Shaking hands with a hiring manager may seem like a tiny formality or an insignificant part of the hiring process. However, this small gesture is important, often serving as both the first and last impression you’ll make on the hiring manager.
Your handshake can either enhance or harm your professional image. As a result, getting it right can make a big difference in your rate of success. If you want to make sure you nail the handshake, here’s what you need to know.
The Basic Technique
A handshake is often fairly instinctive. However, if you have bad habits, you’ll incidentally repeat them. As a result, learning the right technique can help you correct issues and ensure your handshake is appropriate for the occasion.
When you meet the hiring manager, extend your right hand as they extend theirs. The idea is to meet in the middle, not wait for them to come to you or the other way around.
Next, direct your palm toward their palm and let your thumbs overlap. Aim to have a firm hand but don’t actively squeeze theirs, and keep your hand vertical. Additionally, don’t involve your left hand in the process at all, as placing your left hand on top of the handshake may be viewed as inappropriate.
Then, use one to two pumps, making sure the movement is subtle and not overly forceful. The entire handshake should only last a few seconds, so anything more than that is usually unnecessary. Try to make your handshake clean and crisp, as this often comes off as professional.
As you shake hands, make eye contact, smile, and greet the hiring manager. Finally, let go.
Keep It (Gender) Neutral
The basic technique outlined above should be used in all instances. There is no need to adjust your approach if you encounter a man or a woman. That handshake is appropriate in all business situations.
Adjusting your handshake based on the hiring manager’s gender could have repercussions. If you are a man and shake a female hiring manager’s hand differently, it could be interpreted as a lack of respect. If you are a woman and weakly shake a male hiring manager’s hand, they may think that you lack confidence.
Preparing for the Handshake
While you shouldn’t stress too much about your handshake when the moment arrives, there are a few steps that you should take in advance. For example, make sure your hands are both clean and dry. A damp handshake is unpleasant for everyone, and a dirty hand may put off the hiring manager.
If you tend to sweat before an interview, wash and dry your hands right before the meeting. If they become damp again, try to discretely wipe your hand off on your pant leg to reduce the amount of moisture.
Looking For A Job in St. Louis?
By following the tips above, you can make sure that your handshake makes the best impression possible. If you’d like to learn more about interview preparation, the staff at TRC Staffing Services can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruiters today and see how our interview expertise can benefit you.