How to Interview a Housekeeper or Cleaner

A guide to interviewing prospective cleaners or housekeepers.

When you are ready to interview prospective cleaners or housekeepers, it is important that you feel comfortable communicating with whomever you hire. Remember, this is an individual or team of people you are going to trust with your home and all of its belongings.

Guidelines for Interviewing
Start by asking for general background information: Find out how long they have been in the cleaning business, how many houses they clean, what services they provide when cleaning. Also, let them do some of the talking so you can get an idea of their personality and their communication skills.

Ask for references and then call them: Be diligent about your hire, since this is a stranger you are inviting into your home. You may even ask for character references along with work references to get a better idea of this person’s background.

You may find it difficult to ask certain questions: Such as about a person’s background, criminal history or education. To help you through this part of interviewing, you can create a short application form and allow your candidate time to fill it out. Some points you’ll want to include are:

    1. Full name and ID
    2. reference names and phone numbers
    3. address, phone, and email contact information
    4. ask whether or not the candidate is insured (you should also check your own home and contents insurance to see if household staff are covered)
    5. emergency contact name and address

Present hypothetical questions: Ones that this person can answer about their cleaning and work ethic. How do they approach cleaning? What sets them apart from other housekeepers in the area? Avoid candidates who view cleaning as a job between jobs, who don’t appear to care about quality.

When you think you’ve found the right person for the job: be very upfront about what you’ll pay and what you expect of them. It is important to know ahead of time what cleaning tasks they dislike doing or will do at an extra cost. For example, some may change your sheets as part of their duties or opt to do windows if you pay an additional amount.

Request a trial period of two to three cleanings, so you have time to evaluate their cleaning over time and to make sure you have a compatible relationship.



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