Roommate Interview Questions

Finding a compatible roommate can be a hassle, so it's important to learn the right roommate interview questions to ask to avoid roommate problems down the road. When you're interviewing potential roommates, consider these roommate interview questions:

Have you ever had roommates? What sort of roommate problems have you had in the past?
These two roommate interview questions go hand-in-hand. If a candidate has never had roommates, he or she may not have realistic expectations of how to behave and compromise in a roommate situation. Asking about former roommate problems reveals a lot about your potential roommate's personality, and whether you're likely to get along or constantly be on each other's nerves.

What's your schedule like?
If you're sharing a bathroom or simply trying to find someone who won't stay out all night or come in drunk and obnoxious at 3 a.m. and wake you up, asking this roommate interview question is vital. If you both leave at the same time in the morning, you don't want to be competing for bathroom space. Conversely, if you're looking for someone you'll rarely see and you're both willing to be fairly quiet and respectful, finding someone with a schedule opposite yours provides the best of both worlds.

Do you have a significant other? How often do you have guests?
This is another set of roommate interview questions designed to avoid roommate problems down the road. If you're looking for one other person to share a fairly small apartment, the last thing you want is someone coming in and bringing along a girlfriend or boyfriend. It's unreasonable to expect that your roommate will never have quests, but discuss ground rules or guidelines that make you both feel comfortable.

Do you play any instruments? What kind of music do you like?
Even in the best-insulated apartment, sounds travel. Music, in particular, is a big point of contention for many roommates. If you want to avoid roommate problems, ask these roommate interview questions to determine whether you and your roommate are musically compatible. If your potential roommate plays the drums and wants to practice at home, you might want to consider continuing your search.

How do you handle shared food and chores?
Some roommates prefer to buy completely separate food and label it, while other roommates buy their own food but share common staples, and yet other roommates share all the food and take turns shopping. The same principal applies to chores. Ask these roommate interview questions to establish a common set of expectations for food purchases, cooking and chores. This is a huge area where roommate problems commonly crop up, so be as specific as possible.

Other roommate interview questions
Other questions you might want to consider in order to avoid roommate problems include pets, smoking and drinking, furniture, lease terms, religion, work or any personal concerns you may have. Living with roommates can be difficult at times, so take the time to do your research and don't be afraid to turn people down.

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