How to Interview & Pick a Trustworthy Roommate

Whether you’re the interviewer or the interviewee, the roommate search can be awkward. Rest assured: living with a bad roommate is even worse. ApartmentSearch is here to help. We’ll walk you through the best way to interview a potential roommate so you can find one that you like and trust.

1. Attract potential roommates with a great roommate ad.

The first step to finding a wonderful roommate is attracting the right people through a roommate ad. This is your chance to spell out exactly how nice the apartment or room is (if you’ve already got a place), why you’re such a great roommate yourself, and what you’re looking for in a roommate.

By posting a thorough roommate ad, and knowing how to respond to one, you’ll narrow down candidates before it’s even time to start interviewing.

2. Ask questions about the topics you care about most.

You’ve probably got a long list of questions you want to ask your potential roommate, but prioritize the things you care about most. Consider the things you want in a roommate, as well as the things that would be absolute deal breakers for you—then ask multiple questions about those topics!

If you care about cleanliness, ask them:

  • How often do you clean your current space?
  • How do you feel about splitting up chores in the apartment?
  • How tidy are you on a scale of 1 to 10?

If you want to become friends, ask them:

  • Are you still friends with your old roommate?
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • What does your average weekend look like?

If you want your home to be relaxing and quiet, ask them:

  • What does a typical day look like for you?
  • How often do you plan to have guests over?
  • Do you have a significant other who will spend a lot of time here?

Everyone is looking for something different in their living situation, so the more questions you ask, the better idea you can get about a person, their intentions, and what it would be like to share a space with them.

3. Look for red flags.

Keep your eyes peeled for little things that could become big things over time.

Is this person abruptly breaking a lease because of a fight with a roommate?
Are they unemployed or currently homeless?
Do they talk over you or interrupt you?

These might seem minor during a roommate interview, but they could foreshadow problems down the road like a volatile relationship, late rent payments, or disrespect.

4. Keep an eye out for good signs, too!

On the other hand, note the good signs, too.

  • Do they watch all the same TV shows as you?
  • Does the conversation flow smoothly?
  • Do they seem responsible, mature, and warm?
  • Is their work schedule compatible with yours?

If you want to find a roommate that you can trust and befriend, these are all great signs. Don’t overlook them in the interview!

A great roommate can make your apartment living situation so much better. Once you interview the perfect roommate, search for the ideal apartment together on ApartmentSearch. Start building your roomie bond today!