I have a skype interview coming up, however I do not have a proper place do be doing it. I don't have time to run home and prepare, so I'm thinking of doing it in my car. Is that frowned upon or should I just be up front with the employer and tell them I did not have the allotted time to go home and do the interview.
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What are your thoughts on doing a video/Skype interview in the car?
Perhaps you could duck into a coffee shop or something? Perhaps not.
If your car is really the best you can do, then just go with it. (Telling them that you "did not have the allotted time to go home" when you accepted this time frame is basically saying that you didn't think this whole thing through very well. That's not a good impression to convey during an interview.)
Make sure to minimize any external noises to avoid distractions. Make sure you have sufficient power. And make sure the lighting and background are good. At least drive to a quiet spot that lets you do all this.
If the question "are you in your car?" comes up during the interview, laugh, tell them that there wasn't a good place at your current employer to do this, and indicate how this interview was so important to you that you felt compelled to conduct it anyway, even if that meant it was necessary to do so in this less-than-optimal location. Indicate that you hope they understand and that you would be happy to reschedule if this isn't working out for them.
And for future interviews, don't do this - too many possible distractions and things that could go wrong. Think it through and schedule your interview properly.
I wouldn't see interviewing from your car as a big deal, were I interviewing you, but there are some things to take seriously:
Visuals and acoustics will "color" everything you say in a video interview. Take them seriously. You'll need to borrow a few tricks from my old video production bag to make this work well:
- Get an earpiece with a microphone, and test it. Don't get a headset that makes you look like a Cyberman from Doctor Who. Get a one-ear unit that has a microphone that comes very close to your mouth, and not just by your jaw. If you sound muffled, or you use your PC / tablet / phone mic and pick up all the echo of your car's cab, it will make it difficult to understand you, which will frustrate the other participant. This frustration will "attach" to you in their minds like an odor. Make sure you give crisp, clear, and direct audio to them.
- Position the camera at eye level, not on the dash or in your lap. No one wants to be looking up your nasal cavity for the whole interview. Eye level, or even just a touch higher, will make you appear much better.
- Ensure you park somewhere quiet, where you won't have people walking up to your car or driving by. A park is good, a restaurant parking lot is not.
- Lighting. Make sure you have some light on your face, and don't let the camera auto-level see a big bright background out your rear window and leave you as a silhouette. Remember - weather and time of day will have a big impact on this. If you can, park in the shade (so you don't squint) with a dark background behind you, and good indirect light in front of you.
It is well worth your time to ask a friend to critique your setup over Skype before your interview.
This assumes you're not just talking about the initial phone screening interview...
No. Don't do it. It will be weird. Hollywood may glamorize such out-of-the-box antics, but real life doesn't appreciate it.
For starters, you'll be the first person the interviewer has ever seen do it. After you don't get the job, you'll be the joke they all bring up from time to time. "Remember that car interview?"
Next, remote interviews are used in lieu of paying travel expenses, which is a convenience to the interviewing company. If it's a convenience to you, that's just a bonus, but not a goal they have. You're still expected to put some effort into the interview. Which leads the third point...
You want the job, don't you? Don't you owe it to yourself to present yourself at your best? Don't you want to be completely focused on the interview? A visual interview is intended to allow them to see your non-verbals, your facial expressions and body language. Without that, you're at a disadvantage. Depending on on the type of job, you may be expected to share a screen or look something up. How would you do that?
Essentially, it would be awkward for everyone. Even if you're stationary, your attention will be divided. And your interviewers will likely be left thinking, "What the heck?" And they might even wonder if you're actually unemployed and homeless. Do yourself a favor and make a time and place for the interview. No reasonable interviewer will balk at your scheduling an interview a day or two out. If the company expects you to drop everything when they call, you probably don't really want to work there.
If you did schedule the interview in advance, but you didn't plan well, that's on you.