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Must Ask Questions for Your Next Roommate Interview

Millennial Magazine - roommate-interview

Choosing a new roommate can be like choosing a new partner, so it is important to do everything you can to ensure you feel confident about the person. To do so, you should go through a roommate interview process to decide how compatible you and the potential candidate are. Here are some personal experience tips and tricks to help you as you navigate this decision.

First, make sure your potential roommate can:

  1. Afford the rent.
  2. Be responsible with the property and anything else included in the rent.
  3. Be a safe and trustworthy person to be around.

While many people may end the roommate interview process here, there are additional characteristics we highly recommend you consider.

A roommate (or as we say here, a FriendsMate) is more than just a person who physically lives with you. A FriendsMate is someone you will see on a daily basis and will share in all the costs of having a home. Your home is the basis of your life – your sanctuary. It is where you wake up, retreat to, and where you go to recharge. You need to feel safe to be your true self. That is why you need to consider more than just finding someone who can afford the rent.

So, how do you find someone who makes your home one that you love coming home to? Here is a list of questions to ask your potential FriendsMate:

Logistical Questions:

  1. What do they do for work? Are they happy in their careers?
    It’s a good idea to verify that they have a job, and it’s okay to ask questions that give you a sense of their stability. If they show signs of job instability, ensure that they have a backup plan in order to continue paying rent.
  2. Are they financially stable enough for your home?
    Make sure that the potential roommate is comfortable with the rent cost. If it seems like a tight budget, you may want to reconsider to avoid the risk of this potential person having to move out abruptly or having issues with making payments. For some people, tight budgets make them work harder to get ahead… for others it becomes a hardship they deal with until they decide they can’t afford it. Just something to keep in mind.
  3. Where are they moving from and why are they moving?
    It is important to know if they are coming from a harmonious living situation or a toxic and unstable one. An example of a harmonious reason is because they want to move closer for a job. An example of a toxic situation is if they had a negative experience with a past roommate.
  4. Have they had roommates before and what was their experience like?
    It’s helpful to know if they have experience living with others. Make sure they understand how to share the responsibilities around the house. For example, are they familiar with how to share a fridge, how to be respectful of each other’s quiet time or cleanliness needs?

Lifestyle Questions:

These questions help you understand your home-sharing compatibility. For example, if someone is a night owl and the other is an early and light sleeper, there could be scheduling issues. Here are some examples of questions to ask.

  1. What is their sleep schedule and morning routine?
  2. What do they do to relax?
  3. How do they spend time with their friends?
  4. Do they cook or eat out?
  5. Do they drink or smoke?
  6. What are their hobbies, interests, etc?
  7. Do they have a significant other? Or are they single or dating? 
  8. How do they feel about overnight guests? 
  9. Do they like to be social with their roommates?
  10. What is their idea of a happy home?
  11. How do they feel about house cleanliness?
  12. Do they cook often?
  13. Do they get along with most people? 

As you go through the process of asking your potential FriendsMate questions, make sure to pay attention to their personality, emotional stability, and emotional intelligence when answering.

In conclusion, go with your gut and make sure to choose your next roommate based on compatibility and less on the need to have a room filled. While it is important that rent is covered and your house is filled, it’s even more important that you say no to someone who will not be a good fit. We’re sure that once you go through the roommate interview process, you’ll find a great FriendsMates!

Post in partnership with FriendsMates.

What do you think?

Written by Jennifer Esteban

Jennifer AKA “Jennifervision” is the founder of FriendsMates, a housing and community platform designed to revolutionize the roommate culture. She currently manages a successful co-living home in LA, and is a 15+ year commercial & real estate photographer, interior decorator, and serial entrepreneur.

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