Finding the perfect roommate is a daunting if not impossible task to undertake. You may not find someone that you get along with 100% of the time, but if you have a plan and ask key questions when interviewing a new roommate, you'll save yourself a massive headache down the road. So, remember to ask the following questions when meeting a potential roommate.
Place an ad for a roommate online or on your campus if you are a college student. Or, ask friends if they know anyone who needs a roommate. Even if you plan on living with a friend that you know, ask them these questions, too. Being friends with someone and living with them are two different things.
Once a potential roommate has contacted you, plan a time to talk over the phone or in person. Choose a safe, public location if you don't know the person or they weren't recommended by a friend.
Then ask your potential roommate a few questions. Be respectful as you interview, and offer them a chance to ask some questions as well.
1. How would you describe your personality? Introverted, outgoing, laid-back, conservative, life of the party?
2. What are your hours like?
3. Do you like to invite people over often or host parties?
4. Are there particular people (i.e. boy/girlfriend) that spend a good deal of time at your place?
5. How are you willing to split the bills, rent, and security deposit?
6. Do you have any specific food allergies or eating habits?
7. What do you enjoy doing on the weekends and during your downtime?
8. Do you have any pets, or would you mind living with pets?
9. Can you commit to the entire length of the lease?
10. Do you smoke?
11. How do you feel about sharing common spaces, personal items, food, cooking utensils, toiletries, etc?
12. What are your major pet peeves?
13. Have you lived with a roommate before? What were your experiences?
14. If you've had a problem with a roommate in the past, how did you handle it?
15. How would you describe your room? Messy, clean, neat, disaster area?
16. What kind of chores do you refuse to do?
17. How do you feel about safety issues? Locking doors? Closing windows when not at home? etc.
18. Do you have a lot of furniture or decorations that you want to use?
19. Do you try to conserve energy or recycle?
20. Can you provide references from past roommates or landlords?
21. Is there anything else that you'd like me to know?
Now that you know what your potential roommate is like, think about it. And, while it all may look good on paper, there will be differences between you, and setting up rules or expectations ahead of time will also lead to a happy coexistence.