Finding a roommate can be a lot like interviewing people for a job. You need to find someone who is looking for similar things in a roommate; someone willing to put in the work to make the relationship successful; and someone you are compatible with in general. Just like any job interview, there is a process and a series of questions that you should ask all of your potential roommates to weed out the bad eggs and to help you settle on the right person. Here are some of the key questions that should be asked to help you find your ideal roommate:
1. “What are you looking for in a roommate?”
Source: Very Well
This is a classic interview type-question. Just like potential employers ask you what you expect from them, you should ask your potential roommates what they expect from you. This can be an easy disqualifier. For example, if you’re looking for someone to hang out with at home and split bills with, and they answer that they want someone to party with, the arrangement might not work. It’s best to discover these things early on and nip it in the bud right away.
2. “How long of a lease are you looking for?”
Often times, people are just looking for a month-to-month arrangement to lay low while they get their life back in order. Perhaps they recently divorced, lost a job, or experienced another sudden life change and need to start fresh. If you’re looking for a long-term roommate, be sure that they are looking for the same. If you’re just looking for a roommate for a few short months, that’s fine too. Just be upfront about your expectations, as to not waste either of your time.
3. “What is your employment status?”
Source: Carrier Management
Employment status can be another key factor when choosing a roommate, primarily for financial reasons. You want to make sure they can afford their share of rent and other bills. If they’re between jobs, they may not be able to do this very easily. If they tell you that they are employed, you may want to verify this to ensure that money won’t be an issue. Better safe than sorry!
4. “Are you currently dating?”
This may seem like it’s none of your business, but it actually is. Will they want their significant other to stay the night or eventually move in too? You don’t want to end up feeling like the third wheel in your own space. And before you know it, you may end up paying for more food, utilities, and water! There are a lot of factors about one’s personal life that can play into whether or not they would make a good roommate, so don’t be afraid to ask.
5. “What is your relationship with your prior roommates?”
Source: Locker Dome
When you live with someone and then move out, sometimes it’s not on the best of terms. Often times, it can be the end of a relationship or friendship. You’ll want to ask about how their last roommate situation ended, because this might be a good indicator of how yours will end.
6. “Are you a smoker?”
Whether or not YOU’RE a smoker can impact this question. If you do smoke, be sure to make this clear and find out if they’re okay with it. If you don’t smoke and they do, you’ll have to decide if you’re okay with it, as living with a smoker can leave lingering smells in your residence and on your clothes - not to mention the second-hand smoke.
7. “Are you a night owl?”
When you’re trying to sleep and all you can hear is your roommate playing video games or hanging out with friends, it can get awfully obnoxious pretty darn fast. Try to find somebody with a somewhat normal sleep pattern if that’s what you want. Be clear about your needs and expectations, and make sure their habits fit your preferences.
8. “Are you a neat freak?”
A clean house is a happy house… but not if you’re the only one cleaning it! Make sure this person is not a slob! Nobody wants to come home to a sink full of dishes, leftover food all over the house, or the dreaded empty toilet paper roll! Some people are timid when asking others to clean, so get this out of the way right off the bat. Ask questions to make sure they don’t mind sharing chores, or at the very least, cleaning up after themselves!
9. “Can you provide references?”
Source: Simple Most
Anyone can talk a good game, but how do you know it’s the truth? You really don’t unless you experience it for yourself or verify it with references. Get ahold of previous roommates, friends, family, or whoever else they provide as a reference, and be sure to verify all of the information you asked previously. Speaking to people who have close relationships with your potential roommate will give you the best insight as to what type of person they really are and whether or not you might be compatible.