yes, it can be expensive and not all felonies can be expunged but it is well worth investigating. Most expungement lawyers will give a free consultation. If you can successfully expunge your record, then companies like Target will have no clue that you were ever convicted.

Why Work for Target?

The company founded originally as Goodfellow Dry Goods in 1902, and currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, employees over 341,000 personnel. They offer a competitive benefits package for employees, including:

“One of the best 401(k) plans in retail;’ vacation, national holidays, personal days; 10% discount at Target; 20% off fruits and veggies; Daycare Flexible Spending Account; Childcare discount; Life insurance; Disability insurance; Accident, Critical Illness and Hospital Indemnity Insurance; Commuter benefit; Parental leave; Annual bonus program; and Tuition reimbursement…to list only a few!”

You can check out the full scope of targets benefits here. In addition, their website indicates a progressive outlook on employee health:

“Feeling happy, challenged and fulfilled at work is the essence of career well-being. It’s also about getting opportunities to learn and grow, being recognized for contributions, and feeling comfortable in the workplace.”