Good maid characteristics – are you looking to hire a new maid?
Whether you are looking to hire a maid for new parent, or looking for a maid for elderly, here are 6 good maid characteristics you should look for in your next prospective maid!
Your maid should be able to pay attention to details, whether big or small. Look for how she remembers things you tell her.
You can test this by giving her a list of household chores with specific instructions for 2-3 of them. See how she fairs when she recites this back to you and whether she remembers the minute details that you gave.
Make coffee in the morning, using the big pot and 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Prepare peanut butter sandwich with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
Ready a pail of water with detergent to mop the floor using 4 caps of the detergent.
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This characteristic trait will be important in housekeeping, cooking, cleaning and more.
You can also test her attention to detail by asking her to buy ingredients / groceries and deliberately leaving out details. See whether she asks you about the specific details of what she is about to buy.
Purchase sugar – how many bags or how much worth
Buy chicken meat – which part of the chicken? Breast, thigh, wing, drumlet?
Buy eggs – how many?
Your maid should be willing to out in the necessary effort to get the job done.
Ask her about what kind of housework she currently does at home.
Good questions to ask include how often she sweeps the floor, how often she cooks for her household, what time she wakes up and goes to sleep at night.
She should also have the mindset of going above and beyond to get the job done, because she feels personally responsible.
Although this characteristic is a clear plus to have, it is definitely hard to identify.
Here’s a tip on how to interview and detect ownership:
Ask her about what she doesn’t like about her work. Or a time where something didn’t go right at work / when doing household chores.
See whether she does any finger-pointing to blame her employers for the cause of the problem. Remember, how she talks about her previous employer is how she will be talking about you!
Your maid should not give up too easily.
Adapting to Singapore culture can be tough, especially with the different pace of life, working hours, cultural norms and language transitions.
You can ask her about how she adapted to her previous environment when working as a domestic employer.
Another way is to deliberately ask difficult questions that are complicated to see how she reacts to the stress of the interview.
If she gives signs that she gave up due to the complexity of questions, give a hard pass. As much as language issues are a concern, she should have the right attitude and resilience to finish the interview properly.
Identify good maid characteristics early. Remember, it is better to put in more effort in the interview than pay the price later both financially and in terms of time.
Your maid should have a basic sense of empathy. This is especially important if you are hiring as a parent, or for them to take care of kids.
With more incidents of maids abusing children physically by hitting them or verbally abusing them, you want to be especially careful for this one.
It helps if your helper has a track record of taking care of their own kids, or helping take care of their aged parents.
Having a sense of empathy is also good for your helper to pass on to your kids. You want them to learn about empathy and compassion from a young age, and a helper that is around is a great person to pass this value on.
In addition to empathy, kindness, generosity and humility are also good maid characteristics to have.
WARNING: that being said, be careful to not hire someone who is too emotional. She may feel exceptionally homesick after coming over, and this will create more problems for you down the road.
Desire to Learn / Improve
When coming over, your maid has to learn many new things at the same time.
This includes a new pace of life, new languages, new cultural norms, new food and smells…the list goes on.
Your maid has to have a willingness and openness to learn from the moment she lands in Singapore.
Asks her about how she is preparing to come to Singapore – is she learning about Singapore cultural norms, or is she in the midst of learning English or Chinese?
These are all good signs to look out for.
Have any questions on any of the above good maid characteristic traits to look for when hiring a maid?
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