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.
If you are applying for a housekeeping job, below are some housekeeping interview questions for you to review, advice on how to prepare for the interview, and how to follow up with a thank-you letter or email message.
What the Interviewer Really 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. The interviewer wants to know that you have the skills required to handle all facets of the job.
Prepare for the Interview
- Be ready to talk about your work and life experience.
- 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 clear on 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 informal work, volunteering, or what you do at home.
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 the “soft” skills (interpersonal skills) you can offer them.
Be prepared, when you answer these questions, 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.
- 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 assessing how you have proven your effectiveness and efficiency as a housekeeper in the past.
- What were your responsibilities and tasks in your last position?
- Why did you leave 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 Work Ethic / 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 Your “People” / 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 / 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 about how well you work with others.
- 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 ANSWERS AHEAD OF TIME: Proactively formulating responses to the most commonly-asked questions in interviews for housekeeping jobs will give you a huge confidence boost when you walk into the actual interview.
WHAT TO BRING: Bring both a copy of your resume and a list of references to present to your interviewer.
WRITE A STRATEGIC “THANK-YOU” NOTE: 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.