Not many people think of email as a means of interviewing, but it is a great way to get information before even picking up the phone. This can also be useful if there is some important information lacking in the housekeeper’s profile.
Often an email response can help you to quickly see if she or he is the right person for your home.
The first interview is usually conducted over the phone, and is another opportunity to filter candidates.
The phone call gives you the chance to tell the candidate what kind of help you need, the desired start date, clarify salary expectations, skill requirements like cooking, and any other issues important to you.
Make sure to give a chance for your candidates to talk, so you can form your impression of how suitable they are.
Phone interviews can be very effective because they take much less time than a meeting, but try not to jump to conclusions from a single phone conversation.
With mobile phones especially, you can catch people in moments that are less-than-perfect for an interview. Furthermore, being clear and articulate over the phone is a skill in itself, and if it is not an essential part of the job, you may find yourself rejecting the perfect candidate for all the wrong reasons.
Below is a sample list of questions to ask on a phone interview:
- First, describe the help you need. Then ask:
- How old are you?
- Do you live locally? How long will it take you to travel to my home?
- Are you available at the start date?
- What are your salary expectations?
If you find that the person does not suit your needs, express your thanks, close the conversation cordially and move on.
But if you are happy with the answers so far, arrange the next meeting face-to-face:
- Set a time and date for the personal interview
- State which documents you’d like the person to bring:
The next interview should ideally be at your home, so your candidate can become familiar with the environment.
The purpose of this meeting is to determine how well the housekeeper meets your needs. Remember to have your ideal candidate list so you can form a decision based on your priorities.
A meeting like this can give a mass of clues and information that will allow you to reach a decision.
Check the following:
- Did the candidate arrive on time?
- If not, did they call ahead to notify you? This is important, as you will need to heavily depend on reliability in this job.
- Did they come prepared with a resume or other documents you asked for? Again, this is important for reliability.
Ask about skills, and make sure he or she has what it takes to get the job done. Give lots of room for your candidate to speak.
Here are a few ideas of questions you could ask:
- How will you get to my home? Do you have access to reliable transport?
- Are you available to begin on the start date?
- Are you legally able to work in this country? Did you bring the documentation to prove it?
- Do you have experience cleaning homes?
- How long will it take you to clean a house of this size?
- Do you also run errands?
Inside your mind, as your questions are being answered, focus on trust. Can you trust this person to offer the help you need? Can you rely on him or her to turn up on time to do the job properly? Look into the person’s eyes and let your intuition will tell you what you need to know.
After you have all the information you need, ask the candidate to perform some of the most common tasks involved in housekeeping, while you stay to watch and help if necessary.
While the candidate is working, try to ask yourself the important questions: Can you leave this person alone in your home? Will it work? Is he or she active or passive? Watch carefully until you are satisfied you have seen everything you need.
Always remember that your presence will have an impact. So after a while, avoid watching overtly, help your candidate feel at ease, and this will help you get a much clearer picture of suitability.
When the meeting is over, pay them for their time and say that you will be in touch.