40 Questions To Ask A Janitor During Interviews For Judging Credibility

Jason Hunt
March 30, 2018
Are you preparing yourself for an upcoming janitorial job interview at a local startup? If so, then you must remember that employers follow a predetermined set of criteria when hiring someone compatible. Once you know what clients generally ask then I am sure you will prepare yourselves better. I worked as a manager for multiple janitorial services in the past; as a result, I often interviewed janitors, especially, before signing up with big office cleaning contracts.

Before you get to work, I am going to discuss 40 most frequently asked janitorial job interview questions as well as answers so you can better impress a manager.

Table of Contents

Also, you can read ways to capture and verify janitorial leads online.

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40 frequently asked questions in janitorial job interviews:

Question 1: What motivates you enough to undertake a janitorial job?
Motivating human workers can seem to be never-ending; however, through human beings only, every employer can extract maximum ROI at the same time.

Be honest even if it’s money acting as the sole motivating factor in your case, we all have our reasons.

Also, talk about how hygiene is extremely important for any workplace in a pandemic as employees need to feel safe from the CoVID-19 virus.

Right now, the janitors are called superheroes without a cape.

Certainly, it’s a cause that is greater than anything else right now for which you’re willing to work.

Question 2: How would your past employers rate your dependency and reliance factors?

Start away by informing the interviewer about your past as well as your present experience(s) related to this industry.

Practices you’ve adopted for grooming the perfect team ready to work full time with diligence ensuring your client satisfaction.

Names of companies that are hiring your services routinely, also mentioning the time period you have served.

Question 3: What are the strongest selling points of your business?

This may sound quite easy to answer; however, the question can still baffle many candidates during janitorial job interviews at times.

Clients need to feel confident in you including the service(s) you’re offering.

 List down the key unique selling points of your cleaning business so that you could promptly deliver your pitch with perfection. 

Keep in mind that your preparation before an interview says a lot about your diligence as well as your willingness to work.

Question 4: Are you willing to work longer hours during special events?
Reliable and consistent cleaning practice leads to better success and growth as a cleaning service. Make sure your clients are willing to vouch for you too.

Companies host several events in a year; hence, it is likely that janitors will need to work longer hours during such events.

Saying “No” will surely strip your name off their potential list of janitors right away.

Make sure you say “Yes” and find out how much would the company be willing to pay you for extra hours.

  • Find out how to bill your clients depending on various scopes in every cleaning project.

Question 5: Do you think you’ve been a successful cleaning company to date?
To measure the success rate of any cleaning service, find out everything that keeps your existing clients remember you every time.

The most obvious reason for asking this is to find out if you’ve been a reliable and consistent service provider or not.

Having recurring clients is a healthy sign of progress, but don’t worry even if you have only recently started.

Give the best quality service to your clients and you’ll soon experience remarkable growth in no time.

Question 6: Do you have past experience in dealing with chemicals?

Being a professional cleaning service I have worked with various companies that specialize in manufacturing chemicals capable of melting snow as well as metal.

I need to be equally conscious about the appropriate composition for each chemical used by cleaning companies before applying them.

 For any kind of commercial cleaning work, it’s now mandated to wipe surfaces using chemicals like Clorox or Lysol to ensure 100% sanitation.  
Question 7: Are you adequately patient to withstand the public while cleaning?

Janitors are often required to mop floors during moments of intense pedestrian movement, especially during the lunch break.

It is every janitor’s responsibility to maintain calm at all costs even if the ground gets trampled over while cleaning.

Your response should state that you’d be comfortable during such moments as you’ll have the opportunity to interact with people while concentrating on the work at hand.

Question 8: Tell us about a situation when you have carried out more than your responsibility.

A question like this meant judging your character as a human being and not as a professional cleaner.

Chemical usage must be performed very carefully by keeping the skin protected. Handle chemicals with care while cleaning the office floors.

Sometimes people leave their belongings either cellphones or wallets mistakenly in the washroom.

Therefore, it’s also the responsibility of a reliable janitor to hand over any lost items to the authority in charge after collecting them.

Question 9: How would you react to individuals that may spoil a spot right after cleaning?

During such moments it’s likely to lose their temper; however, for janitors, it’s the last thing they can do.

Tell them that you’d place wet floorboard signs and indicators for preventing pedestrians from spoiling floors that are cleaned recently.

If situations still become unmanageable, tell them that you wouldn’t mind cleaning the same spot multiple times if needed.

  • Question 10: What are your expectations from this project?

This is usually asked before closing a meeting.

The answer is a tricky one; therefore, leave the choice to the interviewer and make them decide your wage rate.

Furthermore, your rate/charge-per-hour of every cleaner varies depending on their ability to work with perfection; moreover, a CIMS certificate can raise your per-hour rate significantly.

Question 11: Elaborate on the time when you handled a customer’s complaint successfully.
Janitorial job interviews are crucial because they will determine your chances of landing each of those jobs more successfully.

Your response to this one question will reveal your professionalism as well as your efficiency level at work.

The purpose of asking this is to test your customer service skills.

Maintain an amicable attitude as you are going to communicate with prospects.

Try to recall an event when a dissatisfied customer left a stingy review on your Facebook page, and the result was “1000 views” in just twenty-four hours!

Social media is where people generally hold various discussions on topics you are unlikely to come across.

Question 12: If you see one of your co-workers violating the company policy or work compliance, how would you react to it?

Are you someone that is willing to comply with a company’s policies and abide by the rules imposed by your employer?

Agreeing and working according to the imposed guidelines and etiquette reveal your sincerity, and this also builds a strong work relationship with employers.

Following a strong work ethic can help you go a long way in a world that’s already competitive.

Question 13: How frequently does the cleaning equipment need to be sanitized for reuse?

The answer to this question must be, “The equipment at my disposal is cleaned and sanitized for once a day at least.”

Certifications, compliance, and regulations will automatically build your credibility as a professional janitorial service.

The tools that you are going to use for cleaning a site must be sanitized, which is quite similar to ensuring hygiene in the workplace.

Being a cleaner, if you fail to take care of your tools, then the odds are good that you won’t be landing any contract.

 Hygiene is a mandatory part of life that you need people to realize, otherwise, people are less likely to remember you. 

A detailed guide on initiating a cleaning business in California

Remaining available during working hours and afterward will work on developing your cleaning service in the long run.
Question 14: When was the most distasteful situation you had endured at work?

Needless to say that signing up for any janitorial job/contract will make you come across distasteful situations.

Official ceremonies where employees are likely to drink and throw up following an event are what I consider to be distasteful.

Drinking is common; however, you also need to know the category of events and the number of people to be attending an event.

Asking the right questions to the interviewer will help you predetermine situations before you encounter them.

Question 15: How often are you available for handling more projects?

Ideally, every janitor should work for at least 192 hours a week.

In case of emergencies, the allocated timeframe can exceed for meeting the requirements of clients.

Also, I would like you to stop agreeing with every need imposed by a client just to make them realize that you are human and have a life of your own.

Most importantly, don’t be too harsh on yourself; therefore, do not hesitate to ask whether or not you are going to get paid for working extra hours during the janitorial job interviews and sessions.

Question 16: How do you intend on dealing with rude clients?

The answer to this question will help to determine your patience meter while interacting with people.

Working alongside rude or strict clientele can be a challenge. As a matter of fact, we must maintain strong emotional intelligence throughout.

The key is to maintain your calm even if someone decides to go berserk and throws a rant.

The best reply to this question would be that you will calmly handle the situation and leave the place without causing further trouble.

If needed, you’d rather report to HR or quit the job entirely if situations get worse.

Question 17: Have you taken any exam or certification that proves your janitorial skill sets?

Your reply to this question will prove the extent of acquiring new skills as well as knowledge surrounding the janitorial cleaning process.

Client requirements must vary; hence, the higher your receptive power the greater will be chances to establish a solid grasp of any project.

If you have taken exams previously as a janitor, make sure you have the certificate readily available in your hands for showing to the potential prospect.

Fitness keeps your body healthy, and as a janitor, you will have more energy in your body for dealing with extraneous tasks.

HIPAA-compliant measures will certainly improve your chances of landing more commercial cleaning jobs.

Question 18: How do you ensure physical fitness to be able to work for prolonged hours as a janitor?

The reason employers often ask this question is to find out how active you are, and whether you’d be capable of working for long hours or not.

Naturally, the job requires an individual to keep standing for long hours in addition to performing heavy lifting occasionally.

The fitter you are, the better will be your chances to get past the janitorial job interviews phase.

If you are regularly hitting the gym then do not shy away from stating that clearly to the interviewer.

Question 19: Have you ever broken or damaged a client’s property while on duty?

Lying isn’t always going to put you into trouble; therefore, even if you have caused any damage to a client’s property, deny the fact!

I know this must sound unethical, however, if lying could get you the job, then why not?

Before handling any sophisticated pieces of device, make sure you have clarified the proper usage by consulting with the client.

Cleaners must remain prepared for carrying out additional cleaning during corporate events and/or parties.

Or completely stay away from the device if the client isn’t around.

Question 20: Do you have any questions?

One must not shake their head implying “NO” to this question after any janitorial job interview session.

Rather, think of a question or two to ask before finally showing up at any janitorial job interviews beforehand (inquire about pain points, e.g.).

Your question will determine the extent of the research you have performed about a potential employer.

A well-thought-out question is an indication of your sincerity toward the opportunity.

Sometimes job descriptions will clearly state the range of salary, in such a case, stick to the average sum of the stated figure.

Question 21: What mastery do you have with various cleaning equipment?

Machinery and equipment-related questions should never scare you as this is the perfect opportunity to capitalize on showcasing the equipment you have.

Don’t be afraid to let it all out, explain in every detail how you use each piece of machinery and how you can use these to give your client the best cleaning service ever.

Doing so will help build up their confidence in hiring you and help you close cleaning contracts with ease.

Question 22: What will be your plan of action on the discovery of something needing significant repairs?

You will need to show proper composure when asked questions about your work strategies.

Your client will look to know exactly what you prioritize in such scenarios.

Your response should explain to the client that your first priority is communicating the problem to the client before proceeding with the repairs.

A clear action plan helps everyone to remain on track with a clear sense of purpose

Clients like to be the ones calling the shots and your prioritizing that aspect will sway their minds toward you.

After this, you can go on to explain the standard procedures.

Question 23: What was the best part about your last employment?

When the question about your last employment pops up, don’t panic.

This is the perfect chance to make your client aware of what your services are worth. 

You can speak a great deal about the good parts of your last job and this will explain to your client the cleaning standards they will need to maintain. 

Question 24: Can you recount a situation when you had to solve an issue during the absence of your supervisor?

Questions like these will test your quick thinking and leadership skills and this is especially important to portray the best image of yourself to the client interviewing you.

Maintaining composure while answering this question is important too.

At such times you may be able to tell your client how you’ve handled the situation during the absence of your supervisor and how you’ve completed the task.

You should also mention your supervisor’s response to your actions to end the answer.

Employers try to analyze your breaking point from janitorial interviews
Question 25: Please explain a frustrating scenario usually encountered in this line of work.

This is a rather odd question your client might ask you and the chances are low. If this question does appear, you should use this opportunity to show your client how challenging the job may be and how it is handled by experts

You should spend some time explaining the gritty details of this work which will make even the toughest person quit.

Showing your resilience and dedication to continue working in this field is what you will need to portray.

Question 26: What qualities do you want your next supervisor to possess?

This question is an important one. You can use this to explain to your client exactly what your work ethics are.

You should be able to explain exactly what your next supervisor should be like.

A little extra tip would be not to belittle or demean your previous supervisor.

Even if you do, you can maneuver the conversation toward how such behavior has shaped how you’ve progressed as a professional. 

Question 27: What types of cleaning tools are you familiar with?
Greater the tool variety better the impression

Cleaning tools are viewed as the most cutting-edge technology a cleaner can possess.

When asked this question, they are handing you the stage to speak your mind about all the cleaning tools at your disposal

Use this time wisely and explain in intricate detail about each cleaning tool you have or are familiar with.

Meanwhile, you may also explain how these tools can help you achieve the perfect level of cleaning which most janitors don’t usually do.

Question 28: Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for this position?

Probably the most unsettling question that can be asked during an interview is explaining why they should choose you.

Don’t panic just yet as this question is the most important one of all. 

This is your time to shine as you explain to your prospect all the unique services you offer.

This can also be the best time to make special offers to tip their judgment in your favor.

You will need to remain calm and go through each point with your interviewer as you nod politely to gain their affirmation.

Question 29: How do you assure quality service in this line of work?
When you can explain “how”, the rest becomes easier

This question can make anyone start sweating but you must remain calm.

Every difficult question is an opportunity to prove your worth as a professional janitor.

Quality assurance for every janitor is a major hurdle and you must already know beforehand how you can tackle it.

Make your answer short and concise so that your client may understand that you follow standard protocols to ensure quality work.

You may also revise your services beforehand and come up with your own unique method of quality assurance to add to your repertoire.

Question 30: How would you describe your professional standing as a janitor?
Think of 3 traits that help you stand out

We often black out when asked such questions since there is so much to say.

You’re in the limelight and you must come up with ways to represent yourself.

At a time like this, you may outline your strengths and weaknesses as a janitor

To add to the answer, you may also include some personality quirks about yourself to try to incite some humor as this is seen as a friendly approach and it earns you the trust of your client.

You must however remain professional if you point out your preferences.

Question 31: Could you please state the reason for discontinuing your previous job?

Clients usually seek to know your experience from your previous job so they themselves can assess you using that data as it is a standard procedure for every interview.

You have nothing to fear and answering this question requires a bit of caution.

You may give them your honest answer regarding your reasons behind the discontinuation of your services with your previous employer.

However, there needs to be a fine line between stating reasons for your leaving your previous job and shifting the blame on your employer.

Avoid shifting blame as this may make you appear unprofessional.

Question 32: How much pay do you expect from this job?
Always discuss money AFTER inspection

Another standard type of question revolves around janitorial fees.

You may use this to make your way to getting paid exactly what you deserve.

Your client may be scrutinizing your answer carefully so make sure you answer carefully

When answering this question, make sure not to ask too much as this may deter your client.

Asking too less may also be an issue since you may appear like a novice.

You’ll need to find a sweet spot and give your client an easy target.

Question 33: What are your plans for the foreseeable future?

Clients ask such questions to measure you up as this will also affect their future.

Your future plans determine your passion or goals ahead

Clients want their staff to stick with them for the longest time possible and you can clarify this with your answer.

If you have big plans, you can openly tell your client as this will show your ambitions.

You can also assure your client of long-term service for their company to tilt their mind in your favor.

Question 34: What strategies do you use when you’re under pressure?

Stress and pressure are a common occurrence in the cleaning industry and your client simply wants to know how you are willing to handle all that when push comes to shove. 

Your composure and calm during such times are what your client wants from you and that is exactly what you need to show.

Your answer should assure your client that you manage stress and pressure with ease and it is not that big of a concern.

Remember to state that janitors and cleaners are always performing under stress and that this is the norm for you.

Question 35: What is your least favorite part when working as a janitor?

We all know janitors do all the dirty work to make everything clean and maintain hygiene. It itself isn’t a job anyone would openly opt for.

Your client simply wants to know the worst thing there can be and the worst situations you’re willing to handle.

Assure your client that janitors and cleaners never have it easy and it is your determination that keeps you doing all these cleaning jobs which no one would even think of doing.

You could even add a few funny quirks to incite laughter to make it seem like a walk in the park.

How would you properly clean the restroom? What cleaning techniques will you be using?

Question 36: How would you ensure thorough cleaning and sanitation for restrooms/offices/medical hospitals?

Restrooms are a major concern for health risks according to most clients and they want to know what you would do to ensure proper hygiene.

This question is not as technical as you may think

Simply lay out your plans for thorough sanitation and throw in some fancy jargon while telling them about the cleaning chemicals.

This is enough to assure your client about your expertise in proper medical office cleaning and sanitizing.

Frequently asked janitorial job interview questions
Question 37: Will you be comfortable working night shifts and how?

Night shift for janitors is very common.

Your client may want all the janitorial duties to extend all through the night and you need to indulge your client with the most satisfying answer.

The night is the best time for proper overall cleaning since that’s when the whole building is empty and accessible for you to be working without any interruption.

You may also mention the fact that nighttime cleaning is effective since the chemicals can be applied for longer periods of time to ensure the perfect cleaning.

Question 38: Do you have special training in hazardous waste disposal?

Proper waste disposal is a major concern for clients and they will want to ask you questions on that subject specifically.

Whether it is hazardous or toxic, you know you can handle this.

Prior to any janitorial interview, you should have a vast knowledge of waste disposal which you can explain to your interviewer in detail.

You can assure your client about the health and safety regulations behind proper waste disposal and that you take this as a top priority before completing any cleaning job. 

Question 39: How do you handle criticism and rude behavior from other staff which is common in an office?

Let’s face the fact that not everyone follows a strict code of conduct and your client is aware of this and may ask you questions regarding what might cause you to become demotivated.

Whether it is criticism from your supervisor or a rude remark from the office staff, there could be times when a janitor might be looked down upon.

You could assure the client that taking criticism in the most positive sense for improving your overall cleaning job.

Mention to your client the evident rude behavior that you may or may not receive and that you nonchalantly shrug off rude comments.

Be willing to tolerate moderate rude behavior but always report racist or hateful comments.

Question 40: How would you conduct office cleaning during busy work hours?

The biggest challenge in cleaning jobs is conducting cleaning during operation hours.

This is when the office is in action and your client may want to know how you would tackle this cleaning job without disrupting the office

You can assure your interviewer that you will conduct all cleaning in the safest manner possible so that other office staff will not receive any harm.

You may also mention that janitorial staff is specially trained to handle cleaning tasks during busy work hours and you have a plan for every scenario.

Wrap it up:

If you think I have left out any important questions that are frequently asked during janitorial job interviews, feel free to leave a comment underneath. Stay with us for more insightful tips on growing and branding cleaning businesses.

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