How To Shake Hands at a Job Interview

The job interview is a standard procedure conducted by employers with the purpose of getting to personally meet aspiring employees for the proper selection of qualified persons for specific job openings. In this one-time meeting with your probable boss, you might want to make a good and lasting impression. Aside from good grooming, proper etiquette and a pleasing personality, you may also want to consider giving your probable boss a proper handshake. Here are a few helpful tips on how to shake hands at a job interview.

First, you must remember to keep your hands clean.

  • Keep your fingernails trimmed neat and short. If you don’t go for painting your nails, you may stick to simple but neat and transparent nail polish. If you intend on wearing your nails long, file them well as you wouldn’t want to accidentally scratch your future boss.
  • Sweaty hands are a major problem. If you’re one of those unfortunate people who happen to have biologically overactive sweat glands on their palms, then you must do something about them before the big interview. There are medical breakthroughs that can break this unwanted spell but they do come at a reasonably high price. If you’re on a tight budget, it is best to consult with your doctor regarding other less expensive treatments. They may also be able to suggest other practical tips on how to significantly decrease the sweat gland activity at least temporarily.
  • When you go job hunting, always bring with you a personal grooming kit, including a hand sanitizer, tissue and a few handkerchiefs, since your hands will naturally be sweaty due to tension caused by the interview.

Some would advise you to initiate the handshake yourself and not wait for the interviewer to offer his hand. It does show that you have initiative and want to bridge a good working relationship. However, you will meet some people with a cultural upbringing different from yours and there are certain cultures that see handshakes as an improper gesture. Be sharp and try to weigh things depending on the place and circumstances.

When shaking hands, try not to make your hand too limp, but don’t grip the other person’s hand too tight either. Moderation is the key. A good, firm handshake is recommended.

A respectful shake or two is enough. You wouldn’t want to creep out your interviewer by holding his hand way longer than necessary.

It would also be helpful to accompany the handshake with eye contact and an appreciative smile. This effectively creates the impression that you truly want to have a good working relationship with the other person.

Making a good impression on a first meeting with your target employer is necessary. However, keeping cool, calm and natural is the best way to get hired. An impressive handshake may help you get the job, but it’s not the only factor the employer considers. Just be yourself and be respectful and courteous to everyone you meet in the office and even outside the office.


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