The Housekeeping Guide: Housekeeper Interview
How to interview a housekeeper
When you are ready to interview prospective cleaners, 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 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:
- social security number, driver's license number or ID card
- full name and street address
- documentation of legal permission to work in the USA
- reference names and phone numbers
- address, phone and email contact information
- ask whether or not the candidate is bonded and insured
- emergency contact name and address
- It's a good idea to run a background check on people you hire to work in your home. There are many agencies that will do this for a small fee. Or, you can use a service like Care.com that will provide you with free preliminary background checks on providers you are interviewing.
- Present hypothetical questions 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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