42 Cleaning Job Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 29 October 2022

Published 5 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you are planning to interview for a cleaning job, preparing answers to common questions can be beneficial. Hiring managers conducting interviews for cleaning positions might test your knowledge of products and techniques. It is also helpful to prepare for answering questions about your personality and soft skills, such as your interpersonal, conflict resolution and communication skills. In this article, we list 42 cleaning job interview questions and provide sample answers to them, which you can use as inspiration when preparing for your job interview.

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15 General Cleaning Job Interview Questions

One of the first things that a hiring manager may want to accomplish during a job interview is learning more about yourself by asking you some general cleaning job interview questions. They typically attempt to get to know you better by asking about your personality traits, values or outlook on life. Your answers to those questions help them determine if you are a good fit for the team and company. Here are some general interview questions for which you can prepare:

  1. Why do you want to work here?

  2. How did you learn about this job?

  3. Tell us something about yourself.

  4. Walk us through your CV.

  5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

  6. What are some of your strengths and weaknesses as a professional?

  7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

  8. How would your friends describe you in three words?

  9. What do you do to motivate yourself?

  10. Are you available to work on weekend, late-night and early morning shifts?

  11. Do you prefer working on your own or within a team?

  12. How do you react when someone criticises you?

  13. What are some qualities of a good cleaning professional?

  14. What is your approach to professional development?

  15. Can you lift heavy items?

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14 Questions About Background And Experience

When the interviewer learns more about you, they typically start asking you questions about your background. These questions allow them to realistically assess your level of expertise, including how experienced in the field you are. In your answers, try to demonstrate that you are competent and understand the principles of maintenance and sanitation. Here are some questions about background and experience that you may hear:

  1. What is your educational background?

  2. What is the largest area you cleaned?

  3. What are some cleaning tasks you have performed in the past?

  4. Do you have experience cleaning outdoor spaces?

  5. Have you ever made a mistake during a cleaning job?

  6. What tools and machinery have you used for cleaning?

  7. Do you have experience with sustainable cleaning methods and products?

  8. Have you ever used your customer service skills during a cleaning job?

  9. Do you know how to clean difficult surfaces, such as natural wood or computer screens?

  10. Have you ever used power washing equipment?

  11. Is there any task that you do not perform, for example, due to allergy?

  12. What was the most frustrating task you have faced in your previous jobs?

  13. Tell me about a cleaning-related skill you have developed in the past year.

  14. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a colleague or supervisor.

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10 In-Depth Cleaning Job Interview Questions

Lastly, a hiring manager is likely to ask you several questions that test your difficulty skills. This includes your knowledge of the industry or specific techniques and cleaning products that the employer may want you to use. Here are some in-depth questions they may ask you during an interview:

  1. How often is it necessary to clean floors in an office building?

  2. What is the difference between cleaning wood, metal and granite?

  3. How do you clean a bathroom?

  4. How much time does it take to clean a workspace with 20 offices?

  5. How often do you clean your cleaning tools?

  6. What do you do when it is necessary to move heavy furniture to vacuum a room?

  7. How would you react if a client showed a lack of respect for your profession?

  8. What is your approach to cleaning while clients are around?

  9. Tell me about some important health and safety rules for cleaners.

  10. Tell me about a time when your supervisor asked you to clean a large area within a strict deadline.

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3 Cleaning Job Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Preparing answers to commonly asked cleaner interview questions can help you feel more relaxed and confident during the actual interview. When crafting your response, make sure that your answer is specific and include examples that directly relate to the employer's requirements. Here are some interview questions with sample answers that you can use as inspiration:

1. You notice that a colleague continuously makes mistakes while cleaning. How would you react?

The ability to work well with others is essential for cleaning professionals, as they often work in groups. It is important for an interviewer to assess your interpersonal skills during a cleaning job interview. When they ask you a question like this one, it is crucial that you formulate an answer that shows your empathy and ability to objectively assess situations or someone's ability to perform tasks.

Example: 'I know that anyone can make a mistake at work. Whenever I see that someone, such as a less experienced colleague, is struggling with a task or has made a mistake, I approach them and politely ask if they need help. Then, I make sure to objectively describe the mistake to them and explain the right way of doing something. By analysing the mistake together, I can help them understand the issue. If I can encourage them to improve their skills, I consider it a success.

Whenever someone keeps repeating the same mistake, even though they received proper instructions, I find that informing our supervisor about it is the right thing to do. This way, the supervisor can handle the situation, as they usually have the necessary tools and knowledge to come up with a more long-term solution. Asking someone for help also allows me to avoid starting a conflict.'

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions And Examples

2. What do you do if it is impossible to remove a stain from an item?

By asking you this question, an interviewer can test your problem-solving skills. When crafting a response, you can try to demonstrate your strong ethics or communication skills, for example, by explaining how you would communicate the challenging information to a client. You can also describe what steps you would take to make sure in explaining that the stain really is impossible to remove, as this demonstrates your expertise.

Example: 'Whenever I encounter a stain that is hard to remove using my usual tools and products, I try to analyse the item and its material to determine if there is any better way to clean it. For example, it is sometimes helpful to immerse materials overnight in a gentle solution rather than trying to quickly remove stubborn stains using powerful, chemical products. Although this is more time-consuming for me, it allows me to make sure the client is satisfied and their items are clean and undamaged.

Before making the decision to change the normal routine, I also consult with the client or my supervisor. For example, we may come to a conclusion that it is better to replace an item. I believe that this also shows them that they can trust me to handle challenging tasks and that I am not afraid to ask questions when a situation requires that.'

Related: Problem Solving Questions For Interview (With Examples And Tips)

3. Do you clean top to bottom or bottom to top? Why?

This question determines your general knowledge of cleaning techniques, which interviewers want to test. When formulating your answer, make sure to discuss the matter in-depth, for example, by explaining different steps that you take to clean a room using your preferred method. This way, you demonstrate to the interviewer that you base your answer on your previous experience.

Example: 'I always prefer cleaning a room top to bottom. I find this way of cleaning more efficient, as it allows me to work with gravity and not against it. I typically start with the tallest surfaces, which allows me to let the dust collect on the floor, which I clean at the end. For example, when cleaning a kitchen, I start with cleaning the ceiling and upper cupboards and then move to the walls, appliances and lower cabinets. Lastly, I vacuum and mop the floor.'

Related:

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  • 11 Interview Questions For Housekeeping Staff (With Answers)

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