A handshake seems like such a menial gesture, that it is often overlooked in everyday life and the interview process. However, there is significant weight behind this gesture in your first impression with people you meet. Think about it...have you ever shook someone’s hand and got an impression from it? Either a weird vibe or instant connection right from the start?
You often start an interview with a handshake, it serves as an invaluable first impression when meeting someone new. The subtle body language of a handshake can tell a lot about your character, and employers can use that greeting to help determine if you’re a good fit for their team. A good handshake will show respect and confidence. You should have a firm (but not tight) grip, eye contact, and a warm genuine smile.
A handshake is so important, that Forbes recently published an article that reminds readers to think about what kind of message you’re putting out with your handshake. I have to admit, I used to have the “wet noodle” handshake. I never even gave my handshake any thought, until I moved to Texas for school. All new students had to attend a workshop about handshakes. We discussed what a handshake meant and how to find confidence with our own handshakes. They prided themselves on molding professionals in the field, and it all started with a solid handshake.
In an interview, your handshake is not just a warm greeting, it also assists in breaking the ice. You get the chance to show your confidence, and in turn, get a confidence boost as well. As Eminem says, this is your one shot, your one opportunity [to make a great first impression], but make sure your palms are less sweaty. It’s easier to move into the part of the body of the interview where you can demonstrate your skills.
A handshake is also important in the closing of an interview, or even a job offer… it is also a gesture of thanks or an agreement. In the United States, a handshake has seemingly always been very important. It is even considered a binding agreement in some instances (Gentlemen’s Agreement, anyone?).
Have you thought about your own handshake? What vibe are you giving off when you shake someone's hand? If not, you should.
If you’re still nervous about handshakes or your upcoming interview, let our Employment Specialists help prepare you with our interview services.