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How to Interview for a Warehouse Job

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Warehouses store raw materials or manufactured goods before they are transported for export or sale. Reliable employees who are capable of performing warehouse duties are necessary in a broad range of businesses and industries.

Warehouse Worker Job Description

A warehouse worker may be tasked with any of a variety of duties that keep a warehouse running efficiently. Depending on the job, you may be asked to do any of the following:

  • Assist shipping and receiving by unloading trucks and checking in products or materials.

  • Prepare orders by processing requests, pulling orders, packing boxes and transporting packages to the shipping area.

  • Sort and place warehouse items.

  • Maintain inventory controls.

  • Prepare packages for mailing.

  • Ensure a clean and safe working environment.

Warehouse Worker Education Requirements

There are no formal education requirements for a position as a warehouse worker. Employers generally prefer a high school diploma or equivalent. Previous warehouse experience is sometimes required, but because warehouse operations can vary from one employer to another, on-the-job training is usually provided.

Warehouse workers need good skills in communication, organization and time management. As with any job, employers seek workers who are dependable and reliable. Workers are routinely asked to lift and move objects and to stand, bend and kneel. Depending on the job, workers may be expected to climb ladders or scaffolding.

Warehouse Work Environment

Warehouse workers may work indoors or outdoors. Warehouses are not necessarily climate controlled, so you may be working in the heat or cold even if you're inside all the time. A warehouse worker may work full time, part time or perform shift work that involves evenings, nights, weekends or holidays.

Interview Attire for a Warehouse Job

If you get called for an interview after completing a job application, take time to prepare so you can put your best foot forward. Plan what you're going to wear. Interview attire for a warehouse job can be casual in keeping with the physical nature of the job.

For both men and women, a polo shirt and khakis present a polished look. You can wear jeans if they are clean and in good repair. Likewise, a clean T-shirt of good-quality fabric and free of slogans or advertising is also acceptable. Strive for a neat, professional appearance whether you're applying for a supervisory job or an entry-level position.

Think about what you're going to say during the interview. Bringing a copy of your resume or job application to the interview will help you focus on the qualifications you can bring to the position. Look online or talk with a career adviser about questions typically asked during an interview.

Sample Interview Questions

Warehouse production interview questions may include:

  • How did your previous position prepare you for this job?

  • What do you think is most important in a production position?

  • Can you describe a time that you volunteered for a tough assignment?

  • How do you react when your workload is increased?

  • Will you describe a situation in which you showed initiative on the job?

Warehouse assistant interview questions may include:

  • Why do you want to work for our company?

  • Do you know exactly what our company does?

  • What are your qualifications for the position?

  • What is your biggest weakness?

  • Can you describe a time when you had to coordinate several tasks at once?

Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks data and makes projections for all civilian occupations. Warehouse workers are classified in several ways. Job titles and median 2018 salaries are:

  • Hand laborers and material movers: $27,270 per year/$13.11 per hour
  • Shipping, receiving and traffic clerks: $33,790 per year/$16.25 per hour
  • Laborers and freight, stock and movers: $30,890 per year/$14.85 per hour

Salaries vary by factors such as employer and geographic location. Wages are generally higher in metropolitan areas, where costs of living are also higher. Job growth for warehouse workers is expected to be about 7 percent through 2026, which is about average when compared to all other jobs.

  • Shake hands with the interviewer using a similar grip as the interviewer.
  • Questions commonly asked at a warehouse job interview include how to lift a box safely, what experience you have with barcoding and handling hazardous materials, and what is the proper way to move boxes on a pallet.
  • Smile and be positive during your interview.
  • Don't wear perfume or cologne to the interview, and don't smoke before the interview.
  • Never say anything negative about former co-workers or managers.

Denise Dayton is a a freelance writer who specializes in business, education and technology. She has written for, Library Journal, The Searcher, Bureau of Education and Research, and corporate clients.