Interview Questions for House Cleaners @SavvyCleaner

Interview questions can prevent a lot of employee problems if you ask the right ones. The pre-hire interview process helps you qualify good candidates for your cleaning business.

Trying to grow your cleaning business? Sure, you can run some ads, recruit some candidates, and then you start the interview process.

But how do you find the “right” people to come work for you? The secret is not in the answers of the wannabe house cleaners – it lies in the questions of the interviewer. 

Here are 36 top interview questions when hiring house cleaners to grow your cleaning business and how to decipher the answers.

@SavvyCleaner by Angela Brown

Interview Questions for Hiring House Cleaners To Grow Your Business

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Why did you apply for this job?

There are only a couple of answers that work here. They include money, the flexibility of schedule, good at cleaning or love to clean. Pinning down the reasons why a potential hire wants this job will help you motivate them on bad days.

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What makes you think you’re a good fit for this job?

Go over the reasons why they feel they are a good fit for your company. Doing this will also shed light into their level of self-esteem. Are they experienced? Are they confident?

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What do you like most about housekeeping or maid service?

If they are new to the cleaning industry, their reply will revolve around needing a job and enthusiasm to do it. Skilled Maids will have more detailed answers.

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Why did you leave your last job?

Pay close attention to this reason. Not getting along with co-workers, bosses, or customers could be a red flag that they are not team players. If money is the issue, you will need to equip them with enough jobs to earn the money they need to pay their bills.

Have you ever been fired from a job and why?

Listen for clues. These could be the reasons you let them go as well. Ask them what they would do differently in a similar situation. Let them explain any lessons learned from getting fired. Also, explain that as house cleaners you will also get fired from time to time. Share with them how your company handles losing clients.

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Interview Questions to Troubleshoot Possible Scenarios

Describe how you would handle a dog biting you while cleaning house.

This query is more about their ability to think on their feet. If they have no clue what to do, you’ll need to cover it in your company training.

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If you are cleaning a home and a senior who is at home loses consciousness, what would you do? Walk me through the process.

There is a fine line between minding your own business and getting involved in other people’s affairs. And one of those exceptions is an older adult who falls, needs help or loses consciousness. Again, this may be a good topic for your employee coaching sessions.

Explain how you would handle a child who gets into your cleaning supplies while you’re cleaning.

Grill your potential hire on specific situations that might come up while cleaning. Cover your company policies on interacting with customers children.

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How long do you plan on working here?

Don’t be surprised if house cleaners tell you they are there for the training and they plan on spinning out and starting their own companies. The wages for cleaning employees aren’t near what they could be making if they owned the company. So it’s vital to know upfront what their intentions are.

What would keep you from leaving here and going off to start your own cleaning company?

Asking these relevant interview questions allows you learn what you can do that will motivate this particular employee to stay on as an employee.

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If offered this job, are you willing to sign a non-compete and no-solicitation agreement?

The non-compete agreement that says they won’t work in your market or compete with you for a 12-mile radius. Or for 12 months after they leave, get fired, or retire. The no-solicitation agreement says they won’t try to recruit any of your current customers before or during that period.

Don’t skip this step. And it’s a good idea to get that signed during the hiring process. Save a copy of this signed agreement in the employee file. If you don’t have agreements like this, you can create one free of charge at

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Describe a situation where you had a high maintenance customer. How did you handle them? Walk me through a possible scenario.

This question can include any service experience the job hunter may have had at a previous job, even if it’s not specific to the cleaning industry. What you are looking for is how they handled themselves while protecting the brand of the company.

Interview Questions to Determine Qualifications

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Are you looking for full or part time work?

Ask the question and then listen. You are not allowed to ask personal interview questions about family commitments, age, and disabilities. But this is usually where those details leak.

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Are you available to work weekends?

Search for challenges that would prevent a house cleaner from working weekends. You will have some requests from clients. And having an employee who is available to work weekends could be an excellent addition to your team.

Are you willing to work evenings?

While most of your cleaning will fall during the daylight hours, there are plenty of jobs you can do at night. Lots of homeowners work shift work and are gone in the evenings or at night. Commercial accounts often prefer the cleaning crew to come after business hours.

Is it possible for you to work on some holidays?

There are lots of single people who don’t do the family thing on holidays. And many of them are happy to clean while homeowners are out of town. You’ll also find out during this question if people have families they go visit on special occasions. They may need to take work off a few days before or after the holidays to accommodate those plans.

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Are you willing or able to be on call for emergency or unexpected cleanings?

Every cleaning business has emergency cleanings pop up. A couple of go-to cleaning techs could make the difference of accepting or turning down those jobs. Thier answers will also alert you to family commitments that make it impossible for your new house cleaner to work on call.

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Have you worked for a cleaning company before?

If yes, tell me about the training you went through.

Are you willing to go through our company training and relearn the way we do business here?

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Why did you leave?

Of course, you will have different policies and procedures. But you don’t want to hire a know-it-all who isn’t willing to follow your methods. You need all your teammates playing by the same rules. You also don’t want to hire somebody who goes company hopping when the going gets tough.

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Are you willing to work on a trial basis for three months?

Three months is a long time for a cleaner to be on probation. It’s also a good length of time to work to prove themselves to you. Your trial may include 90 days where they meet a pre-determined set of criteria. After that some health benefits and 401K could kick in that would make their time with you loyal. You might also include a raise and paid vacation time.

Tell me about a time you went above and beyond to help a customer.

This question can apply to any job, not only house cleaning.

Interview Questions to Inquire About Attitude

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Have you ever had a bad day on the job? Tell me about it. How did you handle it?

Be wary of cleaning techs that tell you they’ve never had an unhappy or angry day on the job. They’re lying. Biorhythms affect us all. We all have bad days from time to time. What you need to know is, does this happen to this employee once a month? Once a quarter? Or three times a week. TIP: The house cleaner who has a knock down drag out day three days a week – move on. Don’t hire this person. You’re just asking for free drama and chaos.

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Is the customer always right? Please explain.

The results of this answer may surprise you. If your wannabe employee says the customer is always right – they’re setting you up for failure. And the client will walk all over the boundaries you’ve created as a company. You need to train this employee that homeowners will push boundaries with every new house cleaner. Children do it to their parents; parents do it to house cleaners. You have professional boundaries for a reason. You can still treat the customer with respect and provide excellent customer service.

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How do you handle constructive feedback from a client?

Observe the results of this question. You’re looking weed out thin-skinned, easy to offend people. They are impossible to work for and with. And they make terrible employees.

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If you get instructions from me (the boss or company owner) that are different from those the customer gives you what do you do?

The reply you get from these interview questions will highlight the applicant’s problem-solving skills. Take this as a chance to empower them to protect your company brand, even if it means overriding your permissions. When in doubt – protect the brand. Call the office if necessary for advice and get a verbal agreement from you if they can’t resolve the issue on their own.

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Is scrubbing sinks and toilets a job you think you will enjoy?

Investigate the interest the job seeker has in the job before you hire them. They don’t have to love the job they are going to do. But they can’t hate it. otherwise working with them every day will be miserable for you, for them, and for your customers.

Interview Questions to Cover Training Expectations

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What type of cleaning training do you have?

Lots of excellent housekeepers trained themselves by cleaning up at home. The problem with this answer is you can’t confirm it. And cleaning at home is usually not done on a routine, or done at a professional cleaning level. You will still have to retrain them.

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Where did you get that training? Do you have proof?

If they went through training with a previous cleaning company, do they have proof? They could provide a reference letter or a certificate of completion. Are they teachable to go through your on-going training or are they a know-it-all?

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Do you have training on what chemicals to use on various surfaces?

Quiz them: Stainless steel, granite, and hardwood floors. What do you use to clean fiberglass, glass, gel coated stone? How about stone, plastic, or wicker? What do you use to clean brass, copper, leather, ceramic tile, linoleum or vinyl flooring?

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Describe the difference between daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly household chores.

Clients take advantage of employees by mixing daily or weekly housework with routine cleaning. Mixed chores become an issue when you have bid the job for bi-weekly tasks only.

Interview Questions to Examine the Character of The Cleaning Technician

Integrity puzzle pieces for interview questionsHave you ever stolen anything from a house you were cleaning? Please explain.

The answer you’re looking for is NO. If you take so much as a piece of leftover Halloween candy from a house and the customer didn’t give it to you – it’s stealing. Don’t hire employees who blur the lines between honesty and dishonesty. It will cost you in the long run, and it will burn your company reputation.

Can you provide two current references and do you mind if I call them right now?

It’s your choice to call them right now, but watch the willingness of your new hire. If the applicant can give you references they can’t call and prep in advance – you’ve probably got a good potential hire. Personally, I call them on the spot. “Hey Pat, I’m interviewing Shanna as a potential house cleaner for my cleaning company. Since you know her, I was hoping you would answer a quick, confidential question for me. If you ran a house cleaning company would you hire her as your employee, yes or no? Great thanks so much for your time.”

It’s surprising how many friends and family WON’T vouch for the employee for various reasons. Trust the person on the other end of the phone. It will save you years of headache.

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Do you have a Facebook page or a Twitter account I can follow?

You can learn a lot about what is important to your hired hands by checking their social media profiles. You can see if their friends respect and support them. Without prying, you can check their attitudes towards life. Are they happy people, or do they rant, curse and complain about everything?

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Do you mind if I do a background check on you?

If I do is there anything I’m going to find that you would like to clarify?

This interview question is an important one because you don’t want to hire someone convicted of larceny or a registered sex offense. You don’t want to expose your client’s families or the layout of their houses to a predator who has an access code or a key to their homes. As the company owner, it’s your job to prescreen your cleaning employees and protect your customers.

Interview Questions about Skill

interview questions involving scrubbing floors on hands and kneesAre you physically able to clean house by yourself?

What you’re asking is can you get down on your hands and knees if necessary? Can you lift or slide a piece of furniture if required? Can you carry out a huge bag of trash?

The more you interview – the easier it will be to read facial expressions, tonal qualities, eye contact and body language. Listen between the lines, and you’ll learn how to empower your cleaning team.

Treat your house cleaners with respect and they will be loyal, long-term employees who will, in turn, serve you and your clients.


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