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What Interview Questions Should I Ask When Interviewing a Maid in Singapore?

Hiring a Maid in Singapore can mean extra time with the kids or our parents and having the flexibility to re-adjust our schedules whenever we need to. Amidst keeping abreast of our careers, handling our kids, providing the necessary time for caregiving, running a household, simply trying to keep up with errands and handling life’s curveballs, hiring a maid can be a huge help to just anyone indeed. 

Hence, interviewing a Domestic Helper is a crucial step (and probably the most important one) in selecting a good maid that is loyal and trusted for your family. Many of us ask what are the useful interview questions in the process of hiring a maid that is suitable for my family? But it is more relevant to take a step back and think about your own family’s needs.

First, decide why you are hiring a maid. What are my family’s utmost priorities? What interview questions should I ask for my family?  Am I hiring more for infant care, caregiving for elderly or general household cleaning? Simply for flexibility? The interview questions you gather would largely depend on your immediate hiring needs.  

Second, we recommend you to interview personally all candidates that you have shortlisted – be it a face-to-face (transfer maid) or a video call (a maid who is currently overseas waiting for employment). This step should not be outsourced because you are the only one who knows what is most needful for your family’s requirements. Contrary to most beliefs, a candidate who looks great on resume, who fits well for another family’s requirements or who was recommended by a good friend whom you trust, may not actually be the best fit for your family. 

Third, listen in on the interview. Asking the right questions, and listening in on their responses, and the way they communicate with you  can make a huge difference in whether the helper is suitable for employment with your family. Remember that your interview is with a helper, hence keep the questions simple, open-ended and be patient with the responses over the connection especially if it is a video call and sometimes the connection gets poor. Reconnect again if need be.  

Simply put, listening in on the potential candidates’ responses are just as important as asking the right interview questions. Simply because this maid if hired, would be someone you are going to communicate with for at least the next 2 years, or for the length of her entire employment. 

Listed below are some helpful  interview questions to ask when hiring a maid. It is entirely up to you to mix and match to select questions that truly suit your own family’s requirements and interview preferences. Additionally, the list is not exhaustive. You may even add to your own list with questions relating to issues pertinent to your family. 
Enjoy the hiring process made simple! 

Introductory Interview Questions When Interviewing Your Potential Maid

  • What is your name? 
  • How old are you?
  • What is your religion?
  • Are you single or married?
  • What was your latest work experience and how was it?
  • Why do you want to work as a maid?
  • How long have you been in Singapore? Or why do you want to come to Singapore?
  • How many siblings do you have? What number are you in your siblings?
  • How many kids do you have? Did you take care of your own kids? Who will take care of your kids when you come to Singapore to work? 
  • What are your future plans?

Additional Questions to ask A Maid With Singapore Experience

  • What did you do at your previous job?
  • How many people were there in the family?
  • Which part of Singapore did you stay? 
  • What time do you wake up in the morning? What time do you sleep at night?
  • Do both the ma’am and sir work? 
  • How many meals did you cook each day? 
  • How often did you do the laundry? What are the things you hand-wash and what are the things you machine-wash?
  • What housework did you do?
  • Have you done any gardening in the past? 
  • When you wake up in the morning, can you describe what did you do? 
  • How big was the house - how many rooms and bathrooms does it have?
  • Daily, what do you do for cleaning and ironing?
  • Are you able to follow a timetable?
  • Did you have off days? 
  • If you had off days, how did you go out?
  • What did you do on your off days?
  •  What time did you go out and reach home on your off day?
  • Did you do marketing? How much money did sir or mam give you for you to go to the market?
  • How did you go to the market?
  • How did you contact your family? 
  • How many off days are you looking at if we hire you?

Questions Regarding Cooking Skills

  • Do you like to cook?
  • What dishes can you cook?
  • Tell me how do you cook your favourite dish?
  • If I buy you a receipe book, can you follow the instructions in the recipe book?
  • What type of kitchen appliances do you know how to use?
  • Have you ever cooked for a large group of people? How many people? What dishes did you cook?
  • Do you know how to do marketing? What do you do to prepare before going to market?
  • How many meals a day do you cook now?
  • What do you cook for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
  • Can you cook for baby? What can you cook for baby?
  • Can you cook for kids? What can you cook for kids?
  • Do the kids eat at the same time as the adults?

Interviewing Maid For Infant Care Experiences  

  • Do you have experience taking care of a new-born baby?
  • Do you know how to change diapers?
  • Do you have experience feeding milk? How did you prepare the feed?
  • Do you have experience handling breast milk or washing a breast pump?
  • Do you know how to burp a baby?
  • When you take care of baby, what did you do with the baby? 
  • If the baby can’t sleep during nap or night-time sleep, what are some of the methods you use to get him to fall asleep?
  • What do you do if the baby cannot stop crying and ma’am is not around?
  • What will you do if baby is crying and then the doorbell rings? 

Interviewing Maid for Children Care Experiences

  • Do you like kids?
  • What ages were the kids you have taken care before and were they boys or girls?
  • Do you have any experience working with kids with disabilities?
  • Can you swim? Did you ever swim with the kids?
  • If my kids are naughty, what would you do? 
  • Do you have any experience bringing kids around, to school, to doctor, or after-school classes?
  • What are some activities that you do with the kids?
  • If kids fall down and Ma’am or Sir is not around, and it is an emergency as the kids are bleeding, what do you do?
  • Do you know any first aid?

Interviewing Maid For Elderly Care Experiences  

  • Do you have any experience taking care of elderly? 
  • What was the condition of the elderly and what did you do? 
  • Do you have experience giving medicine on a timetable?
  • What if ah ma or ah gong always scold you? What would you do?

Interviewing Maid For Looking After Pet Experiences 

  • Are you scared of animals? 
  • What animals are you scared of?
  • Do you like animals?
  •  What animals do you like?
  • Have you worked in a family with pets? What type of pets?
  • How big were the pets?
  • How did you take care of the pets?
  • When you go off day, who takes care of the pets?
  • How did you bathe the pets?
  • What food did the pets eat?

Getting To Know Your Domestic Helper And Rer Personal Experience  

  • What are your hobbies?
  • Do you have any medical conditions? Do you take any medications?
  • Do you have any allergies to food?
  • Are there any specific foods that you cannot eat or be around?
  • Do you have any special skills?
  • Are your parents in good health?
  • When was your last visit back to your home country?
  • When do you plan to visit your home country again? 
  • Do you need to support your family financially? 
  • Do you have siblings? Where are they and who is supporting them? 
  • Is there anything you would like to ask me? 

Operational and Situational Questions

  • How do you make sure that you complete all the work that is assigned to you?
  • What would you do if you think you have too many things to handle? 
  • What would you do if someone asked you to perform tasks that are not in your job description?

Most importantly, relate your household expectations to her in a clear and simple way so that your potential candidate also knows what her job-scope entails and if it is personally achievable. Managing the interview in a frank and honest way is the best way forward for her to gauge her own capabilities after understanding her job-scope, before deciding if she would like to proceed to work for your family too. 

Thinking of hiring a Full Time Maid? You can search from a list of Maid Services that Island Maids provides at this link SINGAPORE MAID AGENCY SERVICES.