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What to Ask a Potential Flatmate?

What to Ask a Potential Flatmate?

Now that you've advertised and have a list of potential flatmates, comes the time to choose the "right" flatmate. Many of us find ourselves in a dilemma; debating what to ask and what not to ask. Remember here that no question is silly.

To help yourself make the interview more effective, you should probably have a set of questions prepared. Each of these questions should help you decide if the person you're interviewing is the "right" flatmate for you. It helps you organize your thoughts and frame questions based on what you'd like to know about your potential flatmate.

What do you want in a flatmate? Knowing what you want in a flatmate can help you structure your selection process. Are you looking for someone who shares similar interests and can become a friend too? Or, are you just looking for someone who minds his own business and pays bills on time without necessarily giving you company?

Find out what's important to you when living with a flatmate. It could be personality, hygiene, privacy, or habits. Frame your questions around those topics aiming to gain relevant information to help you decide.

Why an interview is essential to find a good flatmate/housemate? Taking in a flatmate is an important decision and you should feel comfortable and confident with the choice you've made. The time spent interviewing a potential flatmate is like a prelude to living in the same space, giving you an opportunity to gauge the person from close quarters.

Try to remember that the other person would also have come prepared and will be putting their best foot forward. No matter how perfect the interview might have gone, trust your instincts. The best way to get to the real person you're interviewing is by making them comfortable. That's when people let their guard down and are being just themselves.

What questions should you ask at the interview? The questions you ask can be specific to your situation and requirements and also cover some more basic areas. These areas are:

- Personality

- References and past flatmate experiences

- Financial stability

- Living habits

- Student/Employment status

- Length of stay

- References

Some questions that you can ask:

- What are your working hours? - This can help you match your schedules.

- How do you hope to pay the rent (cash in hand or by direct debit or cheque?) - Set financial responsibilities.

- Have you shared a house before? - Ask for references. This provides you an opportunity to ascertain stability and compatibility from other sources.

- Do you smoke or drink? - If this is an issue for you.

- What do you look for in a flatmate? - Gives you a personality check on your potential flatmate.

- How often do you entertain guests?- This can set grounds for dealing with privacy issues.

These are just a few. However, you can always build on the questions leading to more specific areas. If sexual orientation or religion is one of the factors, don't hesitate to ask it. But approach sensitive issues with caution and word your questions carefully.

Don't hesitate to end an interview if the person does not offer information that can help you decide. Be clear in your communication, polite and respectful throughout the interview. Also, ask if he/she has any questions to ask. This can give you more information about what they're looking for and it aligns with your requirements. Besides, it's the polite thing to do.

Try to keep in mind that you're entering into a commitment once you take in a flatmate. Be absolutely sure that you've covered all aspects and have all the information necessary to make a decision.

Ed Shin runs the UK's only review & resource guide for house & flatshares on the web. To find out more, visit http://www.HouseFlatshareReviews.co.uk.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Edward_Shin
http://EzineArticles.com/?What-to-Ask-a-Potential-Flatmate?&id=1858777

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