Whether you are a local or an expat in Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Dubai, India, Manila or just about anywhere in the world, interviewing a domestic helper or maid can sometimes be a daunting task. Asking the right questions, and gauging the answers during the interview stage can make a huge difference in whether or not a person is suitable for employment with your family.
Your own family dynamic and requirements are different from the next, so here is a list of over 150+ potential questions to ask during the first and second interview of a domestic helper, maid or even a nanny.
Pick and choose which questions you like and make your own interview checklist/answer sheet for each interview. It is important that you know what you want before going into the interview. For example, cooking aptitude is very important for my family, versus another family might be more interested in childcare. Prioritize your requirements first and then start the search. Feel free to print out this list or use any of the questions below for your own interviews.
150+ Interview Questions for a Domestic Helper, Maid or Nanny
Basic “Warm Up” Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- Tell me a little bit about yourself.
- How long have you been in Singapore?
- What are some of the things you like about Singapore?
- Why do you want to (need to) work as a domestic helper?
- How many siblings do you have? What number are you in your siblings.
- What are your future plans?
- How many kids do you have? Did you raise your own kids?
Transfer Maid Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- How long have you been interviewing?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- Why aren’t you renewing your contract?
- Explain your past work history.
- Have you worked in any other countries besides Singapore?
- What areas/cities/regions have you worked in?
- Are you familiar with the bus and train routes? If not, do you know how to look up the transportation routes on the internet?
- What do you do with the money you earn?
- Do you have a savings account?
- Out of all the things you do, what is your favorite job?
- What are you best at doing?
- What is your current salary? What is your expected salary?
- What do you like about your current job? What do you dislike about your current job?
- What are you expectations from your new job?
- Do you have any references from your previous employers? Can I contact your previous employer?
- Is your current Ma’am strict? What about Sir?
Daily Routine & Schedule Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- What is your daily schedule like at your current job?
- What was your schedule like at your previous jobs?
- 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 do you cook each day?
- How often do you clean the bathrooms? Do laundry? Iron? Change bed sheets?
- Do you have to wash the cars? How often? What is the brand of the car?
- Have you done any gardening in the past? How big was the garden? What types of plants? How often did you tend the plants? What tasks did you perform?
Cleaning/Housekeeping Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- How big is the current house you work in? How many rooms and bathrooms does it have?
- Do you have your own room and bathroom?
- What are some of the things you do in the house to keep it clean?
- What are some of the things you do in the kitchen to keep it clean?
- Are you good at organizing?
- Do you know how to use a vacuum?
- Are you afraid of any insects, bugs, lizards, etc.
- Are you able to follow a schedule? Tell me some things on your current schedule/routine that you do daily?
Laundry & Ironing Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- Does the current house have a laundry machine and dryer?
- Do you do laundry every day?
- Do you know how to do hand washing? What are some of the things that you would hand wash?
- How often do you change/wash the bedsheets in your previous employment?
- What time of day do you usually like to do the ironing?
Cooking / Kitchen Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid / Nanny)
- Do you like to cook?
- Are you consider yourself good at cooking?
- What types of food do you know how to cook? Chinese, Western, Malay, Indian, Japanese, etc?
- Can you name some of the dishes that you know how to cook.
- What is your favorite dish to cook? Can you tell me the recipe.
- If the president was visiting your house. What is the best meal you would cook and serve him?
- Can you follow a recipe book?
- What type of recipe books have your read?
- What type of kitchen appliances do you know how to use?
- Do you bake? What types of things do you know how to bake.
- Have you ever done meal planning?
- Have you ever cooked for a large group of people / party? How big was the group? What did you prepare?
- Do you know how to make a grocery/marketing list? How do you do it? Please explain?
- How many meals a day to you cook for your current family?
- What type of meals do you cook daily.
- Please describe some breakfast, lunch and dinner meals that you know how to prepare.
- Do you cook the meals by yourself, or is someone with you to help you?
- Do the kids eat the same food as the adults?
- Do the kids eat at the same time as the adults?
Marketing / Grocery Shopping / Running Errands Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- Are you familiar with the local wet markets in Singapore? What markets have you been to?
- Are you familiar with the supermarkets / grocery stores? Which ones do you go to?
- What type of errands have you done in the past? Pick up dry cleaning, shoe repair, post-office, etc.
- How do you keep records of the money spent?
- How much money do you get to go to the market?
- What type of transport do you take to get to the market?
- Who does the food shopping in your current house?
- Who goes to the market? Who goes to the store?
Expenditures / Cash Allowances Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- Have you received cash for the market, shopping or errands before? What is the average amount of money you receive?
- How do you keep records of the cash from your employer?
- Do you have a separate EZ-Link card for work.
- Have you ever asked for a cash advance before? What was the reason?
Babies / Infants Experience (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid / Nanny)
- Do you have experience with a newborn baby?
- Do you know how to change a nappy / diaper?
- Do you have experience bottle feeding a baby? Please explain what you have to do to prepare the bottle?
- Do you have experience handling pumped breast milk? Washing a breast pump?
- Do you have experience burping a baby?
- What type of activities have you done with a baby?
- If the baby can’t sleep at night, what are some of the methods you use to get him to fall asleep?
- What do you do if the baby does not stop crying and your ma’am is not around?
- Do you know how to make baby food? What are some things you have made.
- Do you know any nursery rhymes or lullabies? Please tell me a few of your favorites.
- Do you know any confinement food recipes? Breastfeeding/lactation recipes?
Kids Experience (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid / Nanny)
- Do you like kids?
- What is your experience with kids? With boys? With girls?
- What are the ages of the kids that you have worked with in the past?
- Do you have any experience working with kids with disabilities?
- Can you swim?
- Do you have any First Aid training? Where did you take your course? Please explain some common scenarios.
- If my child is acting out, how would you scold them?
- Do you have any experience taking kids to school? Picking up from the school bus? Taking kids to activities?
- Have you packed a school lunch before? What do you normally pack in the lunch?
- What type of snacks would you give a child after school?
- Have you ever helped kids do their homework? What subjects?
- Do you read books to the kids?
- What is your involvement with the kids after-school activities?
- What are some activities that you do with the kids?
- What is your favorite game to play with the kids?
- Who primarily takes care of the kids at home in your current family? You, grandma, mom, dad, etc?
- If you can’t get a hold of Ma’am or Sir and there is an emergency with the kids (ex: child cut open lip and is bleeding, burned hand, etc.), what do you do?
Elderly / Disabled Experience (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- Do you have any experience taking care of a senior citizen? Disabled?
- Have you worked with someone that is bedridden? What are some of the duties you had to perform?
- Do you have experience changing a bed pan? IV Drip? Pushing a wheelchair?
- Do you have experience administering / giving medicine on a schedule?
- What do you like best about working with the elderly? What is your least favorite thing?
Pet Experience (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- Do you like animals? What animal is your favorite?
- Are you afraid of animals?
- Have you worked in a family with pets or had any pets of your own? What type of pets?
- How big were the pets? What breed/kind?
- What duties / responsibilities do you have with the pets?
- If you have worked with pets in the past, on your day off, who takes care of the pets?
- How often do you walk the dog?
- How often do you change the litter box?
- Have you ever given a dog a bath? Explain how you did this?
Day-Off / Public Holidays Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- Are you flexible with your day off? What day do you prefer for your day off?
- Do you get every Sunday off? Do you currently get public holidays off?
- If necessary, will you work on your day off for extra money?
- What time do you usually leave on Sunday and what time do you get back?
- What do you like to do on Sundays?
- Do you go to church or religious services?
- What church do you attend?
- Have you taken any classes in Singapore?
- Are you very social?
- Do you like partying? Do you go out drinking with your friends?
- Do you have a lot of friends / family in Singapore?
- Do you do any part-time work to earn extra money?
Employer Vacation Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid/ Nanny)
- Does your current family go on vacation? What do you do while they are away?
- What is the longest period of time that you have been alone while your employer was away on holiday?
- Have you gone on any vacations with your previous employers? Where?
- How do you help your Ma’am before a vacation? What are your duties?
- Who packs the bags for the vacation?
- Do you get spending money while the family is away?
- Have you previously stayed in the home or at the agency?
Personal Questions (Interviewing a Domestic Helper / Maid)
- What do you like to do in your spare time when you are finished with your work or have a break during your work schedule? Talk on the phone, sleep, read books, organize the cupboards, etc.
- Do you enjoy taking naps during the day?
- How often do you speak to your family/ husband/ kids back home? What time of day do you usually speak with them? Do you call, text and/or video chat?
- Do you have a cell phone?
- Do you have a computer?
- What are you the most concerned / worried about in your home country?
- Do you have a boyfriend?
- So what does your boyfriend do? Where is he from?
- Do you plan to get married soon?
- 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?
- What are your hobbies?
- Do you have any special skills?
- Are your parents alive? Are they in good health?
- When was your last visit back to your home country?
- When do you plan to visit your home country again? Are there any special occassions that you need to be home for?
- When does your current passport expire?
This is just a helpful list of questions to ask during an interview. It is up to you to determine which questions suit your own family and personal interview style. I hope these questions help you during the interview process. Please feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions from your own personal experience that you think should be added to the list – I am sure there are tons more out there.
Good luck and happy interviewing.