Make sure you have written down the questions you may wish to ask. Take into consideration that all people have different personalities and beliefs and write down what type of person you are looking for. Start screening your potential housemate from the first phone call or email. The opening questions may be –
- What are your expectations in a share house?
- How long have you been looking?
- Are you a student if so what do you study?
- If they are working, - What do you do?
- Are you employed full time?
- How long have you been there?
- Are you or have you been in a share house before?
- How long were you there for?
- Can you supply any references from previous flatmates, landlords or agencies?
- When are you looking to move?
- How long will you wish to stay?
Listen to them with no comments as you can analyze the answers later. Take their number and let them know you will ring them back when you make a decision who you wish to invite over for an interview. Make these calls within 24 hours and arrange a day (say a Saturday) when you can interview a few people one after the other. This saves time and you can be prepared.
AT the interview…
Make sure you have all housemates there or if you are alone make sure you have a friend with you for protection and a second opinion. Ensure the room is tidy.
Questions… (Again, no comments from you. Save them for later)
- What is a typical day for you?
- What would cheese you off in a share house?
- What is your general food routine or what sort of food routine would you like to see? Sharing cooking and dishes? Or do your own thing and clean up after yourself?
- What chores don’t you like to do? (You may like doing the things they don’t and visa versa)
- Are you dating? How often will they stay over?
- What music do you like?
- What are your thoughts on visitors/parties in a share accommodation situation?
- What is your idea of a gathering? Party, quiet BBQ or dinner party?
- Was there anything your neighbors did that annoyed you?
- Why are you looking for a new share house?
- What are the reasons you left the previous share house? (If lived in more than 1)
- Can you easily afford $....... per week plus bills?
- What do you think of the room, house / unit, area, etc?
Most of the answers to these questions will give you an idea about your potential house mate’s character. Thank them for coming and let them know you will contact them one way or another by the end of the day or the next morning. As daggy as it sounds, have a sheet of questions for each potential house mate so you can tick off the questions and write notes. It will show that you are looking for a quality house mate and you will be able to go over them to make your decision. What ever you do, please do not make a decision without taking time out to think it through. They may impress you with their charm or good looks but there is always more to people that meets the eye. The above questions will assist you with more in-depth feelings and insecurities. Have answers ready for any questions they may have. Be honest and up front about everything and tell them that is what you expect from them.
Once a decision is made, ring and thank the unsuccessful people for their time. Have the room spotless and make them feel welcome with some drinks and snacks as it is always hard work moving in. Make sure you have all keys ready for them.
Choosing a housemate is always a risk so do everything you can to make it less risky and maybe they just might be the right one.
Good luck and remember the old ‘Nanna’ saying – Do unto others as you would do unto them! Cheers!