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Target Is Hiring: Harder Than Getting Into Harvard?

Target's love of personality testing actually got the company into some trouble in 1989, when three applicants for security guard positions filed a lawsuit, claiming the mandatory "psychscreen" was a violation of their constitutional right to privacy and other labor laws. The 704 true-false questions included, "I believe in the second coming of Christ..." "My sex life is satisfactory..." and "Many of my dreams are about sex matters..." Target ultimately settled for $1.3 million.

Today, applicants don't have to confess their sexual tendencies or religious beliefs to Target Corporation. They just have to apply online, go through a phone screening and an online assessment, and then another interview or two, or five -- if you're going for a management position.





You can also just wait for a new Target to open in your area, and join the hopeful herd that's lining up outside (in business casual, some past applicants advise -- the spiffily-dressed seemed to get all the interviews).

Any inkling of union involvement probably won't help your application. A judge found Target guilty of using dirty -- and illegal -- tactics to prevent its employees going union, including interrogating employees on their union activities and threatening to discipline workers who took part in organizing efforts. One former Target "team leader" told Gawker that they were trained (verbally, not in writing) to screen applications for certain union-y words, like "shop steward, steward, local, brotherhood."

Those who pass the (multiple) test(s) will find a working environment as standardized as the hiring process, according to former employee Paul Rados, including: paid 15-minute breaks and unpaid 30-minute lunch; set protocols on conflict management; and a dress code of red shirt and khaki pants.

Many employees writing on Glassdoor.com applaud Target's flexibility, benefits, 10 percent discount, and friendly co-workers. The bigbox retailer does pay its entry-level employees slightly less than its Bentonville, Ark., nemesis, according to Glassdoor and Payscale (an average of $8.26 an hour, or $17,200 a year). But once you reach managerial positions the salaries are significantly higher at Target (department managers earn an average of $48,500, compared to Walmart's $29,200).

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