The Housekeeping Guide: Housekeeper Interview

How to interview a housekeeper

organized closet towel
Inside The Housekeeping Guide...

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.
Previous: Housekeeper Cost « Next: Quality Care and Your Housekeeper »
Like this? Get more. Sign up for the latest articles, news and tips of your choice. All delivered weekly to your inbox.
Enter your email address:
Comments (8)
Peg M.
I have been cleaning houses for 20 years. It is NEVER a good idea to give your referances to a potential employer before you meet them. You don't know who the people are and they are STRANGERS to you and the good people you have worked for. You need to sit down with the home owner and get a feel for who they are before giving out confidential information.
Posted: April 03, 2014 at 7:29 PM
Member Care.
Hi F M,

Once you have created a free account with us online, you will be prompted to upgrade to a premium membership. This membership includes the ability to communicate with local housekeepers through your account, to listen to recorded references, and write and view reviews. Additionally, you will have various background check options to select from. Feel free to explore the orange 'Upgrade Now' function in the top right hand corner of your account for more details. I hope that helps!
Posted: April 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM
F M.
hi
how do I contact the housekeepers to interview. need one to start soon. thank you
Posted: April 09, 2013 at 3:06 PM
jayprakash
good and thanks, nice written
Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Alessandra C.
Another question: how much would be fair paying per hour an housekeeper with no previous experience, who lives nearby, for a one bedroom with little furniture? Thank you for helping me find out!
Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Alessandra C.
Hi,I was planning -via email-an interview with a person found through this website.I was surprised she preferred meeting somewhere else than my apartment (I thought this would have been the easiest way for her to have an idea of the kind of job required!).she told me that in meeting at my place she was making an exception from the "protocol".does this protocol really exists?I'd like to know!
Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Photo of Taylor S.
Taylor S.
Amy J.,
You have to pay to have the ability to send emails to people on here.
I did it, found a housekeeper, and will stop paying until I need it again.
Hope that helps.
:)
Posted: March 30, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Amy J.
I have found 2 housekeeper on your site but don't understand how to send them a message. thanks
Posted: March 21, 2012 at 9:04 AM
Leave a Comment
You can post a comment by logging in to your Care.com account or continue as a guest below.
errortext
Email*
Display Name*
Comment*
Success! Your comment is waiting to be approved. It will post soon.
Post another comment

Connect with Care.com

Join Free Today!
What would you like to do?
Membership Type*
By clicking Join Now, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
Put Safety first
Read our Safety Guide for tools and tips to keep you and your family safe.
Visit Sheila's Blog
Get advice for your family from our founder (and chief mom officer), Sheila Lirio Marcelo.