Last Updated on 2024-01-16

The 7 Steps In The Amazon Warehouse Hiring Process

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Ozy Watson

T1 Asssociate with 1+ year of experience working in the Unloader, Scanner, Stager, Stower, Picker, Inducter, Pusher, Diverter, and Pick-to-Buffer roles

The hiring process for entry level (L1) associates at an Amazon warehouse can sound confusing if you’ve never gone through it before, but it’s actually quite simple. There are 7 distinct steps, each of which we will be going over in this post. This will be an overview of the hiring process, not a detailed explanation of each step. If you want more details on any of these steps, please visit the post dedicated to that step - each of these will be linked for your convenience.

The hiring process explained in this article applies to all L1 warehouse associate positions at Fulfillment Centers (FCs), Sortation Centers (SCs), and Delivery Stations (DSs). There are many different sites and shift timings, but this process does not vary by site or by shift - all L1 warehouse associates go through the same hiring process.

The hiring process for more senior (L2 and higher) positions, positions at other site types, driver positions, and other Amazon jobs is different and is not covered in this post. 

Overview of the process

The Amazon warehouse hiring process is not so much a rigorous evaluation process as it is signing up for a position and then - unless you fail to meet one of the requirements - starting work.

You go to the Amazon Jobs website, find a site that has availability, pick a shift, and you will then immediately receive an offer that is contingent on meeting all hiring requirements.

These requirements include taking a drug test, passing a background check, and providing verification of your authorization to work in the U.S. 

After receiving your contingent offer, you’ll schedule a pre-hire appointment at one of Amazon’s locations. At this appointment you’ll complete the remainder of Amazon’s hiring requirements. 

After completing this appointment, you wait to receive the results of your drug test and background check. If you pass both, you’ll receive the rest of your onboarding paperwork and a coupon code to buy safety shoes at Zappos. 

Once you buy your safety shoes and complete your onboarding paperwork, all that’s left is to show up for training on your first day.

So in short: unlike a conventional application process in which the hiring team picks the most qualified candidates, all candidates who meet Amazon’s hiring requirements are hired.

Breaking down the process into steps

1) Review Job Requirements

The first step towards being hired as an Amazon warehouse associate is to take a look at the hiring requirements and make sure you’re able to meet them.

For example, if you’re unable to pass the drug test (Amazon does not test for THC) or you do not have employment authorization documents, you won’t be able to complete the hiring process.

If you’re unsure whether or not you’ll be able to pass the background check (e.g. as a result of a criminal conviction), it doesn’t hurt to try, assuming you meet all other requirements. Amazon is often willing to take a chance on people.

Read more about Amazon’s job requirements.

2) Identify the Position You Want

The next step is to go to the Amazon Jobs website and find an available position that matches your criteria.

There are certain times of the year during which Amazon is more likely to be hiring.

In general, there will only be a couple sites within a reasonable commute distance, so it is recommended to look nearby.

If you have multiple options within a reasonable distance, you may want to narrow it down further: which one pays the most? Which one has shift timings that best fit you? Do you have a preference for whether you’re working as an FC associate, a SC associate, or an SC associate? Once you’ve found the position you like best, you can choose a specific shift and then move on to the application process.

Read more about when Amazon is likely to hire, and the kinds of entry level jobs that are often available.

3) Applying

Once you’ve identified the position and shift you would like to work, you’ll move on to completing and submitting your application to work at Amazon.

The application process is actually incredibly simple - all it entails is picking a job to apply for, providing your information, completing documents, and consenting to a background check. You can read a more detailed post about the application process here. After submitting your application, you’ll receive an offer contingent on meeting all of Amazon’s hiring requirements.

Read more in our detailed post on filling out the application.

4) Pre-hire Appointment

Once you complete your application and receive your contingent offer, you’ll be prompted to schedule a pre-hire appointment at one of Amazon’s hiring sites.

Unlike the hiring process of most other jobs, Amazon’s pre-hire appointment doesn’t consist of knowledge-based interviews or assessments.At this appointment you’ll take a drug test, take a badge photo, show your ID, and complete your I-9 (employment eligibility verification) paperwork.

All you need to bring to this appointment is your ID and employment authorization documents (Social Security card, Employment Authorization Document, etc).

5) Drug Test & Background Check

After completing your pre-hire appointment, your drug test will be reviewed and your background check will be sent out. 

Within a week or so, you’ll receive your results.

If you have a clean drug test and a clear background check, you’re good to go, and you’ll move on to completing the last of your employment paperwork. 

Read more about Amazon’s drug testing and background check process.

6) Onboarding

The final step in the warehouse associate hiring process at Amazon before you go in for your first day is the onboarding. This consists of paperwork and purchasing the necessary equipment to work in an Amazon warehouse.

Firstly, you’ll be given a $110 voucher to buy safety shoes on Zappos. You must do this before your first day - you cannot work as a warehouse associate at Amazon without proper protective footwear. 

You’ll also be sent onboarding and employment paperwork to e-sign. This paperwork consists of agreeing to Amazon policies, filling out your W-4 tax information, and filling out your direct deposit information.

After you’ve ordered your safety shoes and completed your onboarding paperwork, you’re done with the hiring process and you’re ready for your first day at Amazon! 

Note that if your position includes a sign-on bonus, you won’t receive it on your first day. Sign-on bonuses are typically distributed as ⅓ after 1 month, and the remaining ⅔ after 6 months of employment. This can vary by site.

7) First Day at Amazon

If you’ve made it to this point, you’ve successfully met all of Amazon’s hiring requirements, completed the hiring process, and you’re now ready for your first day.

Your start date and time will be listed on your Amazon Jobs portal - make sure you have it memorized or written down. Failing to show up for your first day could result in termination. 

When it’s time for your first day, make sure you’re wearing your safety shoes, and that you’re dressed in a safe and appropriate manner (no baggy clothing, hair tied back). We also recommend bringing a water bottle, a meal for your lunch break, and a couple light snacks for your two 15-minute breaks. Working as an Amazon warehouse associate can be quite physically strenuous, and you’ll want to be well hydrated and fed. 

With all these things, you’ll go to the Amazon site you’ve been hired at (the address is also on your Amazon Jobs portal), and your badge will be in the lobby. You’ll use this badge to get into the building, and an Amazon learning ambassador will meet you and take you to the training area to complete your orientation.

Congratulations! You’re now officially an Amazon warehouse associate.

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