How to interview a potential roommate

Roommates sitting around the kitchen table

Screen your new roomie!

Although it may seem obvious, it is critical to ask the correct questions when evaluating a possible roommate.

If you’ve determined that getting a roommate to help with expenditures is the best option, you still need to locate a good fit before committing. Use these questions to learn more about possible roommates’ lifestyles, personalities, and expectations for sharing a space. These questions will tell a lot about possible roommates and will assist you in establishing reasonable norms and expectations later on


What do you do for a living?

Having a consistent income, whether from a banking executive or a barista, is a solid predictor of dependability and the capacity to pay rent on time. This inquiry might also reveal a little about their daily routine.

When do you normally go to bed?

You’re likely to butt heads if you like to go to bed early while your roommate stays up late listening to loud music. It’s ideal to choose a roommate with a similar schedule as you. Make careful to tell potential housemates about your own daily routine.

Are you a late night sleeper or a morning person?

It’s going to be tense if you get up at 5 a.m. to grind coffee beans and your roommate went to bed barely one hour earlier.

What is your normal workday schedule?

Is it common for your possible roommate to return home for lunch in the middle of the day? Is it probable that they’ll remain late at work a few times a week to finish projects? Knowing your roommate’s work schedule in detail might help you coordinate your schedules.

Roommates talking while moving boxes

Ask questions before committing

By asking all the right questions before you agree to rent a room to a new roommate you can avoid conflicts later.

Do you have access to a car or other means of dependable transportation?

Even though not everyone owns a car, it’s important to set some general principles for how your roommate will get about if they don’t.


Do you smoke or vape?

Some roommates may be put off by smoking or vaping, especially if you have asthma, have specific religious convictions, or are trying to kick a nasty habit. If you both agree that smoking or vaping at home is OK, talk about where it is and is not permitted. 

How often do you drink alcohol?

Ground rules for alcohol usage, like smoking, should be set right away.

What are your cleaning habits?

One of the most critical subjects to address with potential roommates is cleaning. When discussing a possible roommate’s housekeeping habits, ask the following questions: Do you prefer to do laundry on a regular basis? Do you wash the dishes right away after a dinner or do you wait till later? Will you clean everything or just your personal dishes if we both have filthy dishes in the sink and you have the time?

How often do you cook?

Inquire about a potential roommate’s cooking habits, such as if they prefer to save money by cooking at home or dine out on most evenings. This is especially true if you have a tiny kitchen.

Do you have food allergies or dietary restrictions?

A voracious meat-eating roommate might not be the ideal choice for a committed vegan. Furthermore, if you cook a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the kitchen, a roommate with a severe peanut allergy may be at risk.

Do you have any pets?

Inquire about any present pets or future plans to have a pet. You should also talk about your rental’s pet policies and any financial duties that come with having a pet, such as getting your security deposit back.

What is your worst habit?

This question allows potential roommates to reveal their true colors by allowing them to open up.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

When determining compatibility, knowing a little about a possible roommate’s personality is beneficial. For example, they’re probably more introverted if they like to spend their weekends at home, wrapped up with a nice book. What effect will this have on your own personality?

On weekdays what do you prefer to do?

It’s vital to know how a potential roommate spends their leisure time, especially on weekends. Find out what people like to do on weekends, whether it’s going out late at night or sleeping in.

How frequently do you expect your pals to visit?

Do you mind if a possible roommate invites their friends over for lunch, dinner, or weekends? Know when they intend to bring guests over and let them know about any social habits you have.

Are you dating anyone?

You could be signing up for a third roommate if a possible roommate has a love partner. While you shouldn’t dismiss someone just because they’re dating, you should talk about any concerns that develop as a result of their relationship.

How do you feel about overnight visitors?

Do you mind if your roommate had sleepovers with you? Establish boundaries for having overnight visits throughout the week and on weekends, whether it’s a love partner or a close friend.

How do you normally solve conflicts?

Is your possible roommate more inclined to have a face-to-face discussion or to drop passive-aggressive notes? To ensure you’ll be able to sort things out if a problem arises, learn how they generally resolve issues and compare it to your own conflict resolution approach.

How were your previous roommate experiences?

Everyone has had awful roommate situations in the past, but you’re searching for a trend. If they’ve had mostly unpleasant encounters with roommates, there’s a significant likelihood they’re the issue. Inquire whether they’ve ever had trouble paying their rent, if you can speak with their prior roommates, and what their largest argument with a roommate was about.

How long do you plan to stay?

If your roommate does not want to stay in the same place for an extended period of time, you may find yourself in this scenario again in less than a year. If you’re intending on relocating soon, this may be acceptable, but make sure you’re both on the same page.

Work, leisure, recreation, and cleaning: how would you prioritize them?

A great roommate relationship is built on shared ideals. You’ll be less inclined to dispute about a sink full of dishes if you both regard a tidy residence equally..

What qualities do you seek in a roommate?

In a roommate interview, one of the last questions you should ask will put you in the spotlight. Allow your possible roommate to speak with you about their expectations for having you as a roommate. Is it their goal to make you their new best friend, or would they prefer to have less contact with you?

Do you have any names of people I may call for references?

You should be able to contact past housemates, friends, and anyone who have known your potential roommate for at least a year. Check through the prospect’s social media accounts to acquire a better understanding of their personal lives.

Find the best roommate for you

It’s recommended not to hold back when thinking of questions to ask possible housemates. Keep it simple and seek for people that have similar lifestyles, attitudes, and expectations to you. It’s not always easy to share an apartment with a stranger, so make sure your roommate is someone you get along with.

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