Housekeeping Interview Questions (18 Questions + Answers)

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Are you preparing for a housekeeping job interview? This article is a comprehensive list of the most common housekeeping interview questions and their answers.

1) What experience do you have cleaning interiors?

Housekeeping Interview Questions

Begin with a summary of your cleaning experience, including the types of settings you've worked in (e.g., homes, hotels, offices). Mention particular cleaning tasks you are proficient in, such as vacuuming, dusting, bathroom cleaning, or window washing.

If you have experience with deep cleaning, organizing spaces, or handling delicate surfaces or materials, include these details. Emphasize your ability to clean thoroughly and efficiently.

Sample answer:

"I have over three years of experience in housekeeping, having worked in both residential homes and a large hotel. In these roles, I've handled a variety of cleaning tasks including vacuuming, dusting, mopping, bathroom cleaning, and window washing. I'm particularly skilled in deep cleaning and organizing spaces, ensuring that every area is not only clean but also neatly arranged. For example, at the hotel, I was responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness of guest rooms and common areas, often receiving positive feedback for my attention to detail and efficiency. I am experienced in using different cleaning products and tools, and I am knowledgeable about the best practices for cleaning various surfaces, ensuring that they are not only clean but also well-maintained."

This answer is effective because it starts by summarizing your experience in both homes and hotels. It also lists a range of tasks, showing versatility and competence.

2) What experience do you have with cleaning exteriors?

Mention the kinds of exterior environments you have cleaned, such as residential gardens, patios, or commercial building facades. Describe tasks you're experienced in, like window washing, pressure washing, gutter cleaning, or debris removal.

If you've used specific equipment like pressure washers or have skills in handling delicate exterior materials, mention these. Point out your commitment to safety and efficient work methods.

Sample answer:

"In my previous roles, I've gained substantial experience in cleaning various types of exteriors, particularly in residential settings. This includes tasks like window washing, pressure washing driveways and patios, and cleaning gutters. For example, at a large family home, I regularly performed exterior window cleaning and pressure-washed the patio and walkways, which significantly improved the home's curb appeal. I'm experienced in using pressure washers and other necessary equipment safely and efficiently. Also, I pay careful attention to preserving the integrity of various surfaces, ensuring that my cleaning methods are effective yet gentle on the materials. I also prioritize safety in all my tasks, especially when working at heights or with power tools."

This answer is effective because it specifies the types of exteriors you have experience with. It also details specific cleaning tasks that demonstrate a range of exterior cleaning skills.

3) What is your favorite housekeeping task?

Choose a task that you genuinely enjoy and can speak about positively. Explain why you like it and how it reflects on your strengths or approach to housekeeping.

Sample answer:

"My favorite housekeeping task is organizing. I take great satisfaction in transforming a cluttered space into one that is neat and functional. For instance, I once reorganized a client's home office, categorizing documents and creating an efficient filing system. This not only made the space more aesthetically pleasing but also more practical for the client's daily use. I find that organizing not only involves physical tidying but also requires thoughtful planning and problem-solving, which I enjoy. It allows me to utilize my attention to detail and knack for creating efficient systems. In my experience, a well-organized space can significantly improve the comfort and functionality of a home, and I love being able to provide that for my clients."

The response explains why organizing is satisfying and how it aligns with your strengths. It also gives a real-world instance where you’ve successfully executed your favorite task.

4) How do you manage time and finish rooms efficiently? 

Explain your general strategy for time management and efficiency, such as starting with more challenging tasks or following a specific routine. Mention any specific techniques you use, like making a checklist, prioritizing tasks, or using time-saving methods.

Sample answer:

"In my housekeeping experience, I've found that planning and prioritizing tasks are key to managing time and finishing rooms efficiently. I typically start by assessing the room and then prioritize tasks based on their urgency and the time they require. For example, I’ll begin with tasks like bed-making or bathroom cleaning, as they tend to be more time-consuming. I use checklists to ensure that no task is overlooked and employ systematic cleaning methods to avoid redundancy. I also arrange my cleaning supplies and tools strategically to minimize time spent moving around. A specific instance of my efficiency was when I was responsible for preparing several guest rooms within a tight deadline at a hotel. By following my methodical approach, I was able to complete all the rooms in time, with each meeting the hotel’s high standards of cleanliness and order."

The response shows that efficiency does not come at the cost of attention to detail. It also gives a concrete scenario demonstrating your ability to work efficiently under pressure.

5) How do you ensure high standards are met when cleaning guest rooms? 

For this question, stress the importance of being thorough and meticulous in your cleaning. Mention how you use standardized checklists or protocols to ensure consistency.

Sample answer:

"To ensure high standards in cleaning guest rooms, I adhere to a strict protocol and checklist that covers every aspect of the room, from the cleanliness of linens to the dusting of surfaces. I pay special attention to high-touch areas like doorknobs, remote controls, and light switches, ensuring they are thoroughly sanitized. After completing the cleaning tasks, I conduct a final walkthrough of the room to review every detail and make sure nothing is overlooked. For instance, in my previous role, I implemented a double-check system for amenities replenishment, which significantly reduced guest complaints about missing items. Staying updated with the latest cleaning techniques and products through regular training sessions is also crucial to maintain high standards. This approach has consistently helped me meet and exceed the expectations of both guests and employers."

Mentioning the use of checklists and protocols shows a structured approach to maintaining standards, whereas the final walkthrough and double-check system demonstrate thoroughness.

6) How do you handle using chemical cleaners?

Show your familiarity with different types of chemical cleaners and their uses. Highlight how you adhere to safety guidelines, such as using protective equipment and ensuring proper ventilation.

Sample answer:

"In my experience with housekeeping, I've used a variety of chemical cleaners and understand the importance of handling them safely. I always ensure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety data sheets for each product. For example, when using bleach or ammonia-based cleaners, I wear protective gloves and make sure the area is well-ventilated to avoid inhaling fumes. In my previous role, I was responsible for training new staff on the safe use of chemical cleaners, emphasizing the importance of diluting products correctly and never mixing different chemicals. I also have experience using eco-friendly alternatives, which can be effective and reduce the risk of irritation. Safety is my priority, and I’m always cautious to use the right cleaner for the right task, ensuring both effectiveness and safety."

This response not only shows awareness of and experience with environmentally safe options, but the example of training staff adds credibility and context to your claims.

7) Do you have experience cleaning after large events?

If you have experience cleaning after large events, mention the types of events and venues you have experience with, such as weddings, conferences, or large parties.

If you don’t have experience cleaning after large events, you can focus on related skills and your willingness to learn and adapt.

Sample answer if you have experience:

"Yes, I have significant experience in cleaning after large events. In my previous position at a banquet hall, I was regularly involved in post-event clean-ups after weddings and corporate events. These tasks included clearing tables, disposing of trash, cleaning restrooms, and ensuring the venue was reset for the next event. For instance, after a large wedding reception, I led a team to efficiently clean and reorganize the hall within a tight turnaround time. We divided the tasks among team members, which allowed us to work quickly yet thoroughly. My focus was on ensuring that every area was left spotless and ready for immediate use, paying particular attention to high-traffic areas like the restrooms and dining area. This experience has honed my ability to work efficiently under time constraints and be meticulous in large-scale cleaning operations."

Sample answer if you don’t have experience:

"Although I haven’t had the opportunity to clean specifically after large events, I have developed a strong set of skills in my housekeeping experience that I believe are transferable to such situations. For instance, in my previous role at a busy hotel, I was often responsible for quickly turning over rooms to a high standard, which required efficient time management and attention to detail. I have experience working in fast-paced environments and adapting to different cleaning needs, which I think would be beneficial in handling post-event clean-ups. I'm also accustomed to working both independently and as part of a team, ensuring tasks are completed effectively. I’m eager to apply these skills to new challenges and am confident in my ability to learn and adapt quickly to the specific requirements of cleaning after large events."

Both responses are great because they show your ability to work in different settings and as part of a team. You also express eagerness to learn and adapt to new types of cleaning tasks.

8) How familiar are you with OSHA regulations?

Indicate your current level of understanding or experience with OSHA regulations. Mention specific ways you’ve adhered to OSHA regulations in past roles. If your experience with OSHA is limited, emphasize your eagerness to learn more and comply with these regulations.

Sample answer:

"While I haven’t had extensive experience with OSHA regulations specifically, I understand their importance in maintaining a safe and compliant work environment. In my previous housekeeping roles, I've adhered to general workplace safety guidelines, such as using personal protective equipment, properly labeling and storing cleaning chemicals, and adhering to protocols to prevent slips, trips, and falls. For example, I consistently used wet floor signs and ensured all pathways were clear to avoid accidents. I’m always cautious with equipment and chemicals to prevent any hazards. Although I have not received formal OSHA training, I am keen to expand my knowledge in this area and fully commit to any training or guidelines provided by my employer to ensure a safe working environment for myself and my colleagues."

This response works either way because it mentions general safety practices related to OSHA principles. It expresses eagerness to receive further training and adhere to OSHA standards.

9) What do you do if you are asked to perform a task outside of your job?

It's important to show flexibility while also maintaining your professional boundaries. Stress the importance of not undertaking tasks that compromise safety or violate any workplace policies.

Sample answer:

"In my previous housekeeping role, I was always willing to assist with tasks outside my usual duties if it contributed positively to the team. However, I always first assessed whether the task was within my capabilities and aligned with workplace safety and policy guidelines. For instance, once I was asked to assist in minor maintenance work. While I was eager to help, I recognized that it required technical skills beyond my expertise, so I politely explained this to my supervisor and suggested an alternative way I could assist the maintenance team. In situations where I'm unsure, I communicate openly with my supervisor to find a solution that works best for the team while ensuring safety and compliance. I believe in being flexible and a team player, as long as it doesn’t compromise my safety or the quality of my assigned work."

This answer is effective because it starts by expressing a willingness to be helpful, but it also reflects a balance between being a team player and maintaining professional limits.

10) Describe a time when you disagreed with a coworker or manager

This question is meant to gauge how well you work with others. Focus on demonstrating your communication skills, professionalism, and ability to resolve conflicts constructively.

Pick a situation that demonstrates your problem-solving skills and ability to handle disagreements professionally. Highlight how the disagreement was resolved positively.

Sample answer:

"In a previous housekeeping role, I disagreed with a manager over the use of a certain cleaning chemical that I believed was causing mild allergic reactions in some staff members. I respectfully brought up my concerns and suggested alternative eco-friendly products. Initially, my manager was hesitant, citing cost concerns. However, I presented research on the benefits of the alternatives, including long-term cost savings and health benefits. We agreed to a trial period for the new products. The trial was successful, leading to a permanent switch and improved staff health. This experience taught me the value of respectfully voicing concerns and the importance of research and compromise in resolving workplace disagreements. It reinforced my belief in the importance of open communication and collaborative problem-solving."

The response highlights a respectful and constructive approach to disagreement. It also illustrates how the disagreement leads to a positive change and mutual understanding.

11) What would you do if you caught a coworker stealing?

First, make it clear that you do not condone stealing of any kind. State that you would follow the established procedures of your workplace for such situations.

Mention that you would report the incident to your supervisor or manager. Indicate that you would not confront the coworker directly, as this could lead to conflict or safety issues.

Sample answer:

"If I caught a coworker stealing, I would first ensure that what I witnessed was indeed theft. I believe in honesty and integrity, so I would feel obligated to report the incident, but I would do so responsibly. I would discreetly inform my supervisor or manager about what I observed, without confronting the coworker directly, as it's important to maintain professionalism and let the management handle the situation according to company policy. In my previous role, I was aware of a similar situation where a colleague reported a theft. The management conducted a fair investigation, which I believe is the right approach. I understand the importance of trust and safety in the workplace, and I believe in upholding these standards by following the correct protocols in such situations."

The response clearly states a stance against theft. It shows respect for workplace procedures. The approach is also professional and respectful of all parties involved.

12) How do you handle guests who complain about their rooms?

When answering this question, focus on your customer service skills, empathy, and problem-solving abilities. Describe how you would take immediate steps to resolve the issue.

Sample answer:

"When faced with a guest complaint about their room, my first step is to listen attentively and empathize with their situation, showing that I take their concern seriously. I remain calm and professional, apologizing for any inconvenience caused. For example, once a guest reported dissatisfaction with the cleanliness of their room. I immediately apologized and offered to have the room re-cleaned or to arrange another room for them. After addressing their concern, I followed up to ensure they were satisfied with the solution. This approach not only resolved the issue promptly but also helped to restore the guest's confidence in our services. Such experiences are valuable learning opportunities for me, and I use the feedback to improve my cleaning practices and prevent similar issues in the future."

The response shows that you value the guest’s comfort and experience. Immediate action and offering alternatives demonstrate your proactive attitude.

13) Tell us about a time when you received praise for your work 

Choose an occasion where your work was recognized as making a significant positive impact. Briefly explain the task you were performing or the responsibility you held.

Next, share what made this task challenging or important. You could also mention who praised you and how they acknowledged your work.

Sample answer:

"Recently, at the hotel where I worked, I received praise for my attention to detail in preparing a suite for an important returning guest. The guest had specific preferences, like the arrangement of pillows and the room's temperature. Recognizing the importance of their comfort, I took extra care to ensure everything was perfect, even adding a personal touch with a welcome note. The guest was so impressed with the room’s preparation that they mentioned it specifically to the hotel manager, who then commended me in front of the team. This praise was incredibly rewarding. It not only acknowledged my hard work but also reinforced the importance of personalizing our service to enhance guest experiences. This recognition has motivated me to continue focusing on the finer details that can make a big difference in guest satisfaction."

The response focuses on a particular event where your work was praised. It describes the careful attention to detail and effort put into the task.

14) What is one of your greatest accomplishments as a housekeeper?

Choose an accomplishment that had a huge positive impact or showcases your exceptional skills. Briefly explain the situation and what actions you took to achieve this accomplishment.

Sample answer:

"One of my greatest accomplishments as a housekeeper was when I was tasked with managing the housekeeping team for a large event at a luxury hotel. The challenge was to ensure that over 100 guest rooms and all common areas were immaculately maintained throughout the event, which demanded exceptional organization and attention to detail. I coordinated the schedules of the housekeeping staff, implemented a detailed checklist system for each room, and conducted regular inspections. The event was a huge success, with numerous guests complimenting the cleanliness and presentation of the hotel. The management team praised my leadership and efficiency, which contributed significantly to the event’s smooth operation. This achievement was particularly rewarding as it showcased my ability to manage a team effectively under pressure and maintain high standards of cleanliness and guest satisfaction."

In this example, leading the team for a major event is a clear, significant accomplishment. Expressing why this accomplishment was meaningful shows fulfillment and commitment.

15) What challenges have you experienced as a housekeeper?

Choose a real challenge you've faced in your housekeeping career. Provide context for why this was a challenge and detail the actions you took to overcome or manage the challenge.

Sample answer:

"One significant challenge I faced as a housekeeper was managing time effectively during extremely busy periods at the hotel where I worked, especially during holiday seasons when the occupancy rate was at its highest. During one particular week, we were short-staffed, yet the demand for quick room turnovers was very high. To address this, I prioritized tasks based on urgency, focusing first on preparing rooms for new guests. I also streamlined the cleaning process by organizing supplies more efficiently and delegating specific tasks among the available team members. Despite the staff shortage, we managed to meet all our deadlines without compromising on the quality of cleaning. This experience taught me valuable lessons in time management and resource allocation. It also enhanced my ability to work under pressure, maintaining high standards of cleanliness and guest satisfaction."

The response shows your ability to adapt to difficult situations and work effectively with a team. It also details the strategies used to address the challenge.

16) How would you handle special requests from customers?

When answering this question, it’s important to show your flexibility, customer service skills, and ability to meet client needs while adhering to company policies.

Sample answer:

"In my previous housekeeping role, I always aimed to accommodate special requests from guests, provided they were feasible and within the hotel's guidelines. For example, a guest once requested extra hypoallergenic pillows due to allergies. I first confirmed that we had such pillows in stock and then promptly delivered them to the guest’s room, ensuring their comfort. In another instance, a guest asked for a room decoration for a special occasion. While this was beyond our standard services, I communicated this politely to the guest and suggested alternative options, including contacting our concierge who could arrange for such a service. This approach of assessing, communicating clearly, and taking action to meet customer needs has always helped me provide excellent service while maintaining professional boundaries and adhering to company policies."

This answer is effective because it shows a willingness to fulfill guest requests. It also explains limitations and alternatives to guests, both of which are important to managing expectations.

17) How do you handle sensitive and personal property in a guest’s room?

Start by stating your commitment to respecting the privacy of guests. Explain your approach to dealing with personal items, such as not touching or moving them unnecessarily.

You should also stress the importance of integrity in your role. You could do this by sharing a specific instance that showcases your responsible handling of guest property.

Sample answer:

"In my housekeeping experience, respecting guest privacy and their personal belongings is paramount. I always handle personal items with the utmost care and integrity. For instance, if I need to clean around personal belongings, I carefully work around them without moving them, unless absolutely necessary for cleaning purposes. In my previous role, there was an instance where a guest left valuable jewelry on the bedside table. I ensured it was not disturbed while cleaning the room and notified the front desk so they could remind the guest to secure their valuables. This approach not only respects guest privacy but also upholds trust and safety standards. Following the hotel’s policies for handling personal property is crucial to maintain guest confidence and the reputation of the establishment."

This answer is effective because you state your commitment to respecting guest belongings. It also explains how you work around personal items, highlighting your careful approach.

18) This work tends to be repetitive. How do you stay motivated?

Start by recognizing that housekeeping can be repetitive but necessary.

Share what personally motivates you in your work, whether it’s pride in a job well done, customer satisfaction, or personal goals. You should also mention if you find variety in the routine or take the opportunity to learn new methods or improve efficiency.

Discuss how setting small, achievable goals can keep you focused and motivated.

Sample answer:

"I understand that housekeeping can involve repetitive tasks, but I stay motivated by taking pride in the essential role I play in maintaining a clean and welcoming environment. For me, seeing the immediate results of my work – a well-cleaned room or a satisfied guest – is incredibly rewarding. I also keep things interesting by setting personal efficiency goals, like finding ways to complete tasks more quickly while maintaining high standards. For instance, in my last position, I challenged myself to streamline the linen-changing process, which not only improved my efficiency but also allowed me to assist my colleagues during busy periods. Also, I try to learn new cleaning techniques or experiment with different organization strategies to keep my approach fresh. This mindset helps me stay engaged and take pride in my work every day."

This answer is effective because it starts with an understanding that housekeeping tasks can be repetitive, but the overall tone of the answer shows a positive approach to the work.

The specific example of improving the linen-changing process illustrates how you stay motivated and contribute positively.

What to wear to a housekeeping job interview to get hired

The key to acing your housekeeping job interview is to strike a balance between professionalism and function. What does this mean? It means wearing comfortable, business casual clothing that you can move around in easily.

Men should wear a shirt and tie. A white or powder blue shirt that is perfectly ironed and wrinkle-free. Women should wear a nice blouse or a business-appropriate skirt.

If you’re applying for a housekeeping job at someone’s house, something more casual, like a polo shirt and khakis should do just fine. Just be sure to keep yourself well-groomed and tidy.

Comfortable clothing that you do not mind getting dirty is ideal. At the end of the day, you’re not applying for a job at a corporate office, so there’s no point in showing up overdressed.

What to expect from a housekeeping job interview

A housekeeping job interview is generally straightforward. You should expect questions about your experience, your schedule, and your background.

For example, my friend who just got hired as a housekeeper at an apartment was asked: 

  • How long have you been working for?
  • Have you cleaned houses or apartments similar in size?
  • What sets you apart from other housekeepers?

You’ll likely talk about your schedule during the interview. The interviewer wants to make sure you can come when they need you. Is your schedule flexible in case they need to change?

Lastly, you’ll encounter questions about your background, including screening for honesty and dependability. Some interviews include a criminal background check, so be prepared for that.

Understand the interviewer’s point of view

Housekeepers give one of the most important impressions in commercial areas, like hotels, since they take full responsibility for the cleanliness of guest rooms and public areas.

The interviewer is likely to keep an eye out for candidates who have:

Trustworthiness: In housekeeping, employees often work in environments where they have access to personal or sensitive areas, such as guest rooms or private homes. Employers need to trust that their staff will handle this access responsibly, respect privacy, and maintain confidentiality.

Pleasant Personality: A housekeeper frequently interacts with clients, guests, or other staff members. A pleasant personality makes these interactions more enjoyable and can significantly contribute to a positive customer experience.

Self-motivation: Housekeeping can be physically demanding and sometimes monotonous. Self-motivation is crucial for completing tasks efficiently and thoroughly, even without direct supervision. It involves taking initiative, like noticing and addressing areas that need extra attention or finding more effective ways to perform tasks.

Positive Attitude: A positive attitude is essential for facing the various challenges that come with housekeeping, such as dealing with unexpected issues or handling demanding clients. This trait helps in maintaining high energy levels and a good work ethic.

Reliability and Patience: Housekeeping roles often require adhering to a schedule and meeting specific standards. Reliability ensures that tasks are completed on time and to the expected standard. Patience is also important, as some tasks may be repetitive or require attention to detail. Being patient helps in delivering consistent quality and shows a commitment to doing the job right, no matter how time-consuming or challenging it might be.

If you want to set yourself apart during your housekeeping job interview, it’s crucial to incorporate these traits into your answer. Good luck with your interview!

Reference this article:

Practical Psychology. (2023, December). Housekeeping Interview Questions (18 Questions + Answers). Retrieved from

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