Why Interview Prospective Roommates?

Whether you have known your prospective roommate since kindergarten, or whether you just met, it is important to set aside some time for an in-depth conversation to discuss your expectations. You should meet in person, perhaps over a cup of coffee. Campus is a great neutral ground. A telephone call just won't do for something as important as this.

Don't skip any of the following points! Thoroughly explore how each of you feels about the other's comments. If you are not clear about something, ask! Better now than after you sign a lease. Be tactful-say, "I have never shared a bedroom and doing so now could be a hassle," instead of, "You couldn't pay me to share a room with someone." But, above all, be honest! If either of you paints too rosy a picture, you are in for some nasty surprises later on. If you live with someone long enough, your true feelings will eventually come out.

You may want to jot down a list of points to consider, such as:

Who Are You?

Discuss your background, your family, home, previous school, activities before you came to CSUSM, your weakness for Haagen Daz Rum Raisin ice cream, everything that makes you-you.

What Are Your Needs?

Frankly discuss any and all of the following sticky subjects.

Likes And Dislikes

Regarding smoking, drugs, drinking, pets, music, etc.

Overnight Guests

Boyfriend, girlfriend, family, friends. (This is a biggie! Be honest about your feelings, many a roommate relationship has run into big trouble over this one.)

Study Habits

When, Where, and How often.

Kitchen Arrangements

Will you share food costs? What are your nutritional needs? Who will do the dishes? How often? Does three-month-old spaghetti in the refrigerator make you crazy?


Habits How neat and tidy are you really?

Sleeping Needs

What hours? How much? Windows open?


How much do you want or need? Private bath? Private bedroom? Private study space?

Social Habits

Are you dating? Do you like to party? When is entertaining friends OK and not OK?

Spare Time

How do you like to spend it? Watch TV? Listen to jazz? Raise white mice for experiments? Read?

How Do You Express Your Emotions?

Are you moody? What are you like when you are down and out? What are you like when things are good? Are you shy or extroverted? Are you a good listener? When you are angry do you fight, sulk, or talk it out? What are your pet peeves?

Where Do You Want To Live?

Are you looking for a house or an apartment? Do you have your heart set on living in a particular area? Is an access-controlled building a top priority?

What Is Your Budget?

How much can you afford to pay for rent and utilities? What kind of "luxuries" (if any) do you require? Cable TV? Telephone? Air Conditioner?