Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Housemaid Interviewed

It has been a little while that I wrote something, Last time when I wrote a blog post was in 2010 , Its coz I was busy conducting Interviews of House Maids at my home (there’s nothing Shiney about it ! ). You might be wondering why the hell am I interviewing Housemaids ? even if you were not I would still tell you why I was interviewing them.

The maid working at our home was not performing good (by performing I mean keeping house clean, cleaning utensils, etc …), she was either reporting late to work or was busy taking unplanned leaves specially during festivals and weekends. Which quiet naturally had a direct impact on the kind of mood my wife would carry and the way in which our weekend would proceed or end before beginning!

I thought of helping her out in finding proper replacement by conducting interviews of housemaids through method used by companies while recruiting an employee and prepared set of questions after referring few HR Blogs and other similar resources online.

I was all set to conduct interviews of housemaids with next to perfect questionnaire.

I am sharing with you the first interview conducted yesterday :

Me : Tell me something about yourself ?
Maid : My Name is Sheila, I am 4th fail, my hometown is Chorwad, I am 45 years old, I have 11 years of experience working as a housemaid and have earned enough accolades from my past employers.

Me : What are your greatest strengths ?
Maid : I am very good at washing clothes with or without washing machine, I can clean utensils shining like mirror without using costly detergents & keep the house clean and dust free without using Vacuum Cleaner J and can even cook good food, this quality of mine can work in your favor if you have had fight with Madam over petty issues, you would need not go to bed hungry (by hungry she meant food) !

Me : What are your greatest weaknesses ?
Maid : I have a bad habit of eating betel nuts which I am planning to quit soon, I am good at everything (related to work) but need to take television breaks every two hours.

Me : Why do you wish to leave your Current Job ?
Maid : The reason is bad Working Conditions, actually the place where I work right now, they are very nice people but the problem is that they have too many guests & relatives coming in every other day, which means too much of work, and to worsen things further they own neither dishwasher nor washing machine.

Me : Why should we hire you ?
Maid : I believe you were in need of a housemaid and that should be reason enough for hiring me ?

Me : Where do you see yourself five years from now ?
Maid : If you will give me proper raise, annual bonuses, good work culture and equal growth opportunities, I would definitely be working at your place five years from now and if your growth rate would be equivalent to that of mine then I also foresee myself being promoted as a head housemaid, managing team of junior housemaids.

Me : Describe your ideal Workplace and Job ?
Maid : A household with nuclear family, having all the amenities of the modern world, where there are not too many guests coming in very often and which believes in humanistic behavior towards employees.

Me : Why do you want to work at our house ?
Maid : I have heard from Mrs. Khanna that you people are cool and are mostly out of town on weekends and festivals, it also means that you do not have many guests coming in very often and as you are not it town, I too can take a day or two off every month. To top it you also own an automatic washing machine, vacuum cleaner, LCD TV and are soon going to buy a dishwasher. (I was wondering what LCD TV had to do with her working at my place!)

Me : Tell me about a situation when your work was criticized ?
Maid : I am a perfectionist in my work like Aamir Khan is in movies he acts, which also means my work does not leave any scope for negative criticism !

Me : How are you on maintaining confidentiality ?
Maid : (irked a bit on this question) I am not the one who indulges in gossiping about people from whom I earn my bread and butter, I hope that answers your query regarding confidentiality !

Me : What could you have done better in your last job ?
Maid : I have already told you earlier that I am the best and believe in giving my best where ever I work, so there is nothing better than the best that I could have done in my last job !

Me : Can you work under pressure ?
Maid : Yes I know how to use Pressure Cooker :p, I was kidding, I can work very well under pressure, In fact I can perform better than the best under pressure

Me : What makes you angry ?
Maid : Stupid questions, continuous nagging and micro managing my work makes me angry

Me : Tell me about the most boring job you’ve ever had ?
Maid : Where ever I have worked has been a pleasant experience, except at this couple’s place who ran away from their home and were newly married. The problem was not with their nature or kind of work, the concern was that they did not own a television which in turn made working at their place very boring due to lack of entertainment

Me : Have you been absent from work more than a few days in any previous position ?
Maid : I have never been absent from work anytime in my entire tenure across various households, I always plan my holidays well in advance and ensure that neither do they fall on weekends or clash with any festivals of the household I work with except for contingencies, so that the impact on family life of the house I work at is minimal

Me : What changes would you make if you came on board ?
Maid : I am not going to come on board, I come by bus, heheheh am joking sir, The kind of changes I would make after coming on board would actually depend upon the kind of enhancement that the role might need once I start working at your place, say for example I might be able to suggest you which new washing machine, vacuum cleaner, LCD TV or dishwasher to buy based on my experience of working with so many people

Me : How do you feel about working Night Shift and on Weekends ?
Maid :  I do not offer services which are required on nights or weekends, heheheh joking sir, This BPO & IT culture has set everyone’s expectation very high, every profession has started expecting people to work nights and weekends. I do not mind working nights or weekends provided I am paid proper Over Time or Shift Allowance, provided safe transport service to reach home and have been informed well in advance, after all I too have a family life !

Me : How many hours a week do you normally work ?
Maid : The minimum hours that I need to, I try to get maximum work done in minimum time possible by excellent time management, so going by my past work experience I never had to work more than 4 to 5 hours a day which sums up to around 20 hours a week, on weekends it depends if you guys are at home !

Me :  How much compensation do you expect from us ?
Maid : As you have most of the modern amenities a raise of 30% as per my current salary and joining bonus of 5% is what I am expecting from a well to do family of yours and as per the existing Industry Standards

Me :  It was a pleasure talking to you Sheila, we will get back to you after screening some other candidates and if selected you will need to come for a second round of interview with my wife. You will also need to carry a reference letter from any of your previous employers. Thanks for your time. Bai Bai :p
Maid : I too had a great time talking to you, let me know if you wish to test my work by getting some clothes and utensils cleaned for a quality check with or without washing machine J

It was a tiring interview, let me fill up the feedback and hand it over to my wife so that I can proceed with next Maid’s interview. Let me call next housemaid on the list, "Wifey can you please send Munni in for the Interview am done with Sheila !"


  1. sheila - "haath nai ayegi" aur next aanewaali ; MUNNI - "badnaam ho k jayegi" :-P

  2. If your wifey is at home, what the hell do you intend, by scheduling the interviews with you STANDALONE ???

    And thank god they dont ask us for Salary Certificate / bank statement, by which they can figure out their GROWTH.

  3. @ Yogesh : Only time will tell that :)

  4. @ Sujeet : First one was H R Round, Operations round will be conducted by wife ;p

  5. Funny interview though,
    Hard to believe you can asked all these questions.
    enjoyed this article.