Interviews can be a scary thing. Even the most experienced and qualified Housekeepers can get nervous when it comes to meeting a potential new employer. However, preparation is everything, and with this guide for Housekeepers we hope to give you a bit more confidence to ace your interview and secure your perfect new housekeeping role.
Everyone knows the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, but this saying is completely true when it comes to job interviews. If you are serious about this new housekeeping role, you’ll want to do everything you can to give a great first impression to your potential new employer.
You’ll already have impressed them with your credentials- that’s why they want to meet you, after all. However, your CV and cover letter can only do so much- the real magic happens during a face to face meeting.
Getting To Your Interview
Make sure you know exactly where you are going, and how you will get there. It may be wise to do a test journey prior to your interview so that you know the route well. Take into account that there might be traffic, or that public transport might be delayed. There isn’t much that’s worse than showing up late for an interview.
Make sure you bring a file with all your details inside. A hard copy of your CV, written references, copies of any relevant qualifications, and your passport or ID (in case of security requests) should be among the documents you have on hand. It’s better to have more than enough documents than not enough.
Do Your Research
You must understand the job role that you’re interviewing for before you arrive to interview. It’s not only embarrassing for the candidate to not know what’s expected of them, but frustrating for an employer if they feel like their time is being wasted.
Read the job specification, and makes of anything you’d like more information about. Asking obvious questions shows that you’ve not prepared well, and suggests you’re not interested in the role either.
You can always ask your agency for information about a post if you’re not sure. Your recruitment consultant will be on hand to answer questions for you before the interview. They’ll likely have more insight into the job and client that they can share with you if needed.
Ask Intelligent Questions
There’s a fine line between showing interest in a position, and not giving your potential employer the chance to speak. Most of your questions can be prepared prior to your interview by looking at the job specification and noting down any vague areas that you’d like clarification on. Are all your possible tasks listed? Are your hours and days clearly set, or do you need to be flexible?
If you’re interviewing at the property that you’ll be the Housekeeper of, you can use this as an opportunity to get a feel for the environment and ask if there are any specific tasks that it’s particularly important to complete.
Asking these questions will demonstrate your commitment, but give the client plenty of time to talk and ask you questions as well.
f you are using an agency, they might take care of speaking to your references. Alternatively, the client may want to speak to your references themselves. Either way, make sure you have a reference document that is well presented. List your written references and contact details, and make sure you include at least two recent, long term jobs.
Things You Must Not Do
There are several things that can pretty much guarantee you will not be invited to a second interview.
- Being late
- As previously mentioned, make sure you leave lots of extra time to get to your interview. Have your phone charged so you can look up directions if need be. As a last resort, be prepared to call the potential employer and inform them when you will be arriving. It looks unprofessional if you rush breathlessly into an interview.
- Clothing and presentation
- A housekeeping interview is not a fashion show. Whilst in your day to day role you may wear casual and comfortable clothes, turning up to an interview in tracksuit bottoms is unacceptable. Your potential employer may prefer their staff to wear a uniform; until you meet them you don’t know what their expectations are. Keep a neutral and professional look, such as black trousers and an ironed white shirt with a jacket. Make sure your hair and make-up look neat- don’t overdo it with make-up, heavy perfume and jewellery and cover up any visible tattoos.
- It is very rare that smoking will be accepted at a housekeeping job. Housekeeping is all about cleanliness and organisation, so smelling like smoke or making it very obvious that you do it goes directly against the principle of the role. If you do smoke, make sure you do not smoke anywhere in, near or on the property grounds, and have a mint before you go in to ensure you’re smelling fresh and clean.
Finally, leave a good lasting impression. Your CV, skills, and even your presentation can be immaculate – but make sure the client remembers you. Be positive and happy, smile lots and speak warmly about the role and your experience.
You want to show how much enjoy your work and have a passion for it. Coming across as moody and negative is very off putting. After all, the interviewer is looking for someone to take care of their house and possessions, potentially on a daily basis, so you need to show energy and enthusiasm!
What About Skype and Phone Interviews?
All of the above still applies during a Skype or phone interview. Make sure you’re in a quiet area with a very strong internet connection. Test the internet or phone connection several times before you go live so nothing can go wrong at the time of the interview.
At Polo & Tweed, we’ve set up hundreds of interviews for Housekeepers looking for new roles. We are here to chat and give you any advice you need if this interview preparation guide for Housekeepers hasn’t gone far enough. Let us help you find your perfect housekeeping job.