Hospitality industry suffered a heavy blow during the pandemics. But people still want to go and explore new places, or escape their daily routine and chill-out for a weekend in a nice hotel or resort. And when someone stays in a hotel or guest house, someone else has to prepare the room and clean it once the guest leave, or even daily (depending on the place). What I try to convey here is that in spite of everything happening in the world, you can still find a job of a room attendant, if that’s what you want to do at this point of your life. Let’s have a look at what will happen in the interview.

Hiring managers will typically inquire about your motivation, experience, expectations on the job, and also about your attitude to some situations you may experience while attending the rooms. Think conflict with a guest, feeling overwhelmed with work, witnessing someone doing something wrong in the room, and so on. Let’s have a look at these questions, on by one.

 

Why do you want to work as a room attendant?

You probably haven’t dreamed of working as a room attendant when you were a kid. But life has taken you this way, or perhaps you lack any working experience and simply want to start somewhere, or you have your sights set on better jobs in the hospitality industry, but before you can apply for them, you need to get your feet wet and have something on your resume.

All of that is fine and you can definitely be honest, because let’s face it–this isn’t a particularly easy or well-paid job… However, you should always show at least some positive associations, trying to find something good about the job, something that fits your personality and skills. Maybe you have great attention to detail and enjoy tidying up places. Or you like the hotel environment in general, or prefer physical work to intellectual work. Perhaps you feel that at this stage of your professional career it is the right job for you, for one reason or another. Share your reasons with the hiring managers, and ensure them that you really want to have the job, and do not apply for it only because you desperately need some income and cannot get a better position at the moment.

Tell us more about your experience with room attending.

Mark my words: you do not have to limit yourself to professional experience. Of course, if you had similar job before, attending rooms at this or that place, you should say so, explaining clearly your schedule, how many rooms you attended daily, what you did in them, and so on.

But you can also say that though you’ve never done it before, you always kept your own place (or place where you lived) tidy, because it matters to you to live in a clean and tidy place, and you believe you will be able to transit these experiences into the job. As always, the most important thing is to show confidence in your abilities to handle the job.

 

How do you imagine a typical day while working as a room attendant for us?

Few crucial things to remember here. First one, ensure them that you want to have some system in your work. Perhaps a list of rooms you should attend each day, and an exact list of tasks to do in each of the rooms. Think swiping the floor, cleaning the bathroom, adding new roll of toilet paper, changing towels, and so on. Following such a system, you make sure you do not forget to take care of anything, and guests will be pleased with the way you attended their rooms.

Second thing to remember is showing your willingness to work hard, and in a specific schedule. Many places are packed, and room attendants have just a short window of time to get the rooms ready–in between the check-out of one guest and check-in of another one, which can be for example between 11am and 4pm. That’s not much time, but you are ready to work extremely hard in this short span to make sure guests won’t have to wait for their room in the lobby.

Last but not least, try to speak with some enthusiasm in your voice while narrating your idea of a typical day. No doubt this isn’t your dream job, but they shouldn’t get an impression that you hate it even before you start. On the contrary, you see some good things about the job, and are looking forward to provide great service to the guests of their place.

 

A guest meets you in the hall and complains loudly that there is a hair in the bathtub, and you should lose your job because of that. How will you react?

The situation may seem extreme, but believe me that such things do happen (I’ve witnessed them not once while staying in hotels in different places of the world). Some people purposely look for something to complain about, or they simply feel this bizarre need of venting their negativity on someone defenseless, such as a room attendant. It is very wrong to do so, but it is what it is…

In any case, most places have the following policy in place: the guest is always right, or at least they should feel that way. Hence you should say that you’d apologize to the guest in question, and for sure won’t start any argument with them. But that’s (almost) the end of the story for you, because it isn’t your responsibility to handle complaints. A manager should take care of it, and it depends on them whether you’d go and clean the room again or what will happen.

You can say though that you will try to learn the lesson from the situation, at least if you really neglected something. Everyone can make a mistake, including you, including the manager, or the guest in question. Hence if you really neglected something, you’d make sure you do it properly the next time over, and the same situation won’t repeat.

 

Tell me about a time when you felt overwhelmed with work.

You may sometimes feel that way, especially if something happens (your colleague gets sick, place is extremely packed, emergency situation occurs) and you have to work for many hours many days in a row. Ask anyone who worked in a hotel or big complex of guest houses for a few years, and they will confirm that such situations do happen, and that one can feel extremely overwhelmed and tired when facing them.

You have a few options here. If this is your first job application, you can talk about the time when you felt overwhelmed with your studies, or say what you would do if you felt overwhelmed with work. Of course if you have experience with similar situation (from your last job) you should narrate it.

In any case, the key is to show them that you have some remedies, and won’t give up easily (and quit your job). What’s more, you know how important it is to do your job well, so even when feeling overwhelmed you won’t neglect to clean this or that in the room to save some time. On the contrary, you’ll take care of everything, following the system you have in your work with precision. The key is to show them that you know the workload will be heavy at times and things won’t be easy. But you won’t give up, and will eventually overcome the tough period, without quitting…

 

5 other questions you may face in your room attendant job interview

  • You are cleaning a room and can hear through the wall that someone is beating another person in the adjacent room. How will you react?
  • Imagine that you find a hundred dollar bill in the drawer in one of the rooms you clean. The guest has already checked-out. What will you do? Will you take the bill?
  • How long do you want to have this job?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • After everything we discussed here, do you have any questions or do you want to add something?

 

Final thoughts

Interview for a job of a room attendant belongs to easy job interviews. Most places in the hospitality sector struggle with staff, and employee turnover is pretty high in general. Unless you say something outright stupid, or remain silent when facing their questions, they will hire you, and give you the chance to prove your skills in the job. I hope you will succeed and wish you best of luck!

Matthew

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Matthew Chulaw
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