McDonald’s on-job evaluation (sometimes known as the on-job experience) – or OJE – involves the trainee management candidate spending a day (11.00 am – 6.00 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 Jess Wheatley, talent acquisition officer at McDonald’s. ‘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 Jess. 'Normally we will have our operations consultants there as well as our restaurant managers.’
Remember the core skills and values. McDonald's has various skills and company values which it uses to define its culture; the desired skills include excellent customer service and teamwork, while the company values include equality, opportunity, diversity, positivity and flexibility. Use them to guide your actions and your approach on the day. (You can find more information on these in our ‘McDonald's trainee manager application process explained' guide.)
Demonstrate your attention to detail. 'In any job you need to show that you can pick out the important elements,’ Jess 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,' Jess 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 Jess. 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 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 Jess. 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,' Jess adds.
Dress smartly. 'We’ve had some people arrive in crumpled shirts or jeans,' says Jess. 'That doesn’t give an air of authority – you have to look the part to play the part.'
Don’t be late. As Jess 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 Jess. 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.