There’s no shame in flipping burgers, as long as you work for the most successful franchise of all time. If I should pick five brands that everyone in the world knows, McDonald’s would definitely make the list. And for a good reason: They have an excellent system in place, and deliver the product that meets the expectations of the customer, each and every time.

You won’t earn a fortune while working for McDonald’s, but you will learn a lot. Because almost every successful business is based on a great system of processes, planned to the utmost detail. McDonald’s is a perfect example of such a system, and the real pioneer in this field.

Ready to become a part of it? Fine! Let’s have a look at 10 questions you may face in your interview, and how you should answer each one.

 

Why McDonald’s? Why not one of our competitors?

You have several options for a great answer. First one is expressing your preference of their brand. You like to eat at McDonald’s, you enjoy the experience in one of their restaurants. And of course you admire the amazing system they have in place, how everything works exactly as it should, and how each customer gets exactly what they expect. Simply you like them more then BK or KFC and your choice was therefor obvious.

Another option is referring to some logistical reasons. Perhaps the restaurant is close to your home, or next to your school, or the working hours fit you perfectly, or you have some other reason why it goes well with your daily routine. One way or another, they should feel that you honestly like McDonald’s, that they are your first choice, and that you do not apply with them only because there wasn’t a vacancy available at KFC…

Sample answer:

I have the utmost respect for this company and for what it has achieved all over the world. Honestly, I cannot imagine a better place for my first ever job, since I know it is fast-paced here, and I will have to work hard and learn a lot. But that’s exactly what I am looking forward to. I love McDonald’s, and would love to join your team.

Can you tell me something about yourself?

It doesn’t really matter much what you tell them, as long as you show some energy and enthusiasm in your answer. You can talk about your studies, hobbies, life, dreams and goals. But it is important that the job with McDonald’s somehow fits into the picture.

I mean, if you study, for example, and look for part time job to make some extra cash to support your studies, it’s a great way to describe yourself in an interview with McDonald’s. Or if you’ve been working as a cashier somewhere else and your job contract ended, now you are looking to get the same position with McDonald’s.

They like outgoing personalities at McDonald’s, that’s why you should share with them also something from your personal life, perhaps a hobby, things you enjoy doing in your free time. Just do not tell them that you love to get wasted each Saturday evening, or something of that sort :).

Sample answer:

I am just a normal 18 year old girl, trying to graduate from high school and earning some extra cash, to perhaps save for my first car, or for a long vacation in Europe once I finish my studies. Enjoy watching a good series, going out with friends, playing piano. The thing is just that I need some income to pursue my goals, and that’s where a job with McDonald’s fits the picture…

 

What is your availability? What hours can you work?

Only thing that matters is to know exactly what hours you can work, and to not give this job the last priority on your list. I mean, if you study, then the job certainly doesn’t have the first priority. But you should not say that you can work only on Monday and Wednesday evening, for example, because you watch movies with friends on Tuesday and play baseball with schoolmates on Thursday.

They will expect you to work at least 25 hours a week. So you should be able to find such a gap in your busy schedule, and that obviously wouldn’t be possible if you prioritized all your hobbies and leisure time activities to your work…

Sample answer:

I can basically work all hours that I am not studying. Sure, I have life besides school, and hobbies I enjoy, but the job I hope to get with McDonald’s has a high priority in my life, and I do not mind sacrificing most of my free time activities for it. Hence basically every day of the week I can work from 2pm onward, and weekends are also available. My idea is to work about 25 hours a week, and no doubt that will be possible with my availability.

 

What are your weaknesses?

What works perfectly at McDonald’s is saying that your weakness is a lack of experience. Since they have an excellent training program in place, they do not really care whether you have any relevant experience, or any experience at all.

Another good idea is picking something that isn’t really important for the job. For example that you struggle with leading teams (you won’t lead any team unless you apply for a managerial role with McDonald’s), or that your computer skills are below par (computer skills matter in most jobs nowadays, but they do not really make any difference at McDonald’s).

Third good option is picking a weakness that can even be considered a strength by some hiring managers. For example that you are over-friendly to customers, or have a tendency to talk a lot in work. None of them will be a showstopper really.

Sample answer:

My biggest weakness is lack of working experience. While I am motivated and enjoy learning new things, I have never really work anywhere and may struggle with the workload, especially at the start. Having said that, I believe that in a few weeks I will get into the routine and won’t find it hard anymore.

 

How long do you want to have this job?

Employee turnover is super high at McDonald’s, just like at almost all fast food chains. They hope that you will do well and stay long time though, becoming a statistical outlier :).

The best thing you can do here is saying that you do not have any plans to leave, or any other job applications running simultaneously. If you study, for example, and have 2 years left until you graduate from high school, you can say that you’d love to have a job as long as you study at high school. Such an answer makes a lot of sense.

Basically anything you say works well, as long as they get an impression that you want to stay for six months at least. Of course, you can leave them earlier. Labor law is on your side. If you do not like something, you can leave in a month. While interviewing for the job, however, you should tell them what they want to hear from a good job applicant–in this case it is the fact that you want to stay for some time with the company.

Sample answer:

To be honest, I do not really know. I still have two years left at the college, and if I get this job I hope to have it until I finish my studies. Then of course I hope to get something better, but you never know–I may get a promotion here, and plans may change. In any case, I do not have any plans to leave this city anytime soon, and if you hire me you can count on me to stay for some time.

What would you do if a customer complained about your service?

Everything is about following the system at McDonald’s. If a customer complained, you’d apologize, because that’s also a part of the system :). But as long as you followed the steps in the preparation of the food, or in any other activity you are responsible for at McDonald’s, you wouldn’t change anything on your behavior.

Surely, not everyone will be satisfied, and some people may complain just because they have a bad day. You will listen to their feedback carefully, because you are aware that you can make a mistake, and you will also apologize. You may report the incident to the manager as well. However, the situation won’t have a negative impact on you emotionally or anything similar. You will get over it quickly and focus on the next customer, delivering the service they expect from you at McDonald’s.

Sample answer:

If they complain I will apologize, and try to understand where I made the mistake–if any. But I will apologize anyway, since I understand some customers may complain for no reason at all. If they ask for a manager, I will call them to the scene. Anyway, I imagine that while most people will be nice some won’t be, and it is something I count with in the job. A complaint from one customer won’t discourage me from trying my best with the next one…

Special Tip: Download the list of questions in a one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:

McDonald’s interview questions, PDF

This is a repetitive job. What will motivate you to try hard each day?

Now you have several options for a good answer. First one is saying that you actually prefer routine, repetitive jobs. You do not like to think too much in work, and you lack working experience. You’ll be more than happy to learn how to take care of a few simple duties in your work, and repeat the process time after time, with each customer.

Another thing is referring to money, and to the responsibility you feel for other team members. You know why you want to do this work–you need money, to support your family, to finance your studies, to do whatever you want to do. And if you don’t meet the expectations, they will fire you, you’ll lose your income and have to start your job search again.

Certainly that’s the last thing you want to see happening, and you also do not want to let your colleagues down, with a poor performance. These two things motivate you to try hard, though the job is repetitive.

Sample answer:

I am a team player, and I know success is a team-effort at McDonald’s. I do not want to let my colleagues down by failing to take care of my duties, or by working slowly. That alone is the motivation for me to try hard, even if I do not feel like working on a given day. What’s more, I kind of prefer repetitive jobs, because I do not like intellectual challenges and having to deal with new problems every day at work.

 

What are your strengths?

Following a similar logic like with the question about your weaknesses, you should point out something that matters for the job–at least somehow. Excellent communication skills, being in a good shape physically, attention to detail, great listening skills, ability to cook many burgers in an hour (if you apply for a cook position) are just some of the strengths that will work well in an interview with McDonald’s.

At the end of the day, you should be confident that you will handle the job and the workload. Unless you are confident, they won’t be either…

I would pick my communication skills and ability to handle the pressure. Having said that, I do not want to sound over-confident and perhaps my former colleagues or my former manager would say something else, but I believe in my ability to handle this job.

 

The workload is sometimes super heavy here. How do you plan to handle the pressure?

You can refer to the excellent system they have in place, and to the necessity of invariably sticking to it. When the workload is heavy, it doesn’t mean that you will skip adding lettuce to the burger, to save some time, to serve the customer faster. The contrary is true.

Ensure the hiring managers that you will follow the steps, that you will ensure to do a quality work, and seeing a long queue of customers in front of you won’t stress you out. You’ll just try to do your job as quickly as possible, and will limit all distractions. But other than that you will follow the standard procedures, so the customers get what they expect from they visit at McDonald’s.

Sample answer:

McDonald’s is a popular place and no doubt we’ll have our hands full often. But that doesn’t mean that I will skip some procedures, or rush things… People expect a certain burger (or other food) when they enter the store, and in order to deliver it, we have to follow the steps to the point. A longer queue of people waiting for the service won’t stress me out. I will just to my best, trying to be fast, but I will stick to all procedures invariably. When people enter the restaurant in the most busy hour, they cannot expect to have their food in two minutes.

 

Do you have any questions?

You do not have to force a question at the end of your interview. If the job description is clear, if things are obvious, you can simply thank them for a good interview and ask them about the next steps. If you did well, they may hire you on the spot. But they may also tell you that they’ll call you in a few days with a decision.

Of course if you aren’t sure about some important details, such as your wage, or the working hours, or anything else, you should ask the hiring manager. Better be safe now than sorry later…

 

Conclusion, next steps

Interviews with McDonald’s (for in-store jobs) belong to easy job interviews. The questions are predictable, and the expectations are not high, because you will learn everything in their excellent training program.

As long as you show enthusiasm for the job, do not remain silent when they ask you their questions, and demonstrate right attitude to work with your answers, they will hire you. I wish you good luck!

Matthew

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Matthew Chulaw
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