Harshi,      Oct 25 2017 9:43AM

The Perfect Handshake

Shaking hands may seem like a basic, common-sense gesture of the business world (especially the interview process) however, we have recently seen that this may not be so “common-sense” anymore.  We want to share a few tips on the basics of the business handshake, as a reminder that the handshake affects the first and last impressions you may make on the hiring manager.

The BasicsFor many of us, handshaking is an instinctive, subconscious process. If you have bad habits, though, you may want to deconstruct the basics of a handshake to work on proper technique.

 Your handshake with the interviewer should be firm and palm to palm. One to two simple pumps that last two to three seconds is best. As you shake hands, greet your interviewer with a smile and a greeting such as, “It is really nice to meet you.”

Gender NeutralitySome people make the mistake of thinking that shaking hands with a woman is different than shaking hands with a man. In the more gender-neutral 21st century business environment, this is not the case. You should employ a proper handshake as described regardless of your interviewer’s gender. A man shaking a woman’s hand differently may imply a lack of respect. A woman shaking a male hiring manager’s hand weakly may convey lack of confidence or assertiveness.

Pre-ShakeDon’t spend a lot of time stressing over the handshake right before your interview, but it is important to prepare. Make sure your hands are clean and dry before you go in for your interview. Sweaty hands are common among nervous people. Before you go in, wash and dry your hands. If you need to wipe off sweaty hands just before your interview, do so on your pant legs.

Faux PasDo not try to show dominance with an overly tight grip. It’s not professional to pump someone’s hand aggressively or to put your opposite hand on the hiring manager’s arm or shoulder. Do not shake for too long, as this leads to an awkward end. Your handshake should be clean, crisp and professional.

We hope these few tips come in “handy” during your next professional interview!  For more tips check out our other blogs!

Leigh Morse

Synergy America, Inc

Account Executive/Social Media Coordinator


Neil Kokemuller – Proper Handshaking During  a Job Interview