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McDonald's Hiring Process Explained

McDonald's is one of the most popular employers in the fast-food industry. According to statistics, the fast-food chain has almost half a million employees worldwide. So if you're considering applying for a job, this article will discuss the McDonald's hiring process in detail, giving you a rough idea of what to expect when you submit your job application. 

McDonald's Application Process 

The multinational corporation follows a specific recruitment process for most of its locations. However, some locations might have their own unique hiring process. Generally, here's what happens.  

Search & Apply

McDonald's is always hiring workers to fill different positions within the company. So whether you'd like to work as a crew member, shift supervisor, human resources manager, prep person, store manager, or anything in between, there’s plenty of options to choose from.

Since there are more than 13,000 McDonald's locations all over North America, chances are, a McDonald's location near you might be looking to hire someone like you. Once you find the McDonald's job you're looking for, make sure you read and understand the requirements before submitting your application. 

McDonald's doesn't usually have strict requirements for most positions. Generally, you may be eligible for employment at the fast-food company if you are:

  • At least 15 years old

  • Able to multitask

  • An excellent communicator

  • Attentive

  • A team player

The exact requirements vary from one role to another, and that's why it's essential to read and understand the job description. Once you've found the right job for you and read all requirements, you may submit your application. It takes about an hour to complete the application process.

When submitting your application, you’ll be required to include your contact details, work history, and availability. In addition, towards the end of the McDonald's application, you'll be required to take a 'personality' test. This test helps screen applicants and identify those with the personality and judgment the company needs, and takes around 30 minutes to an hour to complete. 

After submitting your application, one of their representatives will get back to you, usually within three business days. However, it may take a week or two before the hiring manager contacts you. So if you don't hear from them right away, don't panic. 

Application Review

The hiring manager will then review each application to find the right candidates. When reviewing the application, the recruiter will also check your answers to the personality test. If your eligibility and personality match what the company is looking for, they'll schedule you for a job interview, either online, via phone, or in person. 

Video or Phone Interviews 

Regardless of the type of interview scheduled, it's important that you plan ahead. For best results, check out these useful video interview tips to help you get a job. The preparation process for a phone interview is almost similar to a video interview. The main difference is that you won't need to set up your webcam during a phone interview. 

Onsite Visit

If scheduled for an in-person interview, make sure you arrive on time and well prepared. Remember to bring your identification card, social security card, and a copy of your resume. While you may not need some of these documents during the interview, it's better to have them than not. Besides, having such documents creates the impression that you're a quick thinker and organized. 

Pre-Employment Screening

McDonald's conducts criminal and educational background checks on potential employees like any other company. Although the company does not conduct drug and alcohol testing before hiring, it reserves the right to do so under certain circumstances. For example, if there's any reason to believe that an employee is working under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they may face disciplinary action and be required to take a drug test. 


If you pass the interview process and pre-employment screening, the hiring manager will contact you with an offer to join the team at McDonald's. During the initial phone call, you'll discuss your availability and then schedule an official reporting date. And depending on your level of experience, you may spend the first few weeks training. 

Does McDonald's Drug Test?

McDonald's doesn't usually drug test during the hiring process. However, this also depends on the specific owner's policy, given that McDonald's restaurants are owned by a franchise. It's also important to note that McDonald's prohibits the use of drugs or alcohol while at work or reporting to work while intoxicated. This is one of the few occasions when an employee may need to take a drug test. 

How long is the McDonald's hiring process?

The McDonald's hiring process takes about 30 minutes to an hour. Here's why. 

The initial application could take around 10 to 15 minutes. After filling out the application, you'll be required to take the personality test, which takes around 30 minutes. Therefore, it's always advisable to spare at least an hour to complete the initial application and the personality test. 

Common McDonald's Interview Questions

Knowing the kind of questions to expect and how to answer them significantly increases your chances of getting hired. Here are some of the most common McDonald's interview questions

Why do you want to work at McDonald's? 

When the recruiter asks this question, they're trying to establish whether you understand the company's goals or values. This is the perfect opportunity to convince them that you're an ideal candidate. The job description should give you an idea of the type of candidate the company is looking for. You can then use some of the key points to coin your answer. Here's an example of a great answer: 

"I am passionate about working in a fast-paced environment, whether individually or as a team while providing excellent customer service. I believe McDonald's work environment can bring the best out of me. I also love that McDonald’s offers tuition benefits, which will benefit my career advancement as I aim to study part-time."

Why this answer works: The candidate demonstrates that they know and understand the company's values. This response also creates the impression that the candidate took their time to research the benefits of working at McDonald's. 

Have you ever worked at McDonald's before? 

The recruiter might ask this question to establish whether you have any experience in this field. Your answer will help them decide whether you need additional training. Additionally, if you're more experienced, it could be a good reason to negotiate your salary. 

If you've worked at McDonald's before, mention the exact restaurant and location. You may also provide any professional references from a previous McDonald's franchise to add more weight to your answer. However, if you've never worked at McDonald's before, don't lie to the employer because chances are they'll fact-check your answer. 

What do you know about McDonald's? 

The recruiter asks this question to determine whether you understand what the company is all about. Here are some quick facts about McDonald's you should know: 

  • McDonald's has over 40,000 restaurants

  • It is one of the largest quick-service restaurants in the world

  • More than 70 percent of McDonald's sales come from their drive-thru windows

  • The company sells chicken, salads, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, soft drinks, French fries, etc. 

Do you have experience in the restaurant industry?

Having previous experience in the restaurant industry can significantly increase your chances of getting hired at McDonald's. However, the company usually has tons of vacancies for entry-level workers. If you have experience in the restaurant industry, mention the most recent restaurants you've worked in, including your roles and any notable achievements. Here's an example of a good answer if this would be your first job in this industry: 

"I do not have experience in the restaurant industry, but I am a fast learner and team player. Also, I am open to acquiring on-the-job training and sharpening my skills every day." 

How would you make McDonald's a better company? 

You'll find the answer to this question by taking a closer look at the job description. What are the company's main pain points, and how can you help alleviate them? In addition, what skills do you possess that could benefit the company? Once you have that figured out, create your answer around your unique qualities or skills. For example, think of something like:

"I have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, which I believe will really help boost the company's image. I am also great at multitasking and will be a great addition to your team, particularly during peak hours." 

What is your favorite menu item?

Recruiters may ask this question to establish whether you know the kinds of foods the restaurant serves and if you have good communication skills. You don't necessarily need to be a big fan of what they serve, but you should be able to demonstrate some knowledge of their menu items. Here's an example of a good answer to this question: 

"I particularly love the spicy crispy chicken sandwich. I love its crispy, juicy, and tender feeling and also the fact that it has only 530 calories."

Key Takeaways

It's not that difficult to get hired at McDonald's - the company's employment policy favors individual qualities over qualifications. 

Before applying for a job, make sure you read and understand the company's policies and the job description for the position you intend to fill. Understanding these two aspects will help you answer most interview questions, establishing yourself as a strong candidate.

Lastly, when applying for a job at McDonald's, spare around an hour to complete the initial application and the personality test.  

Katy Boyles |
Katy is our Social Media Manager at Snagajob, where she loves talking to hourly workers and employers all day long. Her first hourly job was as a hostess.