17 Janitor Interview Questions and Answers

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

Janitors and custodians are responsible for the cleanliness and maintenance of businesses, schools, government buildings, and healthcare facilities. Before you’re hired for a custodian job, you may need to go to a job interview. One way to prepare for this important meeting is to learn how to answer custodian interview questions before talking with an interviewer.

Employers look for custodians who are trustworthy, reliable, well organized, and able to solve problems. You’ll also need physical strength and stamina, as well as knowledge of the best ways to clean different facilities and types of equipment. A custodial interview is your chance to show that you’ve polished these skills to a shine. To help you get ready, we’ve listed custodian questions and answers that will help you figure out what you want to say during an interview.

Are you comfortable working with cleaning chemicals?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine your comfort level with the chemicals you’ll be using in their facility. If you have any experience working with these types of chemicals, share what you’ve learned about them and how they affect you. If you don’t have experience with cleaning chemicals, explain that you’re willing to learn more about them if necessary.

Example: “I am comfortable working with cleaning chemicals because I’ve done it for several years now. However, I do know that some people are sensitive to certain chemicals, so I always make sure to wear gloves when handling them. I also try to avoid getting the chemicals on my skin as much as possible. In fact, I recently read an article about a new type of chemical-free cleaner that uses only water and baking soda. It’s definitely something I’d like to look into implementing at work.”

What are some of the most important skills for a janitor to have?

Employers ask this question to make sure you know what skills are important for the job. They want someone who can do the work without needing much training or support from other employees. Use your answer to name some of the most important skills and explain why they’re important.

Example: “The two most important skills for a janitor are organization and cleanliness. You need to be able to keep track of supplies, tools and equipment so that you don’t run out when you need them. It’s also important to have a good sense of cleanliness because you’ll be cleaning up messes all day long. I’m very organized and detail-oriented, which helps me stay on top of my tasks.”

How do you handle working with a team of other janitors?

Working as a janitor can be a solitary job, but employers may ask this question to see if you are able to work with others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention that you enjoy working in teams and collaborating with other people.

Example: “I have worked with many different cleaning crews throughout my career, and I find that teamwork is an important part of being a successful janitor. I am always willing to help out my coworkers when they need me, and I think that having a team of janitors who support each other makes the job more enjoyable.”

What is your experience with using cleaning equipment?

Employers ask this question to learn about your experience with the tools and equipment you’ll use on the job. They want to know if you have used similar tools in previous jobs, what kind of training you’ve had and how comfortable you are using them. When answering this question, be honest about your experience level. If you haven’t used cleaning equipment before, explain that you’re willing to learn.

Example: “I have a lot of experience using cleaning equipment. In my last position, I was responsible for maintaining all of our janitorial supplies. This included ordering new supplies when we were running low, organizing everything and making sure it was clean and ready to go. I also regularly cleaned floors, windows, bathrooms and more.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or client.

Employers ask this question to see how you handle conflict. They want to know that you can remain calm and professional in challenging situations. In your answer, try to focus on the steps you took to resolve the situation.

Example: “I once had a customer who was upset because I didn’t clean their office for two days in a row. When they called me, I calmly explained that I hadn’t cleaned their office yet. The customer apologized and said they must have forgotten to put up their do-not-clean sign. After that, I made sure to check each office every day.”

If you saw a coworker doing something wrong, what would you do?

Employers ask this question to make sure you know how to handle a situation where you need to report something. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to ensure the issue gets resolved and that it doesn’t happen again.

Example: “If I saw a coworker doing something wrong, like not wearing gloves while cleaning or throwing trash in the recycling bin, I would first approach them privately and let them know they are breaking company policy. If they continue to do it after my warning, I would report it to my supervisor so they can address the issue.”

What would you do if you saw someone littering in the area you’re responsible for cleaning?

Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of keeping your work area clean and free from trash. In your answer, explain that you would politely tell them about the company’s policy on littering and encourage them to throw their garbage in a nearby trash can.

Example: “I would first remind them of our company’s policy regarding littering. If they refuse to comply, I would inform my supervisor so they could handle the situation. I believe it is important to keep our work areas as clean as possible, which means we need to hold people accountable for their actions.”

How well can you see without your glasses or contacts?

Employers ask this question to make sure you can see well enough to do your job. If they need you to clean high places, for example, they want to know that you can see the area well enough to avoid falling off a ladder. They also want to know if you have any other physical limitations that might affect your ability to perform the job.

Example: “I wear glasses when I’m at work and take them off when I start cleaning. My vision is 20/20 without my glasses, so I don’t have any issues seeing while working. However, I am not able to climb ladders or reach very high areas because of my lack of depth perception.”

Do you have a driver’s license?

Employers may ask this question to make sure you can get to work on time. If they do, it’s important that you have a valid driver’s license and are comfortable driving in the area where the job is located.

If you don’t have a driver’s license, be honest about your situation and explain why you don’t have one. You could also mention if you plan on getting one soon.

Example: “I do have a driver’s license. I moved here from California two years ago and haven’t had the chance to take my test yet. However, I am planning on taking it next month.”

When it comes to cleaning, what methods do you prefer?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your cleaning preferences. They want to know what methods you use that are effective and efficient. When answering this question, explain which methods you prefer and why. If you have experience with different methods, share a time when each method was most useful.

Example: “I find that the best way to clean is by using a vacuum cleaner. I like how it gets into all of the nooks and crannies of a room. It’s also great for getting up dust and dirt from hard-to-reach places. However, sometimes vacuums aren’t enough to get rid of tough stains or spills. In those cases, I use a mop and bucket system. This allows me to thoroughly clean every inch of a floor.”

We want to improve our recycling efforts. How would you encourage your coworkers to recycle more often?

The interviewer may ask you this question to gauge your ability to work as a team with other employees. Showcase your communication skills and willingness to collaborate with others by providing an answer that includes steps you would take to encourage recycling among your coworkers.

Example: “I think the best way to increase recycling is to make it more convenient for people to recycle their trash. I would start by asking my coworkers what they find most challenging about recycling, then I’d try to address those challenges. For example, if someone says they don’t have enough time to sort through their trash to separate recyclables, I could offer to help them do so after they’ve sorted their trash into bins.”

Describe your experience with using janitorial software.

Employers may ask this question to learn more about your experience with using software that helps you keep track of your work. They want to know if you have used any software in the past and how it helped you complete your tasks. Use your answer to explain what janitorial software is and share a specific example of when you used it.

Example: “I’ve never had an opportunity to use janitorial software, but I am familiar with what it does. It’s essentially a database where you can store information about each building or facility you clean. For instance, you could enter the name of the company, address, phone number, hours of operation and other details. Then, you would be able to pull up all of this information whenever you need it. This saves me time because I don’t have to look up these details every time I start a new job.”

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 trait that makes you unique from other candidates. You can also mention something that will help you succeed in the role.

Example: “I have experience working with children because I used to be a camp counselor. This job required me to clean up after messy kids all day, so I know what it takes to keep a space tidy. I’m also very organized, which is why I love cleaning. It helps me stay focused on my work and get everything done quickly.”

Which cleaning methods do you prefer to use for windows?

Windows are a common cleaning task for janitors. Employers ask this question to learn about your experience with window cleaning and how you approach the job. Use your answer to highlight any special skills or techniques you use when cleaning windows.

Example: “I prefer using ladders to clean windows because it allows me to reach higher floors without having to move furniture. I also like to use squeegees, as they allow me to quickly remove water from glass surfaces. When working on large buildings, I will often work in teams of two so that we can cover more ground at once.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of being a good team player?

Employers ask this question to see if you can work well with others. They want to know that you are a team player who is willing to help your coworkers and support their efforts. When answering, think about what makes you feel like you’re part of a team. Try to highlight the importance of collaboration in achieving goals.

Example: “I think it’s important to be open-minded when working as part of a team. I’ve been on teams where people were very opinionated and unwilling to listen to other ideas. This made it difficult for us to come up with solutions or compromises. In my experience, being able to compromise and collaborate has helped me get things done more efficiently.”

How often do you perform routine maintenance on cleaning equipment?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with cleaning equipment. If you have little to no experience, you can describe how you would approach this task if it was necessary.

Example: “I perform routine maintenance on my cleaning equipment at least once a month. I check for loose screws and tighten them as needed. I also make sure all moving parts are in good condition and that there is enough soap or other cleaning solution in the tanks. Finally, I clean the exterior of the equipment and ensure that any tools I use are sharpened.”

There is a clogged drain in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic. What would you do?

This question is a great way to test your problem-solving skills. Employers ask this question because they want to know that you can handle unexpected situations and make quick decisions. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to fix the drain and keep people safe while it’s not working properly.

Example: “I would first try to unclog the drain myself by using a plunger or other tools I have in my cleaning kit. If that doesn’t work, I would call maintenance to come fix it. While waiting for them to arrive, I would direct foot traffic away from the area and clean up any messes that were made.”


17 Marketing Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

17 Liaison Officer Interview Questions and Answers