A housekeeper is an individual you hire to assist you with household chores when you do not have the time or initiative to do those chores yourself. A part-time housekeeper is one that does not live with you and only comes to work on a certain schedule. Part-time housekeepers may work for several families at once. Some housekeepers can be hired through placement services. Placement companies will typically do the interviewing for you and verify that the housekeeper is trustworthy. When you opt for a private part-time housekeeper, however, you must do the interviewing yourself. Knowing how to interview a housekeeper and asking the right questions beforehand can help you get a feel for the individual's personality and whether or not you trust them enough to grant them access to your home.
Ask for professional references. A potential housekeeper should be able to provide you with the names and numbers of current or past employers. By contacting those who have worked with the housekeeper in the past, you can get assessments of the housekeeper's work and behavior that will help you make an informed hiring decision.
Get an estimate for services. Housekeepers can charge anywhere from $20 to $60 an hour or more. Depending on the size of your home and the cleaning duties you want performed, the price may be more than you can comfortably afford. Getting an estimate from the housekeeper during the interview will help you avoid any billing surprises in the future. The amount a housekeeper will charge can vary according to the area in which you live and other factors.
Ask the housekeeper to tell you about him or herself. By listening to the personal information that is volunteered, you can determine the nature of the housekeeper's family relationships and other obligations. This should give you a glimpse into the moral fiber of the individual and whether or not there are any personal issues that may interfere with job performance in the future.
Inquire about the housekeeper's last job. If the housekeeper was fired, check that the employer who fired the housekeeper is on the list of references you were provided. Verify the reason the housekeeper was released from their last job before making a hiring decision.
Request the housekeeper's permission to perform a criminal background check. While finding out that an individual committed a minor offense, like a traffic violation, is hardly a good reason not to hire them, discovering a prior conviction for a more serious crime, like theft or drug possession, is cause for concern. The National Association of Professional Background Screeners at NAPBS.com can help you find a reputable company in your area to perform a criminal background check.
Ask the housekeeper about cleaning schedules. If you are not comfortable with someone cleaning your home without you being present, this is important information to gather before hiring domestic help so that you can make arrangements to be home when the housekeeper arrives.
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