If you make the decision to split the expenses of living in an apartment with a roommate, you will soon find that there are many pros as well as potential cons to this decision. Follow the tips in this guide to ensure that you end up choosing a reliable and trustworthy roommate. With all the stress that already comes as a big part of the moving process, the last thing you’ll want is to find out your roommate will only cause you trouble from the moment you move in and throughout your entire time living together.
- Where do you work? This question will always serve as a good baseline for any roommate interview. Their answer will give you crucial information on their income and financial stability and will help you determine whether they will make a good roommate or not.
- What hours do you work? This is a slightly subtle way of getting the same information as the previous question. This question will elicit the potential roommate to reveal their general lifestyle and habits to you, so you can determine not only their financial situation but also whether they will be waking you up by walking in and out of the apartment at odd times during the night and early morning hours.
- Do you have a significant other, and if so, will they be coming to the apartment often? This is an important question to ask if you are someone who values your privacy. Some coupled up roommates will be respectful and keep their partner from visiting too often. That is the ideal situation. However, some roommates may have their partners over almost every day, and they may even let their roommate eat your food and use up your resources. If you’re not okay with having an unofficial third roommate, you should definitely bring this topic up during the interview process.
- What do you normally do on weekends? This is another question that will help you gain insight into the prospective roommate’s habits, lifestyle, and personality. However, this is definitely a much more low key question than the others on this list, and it will generally come across as friendly and polite, which may ensure a more honest answer from the person you are interviewing. As an added bonus, you might find you have something in common with this person, such as a mutual hobby, skill, membership, faith, or another general interest.
- How would you suggest splitting up chores and expenses? This question may sound like something a landlord would want to know, which is exactly why you should ask it. You’ll want to lay down all the ground rules before signing the lease agreement and officially becoming roommates. Will you split the rent cost evenly? Will you trade off on trash duties? What about cleaning the kitchen, and buying the cleaning supplies? It is a good idea to have all of this figured out way before moving into the new apartment with a new roommate.
- What are you looking for in a roommate? When you ask this question, your main objective should be to compare the potential roommate’s answer with the answer you would give if the situation were reversed. If the answer they give you during the interview contains similar points and ideas that you yourself have then that is a good sign that you two will make good roommates and be able to share the apartment fairly.
- How long are you planning on staying? Once again, an ideal situation would have their answers matching yours. If you are planning to stay in this new apartment for a while, then you are most definitely not going to want to be splitting costs with a roommate who is transient and is only planning to stick around for a few months. Conversely, if you are someone who travels a lot and is only looking for a short-term living situation, it would be wise for you to share an apartment with someone who is in a similar situation. After all, you don’t want to leave a roommate dealing with the fallout and financial burden of your sudden departure, so don’t do the same thing to another person.
- What will you be bringing to the apartment? If the interview seems to be going well, you should start asking the potential roommate more detailed questions such as this one. You will want to know what the roommate is bringing so you have an idea on what you need to keep from your old living space to bring to the new apartment, and also so you know what you can throw away. The answer to this question will also reveal gaps in both of your inventories, so you will learn what you need to acquire before move in day. If there is anything you both have decided you need to get, and you have agreed to move in with this person, be sure to work out an agreement regarding what each of you will bring to the apartment so one of you is not doing more work than the other, and so you do not find yourselves without something essential for the first few days of living in your new apartment.
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This is only a list of some of the most crucial and important questions to ask during the roommate interviewing process. For each individual person, there are individual and specific needs that may need to be addressed when choosing who to share an apartment with. If you feel you need more information, there are many more questions you can ask. Here are a few more specific questions to bring up during the interview:
- Do you smoke? If you don’t smoke, you’ll have to decide if you are comfortable with a roommate who does or not. If you do smoke, you’ll want to make sure that if your roommate doesn’t, they don’t feel uncomfortable.
- Do you have pets, or are you planning on having pets in the near future? This is only applicable in apartment complexes that allow pets, of course.