SONIC Drive-In Interview Questions & Tips

Hiring process information for an interview at SONIC Drive In

How to Get a Job at SONIC

SONIC Drive-In boasts more than 3,400 locations across the United States. As one of the largest drive-in concept fast food chains, SONIC maintains thousands of entry-level workers and managers. Job vacancies open on a regular basis and provide sound employment opportunities for workers of all varieties. The hiring process takes little effort to complete, with most applicants finishing out necessary rounds of interview within a week or less.

One-On-One Interviews

Applicants begin the interview process by submitting candidate information to a local restaurant of choice. After SONIC reviews hiring forms, the fast food chain contacts applicants who meet hiring needs and show potential for a right fit with the drive-in. Hiring managers then call job seekers to schedule interviews. One interview proves typical of hiring process. The solitary interview generally features a one-on-one with a general manager. During the brief session, which usually lasts around 20 to 30 minutes, applicants may receive employment assessments to test basic math abilities. The quick-service drive-in chain uses math assessments to ensure applicants know how to give correct change given expedited job expectations.

What the Company Looks For In an Employee

Many entry-level jobs involve a great deal of physical activity. Cooks and food prep employees must work quickly, and servers must run to and from cars to take orders and deliver food. SONIC Drive-In looks for workers able to meet the physical demands of the job while maintaining positive and upbeat attitudes. A great way to ensure a strong performance during the hiring process is to consistently smile and demonstrate positivity through answers to posed interview questions.

Common Interview Questions

Interview questions vary slightly from position to position but generally cover potential job duties, work environments, motivations for employment, and expected pay as well as personal interests and career aspirations. A hiring manager may ask:

  • "How would you respond to a disgruntled customer or employee giving you a hard time?"
  • "Are you able to work on foot for long periods of time?"
  • "What days are you available to work?"
  • "Why do you want a job at SONIC?"

Leaving a Good Impression

The attending hiring managers make final determinations of employment based on the responses given during the interview process. Remaining positive proves essentially important to gaining hiring consideration. Physical abilities also play an important part of receiving a possible job offer. Workers should dress in business appropriate attire when attending SONIC Drive-In interviews. Fast food companies experience high rates of turnover, and interviewers may additionally ask applicants to state intended length of employment during the interview process. Genuine workers, regardless of intended stays with the drive-in chain, generally gain favor with hiring managers and receive job offers at the end of the final interview. Other successful workers receive word on hiring status within a few days of the final session.

Sonic Crew Member Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Sonic Employee: My job title at Sonic was a crew member. Everyone that’s there that’s not actually a person who goes out and skates – everyone there is considered a crew member. What I did there was basically I was in the back, working every job in the kitchen. Working the grill, being the burger dresser, hot dogs, all of that. I was stocking, doing pretty much all of the kitchen duties.

Interviewer: Did you earn any benefits or other job perks?
Sonic Employee: It was, I believe, 50% off for everything we purchased there and came with things, like health insurance and benefits. Didn’t end up using any of them, but 50% off for food was the main one that intrigued me most.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Sonic Employee: I went there and I just had a quick, five to 10-minute interview with the managers, and I pretty much got hired on the spot. So, the interview process for me wasn’t very stressful. It was good. It was fun for me. When it comes to getting hired and training and things like that, it took about a couple weeks. It was a good experience, it was easy for me.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Sonic Employee: They asked if I know the common regulations for food: what temperature you keep the food at if it’s not being served. There’s the 40-degree limit going downward, then the 140 going upward. It’s not that exactly we had to know. It was my first job. I didn’t know that kind of stuff. So, they’re just quizzing, seeing if I wanted to know it or not. Either way, they’re just trying to pretty much gauge what we knew about the situation.

Interviewer: What set you apart from other candidates?
Sonic Employee: I think I was a little more respectful toward the managers, and although I still joked around, had fun with them, I was just a little more respectful, and I respect their authority more.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Sonic Employee: It’s definitely a good job experience, because it teaches you to multi-task, to stay focused, to be able to juggle a bunch of different things at once, especially if you’re working in the kitchen. But, when it came to me, it was good for me in high school, because there weren’t too many hours. But I’m trying to support myself now, so if I were to do the same job and not get any more than five or 10 hours a week, it wouldn’t be the best idea for me.

Sonic Drive-In Car Hop Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Sonic Drive-In Car Hop: I was a carhop, which is basically a server on roller skates. I took the food out to the customers and handled the money transactions.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Sonic Drive-In Car Hop: I did enjoy the work environment. It’s considered fast food, so it is all about timelines and getting the food out within a minute and a half of when it’s ordered. I enjoyed that. I also enjoyed the fact that I got paid the same as everyone else in the store, and I got tips on top of that. One of the requirements was wearing roller skates, and I got tipped more because I was wearing roller skates. People would enjoy seeing tricks and stuff like that, especially if they had kids.

Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
Sonic Drive-In Car Hop: My favorite part was … I think it’s safe to say when we had downtime. When we had downtime, people in the kitchen were cleaning up grease and making sure it’s clean. When carhops have downtime, they tell them to go outside and make sure that it’s picked up out there, but once that’s finished, just skate around to attract more customers. Getting paid to skate around a parking lot’s pretty cool.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Sonic Drive-In Car Hop: When I applied at Sonic Drive-In, they were a new company and had yet to open. They had one of those signs out front saying, “Taking Applications and Having Interviews On the Spot.” I filled out my application and had an interview with the general manager, and he hired me on the spot, and I started the next week.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Sonic Drive-In Car Hop: They had asked about my previous work experience and what my work ethic was like, which I feel like’s pretty typical for most jobs. I told them that I have a great work ethic and I’m punctual. I’ll show up for my shift and do my job, and they gave me the job.

Interviewer: What set you apart from other candidates?
Sonic Drive-In Car Hop: I think what set me apart after the first week was being true to my word and showing up for the shift and doing the work. Being a new business, they had a lot of people that applied, and a lot of them washed out the first couple weeks. I started initially on the grill and I got moved up to a carhop because of, as I said, showing up for work and doing my job and doing it well.

More SONIC Drive-In Interview Videos:

18 user comments:

  1. cynthia

    how much better is it to know how two be a roller skating crew member than just an ordinary one?

  2. Jesse

    Hi this is me jesse i’m going to be able to apply June 19th because of my age im only 15 1/2 fifteen and a half.
    I’d love to be a car hop, im a male born in asheville, NC 6/19/95
    hope to see from Sonic soon!

  3. dp

    sonic does not drug test

  4. Aaliyah Madden

    Hi i’d be very happy to work gor you guys im 16 ,im from Atlanta i have only been looking for a job for about 6 months now.

  5. Lily

    The best position would definitely be a cop hop, they get tips and get to skate around all day. It’s usually the position everybody wants.

  6. lakisha

    what should you wear to the interview?

  7. Brooklyn

    What to expect at the interview-
    Expect to speak to the hiring manager. This is sometimes also the owner, but is usually someone who has worked at sonic for several years and has seen carhops come and go like mad and usually are pretty busy and hard to get ahold of.
    What should I bring to the interview?
    Just yourself, and a wallet with your social security card and driver’s license or some form of ID.
    What questions do they ask?
    They ask about your experience, why you chose sonic, what makes you think sonic will choose you, and the biggest and usually most important questions: can you work during happy hour, how flexible are you with your hours, and whether or not you’re willing to skate (for aspiring car hops).
    What should I wear, or how should I dress for an interview at SONIC Drive In?
    You can be casual, I’ve worked at two sonics, the first I wore shorts and a tank top, a cute necklace, and was casual day with the makeup. As long as you aren’t looking trashy they’re all right (as in torn jeans, too low cut of a shirt, crazy makeup, fake tan to the point of orange, etc). They love a cute smile.
    What education level (high school or college) is required for the job?
    They don’t have education prerequisites. I worked there before I graduated high school.
    What should you say about certain questions?
    If you can work during happy hour, or whatever time they focus on (if they’re in need of morning or night people, for example, they’ll focus on that), then tell them about how open to scheduling you are or are not. When it comes to the different time periods- morning to daytime is more calm, usually you get a few regulars (it depends on the location- as in, on a busy street or near a school… teachers love sonic) and for the most part are maintaining the site and getting prepared for happy hour. Happy Hour is… INTENSE. It’s so busy but worth it once you can get your speed up, when it comes to tips. And nighttime… once 5 o clock hits you’re working towards chores. Usually there’s a chore list to be split between three or four carhops of 27ish things to do.
    And when it comes to skating- no matter what, say yes. The only exception is if you have a serious health problem (like a knee that will make you double over in pain if you skate for a few hours), but if you possess something like that, sonic may not be the best choice for you. Usually you’ll get an extra dollar an hour if you skate. Sonics get their funding based off of many factors, but one is how many skaters they have. You’re nearly guaranteed the job if you can skate. If you are scared of skating, don’t worry. Everyone has learned and everyone has fallen. I nearly broke my tailbone once, and a Rt 44 Dr Pepper exploded all over me in the process- everyone goes through it and it’s one of the most accomplished feelings one can possess when you push yourself through it.
    For restaurants, do you get free food (sandwich, burger, drinks, etc) or lunch if you work there?
    You usually get a discount for food, free to little charge for drinks, etc. It depends on the individual location, as they are owned differently. For example, the first one I worked at allowed you any size drink for a quarter that we put in a cherry jar. 50% off on food/ice cream. But at the second, I was allowed as much refills on a medium cup as I wanted for free, and 25% off on food/ice cream. Usually it depends on the manager as well, but I got away with getting a free burger or two every once in a while. If you’re closing there’s usually a box of onion rings, chicken, hot dogs, etc to bring home if you want to dig through that.
    How much do they pay? Will they ask about salary expectations, if so what should I say?
    I got 2.50 an hour, 3.50 when I skated. It’s a sonic policy to always get you 7.50 (or minimum wage where you are) no matter what, but they do take a small portion of your tips to get that support there. Depending on the weather, and how many orders I took out, how cute I looked, etc, I could make up to 12 or 13 dollars an hour in tips.
    Does SONIC Drive In drug test?
    Is it hard to get the job?
    If you skate- not really. They’re usually perpetually hiring because it’s very overwhelming at first and carhops quit. It’s a very overwhelming start but it’s worth it when you push through it. Be ready to learn quick.
    How to manage second interviews?
    When I was hired both times I didn’t get a second interview. From what I understand they rarely hand those out.
    When to expect a call?
    Make sure you specify in the interview when they will call, and ask if they don’t call by x date (friday, or next monday, etc) should you call. Sometimes managers get overwhelmed and totally forget you existed till a week later.

  8. beth

    what age are you all hiring ?

  9. Tiffany

    I’m turning 15 in a week, should I still fill out a job application?

  10. kayla

    this was VERY helpful information. thank you so much. i have an interview in 2 days. wish me luck!!!(: ahh im nervous

  11. Terron

    The Sonic I live near hires at 15. This is going to be my first job, and this was really helpful information.

  12. tiffany

    As brooklyn said, about them getting busy and forgeting about you. This just happend to me. I already filled out the new hire paperwork and its been 3 days no call. So, I decided to call and he was like did u turn ur paperwolrk in. Which I did and he signed it all. I guess he got really busy and forgot about me lol so have to call back at 5 hopefully everything works out 🙂

  13. Garret

    Im planning on turning in my application today. Ive been looking to get a job for almost 4 months now and I always wanted to work at Sonic. Wish me luck!

  14. tiarra

    I just got hired at Sonic but I have no social security card. Will my manager just take my social security number?

  15. Stephanie

    How will i know if sonic wants to interview me?I just applied online but do i have a better chance of being hired if i apply in person?

  16. Keaton

    I just got back from an interview and i was hired. I think the main reason i got hired was because of a referral of a worker there. It help A LOT if you can get a referral that already works there. They asked typically questions like from 1-10 what would you rate your initiative/dedication and that kind of stuff. They also asked about hours and that was pretty much it. He said our interview wasnt as long as someone elses might be because of my referral. It is really that important to have one.

  17. Tashannah

    How much sonic pay? Do they pay a week or every 2 weeks? I need to know asap!!!

  18. Ashley

    Hi, I applied for a crew member position yesterday. Today I received a call to set up an interview for tomorrow. Quickest call back from any employer (:


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