The ultimate list of interview questions for your cleaning business owners

March 13, 2023 in Hiring

Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by The ZenMaid Team

Hiring the right employees is crucial for the success of any business, and this is especially true for cleaning businesses that have to operate with a high level of trust in their employees. Finding trustworthy and dependable cleaners can be a challenge, but asking the right interview questions can help you assess a candidate’s qualifications, experience, and work ethic. 

In this article, we’ll cover a range of interview questions for cleaning business owners who are hiring employees or contractors, as well as topics to avoid during the interview process. Whether you’re a new cleaning business owner or an established company looking to expand your team, these interview questions can help you find the right candidates for your business. Ready, set, HIRE!

Where to get started

If you already have your interviews lined up and you’re ready for the list of questions, go ahead and skip to the next section. But, if you’re still in the beginning stages of hiring and not quite sure where to start, check out these ZenMaid guides first:

  1. 10 things you should know before you train your next cleaner
  2. How to take the guesswork out of hiring for your cleaning business
  3. How to find and fix the problems in your hiring process

Source: Kai Pilger on Unsplash

What you cannot ask during an interview

As a potential employer, you need to be aware of certain topics or questions that could be considered discriminatory or invasive. The county, city, and state you live in also may also have specific laws about this. To avoid any off-limit topics, stay focused on job-related qualifications, experience, and skills when conducting your job interviews. 

Though this is not an exhaustive list and should not be taken as legal advice, here are some topics to avoid during your interviews:

Age: Employers should not ask candidates how old they are, when they graduated from school, or other age-related questions.

Marital or family status: Do not ask if the candidate is married, single, divorced, or has children.

Religion: Do not ask about a candidate’s religious beliefs, practices, or affiliations.

National origin or citizenship status: Do not ask about a candidate’s country of origin, citizenship status, or language proficiency, except if it’s relevant to the job.

Disability: Do not ask about a candidate’s disability or medical condition, except if it’s relevant to the job and accommodations can be made.

Pregnancy or plans to have children: Do not ask if a candidate is pregnant or planning to have children.

Sexual orientation or gender identity: Do not ask about a candidate’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Criminal record: In some jurisdictions, employers are not allowed to ask about a candidate’s criminal record until after a conditional job offer has been made.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive into the interview questions, starting with the basics!

Start with the basics: 10 questions for every interview

  1. Can you tell me about your previous work experience and how it relates to the position you’re applying for?
  2. What motivated you to apply for this position, and what interests you about working for our company?
  3. Can you describe a challenging situation you faced in a previous job, and how you overcame it?
  4. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses, and how do they apply to this position?
  5. Can you tell me about a time when you had to work collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal, and what role did you play in the team?
  6. How do you handle stress and pressure in the workplace, and what steps do you take to manage your workload?
  7. Can you describe a time when you received constructive feedback or criticism about your work, and how did you respond to it?
  8. Can you tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision in the workplace, and how did you approach the situation?
  9. How do you stay organized and prioritize your workload to ensure that tasks are completed on time?
  10.  Can you describe a situation where you had to go above and beyond in your job to achieve a positive outcome, and what did you do?

Interview questions for established cleaning businesses

  1. Why do you want to work for our cleaning business?

This question helps you understand what motivates the candidate and what they know about your company. It can also help you gauge their level of interest in the cleaning industry and their willingness to learn.

  1. Have you ever worked in a cleaning job before? If so, can you tell me about your experience?

If the candidate has cleaning experience, this question can give you a good sense of their past performance, work ethic, and how they handled challenges they faced. If the candidate has no experience, you can follow up with a question about what relevant skills they can bring to the job.

  1. What cleaning equipment are you familiar with?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s level of experience and familiarity with cleaning tools and equipment. It can also indicate how much training they may need before they can start working for your cleaning business.

  1. Can you describe your cleaning process?

This question can help you understand how the candidate approaches cleaning tasks and their attention to detail. It can also give you a sense of whether they can work efficiently and effectively.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s customer service skills, problem-solving ability, and how they handle challenging situations.

  1. How do you prioritize your cleaning tasks?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s organizational skills and ability to manage their workload effectively.

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a cleaner?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s self-awareness, as well as their willingness to grow and improve.

  1. How do you handle difficult cleaning situations?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s problem-solving skills, adaptability, and ability to work under pressure.

  1. How do you ensure that you are following safety procedures while cleaning?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s knowledge of safety procedures and how seriously they take safety on the job.

  1. How do you handle feedback or criticism about your work?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s ability to receive feedback and their willingness to learn and improve.

Source: Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash

Interview questions for hiring a contract cleaner

  1. Why did you decide to become a contracted cleaner, and what experience do you have in this field?

This question helps you understand the candidate’s motivation for pursuing contracted cleaning work and their level of experience.

  1. How do you handle challenging cleaning situations that you’ve never encountered before?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you provided exceptional cleaning services to a client?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s customer service skills and their ability to exceed client expectations.

  1. How do you ensure that you follow cleaning schedules and meet deadlines?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s organizational skills and time management abilities, especially if they clean for multiple cleaning business owners. 

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you had to adapt your cleaning approach to meet specific client needs?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s ability to be flexible and adaptable to different clients’ needs.

  1. How do you ensure that you are following all relevant health and safety guidelines while cleaning?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s knowledge of safety procedures and their commitment to maintaining a safe working environment.

  1. How do you handle conflicts or misunderstandings with clients or colleagues?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s communication and conflict-resolution skills.

  1. What is your process for organizing and maintaining cleaning supplies and equipment?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s attention to detail and their ability to work efficiently.

  1. How do you prioritize your cleaning tasks when working on multiple projects or locations?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s ability to manage their workload and work effectively under pressure.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you identified an area for improvement in your cleaning approach and implemented changes to improve your performance?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s willingness to learn and grow in their role as a contracted cleaner.

Interview questions for hiring a W-2 Employee

  1. What qualities do you possess that make you an excellent fit for a cleaning job, and what relevant skills do you bring to the role?

This question helps you understand the candidate’s qualifications for the job and their relevant experience.

  1. Can you describe how you would go about deep cleaning a space, and what steps would you take to ensure that all areas are thoroughly cleaned?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s knowledge of deep cleaning techniques and their attention to detail.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you had to manage a team of cleaners to complete a project, and how did you delegate tasks and ensure that everyone was working effectively?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s leadership and communication skills.

  1. How do you stay up to date with new cleaning techniques and products, and what steps do you take to incorporate them into your work?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s willingness to learn and grow in their role.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you had to deal with a hazardous or dangerous situation while cleaning, and how did you handle it?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s ability to work safely and handle unexpected challenges.

  1. How do you prioritize and manage your workload when you have multiple cleaning jobs to complete in a day?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s time management and organizational skills.

  1. Can you describe how you communicate with clients about their cleaning needs and any concerns they may have?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s customer service skills and their ability to build relationships with clients.

  1. How do you handle and dispose of hazardous materials or waste while cleaning, and what measures do you take to protect the environment?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s knowledge of environmental regulations and their commitment to sustainability.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you had to adapt your cleaning techniques to meet the needs of a client with special requirements, such as an allergy or sensitivity?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s ability to be flexible and adaptable to different clients’ needs.

  1. How do you handle and resolve conflicts with other employees, and what steps do you take to ensure a positive work environment?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s teamwork and conflict-resolution skills.

Source: Christina Wocintechchat on Unsplash

Interview questions for negotiating pay

Negotiating wages can be uncomfortable for some employees (and employers!) Here are some interview questions that may help you and your potential employee come to a fair compensation:

  1. What are your salary expectations for this position?
  2. What is your current or most recent salary, and how does that compare to the salary range for this position?
  3. What are some of the factors that are important to you when considering salary and compensation for a new position?
  4. Are you open to negotiating salary and benefits for this position? If so, what factors would you consider when negotiating?
  5. How do you typically research and determine your salary expectations for a new position?
  6. What are some non-salary benefits or perks that are important to you in a job?
  7. Can you share any previous experiences you’ve had negotiating salary or compensation for a job?
  8. How does the salary range for this position align with your career goals and long-term aspirations?
  9. Are you familiar with the industry standard for compensation in this field? How do your experience and qualifications compare to that standard?
  10.  Would you be comfortable discussing compensation in more detail during a follow-up interview or negotiation process?

Interview questions for hiring a virtual assistant

  1. Can you tell me about your experience working as a virtual assistant, and what specific tasks you have experience performing for small business owners?

This question helps you understand the candidate’s qualifications and how they can apply their experience to your cleaning business.

  1. How do you ensure that you stay organized and manage your time effectively while working remotely as a virtual assistant?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s time management and organizational skills.

  1. Can you describe a time when you had to manage multiple tasks and competing deadlines while working as a virtual assistant, and how did you prioritize your workload?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s ability to handle multiple responsibilities and prioritize their work effectively.

  1. How do you ensure that you maintain clear communication with your clients and respond promptly to their requests and inquiries?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s communication skills and their ability to build relationships with clients.

  1. Can you tell me about your experience using various software and technology tools to manage your work as a virtual assistant, and what tools are you most familiar with?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s technical skills and their ability to adapt to new technologies.

  1. Can you describe a situation where you had to troubleshoot technical issues while working remotely as a virtual assistant, and what steps did you take to resolve the problem?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s problem-solving skills and their ability to work independently.

  1. How do you ensure that you maintain the confidentiality and security of your clients’ information while working remotely?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s knowledge of data security and their commitment to protecting clients’ sensitive information.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult client request or complaint while working as a virtual assistant, and how did you resolve the issue?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s customer service skills and their ability to handle challenging situations.

  1. How do you ensure that you maintain a positive working relationship with your clients and colleagues while working remotely as a virtual assistant?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s interpersonal skills and their ability to work effectively in a virtual team environment.

  1. Can you describe your availability and scheduling flexibility as a virtual assistant, and how do you ensure that you are able to meet your clients’ needs and deadlines?

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s availability and their ability to work flexible hours if needed.

Interview questions for gauging someone’s ethics and morals when it comes to the workplace

  1. Can you describe a situation where you faced an ethical dilemma at work, and how did you handle it?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s critical thinking and decision-making skills when faced with ethical challenges.

  1. How would you handle a situation where you discovered valuable items while cleaning, but were unsure who they belonged to?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s honesty and integrity, and their approach to handling sensitive situations.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you received feedback from a client or coworker that challenged your morals or values?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s ability to receive feedback constructively, and how they approach conflicting values.

  1. Can you describe a time when you saw a coworker doing something unethical or morally wrong, and how did you handle the situation?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s willingness to speak up when they witness unethical behavior, and their approach to resolving conflicts.

  1. How do you handle situations where you disagree with a client’s request or preference, particularly if it conflicts with your own morals or values?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s communication skills and how they handle conflicts or disagreements in a professional manner.

  1. Can you tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult ethical decision at work, and how did you arrive at your decision?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s ethical decision-making process and how they weigh the potential consequences of their actions.

  1. How do you ensure that you maintain confidentiality and respect for clients’ privacy, particularly in sensitive or high-profile environments?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s commitment to maintaining confidentiality and their understanding of privacy laws and regulations.

  1. Can you describe a situation where you felt pressured to compromise your morals or values at work, and how did you handle it?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s ability to handle high-pressure situations and their commitment to upholding their personal ethics.

  1. How do you ensure that you treat all clients equally and with respect, regardless of their socioeconomic status or background?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s cultural competence and their ability to provide excellent service to all clients.

  1. Can you describe a situation where you had to balance the needs of the client with the needs of the business, particularly if there was a conflict of interest?

This question can help you evaluate the candidate’s ability to balance competing priorities and make decisions that are in the best interest of the business and the client.

Next steps

Interviewing potential employees or contractors for your cleaning business can be a daunting task, but asking the right questions can make all the difference. We hope this ultimate list of questions helps you find your next great hire! But the help doesn’t stop here. To learn from other successful cleaning business owners like you, join our free ZenMaid Mastermind group on Facebook.

If you found this article helpful for your maid service, you may also like:

ZenMaid is the simple scheduling software that will help you save 30+ hours in your cleaning business, every week. Join thousands of other cleaning business owners who now have time to take a nap, spend time with their family and take vacations! Start your free 14-day trial today to discover how many hours you can get back in your week.

ZenMaid

Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc. He started and ran Fast Friendly Spotless, a maid service in Orange County, CA. With the help of customized software to automate work he successfully operated the service in under 30 minutes per day. He created ZenMaid scheduling software to help other maid service owners do the same.

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