Among the many tools Sharing Housing has to offer in the quest to find the best home-mate is the Interview Guide which, in my opinion, ranks as the number one tool that will help you see more clearly potential issues with a future home-mate.
The Interview Guide consists of 16 questions with multiple choice answers and room to further expand on your answer. Once you and your possible home-mate candidate take the assessment, it will eventually lead to a conversation where the both of you can discuss what makes a successful housing arrangement and compare responses.
The beauty of this tool is that it allows you to have an open and honest conversation with your possible housemate and neither side has to worry about offending the other. We all have our lifestyle preferences, and if it isn’t a good fit it’s better to learn early on before there’s any type of relationship and money is exchanged.
I mentioned in my previous blog posts that I was very lucky with the two flat-mates I had when I lived in San Francisco, but I was also a very different person. I was twenty five years younger, I could easily shrug off the foibles of others, and I wasn’t as settled in my own ways.
Today as a single woman in her mid-fifties, I find that I’m not as patient with quirks and I’m a bit of stickler when it comes to my home, comfort, and safety. I emphasize safety because of an experience I wrote about while in college, but as an aging adult female I don’t want to worry about living in a household where I feel there’s a potential danger and that’s something worth discussing.
What do I mean by that? The obvious, of course, is having questionable characters coming and going. It also means the quality of the neighborhood. Would I feel safe at night to walk? Is it possible to leave my car unlocked? How many break-ins has the neighborhood experienced? It also concerns my dogs’ safety; a gate left open might let them get access to a busy street or carelessness with pesticides, cleaners, and other substances might harm them. These are topics that I would need to discuss, in addition to the typical household habits.
The Interview Guide stresses communication. Talk it through, get to know your possible housemate, ask questions, and answer honestly. If some responses seem off or just don’t sit well with you, remember you’re under no obligation to move forward with this person. You’ve explored and it’s not a fit. And that is the power of using the Assessment.
Have you looked at the Interview Guide? What stands out for you in thinking about living with another that needs to be thoroughly discussed?