Powell's Books Reviews

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Emily Powell
7 Ratings
  • Fantastic place to work, wonderful coworkers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Inventory Generalist in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Inventory Generalist in Portland, OR
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Powell's Books full-time (More than a year)


    Extensive, inspiring training that empowers employees to talk up books, connect with customers, and recommend titles without pressure to upsell or adhere to strict policy. Difficult, escalating, odangerous situations can get handed off to managers. Ok communication from upper level to staff, all around great bunch of people working at the store, and management trusts you to make the right decision. Consistent schedules. If you work hard and have a great attitude you can move up in the company easily. Discount on merchandise, huge discount on used books, education benefit, free streetcar, book borrowing privileges, bragging rights. Benefits were substantial.


    Retail, with all the bells and whistles. Don't let the "indie" fool you - you'll work an open (mostly empty) store on Christmas Day. Management is for the most part very human and understanding, but make one wrong move at the wrong time (on camera at all times) and you could be out of your job - great attitude or not. Low pay rate won't get you far in Portland.

    Advice to Management

    "Simba, Remember who you are." Powell's is not a big box store and never should be. Keep rewarding the employees who love working there, and promoting opportunities to move up, but don't let the mopey loafers stick around. It's bad customer service and terrible for team morale.

Powell's Books Interviews

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Interview Experience


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Interview Difficulty



  1. Helpful (1)  

    Hiring and Training Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Powell's Books.


    I applied online and the process probably took 3 to 4 weeks from application to offer. I went to one interview, with a panel of 3 staff all from HR as the job was in HR. Frankly this was one of the most comfortable and enjoyable interviews I've ever gone on. They were friendly and genuinely interested in my background and skill set. Instead of being grilled by them, we were having a conversation about the HR process at Powell's. Following the interview I was offered a job a week later.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you know if someone would be a good hire? Tell us about your current job responsibilities. How do you manage many deadlines and competing timelines in the workplace. What do you do if you think you won't make a deadline?   Answer Question

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Additional Info

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Website www.powells.com
Headquarters Portland, OR
Size 201 to 500 Employees
Founded 1981
Type Company - Private
Industry Retail
Revenue $25 to $50 million (USD) per year

Powell's may not be the big dog when it comes to books, but its dog-eared volumes keep it near the front of the pack. The book retailer maintains more than a handful of stores in the Portland, Oregon, area including its flagship City of Books store, which covers a city block and contains more than 1 million volumes. It sells new, used, out-of-print, and rare books; it even sells books that are returned to online bookseller Amazon.com. The company operates specialty stores for cookbooks and gardening, technical books, and travel books; it also features author readings ... More

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