two people shaking hands after an interview
Running a Cleaning Business

Top 15 Cleaner Interview Questions and Answers

November 10, 2021

Preparing for a cleaner interview? Typically, employers seek cleaning professionals who are knowledgeable in cleaning processes, who can follow the company’s unique procedures, and who have the ability to work with little to no supervision. Learn the top 15 cleaner interview questions plus sample answers to help you prepare and make a great impression.

Why Practice Housekeeping Interview Questions and Answers Ahead of Time

Going to an interview for a housekeeping job may be nerve-wracking. By making an effort to practice potential questions and answers prior to your interview, you will:

  • Increase your confidence
  • Ease the feeling of overwhelm and anxiety
  • Go in the interview with a clear head
  • Be able to properly showcase what makes you a great cleaner
  • Be able to focus on connecting with your interviewer instead of stressing about coming up with great answers

Since you won’t be able to predict the exact questions you will be asked during your housekeeping interview, we recommend learning some of the most common questions and preparing answers for them.

You can ask friends or family to practice with you as if you are getting interviewed in a real setting. If you are going to be interviewed virtually, be sure that you have a reliable internet connection and are comfortable with the virtual meeting software.

woman practicing interview questions

15 Common Cleaner Interview Questions + Sample Answers

What questions do employers ask in a cleaning interview? Below are the top 15 questions worth practicing before your actual interview.

1. Can you tell me a little something about yourself?

This question allows the interviewer to hear a summarized description of your background and skills. Your answer will help them better understand your experience and determine whether your qualifications are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Sample Answer: For the last several years, I’ve been employed as a residential cleaner. I am very hard-working, honest, and trustworthy and I understand my standard as a cleaner needs to be consistently high to help your business to succeed. I am constantly striving to create a difference and complete tasks to an exceptional standard.

2. What specific cleaning products and tools are you familiar with?

The employer wants to know your level of knowledge and experience performing different types of cleaning tasks.

Sample Answer: I have utilized a wide selection of cleaning products, both in my own home and in my previous cleaning roles. On a day-to-day basis, I use essential cleaning supplies, such as all-purpose surface cleaners, bleach, and detergents, to effectively perform my tasks. I am experienced in using specialized tools as well. In my last job, I trained to use high-powered equipment such as a vapor steam cleaner, carpet extractor machine, and steam mop.

3. Our cleaning personnel often have to work as a team. Can you share an example of when you had to work with other cleaners to successfully get a job done?

The interviewer wants to know if you are able to resolve challenging situations constructively with other cleaners.

Sample Answer: In my previous cleaner role, I was expected to work with other cleaners to clean the flooring of a 5-bedroom home before a special family gathering. There were numerous cleaning tasks to execute in a shorter period of time than normal. However, we collaborated to ensure that the job was completed on time to a high standard.

4. How flexible are you during the days, including evenings?

The interviewer wants to know what days and hours you are available to work and how flexible you are around those times.

Sample Answer: I’m available whenever I am most needed. I have worked both early in the morning and late at night at my previous jobs. If I do have to work late in the evening, the excellence of my performance will remain the same.

5. How often do you clean and sanitize your cleaning tools?

The interviewer wants to assess your knowledge of proper cleaning procedures and how you prioritize sanitation.

Sample Answer: Sanitizing my cleaning tools thoroughly is one of my top priorities. I always ensure that my equipment is fresh and clean for use the next day.

6. What strategies do you use to plan out tasks for completing a large cleaning project by yourself on a tight schedule?

This question allows the employer to get a glimpse into how you work under pressure. They’ll be able to assess how efficient you are in accomplishing goals despite time constraints.

“It’s not about how quickly you can finish a clean, it’s about tackling every corner and creating a nice environment for the guests.” – Sunny Spot Cleaning Co.

Sample Answer: I am used to cleaning by myself, and I’ve learned that it’s easier to take a few minutes to strategize what needs to be done instead of cleaning right away. This helps me to have a clear vision and a logical order of the duties that need to be completed to avoid doing extra work. For example, dusting ceiling fans will make floors and other surfaces dirty again, so I always clean the fans before I sweep and mop the floors.

7. How do you respond when you are criticized?

This behavioral question allows the employer to know whether you handle criticism appropriately.

For example, Minnesota-based cleaning company Squeaky Clean by MK looks for employees who are receptive to constructive criticism and always looking to learn and grow.

Sample Answer: I constantly work with dedication and a desire to improve my job quality. Therefore, I follow instructions, accept criticism positively, and make applicable adjustments to my quality of care and service.

8. What characteristics do you hold that enable you to be the best applicant for this job?

The interviewer wants to know if you possess the traits that differentiate average cleaner candidates from outstanding cleaner candidates. An outstanding cleaner is skilled in ensuring the job is done efficiently and to a superior standard.

According to North Carolina-based cleaning company Sunny Spot Cleaning Co., one of the top qualities a professional cleaner needs to have is attention to detail. With cleaning, details matter the most because there are so many little spots that have to be addressed. The perfect candidate has to be able to do a thorough job and notice every detail.

Sample Answer: I am a seasoned cleaner with a thorough understanding of deep cleaning techniques. I am an effective communicator who gets along well with others and can professionally obey orders. Furthermore, I am highly punctual.

9. What is your greatest weakness?

The employer simply wants to know if you are able to learn and handle new challenges quickly and if you have the right assets for a cleaner’s role.

Sample Answer: Because I am extremely independent and enjoy working at a fast pace, it has been a bit challenging for me to ask for assistance when I need it. However, I have learned that it is much more useful both for me and the business to reach out when I do not understand something or feel burned out with my workload.

10. If you noticed a coworker acting poorly to a customer or colleague, how would you approach the situation?

This communication-related question assesses your ability to respond to disorderly situations that might occur. A great answer to this question would describe a time you handled a similar situation professionally.

Sample Answer: It’s always my responsibility to ensure that cleaning products are used properly and efficiently to create a safe work environment and stay mindful of the inventory budget. I used to work as a janitor at a school, and my coworker often used up half a bottle of multi-purpose cleaner in one day. I reminded him that using too much cleaning solution can be hazardous not only to us but also to students and school staff. I also mentioned this to our supervisor who was handling the inventory to make sure we had enough products for the upcoming month.

11. What are your tips for removing stubborn stains?

This question tests your problem-solving skills and your knowledge of cleaning products and procedures.

Sample Answer: I enjoy researching DIY cleaning solutions to treat stubborn stains. I worked for a vacation rental host who frequently had guests spill wine on the couches and carpets. I would use a mixture of boiling water and vinegar for those tough stains.

12. What is your approach to cleaning while clients are present?

Though most cleaning jobs happen during off-hours, this isn’t always feasible. The employer wants to know whether you mind being around other people while cleaning.

Sample Answer: I’m comfortable and happy to interact with people as necessary. I used to clean public restrooms where customers came in and out. I was always friendly to them while I made sure to focus on the job at hand.

13. How do you handle working with people who have different personality traits from you?

This behavioral question explores your ability to deal with coworkers who have different or conflicting personalities.

Sample Answer: Working on a number of cleaning teams has allowed me to develop the ability to communicate well with others and mediate conflicts between coworkers. For example, in my past job, two of my coworkers were having trouble reaching an agreement about how to approach a cleaning task. I listened to each of their concerns and got everyone to come up with a better solution that would satisfy everyone.

14. Is there any specific cleaning task that you prefer not to do?

The employer wants to know your determination in tackling any cleaning tasks that may be assigned to you.

Sample answer: No, I enjoy cleaning in any area and I am always happy to do all sorts of cleaning tasks.

15. Why do you want to work for our professional cleaning service?

Sample Answer: I am impressed with your company’s commitment to excellence and believe it is a good fit for my past housekeeping experience. One of the things I love about providing a cleaning service is the sense of accomplishment I feel after putting in the strenuous physical effort to make a room spotless. Therefore, my skills and qualities could easily translate to your company’s professional cleaning reputation.

Follow-Up After the Interview and Prove You’re What Makes a Great Cleaner

Now that you have learned the top 15 questions to ask potential housekeepers, it is also useful to know the best steps to take at the end of your interview and in the days to come. These steps will help you make a professional and lasting impression.

  • Ask who you should follow up with, as well as when and how to do so
  • Get the interviewer’s contact information
  • Write a thank you note by email
  • Connect with your interviewer on social sites to grow your personal network
  • Send any supporting documents required (i.e., consent forms, references, etc.)
professional typing on a laptop

Master These Cleaner Interview Questions and Make a Great Impression

By practicing these cleaner interview questions and answers with confidence, you are sure to make a great impression. Keep in mind that it’s also important to look at the company’s website or social media accounts to have a better understanding of how the business operates.

Feel free to write down the common questions above, as well as notes outlining your answers, and take them with you to the interview.

Best wishes to you, and good luck! For more cleaning-related hacks, check out our other resources.

Mia Sofia Pimentel Avatar

By Mia Sofia Pimentel