Getting the room: seven tips for acing your share house interview

Life in a share house
Domain's Rachel Clun talks to renters about the highs and lows of communal living.

Finding a good room in a share house can be cutthroat in some suburbs, but there’s no need to resort to dirty tactics. 

Much like a job interview, it doesn’t matter how good you look on paper, you still have to prove yourself in person.

Here are our top tips for acing your flatmate interview and landing yourself the best bedroom in the house. 

It won't matter how good you look on paper, you still have to prove yourself in person.It won’t matter how good you look on paper, you still have to prove yourself in person. Photo: Stocksy

Dress to impress

Some might say that a pantsuit and power blazer is over the top, but that’s just their opinion. You really want to wow these new people, after all your future is in their hands.

However, you don’t want to give off the impression that you’re desperate and trying too hard because every other share house has already knocked you back.

Best to wear something clean and, preferably, ironed and definitely not that pair of jeans you’ve been wearing all week.  

You could take sartorial advice from the Pantsuit Power flashmob. Photo: Vimeo

Ask questions and visit several places

This is a chance for you to make sure you’re getting a good deal too, so it’s important to ask about all the possible deal-breakers such as car spaces, public transport access or even bad taste in TV shows. It’s a good idea to research prices in the area to help you identify if you’re about to be ripped off. 

Arrive on time

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re a bit late, like if you’re going to work or the dentist, but that won’t fly today. Show up late and you’re basically saying “do not give this room to me because I am hopeless”. 

Be honest

If you’re planning on bringing a cat or a significant other, much like coming through airport customs, now is the time to declare everything. If you lie about important things now like your job and ability to pay rent, that is guaranteed to come back to bite you. Don’t be tempted to act like a politician and get yourself the job based on your false promises. 

Declare everything. Image: Giphy.

Be impressive

If someone is interviewing up to a dozen people for a room you need to think of something that sets you apart from the rest. Coming with a good recommendation from a mutual friend can help seal the deal here. Your interview prospects will also improve if you can offer something the house is missing, for example a new fridge or ironic movie posters. 

Have good banter 

People will be more likely to give you the room if they think you’re fun to be around, so if you don’t have any good jokes you can at least be extra polite and try to find some common interests during your interview. 

A lot of people only want someone normal to live with, essentially you just have to prove you’re a reasonably nice human and not a giant reptile in a person suit.

Be ready to walk away

It’s worth being prepared for the event if you hate the house you’ve applied to move into. If you’ve only seen photos of it online, people aren’t going to show the bad bits, like the black mould that might be on the wall, or “water views” that you can only see if you walk another two blocks. If you don’t get the loft bedroom of your dreams just dust yourself off, iron a new shirt and get back out there.  

It’s OK, mate. Image: Giphy.