Tips for landing a job at Publix

Patti Breckenridge

Patti Breckenridge

Whether the economy is booming or busting, Publix is fortunate to continually have thousands of people interested in working for us. Unfortunately, that means we disappoint a lot of people each year when they aren’t hired for positions they wanted. I hate that!

So I thought I’d share some tips on improving your chances of being hired at Publix. This blog will address opportunities in our stores, where more than where more than 130,000 148,000 associates work. (Updated 8/28/13: That’s right, we’ve grown by 18,000 in the span of a year!) . Future blogs will address opportunities in our support facilities – our corporate offices, distribution centers and manufacturing plants.

The first step

The most important questions to ask yourself – and answer – before applying at a Publix store are these:

  • How will you respond when you keep being interrupted by customers? Will you welcome the interruptions as an opportunity to help people or will the interruptions test your last nerve?
  • When you go home after a day of working with customers whose needs and personalities vary widely, how satisfied will you feel?

We can teach you a wide array of skills to be successful at Publix. We can’t, however, give you a passion for serving others. You either have that or you don’t. If you have that, you not only are a perfect fit for Publix, you will find great enjoyment working in our stores. If you don’t have that passion, you likely won’t be happy and you likely won’t provide the premier customer service we demand of our associates.

The next step

If customer service is the right place for you, the next step is to familiarize yourself with our stores. If you are already a customer, you will have an advantage in this area. If you aren’t a customer, become one for awhile to learn how we do business.

When you’re ready to apply

We have a great deal of information on our website about the duties of the hourly positions, the age restrictions for teens, the benefits we offer and career paths that are available. We also have instructions on how to use our Job Application Center, an automated kiosk, to apply. So I won’t repeat any of that here.

These are my tips:

  • You can apply for numerous positions at a store. Study the duties of each one before you go to the store, so you will choose the ones that most interest you. Also, fill out the JAC Time Saver so you have all the information you need at your fingertips.
  • Just because you can apply for any position doesn’t mean there will be openings in that position at the store where you want to work. So when you arrive at the store to apply, go to the Customer Service desk and ask for a manager so you can find out what openings currently exist at that store. That may help you decide which positions to apply for.
  • Your availability for work is key to being hired. If you can’t work weekends, you will have less of a chance of being hired. Saturdays and Sundays are our busiest days. We also need people who can work evenings.
  • If you haven’t heard anything in two weeks after applying, go back to the store and ask for the manager you spoke with originally. Seek advice on what you can do to improve your chance of being hired.
  • You have to update your application every 30 days to continue to be considered. The update process is very simple and very quick.

Next time I’ll offer tips on how to prepare for an interview if you’re called by one of our stores.

Patti Breckenridge
Recruiting Manager

48 Responses

  1. consult911 September 4, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    I would add one more thought to the availability point: Open availability means you are available any hours the store is open, plus the pre-opening and post-closing hour or so, so please keep that in mind before stating open availability!

    And like Patti said, Publix is always looking to fill night and weekend hours, so if you are not available during those days/hours you probably shouldn’t bother to apply (not an official stance, just my opinion).

  2. dkmorrison November 28, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    I work at store 1416 in Knoxville, TN and will be relocating to Brevard County, Fl in January. I was wondering how I would transfer to a Publix there. I am a full time Decorator. Thanks

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge November 28, 2012 at 11:18 am #

      Your Store Manager will help you with the transfer process. If you have any difficulties in the process, contact Nick Collins, the Retail Staffing Specialist for your division. ~ Patti

      • dkmorrison November 28, 2012 at 11:26 am #

        Thank you for your help.

        • Patti Breckenridge
          Patti Breckenridge December 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

          You are more than welcoome, Denice.

  3. harris1830 March 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    I am 17 years old and seeking employment during the summer. This would be my first job if employed with your company. I would love to become a part of your company and am expressing my interest at this time to come in for an interview. If possible, could you please call me at 532-6078 and let me know a good time that I can come by for an interview. I am on spring break the week of April 1st thru 5th. My parents works full-time therefore I am depending on them or my brother to bring me to work since I haven’t gotten my license yet. My brother can bring me to work anytime after 4:30pm and my parents can bring me anytime after 6:30pm. I am only seeking part-time for summer and know that most young people don’t like to work late afternoons but I would be happy to work late afternoons. Thanking you in advance for your immediate attention and have a blessed day.

    Jade Alexandria Harris

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge March 25, 2013 at 11:02 am #


      Thank you for your interest in working at Publix! How exciting that you are ready to take on your first job!
      Here’s how our employment process works. You need to apply at one of our Publix stores. We have a kiosk in each store called a Job Application Center.
      Once you have applied, all of the stores in that area can see your information.
      However, to improve your chances of being hired, please speak briefly with a manager in each store to let them know why you would make a good Publix associate.
      Another way to improve your chances of being hired to sign up for the widest availability possible.
      Competition to work at Publix is stiff since we receive 2 million applications a year for 40,000 openings.
      If you don’t hear from a manager within the first 30 days after you apply, you must update your application to continue to be considered.
      It only takes about 3 minutes to update your application.
      I hope this helps in you quest to gain employment at Publix!


      • reyes5555 October 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

        Am i not going to get hired because i have been in the application process for 6 months now. I really hope i can get a job. I have been talking to mangers like crazy and turning in a speech and my resume. I am 15 years old. I always renew my application at the job application center. Please reply ASAP.
        Sincerely, Reyes Vasquez

        • Patti Breckenridge
          Patti Breckenridge October 9, 2013 at 8:34 am #


          First of all, thank you for your interest in Publix and your persistence in keeping your application active.
          I assure you I understand your frustration.
          With nearly 2 million applications per year for 50,000 openings, we unfortunately frustrate a lot of people.
          You’ve taken the right steps by applying and then talking to managers about openings.

          These are the criteria used to determine which candidates are invited to an interview and which are ultimately hired:
          1. Availability: Does your availability match the hours needed by the store? Nights and weekends are crucial in our business.
          2. Fitting our culture: During the application process, you took an assessment that helped us evaluate your reliability and your native ability to deliver premier customer service. Those with the highest scores are those most likely to be hired.
          3. Previous Publix experience: Many former associates seek to return to Publix. If they had a good record while working here, they usually are among the first invited to an interview.
          4. Previous retail experience: Store Managers almost always hire someone with experience over someone with no experience.
          5. Referrals: When our store associates tell us about someone they know who would make a great Publix associate, Store Managers listen. One-third of the people we hire in our stores were referred by an associate.

          One thing that might be holding you back is the score on the assessment you took when you first applied. You can retake that assessment after 6 months.
          We also employ a limited number of 14 and 15 year olds because of federal rules on what individuals of your age are allowed to do in a store and what hours you are allowed to work.
          I hope this information is helpful to you.


  4. andy September 11, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    Make sure you show up extra, EXTRA early because the hiring managers are overly rude about being late a few minutes, even 1 minute late. I got to the warehouse 10-15 minutes before my interview and was held up by multiple semi-trucks pulling in as well. Then I had to wait for the security guard to check me in, make a phone call, give me an ID badge and then proceeds to give me horrible directions on where to park. Then I was stopped by another security guard because the confirmation email with instructions for the interview told me to go to the wrong gate (Gate 10 when It should have said Gate 9). Once I spotted the building I was looking for I had to turn back around because there was only 1 opening to the parking lot I needed to park in. Once I finally got parked it was right at my interview appointment time so I rushed in and signed in, according to my time, 1 minute late. I followed the instructions posted and sat down in the waiting room for at least 10 minutes. I heard some men outside the room talking so I stood up expecting to be greeted and actually made eye contact with 1 of them through the door window but they walked away. After waiting a few more minutes I got concerned and decided to try to find someone to talk to. Right around the corner of the waiting room I found the office of the hiring manager whose name was on the interview confirmation e-mail. I was quite surprised to see it was the same person I had just made eye contact with a few minutes earlier and was confused to why would he not have come and talked to me when he saw me in the waiting room area? I asked if I was in the right place and had the right time because I already had my first interview canceled for some unknown reason and was given this interview date and time instead. He told me I did but the interview had come and passed because I was so late. I explained I had been waiting in the other room because that’s what the interview sign’s stated to do. He said I was way too late and there’s nothing he could do. I tried to explain I was just 1 minute, a few minutes late due to the problems pulling in and getting parked. He asked what kind of car I was driving and proceeded to tell me he saw me pulling in and I was 10-15 minutes late at that point, which was completely false. I was nice the whole time and tried to talk him into doing a quick short interview but he would not stating “it would not be fair to me or the next person being interviewed.”

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge September 18, 2013 at 8:42 am #


      It’s true that you have to prepare for the unexpected, so arriving 30 minutes early is a good suggestion for all candidates. However, I’m sorry you didn’t have a more pleasant expwerience. Please send me an email at with the name of the hiring manager and the position you were interviewing for.


  5. mclark15 October 2, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Good Morning,

    I just love this store, and would be so proud to have a career at Publix. I am 52 years young and dependable. I can weekend ends too. I love to cook and garden and scrapbook. I have 5 grandkids and love spending time with them. I would love to work in Murfreesboro Tn. I have submitted a application and prefer working in the Deli since I enjoy cooking. I attend World Out Reach Church in Murfreesboro and would love to be able to go to Church on Sundays or Saturday evening. I am available everyday.

    Michelle Clark

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge October 7, 2013 at 10:57 am #


      Now that you have applied, please speak with the Deli Manager and let them know why you think you would make a great Deli associate. You might also consider doing the same at other nearby Publix stores as managers in the surrounding area can also see your application.


  6. bsmith0602 October 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    First I just want to say that I LOVE Publix. I lived in Louisiana for about 3 years and spent a ton of time telling everyone there about how great Publix is and I wish the had some near Baton Rouge. I recently moved to the Charlotte, NC area and found out so is Publix. I am very excited to have my favorite grocery store near me again. I was wondering if you would have an idea when they will be opening and if you are going to have a job fair for the locations up here. I would love to get in to management with Publix, but know they promote mostly from with in. I was wondering if they would be doing a job fair for the area up here since it is a new market to Publix and if so when they might be doing that. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I look forward to our first Publix opening in North Carolina.

  7. Daniel November 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Hi im 14 and i have applied to a store near me and i talked to a cashier who worked at the store for more than 20 years and he told me that i would have a better chance of getting a job there if i were to go in and directly speak to a Manager instead of waiting for a call/email from my resume. I was wondering if this is a good idea. If anyone knows anything about this please leave a reply, thanks!

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge November 18, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      This is an excellent idea. It’s what we encourage all applicants to do. Briefly share reasons why you would make a good Publix associate. Good luck!


  8. jaylen729 December 2, 2013 at 3:24 am #

    Hello, I’m 15 years old and I applied for the bagger position to try to help out my mom. Just wanted to say that I love the atmosphere when I walk into the store, It’s calm and collective. Anyways, only problem I have is, I put in an application a few times and everytime I call to check up on it, I don’t get that friendly feeling. Been trying to get a job here for more than 6 months, I feel like it’s impossible to get hired here. Overall, I like the store :D .

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge December 2, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      Thank you for your persistence in seeking a job at Publix! I’d like to talk with you about your experience. Would you please send your phone number to my email address:

  9. imelda December 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Hi I’m 15 years old and I applied 2 months ago I still didn’t get a call back and I updated my account . Should I call the manger ?I’m definitely available on the weekends during any time. I love Publix & I would really like to be part of the team !

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge December 9, 2013 at 8:55 am #


      Thank you for your interest in working at Publix! We receive nearly 2 million applications a year for 50,000 openings, so a vast majority are not called for interviews. However, to increase your chance of receiving one, please do visit a manager in each of the stores where you would be willing to work. (Your application can be seen by other stores, not just the one where you applied.) Briefly explain why you would make a great Publix employee. Have a great holiday season!


  10. ffdream5062 January 13, 2014 at 9:39 pm #


    I am 16 and have just now submitted the application for an entry level job at Publix Store #01052. First, I would like to express my gratitude towards Publix, as they have done a wonderful job serving my community and myself personally. I have shopped at my local Publix ever since its establishment in 2005. I would love to give back to Publix and my community by acquiring a part-time job and working to support the company and my community. What should I expect after completing the application? Are there any possible ways to strengthen my job candidacy and make my application stand out?
    Luke Tankersley

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 14, 2014 at 10:40 am #


      Thank you for applying at Publix! And for your kind words about our company!
      The best way to improve your chances of being hired is to ask to speak with a manager. Briefly explain to him or her why you would make a great Publix associate. And share the same words about what you think about Publix.
      Then find out what you can about any openings in the store. If you don’t get an interview, speak to a manager at a nearby store since surrounding stores can see your appliation. Be polite but persistent! Best of wishes!


  11. jrenesca January 21, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Hi Patti!

    Let me first say that it is absolutely awesome that you take the time to respond to all of the comments on this post! That is definitely not a protocol that most companies follow– so I wanted to share my appreciation!

    That being said, I have the confidence to leave a comment knowing I will be responded to. I have read your blog post, and all of your responses to fellow users; but I wanted some advice for my particular situation.

    I am 25 years old and have my heart set on working for Publix as a cake decorator (or in the bakery and working my way up). I am aware that I might have to start at an entry level position due to store needs. Here is my dilemma: I have been a homemaker for almost 3 years, and the last time I was employed was at 5 months pregnant. I have had no professional experience in cake decorating/baking besides all the baked goods and cakes I have made from home. I have taken the Wilton cake decorating courses to have something official in writing, but besides that, everything I have learned is self taught. I have even initiated taking a food safety course, certified by the state of Florida, to confirm my seriousness and dedication to this industry.

    I have a PASSION and LOVE for baking and decorating, which transforms into the equivalent for the people who happily devour my oven creations! I love to see them truly satisfied!

    I have now decided to get back into the workforce and regain that one on one interaction with customers once again! However, because of my long lapse in employment and my lack of professional experience, my confidence in applying for employment (especially in such a highly regarded company as Publix) has wavered.

    Is there any specific advice that you would graciously share with me, in respect to my circumstances, that would optimize my application, interview and hiring process?

    Once again, thank you for your time and dedication!


    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm #


      I am so glad you contacted me. I would love to introduce you to the retail recruiter in your area. He or she can help you find the right place to start, whether it would be as a Decorator Apprentice or as an Apprentice.
      Where do you live?


      • jrenesca January 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm #


        I am beyond thrilled that you would assist me in such a way! I would absolutely love to be introduced to the retail recruiter in my area! I live in Orlando, Florida– specifically in the 32837 (zip code) area.

        I am most grateful, thank you.


        • Patti Breckenridge
          Patti Breckenridge January 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm #


          Our Orlando area recruiter position is open at the moment. I am working to fill it by March. In the meantime, please email She is our HR Manager in the division that includes Orlando. If she can’t help you, then email me in late March and I’ll give you the name of the new recruiter. I apologize for the delay.


          • jrenesca January 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm #


            Would it be appropriate to inform Mrs. Beth Grove that I was referred by you, and furthermore, inquire her assistance for a job placement at Publix?

            Would it also be prudent of me to apply at my local Publix before contacting Mrs. Beth Grove (so my information is in the database)?

            May I also obtain which email would be best to contact you if need be?

            I apologize for the series of questions. Thank you for the information and your assistance thus far!


          • Patti Breckenridge
            Patti Breckenridge January 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm #


            1. It would be best to apply first.
            2. The next step would be to speak with a manager at the store to tell him or her why you would make a great Publix associate. Also, ask the manager if there are openings at that store. If there aren’t, ask if there are openings at surrounding stores. Sometimes, the managers will know that.
            3. If there are openings at surrounding stores, please go to speak with a manager there.
            4. After that, contact Beth, tell her what you have done, and ask for her feedback.

            You can contact me at

            I hope this helps!


          • jrenesca January 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm #


            I am very grateful for this valuable information you have shared with me!

            I will follow through with the steps you recommended, and hope this is the beginning of fulfilling career at Publix!


  12. bryaw4 January 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm #


    I think this blog is great and it is exactly what I was looking for. I’m 18 and I applied for a job at my local Publix yesterday, but I didn’t talk to the manager. Should I? If so I have no idea what I should say. I’m very shy and very nervous but I this job would be so great for me and it’s at a great location.

    Also do you think calling after a few days would be a good idea? Or should I just wait for a call? I wouldn’t want to disturb anyone if they’re busy.


    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm #


      Thank you for thinking of Publix when looking for a job! I DO encourage you to speak with a manager to briefly explain why you think you would make a great Publix associate. At that time, you can also ask if there are openings and how you can increase your chances of being hired. Calling the store isn’t a good solution. If you don’t hear anything after speaking with a manager, consider speaking with a manager at another Publix store. Your application can be seen by surrounding stores.


      • bryaw4 January 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

        Thank you very much. I’ll go do that today. :)

  13. bsadulski January 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    Hello there. First off, I wanted to just express how helpful of a website this is. The amount of information on this site is outstanding.

    Furthermore, I wanted to elaborate on my 2 year long, job application experience. Since August of 2012, I have been applying for any open position in the Palm Bay / Melbourne Florida area. Over these 2 years, I continually kept up with my resume, updating it monthly. Still, to this day, I havent even been confronted, about my interview.

    I do understand the restrictions that in place for us teens, however, now that I am almost 16, I feel that I have a better opportunity.

    Do you have any suggestions or ideas for a teen, to land an interview? I have been a shopper at this location since 2006, so I am familiar with the staff, and definitly, the store.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Bradley Sadulski

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm #


      First of all, thank you for your persistence. This is an important trait of successful people.
      Secondly, have you spoken to managers in the store where you want to work?
      Start with the Customer Service Manager, so teens are primarily used for Front Service Clerks.
      Explain to the manager who persistent you have been and why.
      Then briefly describe why you would be a great Publix associate.
      Last, ask what you can do to improve your chances of being hired.
      If you don’t receive an interview at that store, go to another Publix and have the same conversation with the Customer Service Manager there.


  14. exigam January 28, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Patti!

    I am currently a full-time student, and I am very interested in applying for a job at Publix. However, I will be studying abroad during the month of May. Would Publix afford me the flexibility to go on the trip, if I were to be hired now?


    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge February 3, 2014 at 9:20 am #


      Some store managers may be able to work with you on that. I would go ahead and apply and then speak with a manager to let him or her know why you would make a great Publix associate.


      • exigam February 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm #


        Thank you for the speedy reply. I will apply right away.


        • Patti Breckenridge
          Patti Breckenridge February 5, 2014 at 10:48 am #



  15. bradpublix1990 February 1, 2014 at 10:31 pm #


    I just had a few quick questions about Publix that I hope you can answer for me.

    I recently had an interview at a new Publix there opening up in a few weeks. I thought the interview I had went great. But the next day I found out I didn’t get the job as a stocker. With my 5 years of experience as a stocker, which includes everything from ordering food, unloading trucks, down stacking trucks, stocking boxes fast with rotation, and my experience around the store in different departments I was pretty sure i would be hired.

    When I ask the guy who told me that I didn’t receive the job why, he told me he didn’t know and he isn’t part of that job process. Now I keep wondering why I didn’t get it, I applied for full time, with anytime I could work, and even said i could do part time if needed, maybe its cuz i said i wanted to be a manager in the long run; I’m not sure its just driving me insane cuz I’m the best stocker in the grocery store i work at now.

    I do know that there are more stores to come in my area that I live at, and the guy did say to keep my app on file to keep updating it; but i wish they would say why I didn’t get the job.

    Thanks for your help if you have any information to share.
    Brad Barth

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge February 3, 2014 at 9:23 am #


      I have two suggestions:
      (1) Since you don’t know the experience level of the person who was hired, avoid assuming that youn were the most qualified person for the job.
      (2) Speak with a manager to find out what you can do to be considered for future opportunities.

      Thank you again for your interest in Publix!


      • bradpublix1990 February 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

        That is very true, thx for the reply , change some stuff to my app and just going to keep trying for one of the other new store soon to come, Ty

  16. mascc5 February 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    I have inquired about applying as store manager, but I am told I have to start as an hourly employee. I am currently a store manager for a grocery and have several years of experience, would Publix not consider me as a candidate? I make to much money now to leave my current job and apply for an hourly position.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge February 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm #


      We fill 95% of our management positions through promoting from within, for two reasons: (1) We want our managers to be experts at passing on our culture. They can’t do that if they don’t know the culture from extensive experience. (2) We promise our associates that if they work hard, they can move up in the company. So when a Publix associate is available and ready for promotion, we won’t hire an external candidate. The exceptions are usually in Deli or Bakery. When we do hire an external candidate for Assistant Department Manager positions in those areas, it is when we have someone who has strong experience in running delis or bakeries. I hope this helps you understand our process.


  17. nashy517 March 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    Hi Patti! I recently inquired about applying to Publix to one of the store managers and they directed me to the machine in the store to do so. I usually prefer to be able to hand in my application along with my resume then speaking with the manager. In this case I was not able to do so. Should I do the same? Head in, hand my resume to the manager and discuss any open opportunities?

    Thank you!

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge March 27, 2014 at 4:43 pm #


      Thank you for your interest in working at Publix. We do not accept resumes because our stores have no appropriate place to keep them. If you are invited to an interview, you can share one with the manager at that point. In the meantime, once you have applied, please introduce yourself to a manager and briefly explain why you think you would make a great Publix associate. The manager may only have 5 minutes to speak with you as we receive 2 million applications per year.

      I hope this helps.


  18. nigelw April 8, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    Hello Patti,
    I am 16 years old and I am again interested in applying again for a position at the Publix located in Palm Coast, Florida 32137, the store number is 00077. About two years prior I had applied to this same location for about a year with no call in for an interview, I continued going back and updating my application until eventually I was given another job opportunity. I decided that maybe if I received some experience beforehand my chances of being hired at Publix would increase. The experience I had received in my previous job was not directly related supermarket jobs such as the ones in Publix. However I did learn how to deal with several different kinds of customers, keep focused on the task(s) at hand, and to be ready for anything. Also I have received many compliments from ex coworkers that I never complained about the work presented to me even if the work load became very strenuous. With all of this in mind, do you believe if I were to go into Publix and tell the manager of my experience and why I would make a good member of the Publix staff, that I would have a better chance of getting hired? Or is it not the right time to be applying?

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge April 9, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      I appreciate your dedication and patience in applying for a position at Publix. I know it’s frustrating to be as persistent as you have been and not garner an interview. I definitely think you should apply again and speak with a manager about (a) how much you want to work at Publix (b) how you obtained experience elsewhere to gain valuable customer service skills, and (c) why you would make a great Publix associate. It might be good to speak to managers as several stores where you would be willing to work as some have more openings than others. You only have to apply at one store, though, since everyone can see your application. I hope this helps!


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