A housekeeping position can involve a wide range of duties -- from organizing the closets to doing laundry for a family of six -- some for which you may not receive additional compensation. While participating in the interview with the employer, you can expect him to ask you about your background and previous experiences in housekeeping. Yet, you also need to know what you are willing to do as a housekeeper and how much compensation you expect. In addition, prepare questions you have about the general cleaning environment, level of commitment required and possible obstacles or hazards so you can determine the employer's specific expectations for the job.
Make copies of any reference letters you have from people who employed you as a housekeeper. Compile a list of reference names and contact information. Choose references who can confirm your reliability and professionalism as a housekeeper and vouch for your good character while working in their homes. Plan to take both the copies of the letters and the list of references with you to the interview to provide to the prospective employer.
Prepare answers to questions that the employer may ask during the interview so that you can answer them promptly and confidently. Write down answers to questions such as "Why do you think you are well suited for this particular housekeeping position?" Review the housekeeping job description if it appeared in an ad and match your skills to the ones needed -- such as organizing, deep cleaning or heavy lifting. Craft your answer based on what you can offer in the way of housekeeping compared to what the employer wants. Other questions the employer may ask may deal with duties you don't offer -- such as window cleaning -- or if you provide some or all of the cleaning supplies. The employer may also ask how much you charge for your services and how you feel about working alone or as part of a team. He may also ask you how long it typically takes you to clean a certain amount of rooms.
Prepare your own questions, in writing, to ask the employer, such as how many square feet you will be responsible for as a housekeeper. This will help you understand the expectations of the employer. Write down to ask whether or not the employer has pets, what kind and how many. Ask if any of the pets bite or are otherwise dangerous. This type of information is important not only if you have animal allergies or phobias, but also to determine if pet hair and related messes will be part of your cleaning responsibilities. Ask how many rooms need cleaning and what level of cleaning he desires. For instance, will you routinely dust, vacuum and straighten only, or will you also need to scrub and polish. Ask whether any fragile, valuable or heavy items will be present when cleaning. Inquire how many people live in the home and what level of clutter or messes they typically create. Ask about the cleaning schedule to determine which duties you will do and when during the week. Inquire about any extra duties, outside of housekeeping, that he may require as part of the position.
Gather all of your information such as reference letters, reference lists, answers to questions and questions for the employer into a folder or notebook to take with you to the interview. Then, you can refer to the information or make notes while interviewing to eliminate confusion.
- Be prepared to talk about your background and your work experiences. Explain if you charge extra for certain duties. For instance, if you charge extra for shampooing the carpets or washing windows, let the employer know that these tasks are outside your regular routine, but you are willing to do them for an extra charge. Know the amount you will charge in advance and inform the employer. Let the employer know what type of cleaning products and supplies you prefer to use and explain why. For instance, if you prefer a more expensive brand of mop than what the employer provides, explain that you've found that the mop you like to use is more efficient and leaves less residue behind.
- Be aware that the employer may ask for your permission to check your background before offering you the position. Consider a salaried position carefully before accepting, because it could be to your disadvantage. Hourly pay will compensate you for the entire time worked. In a salaried position, you could work 30 or 50 hours and still receive the same amount of pay.
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