No long commute, no full suit, and no awkward handshake. Remote interviews are great, right? Not so fast. While remote interviews may seem easy, they’re often harder to prepare for than in-person interviews. How to make a good first impression from a distance? Here are our Top 6 Tips:

1. Dress to impress.

While the remote interview may conjure images of dress shirt on top and pajama pants on bottom, this isn’t a best practice. You never know if you’ll have to stand up to deal with a tech issue or adjust your environment. Besides, it’s important to dress professionally to get into the professional mindset. Dress to impress — from head to toe.

2. Prepare your surroundings.

In a remote interview, a distracting or disorganized environment can be a deal-breaker. Your interviewer will form a first impression off of what they see on their screen, so sitting in front of a clean, neutral background is the way to go. Avoid distractions ahead of time — alert all family members, children and pets of your interview, and silence all electronics.

3. Test out your technology ahead of time.

There are so many ways to conduct a remote interview – Skype, Facetime and Google Hangouts to name a few. Make sure you have everything you need to make the connection smooth and stress-free. Test your technology in advance. Connect with a friend, a family member or an old colleague to remind yourself how to work the technology. Moreover, make sure you have the necessary contact information at your fingertips.

4. Practice.

You may be a pro at in-person interviews, but remote interviews are a different beast. Even the most seasoned interviewer may struggle with where to put their hands, how loudly to speak, and where to look. Practice makes perfect! Rehearse your interview with a friend or family member and record it to watch back. This way, you’ll have an accurate understanding of how you come across on screen and can adjust as needed.

5. Stay present.

It’s easy to zone out when the only thing between you and your interviewer is a computer screen, but it’s important to stay engaged. Practice active listening — give your interviewer periodic cues to let them know you’re there. Interject listening sounds such as “hmm” or “yes” to get the message across. While this may feel strange at first, you want to let your interviewer know that you are present and engaged in the conversation.

6. Use notes!

Using notes isn’t cheating here. Take advantage of the fact that you aren’t sitting in-person with your interviewer. Prepare notes on your resume, questions for the interviewer, talking points, and any relevant information about the company in front of you. Be sure that you’re familiar with your material, but feel free to glance at it every once in a while.

As our workforce relies more heavily on technology, it is important to stay up to date. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your next remote interview!

Contact Denise Schwartz or Eynav Epstein at EpsteinSchwartz Legal Search to learn more, to discuss the legal market or to hear about current opportunities.

EpsteinSchwartz Legal Search is a Chicago-based boutique legal recruiting firm. EpsteinSchwartz does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic. All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.