👉 One Handy Job Interview Technique You Need to Master

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One Handy Job Interview Technique You Need to Master Today

Photo by Jonas Vincent

Have you ever noticed this?

People shake hands all the time. Unless your handshake is particularly bad, people will rarely react negatively to it and they'll ignore the occasional jitter or semi-clasp. On the other hand (pun intended), if your handshake is particularly good, you will stand out and people will remember you.

But here's the kicker:

When it comes to job interviews, the opposite is actually true.

A 2008 University of Iowa study showed what you may have already suspected:

a firm, solid handshake is an important part of a successful job interview, while a dead fish can end the interview before it even begins

Put differently, while a basic handshake is expected and won't stand out, a bad handshake can ruin everything.

Ultimately, since a handshake is such a common thing, expectations are relatively low. That also means you can easily achieve good results.

Do you prefer shaking hands before or after a job interview?


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The Best Handshake Ever?

secret handshake dog tweet

A friend of mine has the best handshake in the world.

No, really.

The first time I met him and we shook hands, I was literally wowed.

Here's what made his handshake so great (over-detailed analysis coming up…):

1. Softness
Nobody likes shaking hands with sandpaper. Although you don't necessarily need to carry around a bottle of hand moisturizer, at least make sure that your hands aren't rough to the touch. Introduce coconut oil into your diet somehow.

2. Moisture
Without being sandpaper, your hands should be dry and not sweaty or clammy. Let them air out.

3. Temperature
Your hands should be warm, not cold.

4. Texture
Do you like shaking hands with someone's scabs or callouses? Enough said.

5. No bandages or casts
You don't want people to think they might hurt you by shaking your hand.

6. Clean
The only thing worse than worrying about hurting someone's hand is worrying about catching a virus from it like warts, a cold, etc. Even feeling just one Band-Aid is discomforting.

7. Few rings to none
The fewer rings there are, the less chance of pinching and hurting someone's hand.

8. Confident reach
Don't wait for someone's hand to come to yours, reach for theirs and meet it.

9. Good timing
Lock hands without any jitters or fumbling, sliding one hand into the other. Don't aim to grasp fingers, aim for the palm.

10. Perfect position
Aim for the webbing of your hand (skin between thumb and forefinger) to catch the webbing of their hand. Thanks to David Tra for pointing that out.

11. Solid grasp
Everyone hates the dreaded “dead fish” where someone leaves a limp hand in yours. Do the opposite; clutch the palm without squeezing so hard that it becomes painful for the other.

12. Positive
Grin or smile while shaking hands.

13. Be sincere
Don't just grin or smile, do it like you mean it. A fake smile ruins the whole effect.

14. Look them in the eye
The best way to prove you're being sincere.

15. Shake source
“Shake from the elbow, and not from the shoulder,” says international etiquette expert, Denise Zaldivar.

16. Shake method
“Aim for 2 pumps when shaking,” Denise also recommends.

17. Shake vigor
Don't shake too vigorously, but don't let them shake your whole arm either.

18. Know when to let go
A good shake usually involves a palm squeeze and release, but be careful if the other person is too quick or too slow, which could lead to an awkward moment. Instead, with a confident reach, be first to engage and disengage.

19. Synchs with your personal brand
For most people, this just means following all the previous points to being a handshaking professional, but for some people this means having a unique handshake or one that's more in tune with their profession. If a clown always shook hands in a serious way, you'd wonder about his sense of humor.

20. Memorable
So few people do this that if anyone ever impresses you with their handshake, you won't forget them just like with my friend above. If your handshake is memorable, it is successfully building your personal brand.

21. Viral
Not in a bad way… this whole article came about because my friend's handshake was so terrific I had to tell you about it.

Bonus tip

22. Encourages loyalty
A great handshake is one that makes people want to shake your hand again. For that, they'll need to have you around them again.

READ NEXT: The Most Powerful Job Search Tool You Didn’t Know You Had

Question of the article

What was the best or worst handshake you've ever felt? Or, do you have a job interview handshake memory to share? Tell us in the comments.

What others are saying

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I originally published a version of this article on the terrific Personal Branding Blog.

Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email and follow me on Twitter for more ideas on job search body language.

3 Comments

  1. Jacob Share Kate September 28, 2013
  2. Jacob Share Liz September 11, 2017
    • Jacob Share Jacob Share September 11, 2017
  3. Trackbacks

    1. Johna Burke says:

      RT @PRjobs: Where was this article when my candidate shook client’s hand so hard she went for medical treatment? http://bit.ly/4G9xK

    2. Ching Ya says:

      21 Tips to A Better Handshake~http://su.pr/1ocl6i — @CinkyKing , I think this is important in marketing (etiquette) as well. agree? =)

    3. 21 Tips To A Better Handshake http://bit.ly/c653m (via feedly) #jobadvice #jobseekers #jobhelp

    4. 21 Tips To A Better Handshake http://bit.ly/uJPD2 #Selbstmarketing #PersonalBranding

    5. Daniel Kirsch says:

      21 Tips To A Better Handshake http://bit.ly/uJPD2 #Selbstmarketing #PersonalBranding (via @joergreschke) und als Anmerkung von mir #WTF

    6. […] handschlagen (JobMob): Nicht zu weich und nicht zu feucht, nicht zu kalt und nicht zu früh: Wie ein Handschlag zur […]

    7. 21 Tips To A Better Handshake: http://bit.ly/tOczg

    8. RT @jacobshare 21 Tips To A Better Handshake | JobMob http://tinyurl.com/kq6bql

    9. […] źródło:jobmob.co.il Wspieraj nasz blog – promuj wpis na: […]

    10. […] My blogging friend Jacob Share at Job Mob wrote a great post about the importance of a good handshake. […]

    11. Lucy Diamond says:

      RT @ManiKarthik: 21 Tips To A Better Handshake http://ow.ly/13MQy

    12. […] it simple, introduce yourself and offer a handshake. “Hi. My name is … . What’s […]

    13. […] Keep it simple, introduce yourself and offer a handshake. “Hi. My name is … . What’s […]

    14. The best ways to sell yourself: résumé and job interview says:

      […] your body faces the person you are talking to, and make eye contact. Be sure to give a nice firm handshake as […]

    15. […] no one likes sandpaper handshakes. Use a local product in case anyone asks why your hands are so […]

    16. […] Jews are careful not to touch members of the opposite sex, so the polite thing is to not offer your great handshake to interviewers with their heads covered i.e. men with kipas (yarmulkes) or women with hats, […]

    17. Job Search Made Easy (Even for Introverts) | Career Attraction says:

      […] and greatest job search tool, finding recruiters, interview prep, salary study, body language, handshake, new wardrobe, company research, networking and attending business […]

    18. […] and greatest job search tool, finding recruiters, interview prep, salary study, body language, handshake, new wardrobe, company research, networking and attending business […]

    19. […] remember to sit up straight and give ‘em a good handshake […]

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