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Cleaner Interview Questions

Illustration of an individual cleaning. Wearing an apron and maybe gloves, and spraying cleaner bottle. Chat bubbles with questions surrounding them. Text reads:
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Cleaners tidy, disinfect and sanitize offices, homes, hotels and other residential and commercial facilities. Cleaner duties and responsibilities typically include sweeping, mopping and vacuuming floors, dusting various surfaces, cleaning bathrooms and stocking and maintaining supply rooms.

When hiring a cleaner, look for ​​knowledge of cleaning supplies and techniques, strong time management skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work without direct supervision. Great candidates for your cleaner role may also have the flexibility to work nights and weekends, the ability to multitask and previous cleaning experience.

Ask 5-10 of the following interview questions to get a better sense of a candidate’s cleaning skills and experience.


  1. What kind of cleaning products and tools are you familiar with? See answer
  2. Our cleaners often work as a team. Are you comfortable working with other cleaners? See answer
  3. Are you willing to take a night shift if need be? See answer
  4. How often do you think that cleaning tools should be cleaned? See answer
  5. What is your approach to cleaning while customers are around? See answer
  6. What strategies do you use to plan out tasks for completing a large cleaning project by yourself on a tight timeline? See answer
  7. Are you comfortable cleaning delicate delicate equipment that can be damaged by water and cleaning solutions, such as computer towers and monitors?
  8. What would you do if you were supposed to clean someone’s residence while they were out of the house but they had loud or unruly pets loose in the living room?
  9. What is your process for cleaning underneath and around heavy furniture and other large objects?
  10. When cleaning, you may have to clean up and dispose of rotten food, trash and even bodily fluids. Are you squeamish or do you get nauseous dealing with unpleasant smells?
  11. Do you have a checklist to confirm the quality of your work before you leave a job, and if so what are the key steps?
  12. What safety procedures do you follow while cleaning? Explain some of the hazards you have encountered on cleaning jobs and how you limited risk when dealing with them.
  13. What would you do if a client was unsatisfied with your work and pointed out small crevices with lint and dirt as evidence of sloppy cleaning?
  14. Have you ever been asked to perform duties outside of your job description and what would you do if you were given a non-cleaning task you didn’t feel you could complete?
  15. How would you approach completing a cleaning job if people were actively using the space you were scheduled to clean?
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6 Cleaner Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What kind of cleaning products and tools are you familiar with?

A:

You want to find someone who is familiar with a broad range of products and tools for various purposes. This will reduce the amount of time you’ll need to spend training them and will ensure that they won’t fail to clean the place properly. This question is a great way to get an idea of your candidate’s experience with the job. What to look for in an answer:

  • Familiarity with a range of cleaning tools
  • Experience performing many different cleaning tasks
  • Knowledge of the best products for different cleaning jobs
Example:

“I use Windex and Clorox at home to clean windows and surfaces, and I’ve used floor buffers and dust extractors on the job.”

Q:

Our cleaners often work as a team. Are you comfortable working with other cleaners?

A:

You’re looking for someone who values teamwork and is willing to have tasks delegated to them. Cleaning often requires a team effort so that the work is completed to a high standard, especially if the job needs to be done by a certain time. Someone who works well with others will be ideal for this role. What to look for in an answer:

  • A positive approach to being delegated a specific task
  • The ability to resolve conflict constructively
  • An understanding that getting the job done is most important
Example:

“I think that a lot of jobs require more than one person to get done, and I’m always willing to work with others to see it through.”

Q:

Are you willing to take a night shift if need be?

A:

Most cleaning jobs need to happen during off-hours when employees are away and the office building is mostly empty. This means that the cleaner will have to be prepared to work at an unusual time — often in the night or very early morning. If this is the case for your company, look for flexibility and reassurance that your employee won’t be falling asleep on the job. What to look for in an answer:

  • The candidate has flexible hours
  • A reassurance that they won’t be tired
  • Whether candidate is naturally a night owl
Example:

“I like to stay up late often, so taking a night shift would not be a problem for me at all. I know what it takes as I’ve had to take night shifts before.”

Q:

How often do you think that cleaning tools should be cleaned?

A:

Many of the implements that cleaners use for their job also need regular cleaning themselves. In a response to this question, look for someone who recognizes the value of having clean tools and who knows the proper procedure for sanitizing them. Ideally, a response should indicate that they would clean the tools at least once a day or right before their shift is done. What to look for in an answer:

  • An understanding of the importance of sanitation
  • A willingness to clean tools at least once a day
  • Knowledge of proper cleaning procedures
Example:

“I think that it’s impossible to clean a place if the tools you use are dirty. Because of this, I make sure to sanitize the tools I use before the day is up.”

Q:

What is your approach to cleaning while customers are around?

A:

Though a lot of cleaning jobs happen during off-hours, some occur during the day when the building is still open to the public. Look for responses that indicate that the candidate does not mind working in front of other people. Mentions of previous customer-service roles could indicate someone who knows how to deal with the presence of potential clients. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of how to be friendly with customers
  • Ability to focus on the job and not be distracted by people
  • Positive attitude toward the idea of working in public
Example:

“I’m happy to interact with people as necessary, so having customers around won’t bother me. On top of that, when I’m working, I always make sure to focus on the job at hand.”

Q:

What strategies do you use to plan out tasks for completing a large cleaning project by yourself on a tight timeline?

A:

One of the primary skills cleaners need to use when approaching a job is time management and planning. When cleaning a large area or completing a range of cleaning tasks. the cleaner must be able to estimate how long each activity will take and determine the most efficient order for accomplishing each goal. This question allows the interviewer to assess a candidate's foresight and their experience with different cleaning responsibilities that they might encounter on the job. An excellent answer should feature:

  • Example cleaning schedule
  • Preparation
  • Focus and dedication
Example:

"When tasked with completing a large job myself, I always take a few minutes to plan out the day instead of starting right away to make sure I have a good strategy in place. I think about what cleaning tasks influence others, for example dusting upstairs banisters could make the downstairs floors dirty again, so I would clean the floors last."

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