Jobcase Team
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Posted December 2, 2020

How to apply for a job at McDonald’s

Everything you need to know about applying for a job at McDonald's, including job requirements, the online application process, background checks, personality assessment, and tips for a great interview.
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How to apply for a job at McDonald’s
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Applying for a job at McDonald's

The first step to getting a job at McDonald’s is to submit an application. Those interested can find the forms to apply online or in-store. Experience is not necessary, but do call it out if you have any past food service work.

Requirements to work at McDonald's

  • Minimum age: 14 years old (must provide work permit); most locations require you to be at least 18 to be a manager
  • Diploma/certification: a high school diploma or GED is not required to work at McDonald’s
  • Entry-level positions: Most crew members (general restaurant staff members); maintenance; and beverage specialists (at McCafe stations) positions do not require prior work experience
  • Management positions: Including shift manager, assistant manager, and department manager typically require at least some prior experience at McDonald’s or another food service establishment.
  • Hours of restaurant operation: Hours vary by location

Tip on applying for work at McDonald's

Availability and reliability are the most sought-after traits for potential hires, and those who give an adequate interview often receive a job offer on the spot!

McDonald's online application

This part of the recruitment process is your first chance to set a good impression and stand out from your competition. Here's what you can expect to provide on the application:

  • Provide your full name, birth date, and Social Security number

  • List any previous work experience, including your former employer’s name, address, and telephone number

  • Be sure to indicate your availability, including how many hours a week you can work and on which days. (Remember that the more hours you can work, the stronger your application will be!)

  • There may be motivational questions that need to be answered. In answering motivational questions remember to be as precise as possible: refer to unique facts about McDonald’s that motivate you to work there. When describing why you want to apply for this specific role, mention the core skills required for this position and how these match both your previous experiences and personal interests.

    Example motivational questions:

    • “What is your motivation to work at McDonald’s?”
    • “Why do you want to apply for this particular role?”
  • You can expect to hear back from the restaurant’s hiring manager within 1-2 weeks of handing in your application

Tip for the online application

Avoid leaving any parts of your application blank, if you can. Answer as many questions as you can, even if they are not required.

McDonald's background checks

McDonald’s typically runs a background check for new applicants. However, some franchise owners may choose not to run a background check. Here is the essential information to know:

  • McDonald’s will request an applicant’s consent to run a background check at the time of the job interview
  • An applicant must provide proof of identity such as a driver’s license, passport, or other national ID card
  • A background check at McDonald’s typically takes one to three days. The background check will look at information regarding criminal history over the past 5-10 years
  • A background check at McDonald’s typically uses a national database and may also use county or state databases

What a McDonald’s background check includes

McDonald’s background check typically includes information such as your criminal history. This will indicate prior felonies, misdemeanors, or arrests. It will look at how long ago the conviction occurred.

  • Anyone convicted of a violent crime, sexual offense, or a drug-related crime may be denied employment at McDonald’s
  • The background check will show your educational level, including whether you are a high school graduate or have any college or trade school background
  • A driving record check will be done for any position where driving is included as part of the job
  • McDonald’s does not conduct a credit check

Personality assessments to work at McDonald's

After your initial application is screened by McDonald’s recruiters and deemed satisfactory, you will be invited to take an online assessment test. This test examines your personality traits and whether you fit successfully into the type of work and environment found at McDonald’s. The test contains 64 questions and generally does not take more than 30 minutes to complete.

You will be presented with a number of statements and then choose a level of agreement/disagreement depending on whether you feel the statement resonates with you. Do not manipulate your responses as these tests are designed to flag up any inconsistencies. Be honest with your answers, but remember that some of your qualities or skills might be more desirable than others for a specific position at McDonald’s.

Example personality assessment statements:

  • “I get nervous before an important event or meeting.”
    Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Agree or Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree

  • “I enjoy starting projects, rather than finishing them.”
    Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Agree or Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree

  • “I find it hard to switch off after work.”
    Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Agree or Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree

  • “Rules should not be broken.”
    Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Agree or Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree

  • “Most people are trustworthy.”
    Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Agree or Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree

  • “I get along with everyone.”
    Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Agree or Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree

The personality assessment test is scored on a color rubric, from green to yellow to red. Only those tests that score in the red result in the application being terminated.

It generally takes the hiring managers less than a week to get back to you to either schedule your interview or notify you that will not be hired.

The McDonald's interview

After you pass the personality test, you will be invited for an interview – which will most likely take the form of a telephone interview. This is a chance for you to demonstrate your passions and skills that would make you suitable for the role. The interview is competency based and the focus is on particular competencies that are desired for the role.

To prepare for your interview:

  • Think about the projects you have previously worked on, in your professional experiences or education, and think about what your role was, what have you achieved and how you approached any problems

  • Remember, it is important to talk about a variety of experiences so do not get hung up on one job you did in the past

  • Write down a couple of projects or initiatives that you did exceptionally well in. The interviewer may be interested in understanding how you approached the problem, insights and actions taken, results achieved, and what your role was

  • Emphasize any skills you have that make you a good fit for the job

  • Talk about any prior restaurant or customer service experience you have had whenever you have the opportunity to. (If you don’t have this kind of experience, simply talk about those traits that would make you a great addition to the restaurant staff)

Tip for the interview

Be as flexible as you can when it comes to availability, and mention it. Most hiring managers want to hire a candidate who can work a lot of hours, so having a flexible availability may make you a stronger applicant.

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