McDonald’s on-job evaluations: what to do and how to impress

An ability to pick up things quickly is not only helpful, it’s essential.

McDonald’s on-job evaluation (sometimes known as the on-job experience) – or OJE – is the fourth stage in its graduate recruitment process. It involves up to eight would-be trainee managers spending a day (11.00 am – 7.00 pm) in a local restaurant, talking to representatives and discovering what it is really like to work a shift.

‘To get to this stage, candidates have already impressed us,’ says Ilona Hodson, talent acquisition officer at McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd. ‘This is an opportunity for them to gain a realistic understanding of what being a trainee manager will be like and for us to see how candidates handle engaging with customers and working with our busy restaurant teams.’

Essential tips for standing out on the McDonald's OJE

Talk to people and ask questions. 'It’s good to strike up conversations with various people you meet,' says Ilona. 'Normally we will have our consultants there as well as our restaurant managers, and possibly the operations manager.’

Remember the vital ingredients: McDonald’s expects all employees to exemplify the behaviours and values known as the vital ingredients (these can be found listed in ‘McDonald's trainee manager application process explained'). Use them to guide your actions on the day.

Demonstrate your attention to detail. 'In any job you need to show that you can pick out the important elements,’ Ilona reflects. 'In our OJE, if you are prepping and cooking food, you’ve got to ensure that hygiene is always a priority.'

Maintain your energy levels throughout the day. 'Working in a restaurant can be hard work and we need people who have bags of energy and don’t tire easily,' Ilona points out. 'This is especially important in retail environments where you are dealing with customers all day. You need to have both mental and physical stamina to make it through the session and still be smiling.' Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before.

Show that you can prioritise, multitask and think on your feet. 'We provide the really detailed training but an ability to pick up things quickly is not only helpful, it’s essential,' says Ilona. You'll be given tasks that require you to multitask and prioritise. Make sure you have good reasons for choosing what to do first. When making your decisions, keep in mind the importance McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd places on giving excellent customer service and ensuring safety.

Remember the company's objectives and be results-driven. 'Businesses and organisations need to be commercially focused so you need to be results-driven,' says Ilona. This means that you need to be able to think about what an impact your actions and those of the people you manage will have on the bottom line and the reputation of the company. 'Being results-driven involves commitment to what you’re doing, the ability to influence people to achieve a goal, and to be hands-on, no matter what the job is,' says Ilona.

Dress smartly. 'We’ve had some people arrive in crumpled shirts or jeans,' says Ilona. 'That doesn’t give an air of authority – you have to look the part to play the part.'

Don’t be late. As Ilona says, 'If you can’t get to a recruitment event on time, it doesn’t create the right impression.' Leave yourself plenty of time to deal with travel delays and, if you can, do a test run the day before.

Use the day to decide if the job is right for you. 'Experience of this type can help applicants decide if the environment is right for them, as it’s not necessarily something you would know until you experience it for yourself,' reflects Ilona. It may be cliched, but it's true: interviews and assessment days are a two-way process. They provide as many opportunities for you to find out whether the company would suit you as they do for the company to find out whether you would suit it.

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