Roommate Interview FAQ:
In addition to offering affordable, comfortable living in a prime location, HomeRoom wants for your daily life to be as chill as possible. That’s why we go the extra mile to make sure that our mix of roommates get along and that it’s not just a chemistry experiment gone bad. We know that we are asking you to invest some time up front — a couple of hours max every couple of months or so — but in the end, it will pay off. Your participation in selecting your fellow roommates helps ensure a harmonious household.
These FAQs will explain how existing residents participate in the roommate selection process and timeframes for taking action. Please read them carefully. While it may seem like pain point, you’ll be happier that you made the time to select compatible roomies that may turn into lifelong friends!
What is the process to interview a roommate?
1) By 9 p.m. tomorrow:
Please find a few times this week where all current roommates are available
One member of the house should reach out to the candidate(s) with the available times. Once a time is confirmed – provide it to the other roommates and HomeRoom (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2) By 9 p.m. Sunday: Meet with the candidate as group either in person or via video. Provide feedback to HomeRoom (email@example.com) within fours hours of the meeting
We acted quickly but there are literally zero 30-minute time slots that work for everybody – What do we do?
Let us know ASAP. Exceptions/extensions may be made if the house communicates obstacles to meeting the deadlines during the 24-hour window after the candidate email is sent. Fees will not be refunded for any reason if they are communicated after the deadline.
What if there are no times that work for us as a group?
If there are no time options by 9 p.m. on Sunday, please reach out to us via the HomeRoom messenger app (powered by Slack) and firstname.lastname@example.org with specifics of why the house can’t meet – and we’ll work with you to find an acceptable solution.
One of our next options is to have the house break up into two groups of 2-3, since scheduling less people is easier, and having the canidate meet with each group.
Why do we need to do this at all? Can’t we just trust you to pick someone for us?
We get that this seems like a lot of work but it benefits you in the long run. We have found that randomly-selected roommates rarely work out. Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable knowing who you were going to be sharing space with? Have a heads-up about their habits? Hours? Interests? By screening potential roommates, you have more control over who moves in.
1) A Great Roommate Candidate Want to Meet YOU: The majority of our roommate candidates are unwilling to commit to a house until they have met all of the roommates. Most of the time they’d prefer to meet in-person. We like when candidates request this – it shows that they are selective and know how important roommate chemistry is.
2) Community: Community is the core of why this company was founded. We are not just satisfied with full houses – we want thriving micro-communities. And that starts with finding the right people to join each house. We firmly believe the best people qualified to know if a candidate is truly the right fit are the house members themselves.
Proactively and continually working together as a house is a necessity to honoring your lease and getting the most out of living at HomeRoom.
Why do we have to move so fast?
1) Great candidates have other options – and will take them if we move slowly. ( AKA more tours for you/no utilities credit.) Meaning we’ll have to start the whole selection process over again – which is a drag for everybody. Actively partnering with us to get vacancies filled quickly, means fewer disruptions to your lifestyle.
2) These meetings can take as little as 30 minutes and current house residents get the final say on whether an applicant gets the green light to move in. We believe that it’s possible to schedule and make these meetings happen quickly if you make them a priority — as should be the case in a harmonious household.
3) It’s unfair to candidates to leave them in housing limbo – most of them have been interviewed by us, toured numerous properties, applied for, reviewed and signed a (pending) lease. To make them wait more than a few days to confirm that they get the room adds stress to an already difficult transition period of their life
I don’t really care who moves in. Can I get out of roommate interviews?
Not at this time. Why would you not care who you’re sharing living quarters with? Making yourself available for roommate interviews is an important part of creating a collaborative house dynamic as well as part of your lease agreement with HomeRoom.
We ask members to keep a positive attitude during this process and remember that these meetings are seldom (once every few months) and usually fairly short (<30 minutes). We will act to enforce the lease here if necessary but only as a last resort.
We also hope to gradually convince you how important the roommates you live with are - by showing you how great it can be to have amazing ones while you live with HomeRoom. Trust us - great roommates are a GAME CHANGER. Additionally, we are a self -built community, so we hope that you will engage with this process and be a part of creating something great.
What if I’m too busy to coordinate with my roommates?
If your house has too many other commitments that prevent you from attempting to coordinate the roommate interview and communicating to the candidate (if the email is ignored and no inter-roommate communication happens), well, life happens. HomeRoom will take over the text coordination for the house and to the candidate on your house’s behalf for a convenience fee of $25 per person.
Additionally, if either of the scheduling deadlines pass (36 hours for scheduling or four days for meeting) without action by the house, a HomeRoom staff member will automatically take over scheduling of the roommate interview and the convenience fee will be automatically charged to each house member’s account. We uphold these strict deadlines to ensure that we are courteous to the candidate, who is in the middle of making an important housing decision.
Even after a HomeRoom staff member takes over scheduling coordination, it remains very important for members to respond promptly with their availability. Members who do not respond to HomeRoom staff members when scheduling interviews will be seen in violation of their lease and put on probation. Repeat offenders will be evaluated for lease termination.
What if we don’t like the candidate?
We want your honest feedback. We definitely understand if the candidate is not a good fit. Based on your feedback, we’ll offer the candidate another location to tour or decline them all together.
Why can’t we do this individually? It’s hard to coordinate!
We understand that finding two or three 30-minute time slots is tough! We’ve done it. However, we’ve also tried meeting with candidates individually and, in our experience, has found that it’s not as effective. Here are our two main reasons:
1) By requesting individual meetings, the new potential roommate is required to coordinate and meet five different times with five different people. Additionally, the candidate doesn’t get to see the group dynamic – which is really important in their selection process
2) Coordinating a 30-minute meeting with all housemates is an essential part of having a successful HomeRoom house. The lease requires that housemates must hold a meeting at least once per quarter to review the house rules and discuss issues. HomeRoom believes in building awesome houses and this only can occur in houses that communicate well and can meet quickly when needed — to work through the inevitable issues that will surface in nearly all roommate living situations.
What if I have social activities planned already?
We don’t want to interrupt your busy social calendar but we ask you to put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. They are on a deadline and they need to know if their top choice wants them to move in or if they need to start looking again. That is why we have the four-day deadline. We kindly request that you prioritize this <30-minute roommate meeting over any plans you have that are not career- or health-related. The viability of each house depends on keeping all bedrooms filled. Delayed meetings usually lead to losing amazing candidates which is frustrating not just to the HomeRoom staff but to your housemates who are giving the tours, as well.
Do you have suggested questions to ask the candidates?
Yes! Here are some of our favorites.
Can you tell us about yourself?
Have you lived with roommates before?
What does keeping a house clean mean to you?
Do you have friends come over often?
What indoor temperature do you like best?
What makes you a great roommate?
What are your roommate pet peeves?
Do you like to have friends over or do you like to keep the party outside?
What time do you go to bed?
How often do you cook?
How long do you plan to stay?
Are you still friends with old roommates?
What was your best/worst roommate experience? Why was it so good/bad?