Questions and answers on apprenticeships at HOFER

  • at a HOFER booth at apprenticeship fairs
  • in a personal interview
  • at special information events held at HOFER stores
  • at a school presentation

The best time to submit your application is after the mid-term marking period in February. We promise to get in touch and will invite you to an interview.

First impressions count: your application letter is your first contact with HOFER. To qualify for a personal interview, it is particularly important to leave a good impression. In reviewing your application, we look for proper grammar, clear and factual language and well-considered structure. Our tip: carefully read your application one more time and be sure to upload all required documents (application letter; curriculum vitae; current, professional photo; school and work certificates).

Your interview is your first personal contact with HOFER. The meeting is held to help your Area Manager learn more about your strengths, personality and motivation to become an apprentice.

The best way to leave a positive impression is to be informed about HOFER and the tasks of your chosen apprenticeship profession beforehand. We also look for proper attire and appreciate timeliness.

Your apprenticeship starts in September, or a little later in exceptional cases.

We make sure you can complete your apprenticeship with HOFER close to your residence to help you avoid long commutes to your store. Please note that not every store may be accepting apprentices or that apprenticeship openings may already be taken. 

As an apprentice, you are entitled to cost subsidies to ride public transport to your place of work and to vocational school. You can apply for a public transport pass by completing a form and paying your deductible. We will provide the necessary documents during the hiring process.

Due to the decentralised structure of HOFER, most apprentices are trained to become retail specialists in our stores. To learn whether there are apprenticeship openings to become an administrative specialist in the Corporate Offices or in one of the six regional offices, take a look at our Job search.  

We deliberately train no more than two apprentices per store to ensure the highest quality of our professional training. This gives your trainer – the Store Manager who is primarily responsible for your hands-on training – sufficient time to work with you. 

As an apprentice, you will work 38.5 hours per week (including vocational school); your daily work schedule will not exceed 8 hours. The exact working hours will differ by store. Your earliest possible starting time is 6am (7am on Mondays) and the latest closing time is 8pm. In addition to Sundays, you will have one day off a week. You may be scheduled to work every other Saturday, but your shift must end by 6pm at the latest.

Your tasks depend on the professional responsibilities for retail specialists and will increase in every apprenticeship year. During the first apprenticeship year, you will be expected to familiarise yourself with the store and the product assortment, to learn proper warehouse storage and the right handling of operational equipment. Your main responsibilities will be tasks associated with appealing product presentation and control activities (e.g. checking product expiration dates). In your second apprenticeship year, you will be trained to use our modern scanner tills. You will also handle typical store operations activities such as accepting goods deliveries or till accounting. In the third apprenticeship year, your daily tasks will include ordering and receipts, proper processing of complaints, staff scheduling, and other responsible office activities. As a committed apprentice, you will be able to independently lead the store team on an hourly or daily basis by the end of your apprenticeship.

You will spend multiple days in the regional office every year to get more in-depth insights into the processes of a retail company. This will involve learning more about various departments such as Buying, Accounting or Logistics.

You will also attend one week of training in a group with other company apprentices. This will involve skills that are relevant for your training (for example, store decoration). In addition, your store will continuously offer employee training sessions, which you of course are welcome to attend. Contents range from proper lifting and carrying to food safety regulations.

Depending on your home state, you will either attend vocational school continuously or in blocks. With a continuous classroom schedule, your first year of apprenticeship will include two days of school, while you will attend school one day a week during your second and third year of apprenticeship. If you are on a block schedule, you will attend vocational school once a year for about 8-12 weeks. Our company will cover the cost of living in a boarding school if necessary.

Many of your vocational school classes will be associated with your retail specialist career. For example, you will attend classes in accounting, business English as well as sales and marketing. 

Yes, as an apprentice you are entitled to five weeks of holiday per year. Two of these weeks can be taken continuously in the summer. You are required to attend all vocational school sessions. The vocational school break schedule is the same as for all other public schools. 

HOFER can assist you with combining your apprenticeship with a school-leaving certificate. As an option, you can complete part of your school-leaving certificate parallel to your apprenticeship and then take your final examinations after completing your training. These courses are offered by WIFI, BFI and others. Your supervisors can individually discuss with you which model of preparation for your school-leaving certificate is the best fit for you. Your Store Manager will take your classes into account when scheduling your working hours.

Starting your career with an apprenticeship is not uncommon in our company: Depending on your development path, you can contribute your talents in the store team or as a Store Manager.  

Small earrings and nose studs are permitted, but other visible piercings are not allowed for safety reasons.

The personal interview is designed to get an authentic impression of your personality. We aim to have a positive, informative conversation with you. Once we receive your application materials, we will promptly notify you of your application status.

You want to be a well-prepared candidate? This section contains helpful Application tips .

The best time to apply is whenever you’re ready!

More questions?

Check out our general FAQs!

Other posts on HOFER apprenticeships you may be interested in:

Prospects after your apprenticeship


After three apprenticeship years as a retail specialist and completing your final examinations, you can decide whether to support the store team as a sales employee or whether to pursue a career as a Store Manager with additional commitment and motivation.

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Career or team spirit? Interview with two Store Managers about professional teamwork


“With good friends and a great team, anything is possible” - Even ascending from apprentice to Store Manager! Is ambition a bigger success factor than friendship? We asked two young Store Managers who have known each other since their apprenticeships about their views on career and team spirit. 

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Apprenticeship in our Corporate Office: administrative specialist or IT specialist


Our Corporate Office also trains apprentices, based on demand. While apprenticeships in stores focus on the skills of retail specialists, the Corporate Office offers training opportunities for administrative specialists or IT specialists in system technology. This section contains further details on the two job descriptions.

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