If you have a felony and are looking for a job, one place to consider is a large retailer, such as Walmart.
Workers are always in demand here. After all, Walmart is the world’s biggest private employer! Moreover, the company makes it a point to say that it is an equal opportunity employer.
Is this really true if you have a criminal record?
It turns out, Walmart like many other retailers (eg Target, K-Mart/Sears) will most likely NOT hire a felon who is a sex-offender, or has a conviction for violent crimes or theft.
So if this applies to you, see what other jobs you may be eligible for here.
Still, to have a shot at getting a job, you must be prepared to pass Walmart’s mandatory criminal background check and a drug test.
How Hard Is It To Get An Entry Level Walmart Job?
To get some hard core data, we have sent a couple of felons undercover to try to get hired at a local Walmart in the state of Massachussets. Both individuals were offered cashier positions, on the condition that they would pass a drug test.
Since both applicants were on probation and successfully passed all their drugs tests previously, they also passed the ones Walmart gave them.
However, after a week or so both people received a letter in the mail from the company, stating that they made a mistake filling out the background check portion of the application. The letter instructed to call a global background checking company.
When they called this company they spoke with an Indian customer service representative. He asked them for their social security numbers along with other personal information needed to run a global scan on their backgrounds and then sent it to Walmart.
This rep told them that it will be around 5-10 days before Walmart goes through the information and gets back to them. Since no one got back to them, after a two week wait, both applicants called to check in, and were denied employment.
Stated reason: failure to pass the criminal background check.
Should you bother applying if you have a felony?
Yes!!! You should always apply to any local position available, because you don’t know where luck will catch up with you.
Here is the real deal with Walmart:
– Most locations will only consider you if your felony happened at least 7 years ago. However, unfortunately, many places deny felons even if the crime was committed 12-18 years ago. So don’t be surprised if you get denied.
– You will only quality for an entry level sales or night stocker position. No management jobs for felons.
– From speaking to hundreds of people across the country who are in the same situation, it looks like location plays a huge factor. In some cities and states, Walmart stores are more willing to give felons a shot at employment, while in other places, historically they alway say “no”. In fact, there have been many cases where a felon was able to get a job at Walmart in one state, but was denied after moving to another state. This means that you have to apply and see what happens with your local store.
– You must be HONEST about your record when filling out the application. If you lie, and they discover the felony on their own (they always do) you will be FOREVER barred from applying to any Walmart, Sam’s Club, Wayfair, and any other company that Walmart Inc. owns.
– The hiring manager makes the final decision after interviewing you. If you make a good connection and are able to show that you are an honest hard working person, who just needs a chance, there is a strong possibility that you will get the job.
– The company evaluates each applicant on an individual bases, and also considers the circumstances surrounding the committed crime.
– Your chances of getting a job will be higher if you have relevant skills and experience.
– If you have a money or theft related conviction, you should not bother applying.
What is the hiring process at Walmart like?
If you want to apply, here is how you do it, and the steps you need to best prepare for the job interview.
Step 1: Fill out an online application. Today, Walmart does NOT accept paper applications. If you don’t have access to a computer and or internet, you can go to a local store and fill out their online application at the help desk computer.
Step 2: After filling out all your basic information and which position/s you are interested in, you will need to go through an Assessment Test. There will be around 65 questions on different topics. The better you do on this test, the more chances you will have to get called back for the interview.
Step 3: If your application gets accepted, you will be asked to come in for an interview. You may have more than one person interviewing you at the same time. At most stores, there will be 3 managers talking to you. This may be stressful, so its important to prepare yourself, and maybe run a mock interview with a few friends or family members.
During this time, the hiring manger will start asking questions about your background. This is the moment where you have to be 100% honest about your criminal record. If you lie or even slightly change what happened, they will find out the truth after doing a thorough criminal background check. So lying ultimately ruins your chances of getting this job!
Step 4: Depending on the store and position, you may be called for a second interview.
Step 5: If you pass all the interviews, the company will conduct the criminal background check and a drug test. Its very important to stay drug free, because Walmart reserves the right to repeat the drug test at any point during the hiring process and even after. This means that they can take away your offer of employment of your current job, if you fail the drug test.
Step 6: You may need to wait 1 to 2 weeks to find out your answer. If you don’t hear from them yourself, you should call.
Step 7: If you get hired, there will be a three day orientation for new employees, where you will learn all of your duties as well as Walmart’s general policies and procedures that all employees must follow.
Tips for landing the job
Here is what you can do to put your best foot forward during the hiring process and increase your chances of being hired.
1. Indicate on your application and during the interview that you are available to work during any day of the week and any hours of the day. Many Walmart stores require night shift workers, and felons often get specifically these jobs.
2. Be open to any type of a position, and say so on the application and during the interview.
3. Look neat and professional when you come in for the interview
4. Be 100% honest. Share the details surrounding your crime but also stress how you have reformed since then.
5. Talk about relevant skills, and character traits that would make you an outstanding Walmart employee.
– Truck driving jobs
– Roofing jobs
– Freelance jobs
Or consider going to college to learn new skills and find better paying jobs than Walmart’s minimum wage.