17 Maintenance Custodian Interview Questions and Answers

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

Custodians and janitors 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 working in a custodial environment. Custodians often use cleaning chemicals and other tools to clean floors, surfaces and equipment. Answering “yes” shows the interviewer that you are willing to work with these materials. If you have any experience using cleaning chemicals, describe what you used and how comfortable you were with it.

Example: “Yes, I am very comfortable working with cleaning chemicals. In my last position, I was responsible for maintaining all of our janitorial supplies. This included ordering new supplies when we ran out and disposing of hazardous waste. I also cleaned up spills and disposed of trash.”

What are some of the maintenance tasks you performed at your previous job?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your maintenance skills and experience. You can answer this question by listing some of the most important tasks you performed at your previous job, such as repairing broken equipment or maintaining building structures.

Example: “At my last job, I was responsible for performing preventative maintenance on all of the company’s equipment. This included checking the oil levels in generators, replacing worn-out parts and making sure that everything was running smoothly. Another task I regularly completed was inspecting the buildings to make sure they were structurally sound. I would check for any cracks in walls or floors, loose floorboards and other issues.”

How would you handle a situation where you need to perform a task you’ve never done before?

This question can help the interviewer assess your problem-solving skills and ability to learn new things. Use examples from previous jobs where you had to perform a task for the first time, but still completed it successfully.

Example: “In my last job as a maintenance custodian, I was tasked with cleaning an entire floor of a building that hadn’t been cleaned in over two months. The company didn’t have any records on how to clean this particular floor, so I had to figure out what supplies were needed and how to use them effectively. After researching online and talking to other custodians who worked at similar buildings, I figured out the best way to clean the floor without damaging it.”

What is your process for documenting your work?

The interviewer may ask this question to understand how you keep track of your work and the progress you make. This can be an important skill for a maintenance custodian, as it helps them stay organized and ensure they complete tasks in a timely manner. In your answer, explain what steps you take when documenting your work and provide examples of how you have done so in the past.

Example: “I use a digital system that allows me to create checklists and upload photos of my work. I find this method helpful because it allows me to easily access my records later if needed. At my previous job, I used this system to document all of my daily activities, including any repairs or cleaning I did throughout the day.”

Provide an example of a time you went above and beyond at work.

When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example that highlights your willingness to help others and your ability to work independently.

Example: “At my previous job, I was responsible for cleaning the bathrooms on my floor. One day, a custodian came in to clean the bathroom while I was working. He didn’t realize I was already there, so he started cleaning before I had finished. When I realized what happened, I asked him if he could wait until I was done with my tasks. He agreed, but then left early because of other commitments. After he left, I cleaned the rest of the bathroom myself.”

If you were in charge of cleaning a large, open area, how would you divide it up into sections to clean efficiently?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you plan your work and organize it. Use examples from previous experience to show that you know how to prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively.

Example: “In my last role, I was responsible for cleaning a large open area of a hospital. To divide up the space into sections, I used different colored floor mats to separate each section. This allowed me to clean one color at a time, which helped me stay organized and complete my task more efficiently. If there were any spills or messes in between colors, I could easily spot them and clean them before moving on to the next section.”

What would you do if you saw a fellow employee violating company policies regarding waste disposal or other safety practices?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to work with others and communicate effectively. In your answer, try to show that you can be assertive without being confrontational.

Example: “If I saw a coworker violating company policies, I would first approach them privately to let them know about the policy violation and give them an opportunity to correct it. If they did not comply after my initial warning, I would report the incident to my supervisor so they could take appropriate action.”

How well do you perform under pressure?

When working in a maintenance role, you may encounter situations that require quick thinking and problem-solving skills. Employers ask this question to see if you can perform well under pressure. Use your answer to show that you are able to stay calm and focused when faced with challenging tasks. Explain how you use your critical thinking skills to solve problems quickly.

Example: “I am someone who is naturally calm and collected. I have always been good at staying focused on the task at hand even when things get hectic around me. In my previous position as a custodian, I once had to fix a broken elevator while it was still being used by guests. I stayed calm and fixed the issue without any issues or safety concerns.”

Do you have any experience performing minor repairs or maintenance tasks?

This question can help the interviewer determine whether you have any experience with maintenance tasks and how comfortable you are performing them. Use your answer to highlight your comfort level with minor repairs or maintenance tasks, as well as your ability to complete these tasks independently.

Example: “In my previous role, I was responsible for completing small repairs around the building, including replacing light bulbs in common areas and repairing broken furniture. I also helped maintain the grounds by mowing lawns and trimming bushes. These tasks were part of my regular responsibilities, so I am very comfortable performing them.”

When is it appropriate to seek assistance from other staff members?

As a maintenance custodian, you may need to ask for help from other staff members on occasion. An interviewer might ask this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills and how you collaborate with others. In your answer, try to explain that you only seek assistance when it’s absolutely necessary and that you’re willing to do the work yourself if possible.

Example: “I always prefer to complete tasks myself whenever possible. However, I understand that sometimes there are situations where I can’t do everything by myself. For example, if I’m working on an electrical issue and I don’t have any experience in that area, I would definitely ask another staff member for help. If they were available, I’d also ask them to assist me so we could both learn.”

We want to reduce our environmental impact. What environmental initiatives do you have experience with?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience with environmental initiatives and how you can help the company reduce its carbon footprint. Use examples from your previous job or discuss what you would do in this position to make a positive impact on the environment.

Example: “I’ve worked at several facilities that had recycling programs, but I also helped implement an electronics recycling program where we collected old computers and monitors for refurbishing. We then donated them to local schools and nonprofits. This was a great way to keep these items out of landfills while helping others.”

Describe your process for cleaning up after a large event.

When working in a large venue, you may be responsible for cleaning up after an event. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with this type of work and how you approach it. In your answer, explain what steps you take when cleaning up after an event. Try to include the most important details about your process so that the employer can see how organized you are.

Example: “At my previous job, I was often tasked with cleaning up after events at the facility. My first step is always to get all of the trash into one area. Then, I move on to mopping the floors and picking up any messes or spills. Finally, I clean up any messes left behind by attendees.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this position. Focus on highlighting your relevant work experience, education or certifications and any transferable skills.

Example: “I am passionate about working in a clean environment, which is why I became a custodian in the first place. In my previous role, I was responsible for keeping the entire building clean, including common areas, restrooms and offices. I also have extensive knowledge of cleaning chemicals and equipment, so I know what supplies are needed to keep this facility running smoothly.”

Which cleaning methods do you prefer to use, and why?

This question can help the interviewer learn more about your cleaning preferences and how you might fit in with their team. You can answer this question by describing a few of your favorite methods, but also explain why they’re your favorites. This can show that you have thought about which methods are most effective for different situations.

Example: “I prefer to use natural cleaning products because I think they’re safer for both me and the people who work here. I also like using steam cleaners because they’re so versatile. They can clean almost any surface, and I’ve found that they’re great for removing stains from carpets and floors. Finally, I really enjoy using floor buffers because they make my job much easier. I can get through several rooms at once, and it’s easy to see when I’m finished.”

What do you think is the most important part of being a maintenance custodian?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you understand what it means to be a maintenance custodian. Use your answer to highlight your understanding of the role and how you would perform as a maintenance custodian.

Example: “I think the most important part of being a maintenance custodian is having the ability to work independently. I am used to working on my own, so I know that there will be times when I have to complete tasks without supervision. In these situations, I make sure to follow all safety protocols and procedures to ensure that I stay safe while performing my duties.”

How often do you perform routine maintenance tasks on your equipment?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your attention to detail and how you prioritize tasks. Your answer should include a specific example of when you performed routine maintenance on equipment, the frequency at which you did so and what kind of equipment it was.

Example: “I perform routine maintenance checks on all of my equipment once per week. I find that performing these checks weekly allows me to catch any issues before they become major problems. For instance, last month, I noticed one of the lights in the elevator wasn’t working. After checking the light’s wiring, I found that the bulb needed to be replaced. If I hadn’t checked the equipment regularly, we could have had an issue with the elevator later in the day.”

There is a bug infestation in one of the rooms you’re supposed to clean. What is your response?

Bugs are a common problem in many buildings, and the interviewer wants to know how you would handle this situation. Your answer should show that you can prioritize tasks and use your judgment when deciding which ones to complete first.

Example: “I would assess the severity of the infestation and determine if it was something I could handle or if I needed to call an exterminator. If I could handle it myself, I would put off cleaning other rooms until after I had dealt with the bug issue. If I needed to call for help, I would make sure the room was ready for the exterminator before they arrived so they could get right to work.”


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