Sly Ways to Screen a Potential Roommate

Get in touch with your inner private eye. Here are ways to evaluate a potential roommate on the sly. Are you drawing conclusions, perhaps unfairly? Sure. But that's half the fun.
Prior to Meeting Your Potential Roommate....

DO "the Google"

Fire up your favorite browser engine and do search his or her full name. Do more than one search. Make sure to append your searches with terms like "serial killer," "wanted," and/or "missing housemate." If nothing comes up, keep your appointment.

DO Scope Out the 'Hood
Check out the neighborhood and address before meeting your potential housemate. You can make snap judgments about the tastes and preferences about this stranger based on what's located nearby. Remember: think in terms of stereotypes.

While Meeting Your Potential Roommate...

DO Find a Reason to Open the Refrigerator
The contents and cleanliness of a refrigerator says a lot about who owns it. Push aside fears about looking weird or being a nosy jerk. Just swing open the door and have a look. If questioned why you've barged in and opened the refrigerator, claim you thought you heard a kitten trapped inside. Everyone loves kittens.

DO Ask Intimate Questions Immediately
Why waste time living with this person if you can find out what makes them tick right away? Think of the time and aggravation savings. Go ahead and ask about their religious and political beliefs. Push ahead like a bossy psychiatrist. You're doing yourself a favor.

On second thought...

Use common sense. The best way to research a potential roommate is to do some preliminary asking around via mutual friends. If you don't share mutual friends use caution meeting a potential roommate. And no, don't ask intimate questions. But the fridge tip... worth trying.
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