DSW Job Guide: Your Path In

Step into success! Discover the insider tips to land your dream job at DSW and step up your career game.

Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW)  is a bustling hub for shoe enthusiasts. With a wide selection of brands, styles, and designs, the company inspires self-expression for every taste.

Nevertheless, DSW offers more than just a haven for shoe enthusiasts; it also presents a wealth of professional prospects. It is an environment where advancement, learning, and creativity are actively encouraged and where employees are highly esteemed.

Don’t walk away! I want to discuss some of the ins and outs of securing a position with this retail footwear mecca. Specifically:

  • What are the requirements to work for DSW?
  • What is the application process?
  • How do you prepare for the interview?
  • What does DSW seek in new hires?
  • What is the salary structure, and are there benefits?

Let’s make this a walk in the park!

Requirements to Work at DSW

General Requirements

DSW is a retail business. In retail, customer service reigns supreme, and DSW is no exception. Selling shoes, great. Customer loyalty priceless!

Soft Skills

DSW values passion, accountability, collaboration, and humility. If this envelops your values, a position with DSW might be your next move.

Entry-Level Requirements 

Typically, 18 years old, but in some states, 16. These are mainly customer-facing roles, so you need great customer service skills. You may have to maintain the order of the merchandise or ensure the store is clean and presentable. So organization and physical fitness is also important. 

Managerial Role Requirements

A high school diploma and some retail experience (preferably in management) are required at this level.  An effective manager at DSW handles admin, oversees store operations, and motivates the team to achieve sales goals with strong leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Corporate Role Requirements

The job requirements can vary at the corporate level. You should have a bachelor’s degree or higher and have a strong background in your discipline.

DSW Job Opportunities

Sales Associate – An entry-level position in which you assist customers. If you enjoy working with people and have a flair for sales, it may be a great fit for you.

Freight Team Associate – This is a logistic position. In this role, you will store inventory, handle incoming shipments, and maintain store stock levels. 

Assistant Store Manager & Store Manager – If you have leadership capabilities and have retail experience or are looking to further your career, a role in management is made for you. Your responsibilities will include managing employee relations, handling finances, and providing exceptional customer service.

Corporate Roles – Marketing, finance, human resources, and purchasing are in this realm. Having relevant academic credentials and experience for these positions is often necessary.

Hiring New Employees at DSW: What They Expect

Service With a Passion for Excellence

Once again, customer service tops the list. Why? Because in retail, you need to step it up to maintain and grow your customer base. Competition is fierce, so customers will go where they have a great experience.


DSW has a family feel. They want employees who can work cooperatively and collaboratively with their team.

Proactivity and Responsibility

They love employees who will “take the bull by the horns,” so to speak. Demonstrating that you can tackle problems head-on and take full responsibility will be music to their ears.

Employees who Align with DSW Company Values

Passion, accountability, collaboration, and humility. Each of these not only defines their business philosophy but also creates the culture that makes DSW a great place to work.  Showing them an example of when you exhibited these traits will help prove that you are fit for the DSW culture.

Applying for a Job at DSW

  1. Visit the DSW Career Site
  2. Browse the open positions – filter by location, desired role, or  keywords
  3. Click “Apply” when you find a job you like
  4. Review the job description and click “Apply” again if you feel you are still a match
  5. Create an account online or use your LinkedIn profile

Online Application

Complete your personal info, upload your resume & cover letter, answer role-specific questions, proofread, and submit to apply for a job at DSW!

NOTE: It may take 2-3 weeks to hear from human resources. Take this time to perfect your interview preparation.

Preparing for a DSW Interview

Company Research

You will have an advantage over your competitors if you know DSW’s history, values, and mission. Review the company’s website, social media, and news links.

Identify Relevant Job Experiences and Prepare a Response

Consider highlighting your customer service experience if you’re applying to a sales position and your leadership capabilities if you’re applying for a managerial position.

Review the Job Description

Study the job description in detail and match your experiences and skills to their requirements. Prepare concrete examples from your prior work experiences.

Practice Mock Interviews

Practicing interviewing with family or friends will prepare you well for the big day. Say your answers until you perfect and feel confident with each question.

Common Questions Asked at a DSW Job Interview

  1. What was a time when you had to handle a difficult customer situation?

Here, they want to gauge your customer-handling skills.

  1. How would you contribute to creating a positive shopping experience for the customer?

They want to see how adept you are at providing exceptional customer service.

  1. Tell me about your past retailing experience and any relevant skills you possess.

Share a previous experience and your skills, or if you are new to the workforce, speak about a transferable job skill.

  1. What hours are you available, and can you stand for long periods?

Be honest about your availability and endurance. Showing flexibility is helpful.

  1. Why do you want to work for DSW, and how do you fit into our values?

Your answers should align with DSW’s mission and core values.

  1. How do you handle conflicts in your team?/ How do you motivate, train, and develop your team members?

Explores your management style and your ability to handle/manage a team.

Remember that your non-verbal communication is just as crucial as your spoken responses. Ensure you maintain an open and welcoming posture, engage in eye contact, display active listening, and consistently respond with a friendly smile while providing your answers.

Don’t rush; take a moment to think before replying. If you didn’t fully grasp the question, please request clarification. Ultimately, your objective is to convey your thoughts effectively and authentically during the interview, using these questions as a chance to do so.

Tips to Get A Job at DSW – Recap

  • Showcase Your Passion –  Which DSW brand is your favorite?
  • Eye for Detail – Great fashion sense.
  • Understand the DSW Brand – Its history, values, and target market.
  • Highlight Your Customer Service Skills – Customer dedication.
  • Be a Team Player – Collaboration is key.
  • Show Your Flexibility – Be available.
  • Be Professional – From your outfit to your communication.

Compensation at DSW

DSW maintains a fair pay policy and recognizes the importance of rewarding hardworking employees.

Entry-Level Compensation

Sales Associates – $13.07/hour

Freight Team Associates – $14.99/hour

Stock Clerks – $12.82/hour

Next Level

Sales Supervisors – $39,987 annually


Assistant Store Manager – $41,304 annually

Store Manager – $59,655 annually

NOTE: Your compensation could vary for factors such as the store’s location, the scope of your role, your prior experience, and several other considerations. 

Negotiation for Compensation

Negotiating your job offer is not just important; it’s necessary. Don’t ignore this important step in the process.

Benefits of Working at DSW

Comprehensive Healthcare Coverage

Medical, dental, and vision. (for family also)

401(k) Retirement Plan

DSW matches the contributions an employee makes toward their 401(k)

Paid Time Off

Vacation, personal matter, or simply needing a break

Paid Holidays Off

Paid holidays plus a generous employee discount.

In Summary

Securing a job with DSW promises employment and a chance to become part of a dynamic and customer-focused team. With its commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and growth opportunities, DSW offers an exciting avenue for career development. Whether seeking a retail, corporate, or distribution position, DSW values its employees and fosters an environment where your skills and aspirations can thrive. Joining DSW means joining a family that celebrates individuality and dedication, ultimately leading to a fulfilling and rewarding career journey.

Next Steps

Don’t navigate this journey alone! Let’s make it happen! Are you ready to take your next step towards landing a DSW job? Learn how to maximize your application’s impact and prepare confidently for your DSW interview by speaking with one of our career coaches today.

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