Questions you will get in this interview depend on two things. First one, whether you apply fort a job with a housekeeping agency, or directly with the house owner (small business owner, restaurant owner, etc, simply someone who needs their place to get cleaned once in a while, or every day). Secondly, whether the interview is led by a professional recruiter, or by someone who doesn’t know much about interviewing job candidates (for any type of work).
When you apply directly with the house owner, or interview with someone who doesn’t specialize in leading job interview, you can expect only a few simple questions. This person won’t bother you with any difficult behavioral questions. They will simply ask about your experience and availability, and they will briefly consider your motivation and seriousness.
If they consider you serious and motivated, and you can come and keep the house when they need it, they will hire you. Let’s have a look at the few questions you’ll deal with in this case.
Tell me more about your housekeeping experience.
Try to list all duties you had before while keeping the house. This includes way more than cleaning: cooking, doing laundry, watering plants, taking care of the house animals, shopping, and sometimes even paying bills (not with your own money, of course).
You did not necessarily have to work as a housekeeper before to have this experience. You may have gained it in your own house. The key is to show the person that you know what is expected from you, and are ready to take care of a variety of duties, while trying to keep their house clean and tidy on all days.
Why do you want this job?
There is nothing special about housekeeping positions, and therefor it makes no sense to talk about some special motives, or saying that you enjoy doing what housekeepers do.
In this case you should be honest. Perhaps you need an extra income, or perhaps housekeeping is the one thing you do really well, and that’s why you want the job. One way or another, you should be honest in your answer. Keep it simple and authentic.
* A must read: Feeling nervous? Learn how to overcome interview anxiety.
Are you available each evening (Can you work on weekends, can you come each Monday ,etc)?
Sooner or later, they will ask about your availability. If you read the job description carefully, you already know when they will need you to keep the house. But most of the time the house owner will ask about your availability anyway, just to ensure that you can come when they need you the most.
While it is important to be honest, you should also show some flexibility. Basically you should list all days and times when you are available for the job. Show them that you are eager to work, and are not too picky about the schedule.
Other questions you may get in your housekeeping job interview
- How do you plan to travel to our house?
- What cleaning tools and accessories do you have?
- Would you mind cooking for us?
- Would you mind working together with another person?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Where can you start the job?
Your answers to these questions suffice for the house owner to decide about your job application. If you apply for a job in a housekeeping agency, however, you can expect few more questions, especially behavioral questions.
The aim of these questions is to understand your attitude to various situations that happen in a workplace. Interviewers will observe both your verbal and non-verbal communication, while trying to understand your personality and attitude to work. Let’s have a look at some questions.
Describe a conflict you had with your colleague, in one of your previous jobs.
Working for an agency, you will often be a part of a housekeeping team. You will work with other people on site, typically in a big building, a school, dormitory, or a block of apartment houses.
Your goal is to convince the interviewers that you do your best to avoid conflicts, and if they happen, you will approach them in a most constructive way, not going for fights or lengthy arguments. In an ideal case you should do all of this while talking about a situation from the past…
For example, you can mention a situation when you argued with the colleague about the way you did your job. But try to choose a situation that had a happy ending, that means one when you arrived to consensus, and your conflict did not affect you negatively in work.
Describe a situation when you did not agree with the opinion (or decision) of your superior or supervisor, and knew that they were wrong. How did you handle that?
In your answer to this question you should give your arguments, but at the same time say that you eventually followed the orders of your superior.
Superior or supervisor is the person who’s responsible for the final result of the work of the housekeeping team. You are responsible for following their orders, and doing it as efficiently as possible. They bear the responsibility, and so they should also bear the decision making.
Show your interviewers that you understand your position in a company hierarchy, and will respect your superiors.
Other behavioral questions you may get while interviewing in the agency
- Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work.
- Describe a time when you experienced a conflict of your personal and professional interests. How did you get over it?
- Tell us about a time when you felt really bad in work, but had to continue.
- Describe a situation when you were unable to meet your goals in work.
- Have you ever felt overwhelmed with work?
Special Tip: You can also download the list of questions in a one page long PDF, print it, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
Final thoughts, next steps
Interview for a housekeeping position belongs to easy interviews. Show your motivation, flexibility, and right attitude to work, and they will hire you. At least most of the time. Go over the question one more time, read my hints, and think about your answers. Once done, you can continue your interview preparation reading one of the following articles:
- Salary negotiation tips – Basic rules you should remember when negotiating a salary in your interview.
- Interview preparation guide – What to wear, what to bring with you, how to prepare, and other useful information to help you ace your housekeeping interview.