Cleaner Interview Questions

joseph cole

Updated on February 28, 2023

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A cleaner is responsible for cleaning and sweeping the facilities. A Cleaner’s duties may include but are not limited to, sweeping and polishing the floors, washing the windows, handling waste and recyclables, dealing with unpleasant scents, dusting cupboards, cabinets, furniture, and many more. The job can be rather unpleasant, and at times tiresome.

Your interview process must focus on the candidate who has a positive and open-minded approach to the task at hand. They must also not refrain from any forms of repulsive tasks. That’s why, apart from testing the candidates and their experience with caretaking tasks, you should also assess their work ethics and honesty.

General Roles and Responsibilities of a Cleaner

The main role of a cleaner is to maintain a clean and safe environment for clients or occupants of a building. This requires attention to detail, good time management skills, and the ability to work independently or as part of a team. Some common duties include:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, floors, and other areas to maintain a safe and hygienic environment
  • Dusting and wiping down furniture, fixtures, and equipment
  • Removing trash and recyclables from designated areas and disposing of them appropriately
  • Restocking supplies such as soap, paper towels, and toilet paper as needed
  • Operating and maintaining cleaning equipment such as vacuums, mops, and cleaning solutions
  • Notifying management of any equipment malfunctions, damage, or supply shortages
  • Adhering to safety protocols and using personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed
  • Following established cleaning schedules and procedures
  • Providing exceptional customer service to clients and responding promptly to any requests or concerns.

Skills and Experiences a Cleaner should have:

Cleaners should be hardworking, reliable, and able to work independently or as part of a team to maintain a clean and safe environment for clients or occupants of a building. Some common ones include:

  • Attention to detail: Cleaners need to be meticulous and thorough in their work to ensure that surfaces, floors, and other areas are properly cleaned and sanitized.
  • Time management: They need to be able to manage their time effectively to ensure that cleaning tasks are completed within the allotted time frame and according to the cleaning schedule.
  • Physical stamina: Cleaning can be physically demanding, so cleaners should be in the good physical condition and able to perform tasks such as lifting and moving heavy equipment or furniture.
  • Communication: They may need to communicate with clients, supervisors, or coworkers to coordinate tasks or respond to requests, so good communication skills are important.
  • Knowledge of cleaning equipment and solutions: Cleaners should be familiar with different types of cleaning equipment and solutions, including their proper use and safety precautions.
  • Prior cleaning experience: Prior cleaning experience is usually preferred, as it demonstrates a familiarity with cleaning protocols and equipment.
  • Flexibility: Cleaners may need to be flexible with their schedules, as cleaning tasks may need to be performed at different times of the day or on weekends.

Cleaner Operational and Situational Questions

Operational and situational questions can be useful for evaluating the skills and experience of a cleaner in a specific work environment. Here are some examples:

  • How do you prioritize your cleaning tasks when you have a long list of tasks to complete in a limited amount of time?
  • If you encounter a difficult stain on a carpet or upholstery, what steps would you take to try to remove it?
  • How do you ensure that you are using the correct cleaning solutions and equipment for each task?
  • If you notice a safety hazard or potential safety hazard while cleaning, what would you do?
  • How do you maintain cleaning equipment to ensure that it is working properly and safely?
  • If a client asks you to use a specific cleaning solution or product that you are unfamiliar with, what would you do?
  • How do you manage your cleaning supplies to ensure that you have everything you need to complete your tasks?
  • If you are scheduled to clean a room that is occupied by someone who is working, how would you minimize disruption while still completing your cleaning tasks?

Cleaner Role-specific Questions

Role-specific questions can be useful for evaluating a cleaner’s experience and skills related to specific cleaning tasks or environments. Here are some examples:

  • What experience do you have with carpet cleaning? Are you familiar with different types of carpet fibers and cleaning techniques?
  • Have you ever worked with industrial cleaning equipment, such as floor scrubbers or pressure washers? How did you ensure the safe and effective use of the equipment?
  • Are you familiar with eco-friendly cleaning solutions and techniques? How do you ensure that your cleaning practices are environmentally sustainable?
  • Have you ever worked in a hospital or healthcare environment? What specific cleaning protocols did you follow to ensure infection control and patient safety?
  • What experience do you have with window cleaning? Are you comfortable working at heights, and do you know how to safely use ladders and other equipment?
  • Have you ever worked with hazardous cleaning materials, such as asbestos or lead paint? How did you ensure the safe handling and disposal of these materials?
  • Are you familiar with cleaning protocols for specific industries, such as food service or manufacturing? How do you ensure that your cleaning practices meet industry standards?
  • Have you ever managed a team of cleaners? How did you assign tasks and ensure that cleaning was completed to a high standard?

Cleaner Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions can help evaluate a cleaner’s soft skills and problem-solving abilities, which are essential for success in a cleaning role. Here are some examples:

  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult client or supervisor? How did you handle the situation?
  • Have you ever had to adapt your cleaning methods to meet the specific needs of a client or environment? How did you approach the situation?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to work with a team to complete a cleaning project? How did you contribute to the team’s success?
  • Have you ever had to communicate with a client or supervisor about an issue or concern regarding the cleaning process? How did you approach the conversation?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to solve a problem related to cleaning, such as a difficult stain or equipment malfunction? How did you approach the problem and what was the outcome?
  • Have you ever had to work in a high-pressure or time-sensitive cleaning environment? How did you prioritize your tasks and ensure that everything was completed on time?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to learn a new cleaning technique or protocol? How did you approach the learning process and what did you do to ensure that you were using the new technique correctly?
  • Have you ever had to handle a cleaning emergency, such as a spill or accident? How did you respond to the situation and ensure that everyone was safe?


Hiring a cleaner is an important process that should not be taken lightly. As a recruiter, it’s important to find candidates with the right skills, experience, and attitude to meet the unique needs of each cleaning role. By asking relevant operational, situational, role-specific, and behavioral questions, recruiters can gain insight into a candidate’s abilities and ensure they are a good fit for the position.

With the right hiring process in place, recruiters can build a strong team of cleaners who can maintain a clean and safe environment for their clients, customers, or employees.

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