The Handshake

The handshake sets the tone for most interviews so, be sure to get off to a solid start with a confident, professional introduction. Research shows that a handshake can establish the same level of rapport that it would take three hours of face-to-face conversation to achieve.

With that in mind, let’s review some tips for shaking your way to a job offer or solid business relationship.

1) Be first out of the gate.
When the interviewer approaches you, be the first to extend your hand. It shows an openness and proactive nature. Both are qualities all employers desire.

2) What’s your slant?
Begin with your hand slightly angled…your palm should not be completely facing the ground. A sideways slant allows for a better lock between hands.

3) The palms hold the key.
Palm-to-palm contact is most important element of the handshake. The palm-to-palm contact is symbolic and shows you are fully engaged and connected.

4) The eyes have it.
Making eye contact is a no-brainer. It is essential to taking the connection to the next level and to demonstrate confidence.

5) Under pressure.
Here is where you take your cue from the interviewer, and apply no more pressure than about two levels above the pressure they are exerting. Whatever you do, avoid the extremes of too much or too little pressure.

Many of you might think this is an elementary topic to cover. However, I can tell you of several candidates I know who lost an opportunity simply with poor “handshake” technique. The interviewer was so put off by the candidates introduction that they told me “it didn’t matter” what the candidate said after that because “the interview was already over.”

Shake the hand of someone you know and trust and obtain their feedback. It might just help you get a job.

David Lammert

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