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Hiring a housekeeper should be done with care, as a housekeeper is someone who will have access to your home and your valuables. Asking the right questions when interviewing housekeepers can help you select a candidate of the utmost integrity who can be trusted in your home.
Ask about past experience, including how many years a person has in the cleaning business and what kinds of cleaning jobs they’ve held. This can help you establish if the person has the type and amount of experience you desire in a housekeeper. You can verify past experience, as well as past clients’ satisfaction with the person’s housekeeping services, by asking for references.
Find out as much as you can about the person without asking inappropriate questions. For instance, it has no relevance to the job whether a housekeeping candidate is married or has kids. On the other hand, questions such as how they got into the cleaning business and what they think their personal strengths are as they relate to being a housekeeper could give you valuable insights. Reserve more difficult questions, such as whether someone has a criminal history, for a written application if you feel uncomfortable asking about this.
Skill and Work Ethic
While you may view housekeeping as unskilled labor, anyone who has ever had a bad housekeeper will tell you that housekeeping actually requires skill, work ethic and dedication. Ask potential housekeepers how they approach their jobs and what they think sets them apart from the rest. People who say that they view housekeeping as nothing more than something to do while a better job comes up are not very likely to care about a job well done.
Whether hiring an independent contractor or someone from a housekeeping agency, it’s important to know what protections are available to you in the event of damage or theft. Ask whether the individual is bonded and insured, and for what amounts and situations. Asking for a copy of their insurance or bond policies for your own records is also a good idea.
Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.