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How to Interview Potential Housekeepers

You've figured out how much you should be paying for a housekeeper, now you're ready for interviews.

Image via  Getty Images/CasaraGuru

Once you've identified some candidates who look promising, your next step is to make sure they're a good fit for you, your family, and your home. In fact, this step is of the utmost importance. As such, it’s imperative that you know which questions are the right ones to ask when interviewing potential housekeepers. Remember, this is an individual or team of people you are going to trust with your home and all of its belongings. Communication is key. Asking the right questions will not only provide you with peace of mind, but also a cleaner house and a healthier relationship with your housecleaner.

 

Preparing for the Interview

  • Think Ahead: Prepare a list of questions to ask and be upfront with your expectations.
     
  • Do Your Research: If using a franchise or agency, check their rating with the Better Business Bureau as well as other online reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook.
     
  • Create an Application: Provide a short application to learn more about the person’s background such as criminal history and education. Allow your candidate time to fill it out during the interview. A few points to consider including:
    • Social Security number, driver's license number or ID card
    • Full name and street address
    • Documentation of legal permission to work in the U.S.
    • 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

 

What to Ask About When It Comes To...

  • Their Experience: How long they have been in the cleaning business? How many houses have they cleaned? What services do they provide when cleaning?
     
  • Your Expectations: Do you want the baseboards scrubbed every visit? Or the windows washed? Be upfront with your cleaning expectations. Not sure where to begin? We’ve rounded up the eight dirtiest places in your home. Other things to consider: How is their work ethic? Are they going to show up when they say they will? Ask them to cite specific examples to ensure you will find the perfect match.
     
  • How They Take Direction: Do they take feedback well? How have they handled conflict with a customer? How do they approach cleaning? Listen to their responses to determine if they may be a good fit for you.
     
  • Their Personality: Let them do some of the talking so you can get an idea of their personality and their communication skills. It’s important that you and your housekeeper are compatible, paving the way for clear communication.
     
  • Their Background: Have them fill out the form you worked up. Can they provide at least three references? Be sure to get the full name and phone number for each reference so that you may call them.

 

After the Interview

  • Contact Their References: Be diligent about your hire, since this is a stranger you are inviting into your home. Call each reference to learn more about your potential housekeeper’s background, work ethic and personality.
     
  • Run a Background Check: For your safety, it’s important 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. Read our Care.com Safety Tips for more information on how to request a background check. 
     
  • Do a Trial Period: If you are on the fence about a hire, request a trial period of two to three cleanings, so you have time to evaluate their skills over time and to make sure you have a compatible relationship.
     
  • Be Upfront About the Job Details: 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 housekeeper duties or opt to do windows if you pay an additional fee.
Comments
Linda in Berryville, AR
April 18, 2019

How do I get to contact Housekeepers applying for my job

Ty
July 25, 2014

I disagree with you peg. I have done housekeeping as well as hired a housekeeper. If you give a phone number or email address, its ok. Yes they are strangers but so are you and they need to make sure you are not going to murder or rob them. I wont let people in my home unless they have a good set of references that say they are safe and mentally sound. So you really should reconsider it.

User
April 3, 2014

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.

User
April 11, 2013

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!

F
April 9, 2013

hi how do I contact the housekeepers to interview. need one to start soon. thank you

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