There are a few things almost everyone on this planet has to do. Washing clothes is one of them. But some people are too old for the task, or they cannot do it for another reason. Think about patients in hospitals, elderly living in nursing homes, guests of luxury hotels, or prisoners. These are some of the places where you can work as a laundry attendant.
It’s not a dream job, but stress levels are super-low, and once you are done with your shift you can leave the place with a clear head. Not many employees can enjoy this luxury. The job is physically demanding, but once the washing machines run, and you have no clothes to fold, you can enjoy a break smoking a cigarette, or simply relaxing for a while.
Let’s have a look at 10 questions you may face while interviewing for this position.
Can you tell us something about yourself?
What you say does not matter as much as how you say it. Try to keep an eye contact with the interviewers right from the start, and talk with enthusiasm in your voice. They should not get an impression that you feel like a loser or unlucky person, just because you have to apply for a laundry assistant job. That’s why it’s important to stay positive.
You can mention something from your former experience (especially if you worked with laundry before), and also give them a brief intro into your personal life–whether you have children, one or two things you enjoy in your free time, etc. Try to show right from the beginning that you are honest and will speak openly with them in the interviews.
Why do you want to work as a laundry assistant?
Be honest, but try to find something positive about the job. I’m sure you haven’t dreamed of this occupation as a kid. But it doesn’t mean it is a bad occupation, at least in this stage of your professional career, or in your current life situation.
You can say that you are looking for a job with low stress levels, and prefer manual work to intellectual one. Nothing wrong with that in my book, since all of us has some preferences. You can also say that the working hours suit you (for example only morning shifts, or other shift patterns), as they allow you to take care of other commitments (taking care of your children why they aren’t at school, another job you have, or something similar).
One way or another, they should get a feeling that this job isn’t your last option, that you will at least somehow enjoy it, that you won’t hate it right from the start.
How do you imagine a typical shift doing laundry here?
It’s important to show proactive approach to work, and responsible attitude to your duties. Do not say that you imagine throwing the clothes to the machines, press the start button, and let them run, while you will play on your smartphone or read a book.
On the contrary. You imagine sorting clothes (white and black and colored), separating clothes with oily stains or other problems that have to be addressed individually, and while the washing machines do they work you will clean the stains, dry the clothes that has been washed already, fold the items, and ensure that each piece of clean clothes eventually reaches the right destination.
That’s the attitude they seek in an ideal job applicant for this position.
In your opinion, which clothing items should never be put into the washing machine?
You can name a few things here, separating them into two groups–things that need to be washed separately (such as shoes, running sneakers, pillows), either because of their fragility, specifications, or because they are washed on a different temperature, and things that should not be washed at all.
To the second group belong gloves (especially sport glows), raincoats, purses, anything with flammable stains, memory foam pillows, and many other things.
You do not need to list all items. It’s enough showing that you have a general idea, and ensuring the interviewers that if you aren’t sure, you don’t put an item into a washing machine with other clothes. You either ask someone or wash it separately, but won’t risk causing damage to the other pieces of clothing.
This is a repetitive work. What will motivate you to do it well week after week, month after month?
It’s true that you may not always enjoy your work. And it’s fine saying so, because showing unrealistic expectations won’t take you anywhere in this interview.
But you have goals you follow outside of job. Or you simply have to survive and pay your bills. You know that the job itself may be boring, but you also know what gets you up in the morning–why you go to work at first place. Keeping this on your mind will help you overcome the crisis of motivation, and take care of your duties, even though you may not enjoy the work much.
You can also say that you actually prefer repetitive work. One you learn your routines the work flows, and before you know it’s end of your shift and you can leave the place with a clear mind…
What are your salary expectations?
Honestly you will earn a minimum wage or close to it as a laundry attendant. But I probably haven’t surprised you with this information… Check the minimum wage in your state/country, and set it as a benchmark.
What I always suggest job candidates to try is asking one or two dollars per hour extra, on the top of the minimum wage. That’s a reasonable amount, and the worst thing that can happen is that they say it is not possible to pay you so much. Then you can counter saying it’s fine, and you are still interested in the job.
How do you ensure you make no mistakes in your work, for example when sorting clothes?
Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s your effort to avoid them which counts. Say that you try to stay focused in the job, and like to have some system in your work.
For example marking clothing items in some way, or putting different items to separate piles, or doing something else to ensure you won’t send clothes belonging to person A to person B.
You can also say that you try to eliminate all distractions while working. You may listen to the radio (that’s typical in the laundry), but you won’t have your eyes fixed on your smartphone, TV screen, or let some outside events distract you.
How long do you want to have this job?
The truth is probably that until you find something better. Just like with many other interview questions, however, you do not have to say that entire truth.
The interviewers are not naive and saying that you’d love to work with laundry until you retire would sound ridiculous to them (unless you have few years left to retirement, of course). But you can say that so far you aren’t thinking about other options or jobs, and are not a job-hopper.
Of course, if a better opportunity shows on the horizon, in a year from now, for example, you may consider changing the job. But it’s not on your mind at the moment.
How would you describe an ideal colleague in a laundry?
In many places you will have at least one colleague on the shift. I suggest you to not have many expectations on them. For example you can say that everyone has some strengths and weaknesses–including yourself, and that you try to respect people as they are. Of course you expect the same from their side–to respect you with your strengths and weaknesses.
Another idea is saying that you try to focus on yourself–and how you treat your colleagues. Being attentive to their needs and offering them a helping hand when they need one, you typically have good relationship with your mates at work.
Another alternative is saying that an ideal colleague doesn’t exist, and that you will simply try your best to cooperate with anyone who’s working with the laundry at the moment.
Do you have any questions?
You do not have to force a question, if everything is clear, and they described the most important things: schedule, shift patterns, salary, contract, etc. In such a case it’s fine thanking them for an interview and saying you have no other questions.
If something wasn’t clear, however, you should not just let it go. Though a low paid job this is still a job, and employer have to stick to laws and regulations when signing a contract with you. If something isn’t clear, or looks shady, ask about it before signing the contract. It’s better asking a “stupid question” than feeling sorry when your first paycheck arrives (or when it doesn’t arrive at all)…
Ready to ace your laundry assistant interview? I hope so! If not, you can check also the following articles:
- How to overcome interview nerves – Do not let the anxiety impact your chances in an interview. Get over your nerves and show your very best.
- Salary negotiation tips – A few tips and tricks to help you get at least one dollar more for every hour at work.