The most straightforward answer to this question is yes, Kroger runs background checks on all potential employees. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply if you have a felony or misdemeanor. If you’re interested in working at Kroger, continue reading this article. You will learn more about the company and their hiring process.
In this article, we will share information about these topics:
- What is Kroger?
- What will Kroger see on my background check? What do I do if I have a felony or misdemeanor?
- How can I succeed in a Kroger interview?
Kroger is a supermarket chain. It mainly operates in midwestern and southern states in the US. A full list of states with Kroger stores can be found here. The Kroger corporation is one of the world’s largest retailers. In addition to offering groceries, many Krogers also include a pharmacy and sell home goods, personal care products, toys, and other items. Your local Kroger might even have an affiliated gas station.
Just as Kroger offers many different products, it also has many different job positions. Within a Kroger store, you will find clerks, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, grocery baggers, and greeters, among other employees. Consider some of the skills required for these jobs as you begin the application process.
As a clerk, you might need to:
- Aid customers in scanning items and checking out
- Stock shelves
- Build in-store displays
- Bake bread and cookies or decorate cakes
As a pharmacy technician, you might need to:
- Stock pharmaceuticals
- Answer phone calls
- Maintain the pharmacy and pharmacy equipment
- Prepackage and label drugs
As a bagger or greeter, you might need to:
- Interact with customers
- Bag groceries after checkout
If you have any of these skills, a job at Kroger could be right for you! Be sure to visit Kroger’s online job database for a full list of open positions.
Kroger Background Check
Kroger runs a background check on everyone applying to work at their stores. This background check will probably include information about any pending charges, felonies, incarcerations, or misdemeanors on your record. They might also require you to take a drug test. Kroger does not state on their site that they have a policy against hiring felons. They will handle applications on a case-by-case basis.
The application process at Kroger begins with their job listing site and online application. Once you have submitted your application, you may be asked for a phone call or an interview. A background check will most likely be performed after you have interviewed with the company. However, this could depend on the state and city that you live in. If you live live somewhere that has “banned the box” on job applications, Kroger shouldn’t ask you about your criminal record before you are interviewed. The states that have “banned the box” are:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
If the job application form does ask you about felony convictions, it might only ask about recent convictions. In this case, you don’t have to mention any felonies earlier than the application asks about. Usually, this time limit is somewhere between 5 and 10 years.
In all states in the US, Kroger has to get your consent before they run a background check. They might ask for your consent during your interview or after your interview. They may make you a job offer contingent on a background check. This means that you will get the job only after the background check results come in.
If you refuse a background check, Kroger can refuse to hire you. It’s a good idea to consent to the background check. You can also discuss your background before the results of the background check come in. This gives you a chance to explain any felonies or misdemeanors that show up on your record. It shows that you are honest and gives you the opportunity to shape how your interviewer sees you. You can show them that you are focusing on a positive future instead of dwelling on a negative past. Also remember that it is illegal for Kroger to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This means that they cannot treat you differently from someone else with the same criminal record because of your race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Kroger’s background check will uncover information from any state, not just the state where you are applying for the job. For example, in 2016 a Kroger background check revealed convictions filed in New Jersey for someone who was applying in Alabama. You can see your own criminal record before Kroger does by using an official criminal background check website. Here is a list of these websites, organized by state. The cost of a background check is different depending on your state.
Use these websites to check for any incorrect information before you apply. Make sure that all of your information is up-to-date. If you find any problems on your record, take the steps to fix it. The process for fixing mistakes on your criminal record varies by state. You could be asked to submit a form online, have your fingerprints taken, or file a motion for a judge to make the correction. This depends on your where you live and what kind of correction you need to make. A simple google search will tell you more about how to correct your criminal record in your specific state.
You might also be able to get an arrest or conviction expunged from your record. If you get an expungement, the conviction will “disappear.” It will not show up on a background check. You do not have to tell your employer about it. States that currently support expungement are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
If you live in one of these states, this website has more information about the process.
If you make changes to your record, know what the changes are. Get official documents that prove that the changes are legitimate. If someone at Kroger asks about changes or discrepancies on your record, you can show them these documents and explain that you have an updated record.
How can I succeed in a Kroger interview?
The interview stage of your application can be an important time to talk about your criminal record. If you get an interview at Kroger, don’t lie about felonies or misdemeanors on your record. If you are asked about them, take the opportunity to show that you are dedicated to moving your life forward in a positive direction. Explain your criminal history briefly. Then focus on your goals for the future and why Kroger is important to you. Your interview is your chance to show Kroger the person behind the application. By sharing your story in a productive way, you can win over your interviewer and land the job.
Some things may be out of your control. The hiring manager who is interviewing you may not be sympathetic to your case. If you have a violent felony or a history of theft, it may be harder for you to find work in a retail setting. In their statement on integrity, Kroger says that they expect all their employees to “adhere to the highest moral, ethical and legal standards.” Do your best to show them that, regardless of your past actions, you are ready to meet those standards.
To show why you would be a good fit for Kroger, take time to prepare for your interview. Prepare answers to questions like:
- Why do you want this job?
- What do you know about Kroger?
- What skills do you have that will help you succeed in this position?
- Why should Kroger choose you instead of another applicant?
To demonstrate your professionalism, try to arrive early to your interview, dress formally, and prepare a copy of your resume. Since Kroger has no blanket policy against hiring felons, think of your interview as your “make or break” moment.
Many colleges offer free information about resumes, such as these tips from the University of Georgia. Some websites offer templates that you can fill out with your information. For example, resume.com and Google docs have free templates. There are also many resources online, such as this database of example resumes from Monster.com. You can also visit the H.I.R.E. Network’s website for more state-specific guides and resources to help you prepare. Use these resources to give yourself a leg up on your competition!
After your interview, send an email thanking your interviewer. If you discussed your criminal record during your interview, you can use this email to remind them about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and the Federal Bonding Program. These are federal programs that give benefits and support to employers who hire felons.
While your felony charges may be a hurdle to employment, they do not mean it is impossible to work at Kroger. The current CEO of Kroger started out as a part-time clerk at one of their grocery stores. Set your sights high and use the information in this article to prepare, and you could soon be working your way up in the company, too.