Housekeeping can be a steady profession for people with a strong work ethic and excellent customer service skills. Opportunities with hotels, cleaning services, cruise ships, and in private households abound, especially if you live in a metropolitan area or a resort town.
During interviews for a housekeeping job, you'll want to emphasize your commitment to making spaces clean, tidy, and germ-free. But there are other important requirements for people in housekeeping roles.
Take a look at common housekeeping interview questions. Plus, get advice on how to prepare for the interview and the best way to follow up afterward.
What the Interviewer Wants to Know
Working in a housekeeping position requires hard work, physical capability, and stamina.
In addition, a housekeeping employee needs to be able to interact with customers on a one-on-one basis. Being organized and detail-oriented are also important qualities. You'll need to show up for appointments on time and avoid double-booking or other scheduling mishaps. A good housekeeper will be able to eye a space and quickly spot items that are in the wrong spot, streaks on a mirror, or a dusty surface.
The interviewer wants to know that you have the skills required to handle all facets of the job. You can expect a variety of questions, covering your customer service skills, cleaning ability, and other aspects of the job.
How to Prepare for the Interview
Before you arrive at your interview, take time to prepare. By doing so, you'll feel confident as you respond to interview questions. Follow these tips to get ready beforehand:
- Be ready to talk about your work and life experience. Interviewers will ask questions about previous jobs you've had. Be prepared to relate the experience you had in the past to the role at hand.
- Bring your resume or a list of your employment history, so you can expand on the information you included in your job application.
- Bring contact information, or a list of references, for people who can attest to your character, experience, and housekeeping ability.
- Be ready to discuss your cleaning strategy. You'll want to be clear about what you can do, how you will do it, what cleaning products you like to use, and how long it takes you to clean.
- Be prepared with examples of what you have accomplished to share with the interviewer. If you don't have prior work experience, you can use examples related to informal work, volunteering, or what you do at home.
- Review the job posting. Read through the job advertisement before the interview. This will help you know what the interviewer prioritizes. For instance, someone from a staffing agency may be focused on availability for shifts while someone hiring for a private household may be more focused on cleaning processes.
Housekeeping Interview Questions
During your interview, the hiring manager or client is going to be interested in your work history, level of experience, work ethic, and your “soft” skills (interpersonal skills).
When you answer these questions, be prepared to go into some detail about why you enjoy working as a housekeeper. It’s especially important to keep your tone of voice upbeat and enthusiastic.
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why should we hire you?
- Why have you chosen housekeeping?
- What are the key components of housekeeping?
- What do you find rewarding about housekeeping?
- What do you dislike about housekeeping?
- What skills do you have that you feel help you to be a good housekeeper?
- What do you think are the most important skills for a housekeeper?
- What knowledge do you feel is required for a successful housekeeper?
Questions about Your Work Experience
Your interviewer is going to want to know how much experience you have had as a housekeeper, and will also be interested in assessing how you have proven your effectiveness and efficiency as a housekeeper in the past.
- Questions about your work history.
- Why did you leave your last position?
- Why do you want to change jobs?
- What applicable experience do you have?
- What were your responsibilities and tasks in your last position?
- How comfortable are you with chemical safety procedures?
- Can you give me some examples of health and safety procedures you have used?
- What types of procedure tracking systems have you used?
- What has been your greatest accomplishment at work?
- What has been your greatest disappointment at work?
- Describe the most productive environment you have worked in.
- Have there been times when you have been asked to perform duties that were not in your job description? What did you do?
- Have there been times when you have not agreed with a company policy? How did you handle the situation?
- Have you ever disagreed with your supervisor about a policy or situation? What did you do?
Questions about Your Availability
Employers need assurance that you have the flexibility to work different schedules if needed and that you will show up on time, prepared, and eager to do your best work for them.
- When can you start working?
- Are you available evenings and weekends?
- What hours and days are you available?
- Is your schedule flexible?
- Do you have reliable transportation?
Questions About People Skills and Other Soft Skills
Soft skills are the “people” (or interpersonal) skills that ensure that one is able to provide excellent customer service, work efficiently, and assume ownership of one’s work responsibilities. They include traits such as good communication skills, empathy, time management, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.
- Are you good at multitasking?
- How would you handle a client who was angry or upset about something?
- What would you do if one of your colleagues was behaving inappropriately on the job?
- What are two words that you would use to describe yourself?
- What are two words that your previous supervisor would use to describe you?
- How energetic a person would you say you are?
- How energetic would your colleagues say you are?
Questions About Teamwork and Coachability
Depending upon the job, you may be required to work either independently or as part of a housekeeping team. Try to give the interviewer some clear insight into how well you work with others.
- Do you like working in a fast-paced team environment?
- Give some examples of teamwork.
- Do you enjoy working as part of a team?
- How well do you work on your own?
- What would be your ideal working environment?
- What characteristics does a great manager possess?
- If you have a problem at work, how do you handle it?
Have Your Own Questions Ready to Ask
One of the last questions you will be asked is, "Do you have any questions for me?" Be prepared to respond with some questions of your own.
You may want to know more about the job, the company, the shifts you'll be working, or you may need additional information to determine if the position is a good fit for what you're looking for.
Follow Up After the Interview
Always take the time to follow up after the interview with a thank-you note or email message.
In addition to thanking the interviewer for his or her time, reiterate your interest in the job, and mention anything that you would have liked to have said at the interview but didn't get a chance to share.
- Prepare responses ahead of time to the most commonly-asked questions in interviews for housekeeping jobs. This will give you a huge confidence boost when you walk into the actual interview.
- Bring both a copy of your resume and a list of references to present to your interviewer.
- Immediately after your interview, send the hiring manager a thank-you message expressing your gratitude and your interest in the position. This will help to keep you top of mind as they make their hiring decision.