Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Friday, August 29, 2014

Question

What would be some good custodian interview questions? I work in an educational facility.


Answer

Answer # 1.
The goal of a job interview is to determine which applicant will best meet the requirements and needs of the job opening that you have available. You want to ask questions that allow you to accurately and fairly evaluate and compare each applicant’s ability to perform the requirements of the job. This would include asking questions about attendance, work habits, attitude, technical knowledge and job skills. It could also include a hand on performance exam where each applicant actually completes some cleaning tasks. You want to ask questions that will give you insight into the applicant's skills, goals, strengths and weaknesses. Several sample technical questions are listed below.
1. How much dwell time is required for a disinfectant to be effective in killing microorganisms?
2. What is the pH scale and how does it impact the cleaning process?
3. How long should it take to clean a classroom?
4. What is the most efficient way to use a dust mop?
5. How many ounces of detergent should be put in each gallon of cleaning solution?
Perry Shimanoff, President
MC2 Management Consultants
MC2@sancarlos.com

Answer # 2.
Some managers are intuitively excellent judges of character. With just a few questions, they are able to accurately size up a candidate. Other managers prefer to use a list of questions as a guide during the interview process.
Here is a list of 48 questions which are useful for pre-employment screening of full-time cleaning technicians. Since not all will apply to your situation, highlight the ones you deem important. Remember; it is much easier to disqualify a problem or questionable applicant than it is to terminate an employee once they are hired. Here are some tips:
1. The number and type of questions you ask should correspond with the skills required for each position.
2. Put the applicant at ease by describing your company and the job opening. Ask briefly about their background.
3. Review the job description and ask if they have experience to perform all the required duties. If not, determine jointly the training that will be required.
4. During the interview, ask for the names of individuals you can contact to verify answers that are given (confirming their integrity).
5. Carefully observe body language to see if what they verbalize lines up with their gestures, facial expressions and eye contact.
Probe for Performance Issues
• What would your last boss say about your work performance?
• What skills and qualifications would you list as essential for the job you are applying for?
• What do you look for in a job?
• How well do perform under pressure?
Probe for Quality Issues
• Have you ever received a complaint for inferior workmanship?
• Tell me about a difficult experience you had in performing the fine details of a challenging job.
• Describe how your attention to detail has helped you earn recognition or approval from your previous employer.
Probe for Integrity Issues
• How would a good friend describe you?
• What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
• Describe the best supervisor you've ever had.
• Have you ever been fired or forced to resign?
• Have you ever been questioned about dishonesty or theft discovered in the workplace?
Probe for Competency Issues
• What major work problems have you encountered and how did you deal with them?
• What have you learned from your mistakes?
• How would your previous boss describe your learning ability?
• How would co-workers describe your job skills?
• How would your boss describe you?
• Describe your energy level and overall job productivity.
• What makes you qualified for this position?
• Describe the workload and job requirements in your current (or most recent) job.
Probe for Attitude Issues
• Tell me about a time when you felt everyone was against you. What did you do?
• Tell me about a time when you were working with someone who wasn't pulling their weight, and they had a different value system than yours. How did you deal with this person?
• What things make a good team member?
• Do you prefer working alone or in teams? How well do you work with people?
• What irritates you the most about others?
• Give me a couple of examples of when someone was rude to you and, tell me how you handled it.
• Describe a situation where you were close to losing your temper.
• How well do you take orders from superiors?
• How would you evaluate your ability to deal with conflict?
• Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor? How did you resolve the conflict?
• What do you think of your present or past boss?
• Tell me about the references you have supplied and given me permission to contact.
Probe for Dependability Issues
• Why did you leave each of your previous jobs?
• What do you like and dislike about cleaning in general?
• How would your previous boss describe your attendance record?
• What is the reason for being late or absent on your previous jobs?
• Do you know of anything that might disqualify you from this job?
Probe for Motivation Issues
• What motivates you to go the extra mile on a project or job?
• Why did you decide to seek a position in this company?
• What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
• What are your expectations regarding promotions and salary increases?
• Tell me about a time when you went out of your way to complete an assignment?
• What other positions are you considering?
• What kind of hours are you used to working or would like to work?
• Why do you want to change jobs?
• Tell me about a time when you failed. What happened, and how did you recover?
• Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?
• Why should I hire you?
Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com