Top 44 Custodian Interview Questions and Answers

Updated on: June 12, 2024

In the competitive field of custodial services, preparation is essential to standing out as a qualified candidate.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or new to the industry, facing an interview can be daunting without the right preparation.

This guide offers a comprehensive collection of the top 44 custodian interview questions along with sample answers to help you refine your responses and build confidence.

Use these questions and answers to prepare and practice for your next interview, ensuring you can effectively communicate your skills, experience, and dedication to maintaining clean and safe environments.

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Top 44 Custodian Interview Questions and Answers

General Questions

1. Can you tell me about yourself?

  • Sure, I am an experienced custodian with over 5 years in the industry. I have a strong attention to detail and take pride in maintaining clean and safe environments for everyone.

2. Why did you choose to become a custodian?

  • I enjoy keeping spaces clean and organized. Being a custodian allows me to contribute to a pleasant environment and help ensure safety and hygiene for everyone.

3. What are your career goals as a custodian?

  • My goal is to continually improve my skills and take on more responsibilities, potentially moving into a supervisory role in the future.

Experience and Skills

4. What previous experience do you have in custodial roles?

  • I have worked in various settings including schools, offices, and healthcare facilities. My responsibilities included cleaning, sanitation, waste management, and minor maintenance.

5. How do you handle cleaning large areas by yourself?

  • I break down the tasks into smaller, manageable sections, prioritize based on importance, and follow a systematic approach to ensure thorough cleaning.

6. Can you operate and maintain cleaning machinery?

  • Yes, I am adept at using various cleaning machines such as floor buffers, carpet cleaners, and vacuum cleaners, and I ensure they are properly maintained.

Specific Situations

7. How do you handle the disposal of hazardous materials?

  • I follow established guidelines and use appropriate protective gear, ensuring materials are disposed of in designated hazardous waste containers.

8. Describe a situation where you had to deal with a difficult mess. How did you handle it?

  • I once encountered a large spill in a cafeteria. I cordoned off the area, used the proper cleaning solutions, and ensured the area was safe for use again.

9. How do you ensure safety while performing your duties?

  • I adhere to safety protocols, use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and handle chemicals with care.

Customer Service

10. How do you handle complaints about your cleaning standards?

  • I listen carefully to the complaint, address the issue promptly, and take steps to prevent it from happening again.

11. How do you prioritize tasks when you have multiple cleaning requests?

  • I prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance, ensuring that high-traffic and sensitive areas are cleaned first.

12. Can you give an example of a time when you went above and beyond in your duties?

  • Once, I stayed after my shift to help clean up after a major event, ensuring the space was spotless and ready for use the next morning.

Technical Knowledge

13. What types of cleaning chemicals are you familiar with using?

  • I am familiar with disinfectants, degreasers, floor cleaners, and all-purpose cleaners, and understand their appropriate uses and safety measures.

14. How do you approach floor care in a busy environment?

  • I schedule floor care during off-peak hours to minimize disruption and ensure thorough cleaning.

15. Can you perform minor maintenance tasks?

  • Yes, I can handle tasks such as changing light bulbs, plumbing fixes, and minor repair work.

16. How do you prevent cross-contamination during cleaning?

  • I use color-coded cloths and mops for different areas and ensure proper sanitation of tools and equipment between uses.

Work Ethics and Habits

17. How do you keep track of the cleaning supplies inventory?

  • I maintain a detailed log and conduct regular checks to ensure supplies are adequately stocked.

18. Describe your routine for cleaning restrooms.

  • I start by emptying trash, then clean mirrors, sinks, and toilets, followed by sanitizing all surfaces and mopping the floor.

19. How do you handle working independently?

  • I enjoy working independently and take initiative to complete my tasks efficiently and to a high standard.

20. How do you handle changes in your work schedule?

  • I am flexible and can adapt quickly to changes, ensuring that all duties are still completed within the required timeframe.

Behavioral Questions

21. What would you do if you saw a spill in a high-traffic area?

  • I would immediately cordon off the area to prevent accidents and clean the spill promptly and effectively.

22. How do you stay motivated during repetitive tasks?

  • I focus on the importance of my role in maintaining a clean and safe environment and take pride in doing my job well.

23. Describe a time when you had to manage multiple tasks at once. How did you handle it?

  • I prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance, use a checklist to stay organized, and ensure that each task was completed to a high standard.

24. How do you handle feedback or criticism about your work?

  • I listen carefully, take constructive feedback positively, and use it to improve my performance.

Problem Solving

25. What steps do you take if a piece of equipment breaks down during your shift?

  • I report the issue to my supervisor, attempt basic troubleshooting if possible, and use alternative methods to complete my tasks.

26. How do you handle situations where you find damaged property during your cleaning?

  • I report the damage to the appropriate department and follow any protocols for documenting and addressing the issue.

27. What would you do if you ran out of a crucial cleaning supply mid-task?

  • I would inform my supervisor, use an alternative suitable supply if available, and ensure restocking at the earliest convenience.


28. How do you ensure confidentiality and privacy when cleaning sensitive areas?

  • I respect all privacy signs, avoid unauthorized areas, and adhere to any specific confidentiality protocols required.

29. What do you consider the most challenging aspect of being a custodian?

  • Managing time effectively during busy periods can be challenging, but I use my organizational skills to handle it well.

30. How do you keep updated with the latest cleaning techniques and products?

  • I attend training sessions, read industry publications, and participate in workshops to stay informed about new methods and products.


31. What would you do if you found a valuable item while cleaning?

  • I would follow the lost and found protocol, ensuring the item is handed over to the appropriate authority.

32. Describe a time you had to respond to an emergency during your shift.

  • I once had to respond to a water leak. I quickly shut off the water supply, contained the spill, and reported the incident for further action.

33. How would you manage your cleaning duties if there was a sudden high-priority task?

  • I would temporarily pause my current task, address the high-priority need immediately, and then resume my previous tasks.

34. How do you handle working in environments with strict cleanliness standards, such as hospitals?

  • I strictly adhere to cleanliness protocols, use proper sanitizing agents, and ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.

Personality and Fit

35. What qualities make a good custodian?

  • Attention to detail, reliability, honesty, and a strong work ethic are essential qualities of a good custodian.

36. How do you ensure your work meets high standards of cleanliness?

  • I use thorough checklists and conduct regular inspections of my completed work to ensure it meets high standards.

Health and Safety

37. What precautionary measures do you take to avoid injuries during your work?

  • I use proper lifting techniques, ensure floors are dry to prevent slips, and always wear appropriate PPE.

38. How do you handle cleaning in a way that ensures hygiene and prevents the spread of germs?

  • I use effective disinfectants, clean frequently-touched surfaces regularly, and follow strict hygiene protocols.

Teamwork and Collaboration

39. How do you work as part of a cleaning team?

  • I communicate effectively, share tasks fairly, and support my team members to ensure all areas are cleaned efficiently.

40. Describe a time you had to compromise or negotiate in your role.

  • I once had to negotiate with another team member about sharing the cleaning duties for a large event, ensuring a fair distribution of work.

41. Have you ever trained or supervised other custodians?

  • Yes, I have trained new custodians on procedures and use of equipment, ensuring they understand the standards expected.

Adaptability and Flexibility

42. How do you adapt to new cleaning technologies or methods?

  • I am open to learning and enthusiastically embrace new tools and techniques that improve efficiency and effectiveness.

43. What do you do if you realize you made a mistake in your cleaning routine?

  • I take responsibility, correct the mistake promptly, and learn from it to avoid repeating it in the future.

Closing Questions

44. Do you have any questions for us?

  • Could you provide more details about the specific responsibilities of this role and the team I would be working with?

These questions and answers can help you prepare for a custodian interview, demonstrating your skills, experience, and dedication to maintaining clean and safe environments.

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