17 Custodial Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a custodial manager, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Custodial managers are responsible for ensuring that the custodial staff they oversee is providing quality service and maintaining the cleanliness of their assigned area. They also work to develop and implement policies and procedures related to the custodial staff and the work they perform.

If you’re looking to move up the ladder and into a management position, you’ll likely need to go through a custodial manager interview. In this interview, you’ll be asked questions about your experience, your leadership style, and your ability to manage a team.

To help you prepare, we’ve gathered some of the most common questions asked in a custodial manager interview and provided sample answers.

Are you comfortable working with cleaning chemicals and other cleaning supplies?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your comfort level with the physical demands of the custodial manager position. They want to know if you can handle working in a potentially messy environment and how well you work under pressure. In your answer, try to emphasize that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Example: “I am very comfortable working with cleaning chemicals and other supplies because I have been doing so for many years now. However, I also understand that there is no substitute for hard work when it comes to getting the job done. If I were hired as a custodial manager, I would be happy to roll up my sleeves and get down on the floor to help clean up any messes.”

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced while managing a custodial staff?

This question can help the interviewer gain insight into your leadership skills and how you handle challenges. Use examples from previous custodial management positions to highlight your problem-solving abilities, communication skills and ability to lead a team.

Example: “One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced while managing a custodial staff is finding qualified candidates for open positions. Finding quality employees who are willing to work nights or weekends can be difficult, especially when there aren’t many other companies hiring at that time. To solve this challenge, I started working with local colleges to recruit students interested in pursuing a career in custodial services. This has helped me find more qualified applicants for my open positions.”

How would you handle a situation where an employee is not meeting your expectations?

As a custodial manager, you may need to address employee performance issues. Employers ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you would handle such a situation. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to help the employee improve their performance or discuss why you might decide to let them go.

Example: “If I were to discover that an employee was not meeting my expectations, I would first meet with them to discuss the issue. If they are aware of the problem but unable to fix it, I would offer training resources or additional support. If they do not want to work on improving their performance, I would have to consider letting them go.”

What is your experience with managing budgets?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with financial management. Custodial managers often need to manage budgets for their facilities, so the interviewer may want to know how you’ve handled budgeting in the past. In your answer, describe a time when you managed a custodial budget and what steps you took to ensure that you stayed within the allocated funds while still maintaining the facility’s cleanliness.

Example: “In my last position as a custodian, I was responsible for managing the cleaning staff’s budget. We had a set amount of money we could spend each month on supplies, but I always made sure we didn’t go over our budget. To do this, I would create a list of all the tasks that needed to be done at the end of each week and assign them to my team based on who had the most time available. Then, I would give them enough supplies to complete those tasks.”

Provide an example of a time when you used your problem-solving skills to find a solution to a difficult issue.

As a custodial manager, you may encounter situations that require your ability to solve problems. Employers ask this question to learn more about how you approach solving issues and the results of your actions. When preparing your answer, think of an example from your previous experience where you used your problem-solving skills to find a solution to a challenging situation.

Example: “In my last role as a custodian, I encountered a difficult issue when one of our cleaning supplies ran out. The supply was essential for completing our daily tasks, so we needed to order more right away. However, it was late in the evening before the day ended, so I had to wait until the next morning to place the order. In this situation, I knew I couldn’t rush the process of ordering supplies, but I also wanted to ensure we had enough supplies to complete our work. So, I decided to take some extra supplies from other areas to make sure we could finish our tasks without any interruptions.”

If hired, what would be your priorities as a custodial manager?

This question helps the interviewer determine if your goals align with their expectations for this role. Use your answer to highlight how you would make a positive impact in this position and what you hope to achieve during your first few months on the job.

Example: “My top priority as custodial manager would be to ensure that our facilities are clean, safe and well-maintained. I believe it’s important to create an environment where employees feel valued and respected. To do this, I plan to hold regular meetings with my team members to discuss any concerns they may have about their work or company policies. I also want to implement new training programs so everyone can learn more about best practices when cleaning and maintaining facilities.”

What would you do if you noticed that an area of the workplace was starting to look messy?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle challenges in the workplace. Use your answer to show that you are willing to take action and solve problems when they arise.

Example: “If I noticed an area of the workplace was starting to look messy, I would first try to determine why it is looking messy. If there isn’t a good reason for it being messy, such as someone leaving trash on the floor, then I would talk with my team about what we could do to keep the area clean. For example, if the mess is due to employees not cleaning up after themselves, I might have a meeting with them to discuss our expectations. If the mess is due to something else, like construction or renovations, I would work with management to find a solution.”

How well do you communicate with other staff members?

As a custodial manager, you’ll need to communicate with your staff members on a regular basis. Employers ask this question to make sure you can effectively communicate with others and get along with them. Use your answer to show the interviewer that you’re a good communicator who is able to work well with others.

Example: “I believe communication is one of the most important skills for any leader. I always make it a point to regularly meet with my team members to discuss their progress and offer feedback. I also hold weekly meetings with all of my staff members so we can go over our goals for the week and address any concerns they have.”

Do you have experience creating schedules for your employees?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you plan out the workday for your employees. Use your answer to highlight your organizational and time management skills by explaining a process you use when creating schedules for your team members.

Example: “I have experience creating weekly, monthly and even yearly schedules for my custodial staff. I start by reviewing all of the current projects that need to be completed and then create a schedule based on who is available to complete each task. For example, if we are in between semesters, I will assign different tasks to different employees so they can take some time off while still getting everything done.”

When was the last time you updated your cleaning methods and techniques?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you stay up to date with industry trends and best practices. Use your answer to highlight your willingness to learn new things, develop skills and adapt to change.

Example: “I recently attended a seminar on using eco-friendly cleaning products in commercial buildings. I found that many of these products are just as effective as traditional ones but don’t leave harmful residues behind. Now, we use more environmentally friendly cleaning methods for all our facilities. This has saved us money while also protecting the health of our custodians.”

We want to be environmentally friendly. Are there any green cleaning methods you would like to try out?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of environmental sustainability and how you can implement it into the workplace. You should answer this question by explaining what methods you would use to be environmentally friendly in the workplace, such as using cleaning products that are biodegradable or recycling waste.

Example: “I think it’s important for businesses to be environmentally conscious because we’re all part of the same planet. I would like to start implementing more green cleaning methods at my current job, such as switching out our cleaning supplies for ones that are biodegradable. We could also recycle paper towels and other materials that aren’t recyclable.”

Describe your experience with managing a large team.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you’ve managed a team in the past. Use examples from your experience to describe what made you successful as a leader, such as your ability to delegate tasks or motivate your team members.

Example: “In my previous role, I had a large custodial staff that included janitors, maintenance workers and night shift employees. To ensure everyone was on track with their responsibilities, I held weekly meetings where I discussed our goals for the week and any issues we needed to address. I also encouraged my team to communicate with me if they ever needed help or guidance.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. When answering, it’s important to highlight a skill or experience that makes you unique from other candidates. You can also mention something that you feel passionate about doing in the role.

Example: “I have five years of custodial management experience, which is more than most applicants for this position. I’m also an expert at managing budgets and hiring new employees. In my previous job, I hired two new employees who are still with the company today. This shows that I know what qualities to look for when interviewing someone.”

Which cleaning methods do you prefer to use?

This question can help the interviewer learn more about your cleaning preferences and how you implement them in your work. Your answer should include a list of methods that you enjoy using, along with an explanation for why they’re important to you.

Example: “I prefer to use environmentally friendly cleaning products because I want to reduce our facility’s carbon footprint as much as possible. I also like to use non-toxic cleaning solutions because I don’t want my team members or anyone else who comes into contact with our facilities to be exposed to harmful chemicals. Finally, I always make sure to clean thoroughly so that we have a safe environment for everyone.”

What do you think is the most important trait for a successful custodial manager?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and abilities to be successful in this role. A custodial manager needs to be organized, detail-oriented, motivated and able to work well with others. Consider what traits helped you succeed in your previous roles and describe them in relation to being a custodial manager.

Example: “I think that the most important trait for a custodial manager is empathy. I understand that everyone has different responsibilities and challenges, so I try to be understanding when someone isn’t able to complete their tasks on time or meet certain expectations. I also know how it feels to be in their position, so I try to make sure my employees feel comfortable coming to me with any questions or concerns they may have.”

How often should areas like break rooms and kitchens be cleaned?

The interviewer may ask you this question to see how often you clean common areas in a workplace. Use your answer to highlight your attention to detail and ability to follow cleaning schedules.

Example: “I believe that break rooms and kitchens should be cleaned at least once per day, depending on the size of the facility. In my last role as custodial manager, I implemented a schedule where employees rotated through different tasks each week so they could learn more about their roles. This helped me ensure that all areas were thoroughly cleaned every day.”

There is a new cleaning method that will reduce the time it takes to clean an area by 50%. Would you implement it?

This question is a great way to see how you react to change. It also shows the interviewer that you are willing to learn new methods and implement them into your work. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention that you would research the method thoroughly before implementing it.

Example: “I believe in always learning new ways of doing things. If there was a new cleaning method that could reduce the time it takes to clean an area by 50%, I would definitely look into it. I would make sure that all employees were comfortable with the new method and understand how to use it properly. Then, I would implement it as soon as possible.”


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