It’s not all wine and cheese nights or board games, living with other people can be incredibly tough. Finding that balance of personalities can make the difference between wanting to come home and dreading it. Here are our tips to interviewing a potential flatmate, asking these questions now will make your life immeasurably easier when you’re all sharing the same sink. Who knows you could end up living with Thor and Darryl.
Make your place sparkle
You are, essentially, hosting a guest. So, clean all the dishes, throw all the unfolded washing in your room, light an over-priced scented candle and pretend it looks like this all the time. Make sure you look presentable (but not overdone cause you’re at home-chill) and be ready to be a boss cause this social situation is under your control.
Have questions prepared
It’s totally okay to have a notebook in front of you to read questions off of. You definitely want to make sure you cover the essentials like rent, bond, was the dress blue or white, bills etc. What is probably not okay in most people’s eyes is taking notes down like it’s a job interview.
Don’t forget the small talk
You don’t want your interview to read like that census (that we may never do). So as much as questions like “what do you do for work” and “do you own an axe” are important, don’t forget the chit-chat. Not only does this help you not sound like a nervous drone, it’s a way more insightful approach. Sean the IT guy may sound like a straight shooter until you realise he was the one who hacked Hilary Clinton’s computer.
Suss out their dating situation
People tend to volunteer information about their dating status in general small talk, so, listen for cues, or guide the conversation. If they are in a relationship, you’ll want to know a little about their partner, how often they see each other and if they’ll be staying over a lot. If they are single, the big question on your lips should be if they use dating apps. This could mean one night stands. (Read: Potential minor robberies).
Slyly broach the drug chat
You absolutely need to know in advance a potential housemate’s smoking, and drug use habits. Do they get drunk often, or never? Are they drunk right now? Share your habits as well to make sure that you guys can tolerate each other’s behaviours. It can be hard trying to get strangers to open up about their vices, so consider picking up some cheap wine from Aldi to offer to guests on arrival to break the ice. In terms of the more controversial or “illegal” topics, just ask them if they like house music, or if they watch Adventure Time.
Don’t over-think the exchange too much because at the end of the day, you’re looking for someone who you could hang out with quite a bit and you want to establish a good relationship. Also, remember that they are interviewing you too.