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Interviewing a Maid: Essential Questions to Ask

Interviewing a domestic helper or maid can sometimes be a daunting task, whether it is about a local or an expat in Singapore. Asking the right questions and gauging the answers during the interview stage can play a significant role in deciding whether or not a person is suitable for employment with your family.

Your own family dynamic and requirements are different from the next, so you need an exhaustive list of important questions. To ensure that we compiled dozens of important questions from different perspectives so you choose the right caregiver for your loved one. BeyondMaids further makes it easier to find a maid. 

How You Should Structure Your Interview

You need to structure the interview in a way that things go smoothly on both ends. This will help you hire the best person. Things can really take a drastic turn if she is not appropriate for the role. 

You may follow the process listed below to have a more absorbing interviewing experience. 

  • Start the interview by asking the live-in caregiver to introduce herself.

  • If the interviewee is an experienced person, you may run through each of her individual work experiences. 

  • Beyond caregiving, you may also ask general questions from the person such as family situation, medical background, and non-caregiving work experience.

Some Warming-up Questions 

  • Share a little bit about yourself.

  • Are you a permanent resident of Singapore? For how long have you been living in Singapore?

  • What are some things that you love about Singapore?

  • Why do you need to work as a maid?

  • How many siblings do you have, and what's your number among them?

  • Do you have any future plans regarding starting or leading a career as a maid?

  • Are you married? If yes, how many kids do you have? Do you raise kids on your own? 

Questions About the Background

  • From when to when do you take care of the recipient? What was the country of stay? Was it a stay-in or stay-out care job?

  • If it was in the home country, how was it related to the recipient? Do you have some certificate(s) of employment for verification?

  • If it was a stay-out arrangement, what were your working days and hours? Were you working during the day or night?

  • What was the medical condition of your recipient?

  • What was the age of your care recipient? Was the care recipient male or female?

  • What were the daily chores you do for your care recipient every day?

  • Do you have your own room to stay in or a shared room with the care recipient?

  • Walk me through your typical daily routine. When do you sleep? When do you wake up normally? What do you do right after waking up? 

  • Were you the only caregiver for your recipient? How did you manage to take care of your care recipient by yourself? Did you need extra help?

  • Other than your care recipient, who were the others who stayed with you if you stayed?

  • What was the reason that led you to leave the previous job?

  • How did you become interested in this job as a maid?

  • Do you have any personal or professional references for applying for this job?

  • Can you cook? If yes, what kind of cuisine can you cook?

  • How many caregiving tasks can you manage daily?

  • Can you tell me about a particularly challenging experience you had on the previous job and the mechanisms to manage it?

Transfer Maid Questions 

  • How many interviews have you already given before this?

  • Why are you leaving your current job?

  • Why are you not renewing your contract for your current job?

  • Explain your past working history, please!

  • Have you worked in any country except Singapore before?

  • What are the specific areas/cities/regions in which you have worked?

  • Are you familiar with the bus and train routes here? If not, can you look up the transportation routes on the Internet?

  • What are your plans with the money you earn?

  • Out of all the things you do, what is your favorite thing to do at the job?

  • What do you do best at the job?

  • What is your salary at the current job, and what do you expect from us?

  • What are your expectations for working here?

  • Do you have any references for your previous job? Can I contact your previous employer?

Daily Routine & Schedule Questions 

  • What is/was your daily schedule like at your current job?

  • What is/was your schedule at your current job?

  • What is your sleep schedule? What is the wake-up schedule?

  • How many meals do you cook at the job?

  • How often do you clean bathrooms, do laundry, iron, or change bedsheets?

  • Did you do gardening in the past? What types of plants were you asked to care about? How often did you tend to plants, and what were the normal daily tasks? 

Elderly / Disabled Experience

  • Do you have any experience taking care of a senior citizen or a disabled person?

  • Have you worked with someone who is bedridden, and some of the duties you had to perform?

  • Do you have experience changing a bedpan, IV Drip, pushing a wheelchair, etc.?

  • What do you like best and least favorite things about working with the elderly?

In-depth questions

  • In your opinion, what makes a good caregiver?

  • If an employer's child has to report to school by 7 am, what time can you easily wake them up?

  • How do you put a child to bed if they do not want to go to bed?

  • What do you do if the gas stove runs out of gas while you're preparing a meal?

  • How do you care for a person struggling with an upset stomach?

  • What do you do if a young child doesn't want to take a shower?

  • What do you do if a child falls down and starts bleeding?

  • Do you know how to conserve water and electricity?

General Questions 

The purpose of these questions is simply to look for any gaps in between the hiree's work experience and ask her what she had done in between these periods.

  • Do you prefer to take care of children/perform household chores or to take care of a care recipient with other care needs of the recipient? 

  • There are also jobs available as a normal domestic worker, but why are you applying for the role of a caregiver?

  • What personality traits do you have that you think will make you a good caregiver?

  • There will also be other helpers in the house that will require you to work closely with them. Are you comfortable with cooperating with them?

  • Have you ever been abroad for work before? What country was it, and what did you work there? If the contract was not completed, what were the reasons that led to this situation?

  • After you returned to your home country, what job did you take?

  • Do you have allergies like medical conditions? Have you had any such medical conditions in the past?

  • Do you have any pain or aches on any part of your body, or pain on your shoulder, neck or back?

  • Can you stand and squat a few times for me as well as walk a few steps for me?

  • Do you follow any dietary restrictions? Do you follow any food handling preferences?

  • If the care recipient has a dog at home, do you fear dogs?

Communicate Everything Clearly  

Interviewing a Maid

Be upfront and tell the caregiver everything that she might have to go through on the job. This may include mobility status, care recipient’s build, whether to care for him in the day or at night, or any potentially challenging behaviors like mood swings or non-compliance, so she knows everything beforehand that will give her time to prepare mentally for the role. 

Do not leave out anything important, even if you think that might lead to the caregiver not accepting the job offer. For instance, if the care recipient shows signs of aggression and physically hits out at people due to dementia, make sure the caregiver knows about it during the interview. This allows a caregiver to evaluate for herself if this job is suitable. This is not good for you and the caregiver if she finds out about such terrible medical conditions when she starts work and then quits.

Changing caregivers is disruptive for the care recipient, especially for persons with dementia, where stability is preferred. The family would have to go through the whole process of hiring a new maid while your loved one needs time to adapt to a new one. 

Beyond care needs, you should clearly communicate:

  • Beyond caregiving, what do you expect the caregiver to do?

  • How many people are living in the home, and whether she will have her own room or she will need to share a room with the care recipient? Does the home have CCTV cameras?

  • What are your expectations, such as handphone usage and rest day arrangement? 

A major red flag to look out for will be if she seems unwilling or hesitant about some requirements you share with her.

Final Thoughts On Interviewing a Maid

Finding a caring maid is always hard because it gives you peace of mind when you are not around your loved one. However, these questions will help you find the perfect match. Furthermore, BeyondMaids is an excellent service that ensures you choose the right caregiver for your loved one.

This is an exhaustive helpful list of questions to ask during an interview. We hope these questions help you during the interview process so you become handy with finding the right caregiver. 

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