Your handshake matters more than you think. You might have the right skills, the perfect-fit personality, and the best background to perform the job. However, if you extend the wrong handshake, it can impact your odds of landing the offers.
In fact, hiring managers report that one factor they use to pick between two strong candidates is their handshakes. Don’t let a bad or weak one sabotage your chance of getting your dream job.
Why Do Handshakes Matter So Much?
According to researchers, handshakes are a way for another person – in this case, a hiring manager – to assess your nature and confidence, which can impact how you perform on the job. A weak, limp handshake will communicate a timid personality, while a too-aggressive one can send the message that you’re trying to hard. It’s why a firm, dry handshake is best and can even set the tone for the interview and conversation, creating more trust and intimacy in the process.
How You Can Improve Your Handshake
Now that you know why handshakes are so important, how can you go about improving yours? After all, you don’t want damp, clammy hands or not-enough eye contact to impact your ability to find a great job. To improve your efforts, here are some tips to follow:
Stand to greet the other person.
If you’re waiting for the hiring manager to arrive and then they enter the room, stand up to greet them. Don’t shake their hand in the sitting position. By rising from the chair and shaking their hand while introducing yourself, you will show respect and professionalism.
Smile and make eye contact.
When you’re going to shake someone’s hand, think about it more than the shake. It’s also important to look the other person in the eye for a brief moment and smile at them. A warm, genuine smile with eye contact sends the message that you are friendly, confident, and ready for the conversation.
Offer a firm, dry grip.
Make sure you not holding a bottle of water, for instance, before the interview. This can make your hands cold and wet. Instead, offer a firm, dry grip similar with the same level of pressure you use to open the handle of a door. Don’t overdo it and crush the other person’s hand. At the same time, don’t offer a weak grip, either.
Keep your palm perpendicular to the ground.
Don’t offer a shake where your hand is on the top, which makes it seem like you’re trying dominate the other person. Likewise, don’t do the two-handed handshake, where you shake with the right hand and then put your left hand over their hand.
Instead, simply offer a hand that is perfectly perpendicular with the ground, while opening up the space between your index finger and your thumb. Hold their hand for two to three pumps and then let go. This conveys warmth without seeming too eager.
Get more help from our team of experts.
At OneSource Staffing Solutions, we can help you prep for interviews, including everything from your handshake and body language to interview answers and more. We’ll also give you insight and details into each potential employer, so you feel more confident walking into the interview. Ready for expert help with your job search? We’re a click away.