It can be tricky to interview a housekeeper, compared to interviewing a nanny or babysitter. How can you measure how great of a housekeeper she will be? Will she be up to your cleaning standards? Here are a few steps to ensure you don't make a mistake in hiring a cleaner.
When she responds to your ad, remember that her written skills may be weak. This may be because English is a second language, or she may have a lower level of education. Either way, this should not be a barrier in hiring a housekeeper.
Set up a phone interview first. This is a great time to determine what hours she is available for, when she can start, the minimum number of hours she is willing to work, etc. It would not be unusual at this point to ask her desired wage. It is our experience that housecleaners have a set wage they are they willing to work for.
Interview in person if she passes the phone interview. Tell her in advance not to worry about "dressing up for the interview". Make her feel comfortable. Have your important questions ready to discuss. Talk to her and get some information about her and why she wants to work as a housekeeper. If at any time you are going to expect her to watch your children or care for your pets, tell her now.
Perform a criminal record check on her. If she is unwilling to get one done, do not hire her!
Check her references, and ask past employers if she is reliable, trustworthy, and how good she is at cleaning.
Set up a "trial day", where she will work a day for you but before you make the official offer of employment. This will allow you a chance to assess her work and if you are satisfied with it.
Whether you are hiring a maid, housekeeper, or occasional cleaner, we always recommend that you provide a list of things to focus on when working in your home. Be realistic in your expectations.
Next month, look out for interview questions for a housekeeper!
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