Housekeepers may not earn very much money, but they do backbreaking work and clean everything from private residences to hotel rooms. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, housekeepers and maids earned a median income in 2010 of $9.28 an hour, yet they play a vital role in the American landscape. Whether you’re doing the interview or sitting on the other side of the desk, certain questions can be expected of housekeepers before they land a job.
What Special Skills Do You Bring to the Job?
Housekeepers don’t get any kind of formal training. There isn’t a degree to earn or courses in how to mop a floor and wash windows. They primarily learn on the job or through a lead housekeeper in a hotel. A successful candidate should bring up past experience without rehashing the resume. Talking about previous clients and the glee they professed after coming in from a hard day’s work only to find their homes spotless, especially the fact that there weren’t any streaks on the floor-to-ceiling windows, shows the housekeeper values feedback. Talking about the advancements made in previous jobs because of attention to detail also relays pride in past accomplishments.
What Will We Find On a Background Check?
Private employers and businesses all should perform criminal background checks and run credit reports on potential candidates because so much is at stake. The personal belongings of the hotel guests and the vast amount of access housekeepers have in private homes warrants this scrutiny. Asking the question in the interview gives candidates the opportunity to talk about any potentially damaging information the employer might find and explain the circumstances. At the same time, if the candidate lies during the interview and says there isn’t anything negative in her background, when a theft conviction or a drug bust shows up on a background check, the interviewer can write off that candidate pronto.
What Do You Like Most About the Work?
Interviewers who give job candidates the opportunity to talk about their favorite aspects of the job give the candidate a chance to show off her talents and provide a little insight into the personality of the job seeker. Answering this question should evoke some sense of pride in the completion of a job well done and how good the housekeeper feels after making a room shine. She might wax on about getting stubborn stains off furniture or her joy at seeing fresh flowers displayed on a well-oiled sideboard. This is the time to show some excitement about the opportunities that could come from the job – hinting at the desire to move into management.
Do You Work Well Under Pressure?
Job candidates never should answer an interview question with a simple “yes” or “no.” Instead, they should take every opportunity to tell a story or relate an experience that highlights the skills and abilities she brings to the job. Housekeeping can be daunting when the pressure is on to have a job completed in a short period of time or to get a room ready for a celebrity or important guest. This would be the time to talk about an experience when the pressure was on and the housekeeper came through for her employer and was complimented and tipped nicely for going above and beyond to make everything perfect for the occasion.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."