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Assumptions are made, and most assumptions are WRONG. – Albert Einstein.
When I hear people tell their maid experiences and I see their pain, the first thought that crosses my mind is how did it get to that point?  What could this employer have missed along the way? What signs could have been ignored? and most importantly what questions were not asked?
One of the biggest mistakes made when hiring a maid, is the mistake of assumption. We make these assumptions sometimes, because we feel we have all the experience when it comes to hiring,or probably the person to be hired has been recommended by somebody. Sometimes they are made because we are desperate. Other times, it’s because people just don’t know the questions they should be asking and invariably they miss all the signs that could point towards future actions.
As much as we listen to and trust our instincts, it is important to be deliberate about the questions we ask. We should also be able to listen to, not just the answers that come from their mouth but the expressions that follow those words. Does it depict falsehood? Is this person confident? Is this person absent minded? Did this person struggle to answer this question? Which one did she show reluctance to answer?
Someone says “But i don’t know the questions i should be asking”. Well, the questions you should be asking should be centered around the needs you want met and the values you would never compromise on. You should also ask questions that will give you every vital information you need on the hiree. For example, if you are hiring someone for housekeeping, you ask specific questions like

  • “Have you done housekeeping before?”,
  • “How big was the previous house you cleaned?”
  • “What was your most challenging house chore?”
  • “How old were the children in the house?” (because a house with very young kids will be more untidy and needs to be clean to prevent germs)
  • “Were you cleaning inside the bedroom?”
  • “Were you around expensive things?”

Questions you could ask to study reaction are

  • “Have you stolen before?”
  • “What caused the last fight you had with your employer?”

If the person is guilty, you would know from her reaction even if she does not tell you the truth.
There are a  few facts i will like to state to make you see that you need to VALIDATE your assumptions.

  1. The potential maid you are bringing is a TOTAL STRANGER. As much as you think you can trust this person based on references, assurance by the agency, background check e.t.c, the fact remains that, you are meeting this person for the first time, and are about to let the person into your home. Therefore, attention must be given to everything, the same way you will guard your most prized possessions, until you get to that point when you can be comfortable.
  2. Every home is DIFFERENT. While experience is a bonus, please have in mind that your home is different. For you to assume that because this person has worked in ten houses before, so she will automatically know what to do and how to operate won’t be to your benefit. Your maid has to be taught.
  3. The person to be hired is out to PROVE a point. So do not be impressed just by looking at her alone. She came prepared to put her best foot forward. It’s up to you to dig deep and find out what she could be hiding.
  4. NO AGENCY/AGENT can do the validation work for you. No matter how much they try, they can’t. You need to be fully involved in the validation process by asking questions. Further to this, I also would suggest that you interview your maid in the absence of the agent who brings her, to prevent a situation where the agent starts helping her answer questions and covering up information.

While MAIDforME is all about training your maids, we are assured things will be easier for you when a great start is in place. Yes, there are some very excellent maids, but there are also those who are only out to do unimaginable things. It is left to us to uncover these intentions by asking questions.
Lastly, while digging has to be done before hiring, asking questions need to be an ongoing process. It should be done after hiring also. So if you have a maid already, you can sit her down casually and ask your questions
Never feel bad that you are asking too many questions. Please, always remember that the goal isn’t just to ask questions, but to ask the right questions that will bring about your desired result.
I compiled a list of 15 questions you may or may not be familiar with and the reasons you should be asking them. Click here Sample Hiring Questions .
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