How to Apply Online to Retailers

Do you know what to expect if you are applying online to a retailer? Prepare to devote some time for this process, because more major retailers, such as Home Depot, Pet Smart and even McDonald’s require you to apply online exclusively. Usually that means “no cold calls” or “dropping off resumes in person” allowed. Just in the last week, I have helped clients with applying on line, and admittedly, it was time consuming. The retailers require you to go through a multi-step process, including a profile, employment history, pre-screening questionnaire, and lengthy behavioural based questions. In this post, I will guide you on answering strategically. There are some things you should know before you apply online that are relevant to most internet based job applications, including the Home Depot online job application. Home Dept announced that it would hire 6,000 workers this year in North America. Be aware of what they ask in their online job applications.

Guidelines before you apply online

No matter what online retailer you prefer,  you should always look for job applications that are secure like the Home Depot online job application.  Identity theft is a concern of many people when using the internet, and with information filled forms like the Home Depot online job application, a secure website can keep you information private and safe from thieves.  Even though you are not including monetary information, you are still sharing a lot of your personal information on your Home Depot online job application and the like.  Usually the company will put some sort of notation on the application letting you know it is secure, or there will very often be a “lock” icon at the bottom of your browser window.

Applying for jobs via the internet require you to have your information readily available.  For instance, on the Home Depot online job application, like many others, you will need information on your job history, military history, and education.

Keep a record somewhere that lists all you dates of hire, resignation, salary, supervisors’ names, and contact numbers, so that filling out forms like your Home Depot online job application can be done much more quickly.

Consider career possibilities. With the Home Depot online job application, you can apply for entry level to store management level job opportunities.  So if you are looking for higher level jobs, you cannot necessarily rule out the chance to apply online, like with the Home Depot online job application.  The convenience of the internet is not limited to line staff, and it also allows you to focus your qualifications directly to the company to which you are applying, as with the Home Depot online job application.

Ensure that your information is stored, should you need to take a break from the application process.  Our lives are filled with interruptions, and online job applications come with a “save” button so that you can walk away and not lose anything that you have already completed.  (Make sure you save regularly. One of my clients lost her information, but she had not saved and the online process timed out!)

Forms like the Home Depot online job application are a convenience to many job seekers, and it can all be done from the comfort of your own living room.  Make sure you have your information available to make the process a little easier, and also double check to make sure the information you provide is secure-better to err on the side of caution.

Allow plenty of time to apply! Some online applications will give you an approximate time frame to complete the process, from “ten to fifty minutes.” Take this with a grain of salt and allow yourself extra time. The Pet Smart online application times out in ninety minutes.

Actual online questions
Last week, Home Depot featured 73 questions in the form of an employee screening questionnaire.
“Rate your level of self-confidence.”
Rate your “active listening skills.”
How do you “frequently introduce yourself.”

Frequently, the questions will be rephrased and often look similar. There are reasons why retail employers do this-to look for patterns, which brings us to…

Behavioural questions
How do you deal with a “difficult individual…?”
“You observe a customer who’s browsing. How do you respond.?”
Rate how you deal with “new responsibilities” and “working under pressure.”

Devote your time to responding to the screening questionnaire with care. It may exclude you from being contacted for an interview. One strategy is to use the “process of elimination” for choosing responses.

What are your experiences with online job applications?

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Melissa Martin

Melissa is a passionate, innovative career expert, who holds impressive credentials in the career/employment field for over 14 years. Her specialties include dealing with the unemployed, underemployed, military members, aspiring entrepreneurs and those who need “career nourishment to re-ignite themselves.”


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