Barnes & Noble Careers and Job Application Guide

See the Barnes & Noble careers available in your area.

If you like reading books and a quiet, peaceful atmosphere to work in, Barnes & Noble careers may be worth considering. 

Working at Barnes & Noble

Like every retail store, a job here has its pluses and minuses. This company gets above-average ratings from its past and present employees in categories such as work culture, work/life balance, and management.

Take a look at the pros and cons:


  • Employee schedules are very flexible
  • You get up to a 50% discount throughout the store, including the food court
  • Employees say management is either great or very poor
  • Management usually offers plenty of overtime hours during the week
  • Many employees say their co-workers are friendly
  • The work environment is very pleasant
  • Great opportunities to work shifts for other employees who call out sick, increasing your weekly work hours


  • The pay is way too low for what you do
  • Managers put a lot of pressure on you to sell memberships and credit applications
  • You have to work on your feet at least 8 hours a day
  • Some employees complain about micromanagement
  • At some locations, workers feel underappreciated by management
  • Only part-time jobs are available with a few exceptions, such as full-time barista

Barnes & Noble Pay

The pay you can expect while working at Barnes & Noble is about average for a retail store. The most common part-time job available is the bookseller, and these employees earn an average of approximately $12.05 an hour.

Surprisingly, baristas earn an average of approximately $10.35 an hour, plus tips. This salary is a little below industry standards.

Barnes & Noble Careers

Here are the most common careers you can consider working at a Barnes & Noble store:

  • Bookseller
  • Cashier
  • Barista
  • Café server
  • Café manager
  • Assistant manager
  • Manager

Barnes & Noble Bookseller

This is almost always a part-time position. It’s the perfect job for a student, senior, or homemaker looking to supplement their income.

Barnes & Noble is constantly looking for people who are nice and can provide great customer service. The whole idea is to create an environment where customers feel like they are welcome.

In this position, you will be expected to interact with customers in person and over the phone. You also need to be helpful when they are looking for books and showing that you are committed to representing the company’s image well.

Barnes & Noble doesn’t list any educational requirements on their careers website, so this position is available to just about anyone regardless of education or experience.

Barnes & Noble Cashier

Cashiers at Barnes & Noble are expected to be part of the bookseller team of employees. The only difference is that management may sometimes pick certain booksellers to mostly operate the cash registers.

The requirements for this position are the same as a bookseller. Some employees consider themselves strictly a cashier because they spend anywhere between 5 and 7 hours of the shift at the checkout counter.

Barnes & Noble Barista

This job is also one that does not require any experience, even though this retail chain welcomes experienced baristas. You will be trained on the job if you don’t know anything about being a barista.

The drinks are very easy to create and serve. Your great customer service and willingness to learn will make a difference and prove to management you are the right person for the job.

The average person with no experience learns enough to become a very efficient employee as a Barista within 2 to 4 weeks.

Barnes & Noble Café Server

As a café server, you’ll be helping the baristas deliver the right products to customers. You’ll be in charge of the overall cleanliness of the café.

You will be expected to drive more sales by becoming an expert on the café menu and offering suggestions to customers. Additionally, you may be called upon to assist in helping your management team with bookselling and cashiering.

Barnes & Noble Café Manager

This career will have you in charge of running the café in your store. Your job is to create a memorable experience for each and every customer.

This management job will have you communicating with the store’s management team to improve sales and explore new opportunities to improve business. You’ll also be coaching a team of baristas and café service employees in order to make your department successful.

This is a position that can be filled from within by an experienced café Server or Barista. For outside candidates applying for this job, you need to have some knowledge of café or food service. 

Other requirements for this position include having at least two years of experience in management, whether in retail, hospitality, or food service.

Barnes & Noble Assistant Manager

The assistant store manager at Barnes & Noble makes sure the store looks presentable and is conducive to selling books. This job will have you constantly communicating with your store manager in order to help develop your employees’ performance.

One of the biggest responsibilities you will carry in this position is to ensure that your store’s sales goals are met or exceeded on a monthly basis.

Some requirements for this position include having a firm foundation in bookselling and knowing enough about the book industry to make a big difference in maximizing profit for your store. You also need to have talent in managing employees, an ability to communicate effectively, and proven work history in selling books.

Barnes & Noble Manager

A Barnes & Noble store manager is the person completely responsible for the operation of the store. 

This career will have you delegating much of the responsibility to your assistant manager in creating an excellent working atmosphere for your employees and providing the absolute best customer experience for your customers. 

You will also be opening and closing your store and making sure your store is safe for your customers and employees. 

By collaborating with your management team, you will be creating an excellent customer experience throughout the store. You’ll also be actively involved on the sales floor and help out in any department whenever necessary as you coach and mentor your team of employees.

For this position, you need to have management experience as well as bookselling knowledge and managing payroll. Additionally, you will schedule employee shifts and be very involved when it comes to handling and resolving issues with problematic workers. 

Distribution Careers

Barnes & Noble has an assortment of warehouse jobs and the following is an example of jobs available at any given time:

  • Forklift driver
  • Material handler
  • Warehouse clerk
  • Desktop technician 
  • Packer 
  • Package handler 
  • Cleaner 
  • Maintenance technician

As an example of the type of pay offered, a warehouse clerk working full-time can earn a starting pay of $16 an hour. Of course, there are also salaried management positions at the warehouses, as well.

Corporate Careers

The Barnes & Noble headquarters are located in New York, NY. 

The following is a list of examples of positions that may be available:

  • Digital finance analyst
  • Specialty allocations manager
  • Marketing and publicity assistant
  • Royalty accountant
  • Project editor
  • Senior financial analyst
  • Technical analyst
  • Editor
  • Legal department administrator
  • Studio photographer
  • HR representative
  • UX designer
  • Senior art director

How to Apply at Barnes & Noble

To apply at Barnes & Noble, visit the official careers website. Once there, acquaint yourself with the website and what the company is about.

Then, when you’re ready, follow the steps:

  1. Click on the navigation bar for your preference, whether it’s retail jobs, corporate jobs, or distribution jobs.
  2. Enter your ZIP Code and indicate the maximum distance you would like to search for a job within your area.
  3. Click “Search.“
  4. Scroll through the available positions, choose one, read through the job description, and click the “Apply now” button when you are ready to apply.
  5. Read through the job description once again, and click the “Apply to job“ button at the bottom.
  6. On the next page, you can choose your sign-in option with LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, or you can scroll down to where it says “Don’t have an account yet?“ and register for a new account.
  7. Read the privacy policy, agreed to proceed, and follow the step-by-step instructions to complete your Barnes & Noble job application.

Barnes & Noble Application Process

Usually, for hourly positions, after you submit your application online, a company representative will call you back for an interview within 1 to 7 days. Sometimes, you will be interviewed on the phone, then asked to come in for an interview in person.

Barnes & Noble Interview Questions

This company usually asks common ones, such as:

  • Tell me why you want to work at Barnes & Noble.
  • Do you have any experience in bookselling?
  • Are you available to work weekends and holidays?
  • Have you ever had a problem with a coworker, and if you did, how did you resolve it?
  • Do you like to read books, and if so, what are you currently reading?

After your interview, if the company is interested, they will contact your personal references and begin your background check.

Once they are satisfied with this part of the process, you will be given a date to attend orientation, and you will start working soon thereafter.

Minimum age to work at Barnes & Noble

Although Barnes & Noble prefers adults aged 18 years or older, it’s not uncommon for them to hire 16-year-olds. If you are 16 or 17 years old and attending high school, make sure you communicate well with your management staff so that your work does not interfere with your schoolwork.

Sometimes, managers forget or are not aware of the importance of limiting work hours for underage students.

Background Check

Barnes & Noble conducts background checks on many employees. On average, the background check takes 48 hours. 

Therefore, it’s important to be honest on your Barnes & Noble online application and disclose any information pertaining to criminal history if it applies to you.

Does Barnes & Noble drug test?

Usually, this company does not drug test its applicants unless they are going after a salaried position with a higher level of responsibility.

The company reserves the right to give you a drug test at their discretion while you are employed.

Does Barnes & Noble hire felons?

Barnes & Noble’s company policy states each applicant who has a felony will be considered on a case by case basis. This usually means that getting hard with a felony past at this store depends on several factors, including:

  • How long ago the alleged crime was committed
  • The type of felony
  • Whether the alleged crime has the potential to affect customers and other employees
  • …and many other factors

The bottom line is this; if you have a felony past, put forth your application anyway because you will have a chance to get hired. Many companies believe everyone deserves a second chance if the person is rehabilitated and the crime allegedly committed did not physically harm another person.


In 1886, Arthur Hinds & Company was a bookstore located in New York City, NY. A man by the name of Gilbert Clifford Noble began working as a clerk at the store after graduating from Harvard University.

Eight years later, the company made Noble a partner and changed the name to Hinds & Noble. Noble eventually bought out Hind’s share of the company in 1917 and partnered up with William Barnes, who happened to be the son of one of Noble’s old friends.

Since then, Barnes & Noble continued its growth and eventually expanded into the successful retail bookstore it is today. Currently, there are over 24,000 employees working in this company in well over 600 locations across the United States.

Barnes & Noble Benefits

Part-time employees at Barnes & Noble don’t qualify for any health benefits. They simply get discounts off merchandise in the store from 20% to 50%, as well as the opportunity to earn paid time off.

Here are the benefits listed for full-time and salaried employees at this retail chain:

  • Medical, dental, and vision
  • 401K
  • Flexible spending account
  • Short term and long term disability coverage
  • Paid time off
  • Discounts off merchandise
  • Life insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Business travel insurance
  • Prescription medicine coverage
  • Tuition reimbursement

Final Thoughts

After taking into consideration the starting pay for entry-level employees, the working atmosphere, and the types of employees who usually work at Barnes & Noble, it’s easy to see this job is perfect for:

Most jobs offered at the retail stores are part-time jobs that can turn into full-time positions. Many retail chains would rather hire somebody part-time instead of fully committing to virtually any applicant from the beginning.

This store, like many others, waits until an employee has proven he or she is worth promoting to full-time status. It’s cost-effective, and it weeds out people who really don’t want to work for this company long-term.

The advantage for you as an employee is that you have a perfect opportunity to make a great impression on your management team and eventually get promoted.

There are many employees on this company’s management staff that have started out as either a bookseller, barista, or other entry-level position. In my opinion, this is a retail store chain worth looking into if you were looking for a long-term career or, at the very least, a head start in the retail business.

Featured image courtesy of Ed!(talk)(Hall of Fame) (Transferred by Cloudbound/Originally uploaded by Ed!), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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