Job Searching Tips

The Secret To Getting Hired at McDonald’s

By: Kaitlyn Hackett
Dec 18, 2020 • 10 min read

The Secret To Getting Hired at McDonald’s

Have you ever wondered if there is a special secret to getting hired for a certain job? What if there was an article that detailed all the steps to take during the application and interview process? Well, lucky for you, this article is going to share the secret to getting hired at McDonald’s! This popular fast-food chain is an excellent job for anyone who enjoys a fast-paced environment that revolves around providing excellent customer service. You can play many different roles as an employee at McDonald’s, making it an exciting and diverse job opportunity.

Take Notes from the Career Page

This is a general tip that is important when applying for all types of jobs. A company’s career page and job description act as a blueprint for landing the position you applied for. Look for keywords about what the company is looking for in an employee and use the same or very similar words in your application and interview process.

On the McDonald’s Career Page subsection titled “Respectful Workplaces,” a quote is bolded, saying, “The basis of our entire business is that we are ethical, truthful and dependable.” These are traits that hiring managers look for in potential employees. Make sure to include these keywords in your resume and cover letter to optimize your application materials appropriately! You can also bring up these traits in your interview to show that you are a perfect match for the position. When practicing for your interview, it is important to craft responses that incorporate these key buzzwords.

Templates To Explore

When answering interview questions, it is always important to provide the employer with concrete examples that back up your responses. We’ve compiled a list of templates below that you can use to craft your responses during your interview. Just remember to add your own personal experiences into the mix for an even stronger argument!

Here some examples that you can use in your interview:

  • I understand the importance of being a dependable employee. When a team is reliable and dependable is when a business starts thriving. A dependable employee’s traits include showing up on-time to shifts, wearing appropriate attire/uniform, notifying management in advance if there are scheduling issues, and always being able to get the job done right. I believe that I can bring this to your team here.
  • I pride myself on being an honest person. In my previous job, I experienced the downfall of a team because of unethical practices and dishonesty. I value a management team like yours, that values being ethical and truthful. If hired, I pledge to always be a genuine employee who is respectful in the workplace and can be depended upon.
  • While looking at the McDonald’s website, I found that the company values creating an ethical, truthful, and dependable workplace. I am confident that I can bring these qualities to the team here because I have prior experience that helped me master these skills.

Visit the McDonald’s History Page

There are around 38,000 locations in the US, with over 14,000 franchises owned by other small business owners. This means that while the standards of McDonald’s are upheld, the hiring process may vary slightly depending on the location. It is good to review the McDonald’s history page to know some basic facts you can use during the interview. Explore facts about the founders, how the company started, any important company news, and more! Managers like to see that you have done research about the position and company to see your commitment level and interest in working there. It’s not necessary to remember every fact, but have at least a few small talking points prepared, like when and where the first store opened. These are great facts that you can drop into your interview.

Make It Personal

Adding positive, personal stories into your interview will also increase your chances of being hired at the location. This is because the employer will see that you think fondly of the establishment, and as a result, they will begin to form a relationship with you! You can talk about a fond memory you have as a child visiting McDonald’s after a soccer game or while traveling on a road trip. We’ve all ended up at McDonald’s at some point in our lives, so share a fond memory you have to add a personalized touch to your interview!

  • McDonald’s has always reminded me of fond memories growing up visiting the Golden Arches on my way home for a big soccer game. I always felt happy when I got to visit McDonald’s and have only had positive experiences here. It would be very special to work here and give that same happy feeling to other families.
  • I have fond memories of playing in the McDonald’s play area with my siblings when I was younger. On half-day school days, my mom would take us all to McDonald’s for the afternoon. It was always a treat and something to look forward to.
  • I would always get so excited to go on a road trip to visit my grandparents in the next state over because I knew it meant we’d be stopping for a bite to eat on the ride. My best memory was going through the McDonald’s drive-through and talking to the employee taking my order through the window of the car. It made me feel so independent as a little kid! I hope to bring this level of customer service to this establishment if I was hired.

hired at McDonald's

The Pillars of McDonald’s

Since the opening of McDonald’s, their core principles have been quality, service, cleanliness, and value. These are some talking points that you can use in your interview to show your knowledge and commitment to the McDonald’s brand.

Quality

Before diving into this question, think about what quality means to you. Maybe it’s the quality and consistency of the food, compassion of the employees, or standards that the location upholds. Think about what you expect when you visit a McDonald’s location and how you can replicate this high-quality experience.

  • McDonald’s is known for having consistent quality in both employees and in food across the nation. I can be a valuable team member who proudly upholds the standards in which Mcdonald’s has set. I know I always expect consistency in the food when I visit a McDonald’s location, and I strive to provide this exquisite standard, too.

  • There was a lack of both quality and service within the team members in my previous position. There was a lack of synergy and a lot of conflict that was never resolved. Since then, we have all learned to improve our communication skills, and everyone really listens to each other with true intent. There have been significant improvements during my time working at this position. I would bring this conflict-resolution strategy to my new job at McDonald’s if I was hired.

Service

Let’s talk service! What does excellent service look like to you? How do employees go above and beyond for customers at other establishments you have visited? Maybe it’s handing an extra stack of napkins to a mom driving a car full of kids. Or, it’s opening the door for a handicapped customer in need of extra assistance. These are all examples you can pull from when tying the aspect of service into your interview.

  • I have three years of experience in the food industry. Creating a positive experience for the customer in a fast-paced environment is one of my strengths.
  •  I am an excellent communicator and can diffuse a situation before it arises. Previously, I have overcome conflicts in the workplace to calm and understand a customer’s issue.
  • While I have experience in a service job like this, I have experience working with many different people in my previous job as a front desk receptionist. I became very knowledgeable in refining my people skills and knowledge to bring the same enthusiasm and customer service skills to the McDonald’s team.

Cleanliness

Cleanliness is more important now than ever. Since Coronavirus, restaurants have had to raise their standards when it comes to keeping the establishment clean. You can talk about how much you value working in a clean space and providing customers with a sanitary place to dine! When trying to get hired at McDonald’s focusing on cleanliness is a must!

  • I consistently strive to keep a clean and organized working area. Especially in today’s world, being safe in the restaurant industry is of the utmost importance.
  • In my previous job, I was in charge of a deep cleaning schedule every week. I handled this task very seriously as I understand how important it is to keep a restaurant up to code and safe for both employees and customers.

Value

Value can mean a variety of different things. You want the meals you make to have high value and be made specifically to order. You also want the experience that you provide customers to be valuable! How will you make a customer’s visit to McDonald’s a great one?

  •   I read that McDonald’s values creating a respectful and inclusive workplace with a strong focus on integrity, community, and family. My personal values of giving back to the community and contributing to creating a respectful and inclusive atmosphere will be assets.
  • I can visibly see how McDonald’s values its employees and respects giving back to the community. My goal is to work for a business that actively wants to better its community and give back.

cars parked in front of UNKs restaurant during night time

To Get Hired at McDonald’s You Need – Timeliness, Attire, & Attitude!

Timeliness, attire, and attitude are three essential tips to follow to land a job at McDonald’s. McDonald’s prides itself on being an “archway to opportunity,” meaning McDonald’s will be there for you whether you are looking to finish your high school diploma, strengthen your English skills, or earning a degree. This is one of the biggest perks of getting hired at McDonald’s. If you don’t have vast experience in the service industry or education experience, you can still put your best foot forward by being timely, wearing appropriate attire, and arriving with a confident attitude.

Timeliness

Being on-time is late; arriving 10 to 15 minutes before the set time is on-time! Being punctual and early will always earn you bonus points in a job interview; it is almost expected to arrive earlier to an interview because it demonstrates that you are a responsible and punctual potential employee. Ensure that you tell an employee to notify the manager and let them know you have arrived!

Attire

If you are uncertain what to wear to your interview, a good rule of thumb is to always dress in a more professional clothing attire. Wear an outfit that is still comfortable and yet something you feel confident in. For McDonald’s, a nice pair of jeans or slacks with a button-up or polo shirt is a safe bet. Still unsure what exactly to wear? Here is how to become more confident when choosing your interview outfit!

Attitude

Attitude is everything when trying to get hired at McDonald’s! If you feel uncertain if your previous work experience is good enough, you can make up for this with a positive and confident attitude. Make sure your personality can shine through in your interview. Skills like customer service and processes can be taught, but being a kind and genuine person is more difficult to teach. Try to show you are listening throughout the interview by nodding your head, keeping eye contact, asking questions, and remember to say ‘thank you’ for their time after the interview is completed.

hired at McDonald's

Show Off Your Skills

To go the extra mile in an interview, make sure you talk about skills that you already have that will help you succeed in the position! If you are in an interview for being a cashier, talk about your customer service skills and ability to remain calm under pressure.

Example

  • I always keep a positive and calm attitude throughout any customer interaction. I’ve been consistently improving my customer service skills in order to thrive here in my previous position.
  • I am an excellent team player and can be a leader when called upon. During my many years in sports, I understand how important it is to help your teammates work together. This is something that I strongly believe in and will help me during my time at McDonald’s.

Ask Questions

Often in interviews, you may be too nervous to ask questions. However, asking questions can actually show the interviewer that you are a curious, forward-thinking candidate. Write down two or three questions that you have before the interview. These questions can be about a typical workday, what is expected of you, or general questions that you think maybe important to know about working at a specific location.

  1. What is something you think your team needs in a new team member?

  2. What is your flexibility with a school schedule?

  3. Can you tell me about a typical workday here?

  4. What is something you wish you knew before you started working at McDonald’s?

woman walking towards McDonald's branch during daytime

Don’t Forget Your Documents!

Before your interview, you may be asked to bring in documents like a resume, cover letter, or social security card. A great rule of thumb is to bring extra copies if you are in a group interview and need to have multiple copies to share. It is unlikely that you need multiple copies at McDonald’s. However, if you are asked, it will demonstrate your preparedness and attention to detail. Don’t forget to bring in the form of an ID, especially if you are under the age of 18!

Make an Interview Checklist

No matter the job, it can be nerve-racking to walk into an interview, especially if you really need and want the job you are applying for. Don’t let the pressure get to you! A great remedy to calm your nerves is to make a checklist before arriving for your interview. This will ensure that you have done everything you possibly can to nail the interview.

More examples:

  1. Clean interview attire

  2. Documents with copies

  3. Written down questions

  4. Transportation arrangements

  5. A great attitude!

Follow-Up

After you submit your application and after your interview, send a follow-up via email or phone to the hiring manager. Some locations need immediate employment and can offer you a job shortly after your interview. In contrast, other locations may take more time due to application volume and current employment. Either way, you should send a thank you message and ask when you are expected to find out whether you got the job.

Example

Hello, this is _______. I had an interview on December 1st. I wanted to thank you for your time and ask when I am expected to receive notice if I got the position of _______.  Please let me know if there are any additional questions or documents that I can provide you with.

hired at McDonald's

Don’t Be Discouraged!

If you set yourself up for success and try your best, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get that job! There are tons of reasons why you may not be hired for the job. Keep your head up and keep trying. If you are not hired for a certain McDonald’s location because they are already at capacity, you can always ask if another location is currently hiring. Good luck!

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