Janitors are nowadays in high demand in most cleaning companies and commercial buildings such as hospitals, shopping malls, and office parks to perform cleaning works that daily employees can’t do. To outshine many candidates who are seeking the same role as you, you will need to prepare well for the interview. This article provides you with the top 25 janitor interview questions along with their sample answers to help you ace your chances of getting your dream job.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
When I read your job posting for this role, I felt that I have what it takes to exceed your expectations in this role. After completing my high school education, I handled several janitorial tasks including basic maintenance, cleaning, and building repairs. Thus, I have a lot of experience in vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping floors as well as cleaning and stocking restrooms. I clean up spills using the right equipment and I always ensure that doors are locked after working hours. Besides, I can manage time effectively and work well with or without supervision.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Janitor?
The role of a janitor depends on where he or she Is working. However, their duties include:
- Cleaning and stocking restrooms
- Sweep, mop, and vacuum floors
- Cleaning building and ensuring that it is well maintained and in appropriate condition
- Ascertaining that the doors are locked after the working hours
- Cleaning up spills with the right equipment
- Performing minor repairs
- Notifying managers or supervisors of major repairs
- Collecting and disposing of trash
- Cleaning supplies in stock
3. What Are The Qualities That A Janitor Need To Be Successful?
To succeed in this role, a top-notch janitor must have strong communication, organizational, and time management skills. He or she needs to have the strong physical stamina to lift and move over 50 pounds. He must know various cleaning products including when to use them as well as the ability to clean and disinfect a wide range of surfaces. Additionally, a janitor must know different safety guidelines while working with chemical cleaners.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
There is very minimal training in the janitorial role. This is due to the variation of roles involved. A janitor learns most of the skills while doing the job. This gave me problems, especially during winter periods. Dealing with rock salts in the winter and mud in the spring was a big challenge. However, I did a lot of chemical experimentation and added more effort to the job till I got the level of cleaning that was required.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Janitor?
On a typical day, I begin my work early in the morning or sometimes in the evening. I collect the supplies and the equipment that I need to do the job. At the job site, I upload materials and delegate some tasks to my team members. I empty trash and recycle bins in the building including throwing them in dumpsters. With my team, we wipe tables and stack furniture so that we can start vacuuming or mopping floors. I then sanitize bathrooms and replace paper towels, hand soap, and toilet paper as needed. Once, I am done with all the tasks, I review the list of priorities to ensure that I have done every task.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience?
I have been a janitor for three years at the Spark shopping mall. During this time, I worked early in the morning as well as after business working hours. I would work with maintenance personnel to do maintenance chores throughout the building. I gained a lot of experience in cleaning and operating cleaning equipment such as auto floor scrubbers. From time to time, I would also perform work on the exterior part of the building such as washing windows, mowing lawns, and power washing walls. Should you offer me this opportunity, I will use the experience I have to make a success in this role.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
As a good janitor, you should find enjoyment in cleaning as well as working in a team. Working as part of a team will enable you to delegate tasks to ensure that duties are carried out well and in good time. Thus, as a janitor, you will need to exercise your time management and prioritizing skills to enable you to complete all of your daily chores before the end of your shift. Additionally, as a good janitor, you need to prioritize safety when working with cleaning chemicals. The best strategy to do this is to put on protective gear such as gloves to avoid contracting an illness while cleaning restroom facilities.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge You Foresee In This Job?
The highest challenge I foresee in this role is a high turnover rate. Most people do not consider the janitorial job a long-term occupation. This is because of the nature of the job. It’s easy to get burned out quickly. However, company culture can play a part in retaining its janitors by demonstrating great leadership, paying them well, and offering them training that partakes the job.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
I am a well–organized janitor who ensures to have all the necessary equipment and supplies when going to perform my duties. I have realized that my strong organizational skills enable me to maintain accurate inventory records of cleaning supplies and equipment thus being able to restock them as required.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
When I was new in this career I realized that people had low respect for janitors. The way they would talk to us and treat us. Other employees would keep complaining about undone tasks that were not in our scope yet they expected us to handle. This killed my morale for this work to an extent that I was not proud of being a janitor. My self-esteem and ego went down and before I knew it, I had become depressed. However, during end year staff meeting, I was surprised to be named the best employee of the year and I was given the award and a huge sum of money as an appreciation. I was happy to know that the management recognized my service even though other staff looked down on me. This taught me to be the best version of myself regardless of what others think or say about me.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are Qualified For This Role?
I believe that I have the skills, qualities, and experience required for this role. For the three years that I have been a janitor, I have gained a lot of experience in cleaning and stocking restrooms, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming floors. I can effectively ensure that the building is clean and well maintained. Besides, I have excellent communication, organization, and time-management skills that help me to perform my roles well. I know how to prioritize tasks and ensure that each task is completed on time. If I am offered this opportunity, I believe that my skills, qualities, and experience will enable me to succeed in this role.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
In my previous role as a janitor, my colleagues voted me in as the best janitor of the year twice in two consecutive years. This made me know that my services were being recognized and appreciated. I believe that working hard pays and can open other doors beyond someone’s expectations. That is why I work with a self-driven attitude even if I am placed in a fast-paced environment. I am now working harder to retain this position. Should, you hire me for this role, I will utilize my strong qualities, skills, and experience to ensure that I also become the best employee of the year here.
13. Differentiate Between A Custodian And A Janitor.
The two roles are interrelated but different. Janitors reports at the job site daily either in the morning or after business working hour for purposes of cleaning and maintaining the building. On the other side, custodians remain on the job site before, during working hours, and after business working hours. Custodians are hired to respond to cleanup needs such as cleaning up beverage and food spills during working hours.
14. How Would You React If Harmful Chemical Spills At The Workplace By Mistake?
I have the knowledge to clean surfaces quickly should chemicals spill on the surface. I would use the right cleaning product to clean the area affected. I will ensure to follow the standard emergency procedure of the company. I will also maintain the occupational health and safety standards of my state while cleaning the spilled area.
15. What Would You Do If You Run Short Of Cleaning Supplies And You Have Work To Do?
I always check my cleaning products and supplies so I could restock them in due time to avoid inconveniences. I keep a record of my cleaning products for restocking and accountability purposes. However, if they run out unexpectedly, I would inform my supervisor about it. On the other hand, if the cleaning products require time to be ordered, I would reschedule the cleaning time but instead do other tasks such as vacuuming and sweeping.
16. How Can You Carry Out Your Duties When Other People Are Present?
I will politely inform the people present that I want to clean the equipment or a particular area. However, if I’m required to clean the floor, I will begin by putting out collapsible safety signs. I will also be flexible if any of the people want to use the area. I will allow the person to use the area and ask him or her to inform me when I should return to cleaning that area. In the meantime, I will switch to other tasks as I wait to be called back.
17. Briefly Highlight Some Of The Essential Cleaning Products And Tools You Have Used In The Past
In my previous role as a janitor, I have used various cleaning products including laundry detergents, bleaches, air fresheners, sanitizers, toilet cleaners, dishwashing products, and household cleaners. Additionally, I know how to correctly choose the right products as well as apply them without damaging the surface I am cleaning. Moreover, I know how to use tools such as floor scrubbers, floor polishers, carpet cleaning, broom, dustpan, bucket, vacuum cleaners, rubber gloves, Squeegee, toilet brush, and holder.
18. Explain To Me How You Use Cleaning Solutions?
I use a variety of cleaning solutions ranging from standard versions to natural varieties.
Some of these solutions include:
- All-purpose cleaner: I use this solution to clean surfaces with grease, stains, and dirt
- Glass cleaner: I use glass cleaner to clean glass surfaces such as tables and windows. It cleans without leaving streaks and smears behind.
- Tile cleaner with bleach: I use this solution to clean areas with mold, soap scum, mildew, and rust.
- White vinegar: I use this solution when dissolving grease and removing dirt. I also use it as a disinfectant.
19. Kindly List The Basic Tools And Products You Should Have For Bathroom Cleaning Needs
When cleaning a bathroom, I will ensure that I have microfiber rags, scrubbing powder, glass cleaner, vacuum cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant, a squeegee, duster, stone cleaner, scrub pads, and brushes, distilled white vinegar, and dish soap. I also like carrying a plastic bag and a rubber band to clean scuzzy showerheads as well as bathroom faucets.
20. Take Me Through How You Clean A Restroom
I begin by emptying the trash bin and dusting the restroom from top to bottom including the outside of the toilet, floors, countertops, light fixtures, and baseboards. I then wipe areas with glass surfaces. Using an all-purpose cleaner, I clean and wipe the countertop items, sinks, and tub fixtures. I scrub, clean, and brush the toilet bowl both inside and outside as well as its lid. I then use the appropriate cleaning solution to clean the floor.
After ensuring that everything is clean, I disinfect the high-touch areas such as faucet handles, toilet seats, doorknobs, cabinets, etc. Lastly, I refill the soap dispensers and replace the toilet paper and paper towels.
21. How Would You Clean Surfaces With Glass Or Mirrors?
I would lightly mist the surfaces with glass or mirrors. Then, I would wipe down the surface with a lint-free material or a microfiber. Next, I would switch sides using a dry and clean cloth to dry shine the surface. I would ensure that the surface is streak-free before leaving.
22. Why Is It Important To Follow The Set Service Standards, Procedures, And Policies?
Policies, procedures, and standards help to work towards a common goal. They enable the workforce to act in a specific manner that seeks to achieve a common goal. Thus, following them is important to direct individual efforts towards achieving the set goals and objectives. Otherwise, employees who do not adhere to set rules will hardly achieve the set goal. In the end, the ultimate objective will not be achieved.
23. What Precautions Have You Taken Against The Safety And Health Issues You Have Faced In Your Previous Role?
To keep me away from health and safety issues, I have learned safe lifting techniques, putting on the right footwear and gloves depending on the role that I am undertaking as well as storing supplies, tools, and equipment properly to avoid unexpected accidents.
24. How Do You Cope With Pressures Related To This Role?
I like keeping calm and organized to avoid getting stressed by work. However, I have realized that stress is inevitable at work. Whenever I feel stressed, I take a deep breath and this works magic for me. In the event I feel that work is overwhelming, I request my supervisor to provide reinforcement. In case there is no one to assist me, then I begin to perform the roles ahead in the order of their priority.
25. What Do You Consider To Be Your Major Strengths As Far As This Role Is Concerned?
I am physically fit, agile, strong, and dexterous. Thus, I can lift heavy weights and clean the outside of the building walls. I also have good written and oral communication skills as well as the ability to follow written and oral instructions. This makes me effectively work well and complete tasks on time and as required. I can also relate well with people regardless of their cultural background and social status.
26. When Children Play On The Area You Just Cleaned, What Will You Do?
It is not uncommon for this to happen. Clean spaces appeal to everyone, especially kids. If this happens again, I will clean the space again. The feeling that I get when I see people enjoying a clean space motivates me. By the way, I love kids as they are very innocent, so frankly, this doesn’t annoy me at all. In my last job, I was doing my work in the park when a kid intentionally started playing at the lace I was cleaning. He wanted to tease me but each time; I was giving smile to him. He realized the same, smiled back, and left.
27. What Will You Do If Someone Violates Your Health And Safety Policies?
I’ll first talk to the coworker and ask that they don’t repeat the mistake. If they violate company policy, I will explain it to them. I will bring the issue to the supervisor’s attention if it is repeated because he is better suited to handle it. These issues will be handled as per the company procedures.
28. When It Comes To Maintaining Your Tools, How Do You Do It?
Every time I use my tools, I clean them to ensure their safety. After cleaning, I inspect them for damage. As a result, I avoid being unable to work because of broken tools, and any needed repairs are made on time. Once repaired, I store them properly to use them in the future. I also keep spare tools in case of problems with my usual tools.
29. Have You Ever Used Any Special Cleaning Equipment?
In my previous roles, I dealt with vacuum cleaners. Also, I am familiar with dust extractors, floor buffers, utility carts, and automatic floor scrubbers. Based on my experience, I am confident that I will be able to handle the work here easily and operate any machine required.
30. Are You More Productive Working Alone Or In A Group?
I have worked in a group setting for a large organization, and I enjoyed it. It would be convenient to exchange shifts or responsibilities if someone needed to take leave. Additionally, I have experience working independently without supervision. Because I am prepared for any environment, I can survive there.
31. If You Find A Major Problem During Cleaning, What Will You Do?
In reporting the matter, I will follow the company’s procedures. My supervisor will be notified of the issue so that the appropriate authorities can be contacted. But this also varies from issue to issue like maybe, the problem is not so big or I a solve the same by myself then why would I bother someone else, I surely will try to come up with the solution myself.
32. As A Cleaner, How Do You Prioritize And Plan Your Work?
I prefer to start my work in empty rooms and public spaces where interruptions are minimal. Having small wins early in my day makes it easier for me to gain momentum. When I reach the occupied areas that require more work, I move on. Then, I move on to the public spaces, which require frequent cleaning to remain in optimal condition.
33. How Do You Clean A Restroom Properly?
To clean a washroom, you need to wear protective gear. Urinals and toilets can then be pre-cleaned. Surfaces can then be cleaned and disinfected. Walls and windows can then be cleaned. Toilet paper can be refilled. You will perform spot checks every hour or two during the day to handle any messes.
34. Have You Ever Dealt With A Customer Complaint?
That’s right, I did. During a customer service call, the client complained about the nature of the service provided. This made me angry. As we are committed to excellence, the client should not judge the organization based on the actions of one individual. They were referred to another customer service professional who was happy to help them. Ultimately, the customer was satisfied. This was unexpected because when he entered the building, I thought it would be the last day of my work.
35. What Is The Best Method For Cleaning Public Areas When People Are Present?
The people passing through the space are prone to destroying the cleaning process from time to time. Signs should be displayed to indicate cleanup is in progress and that the floor is wet and slippery. This will cause people to avoid the area. Public areas sometimes become very messy, especially when there is any event, arty, or public holiday. People keep throwing many wastes even if they are provided with separate bins. Anyways, I never mind the same as I love helping others. This never seems to irritate me.
36. How Have You Experienced Chemical Cleaners?
Several chemicals have been used in my cleaning. For example, I have used chemicals for melting snow. However, since they are toxic, I rarely use them. Moreover, I learned how to mix them properly to avoid any potential hazards from the chemicals. The most important thing while using them is their effects, i.e., what effect they will put on people, especially the kids. So, I choose them all wisely and take great care.
37. When Your Supervisor Wasn’t Around, How Did You Solve A Problem?
Several problems were there, but I solved them all. A washroom developed leaks. As my supervisor was absent, escalating the natter at that time seemed unreasonable since there was nobody to resolve it. My DIY skills helped me temporarily resolve the issue so that customers could use the washrooms. Upon receiving the issue, I escalated it to my supervisor, who found a plumber who could fix it. Later, when my supervisor came to know this all, he not only appreciated me but also assigned me some more tasks, which he thought I could complete in his absence.
38. How Do You Deal With Pressure And Stress At Work As A Janitor?
Under pressure and in challenging environments, I thrive. This motivates me to come up with creative solutions. A demanding environment makes me happy. The physical aspect of the work helps relieve stress during the process. Cleaning is a therapeutic activity. Dealing under pressure sometimes becomes irritating, especially when your colleagues or seniors are not cooperative. This creates real stress in these scenarios.
Janitors play an important role in keeping environments clean. Fitness is a requirement of this position, so you don’t need a gym membership. Here are some great tips on what to expect during an interview based on the questions and answers above. There are some questions in virtually every interview. Practice your answers and be confident during your next interview. No doubt, these may vary as per the job nature as they are all provided in general as they are all the most commonly asked ones.