What A Handshake Says About You? Shake Hands The Right Way…
As a professional recruiter who has been working and recruiting professionals in the environmental, engineering and construction industries for over 18 years now at Webuild Staffing , I have noticed how important that first handshake has become in an interview setting.
In society today, the handshake is the most common way to greet another person in a business setting. You extend your hand as a courtesy and introduction to another person.
There is something very significant about the way you shake hands; especially in an interview setting where the handshake is the first impression an interviewer gets of you when you meet them for the first time. That impression will set the stage for the balance of the interview.
How you shake hands is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. According to the popular book “Peoplesavvy” There are many types of handshakes and the meanings behind them.
1. Sweaty Palms – When a person is nervous their sympathetic nervous system often becomes overactive, sometimes resulting in sweaty palms.
2. Dead Fish – Are indifferent handshakes that feel like the person has no bones in their hand and often indicate a passive or reserved personality. This handshake ranks as the number two least favored handshake. Individuals with this type of clasp are generally not people-focused.
3. Brush Off – This handshake type is a quick grasp and then a release that feels like your hand being shoved aside. This handshake is a statement of “it’s my turf and my agenda that matters, yours doesn’t.”
4. Controller – You feel your hand being pulled toward the person or strongly guided in a different direction, perhaps towards a chair. People who do this are controllers. This means they want to dominate any inanimate or animate object in the room (and that would include you).
5. Politician – Your hand is firmly grasped as in a normal handshake. However, their other hand may cover yours or be placed on your forearm or shoulder. Unless the two of you are good friends, this is a form of false sincerity. The person is attempting to communicate that the two of you have a deeper relationship than you actually have.
6. Finger Vice – When someone grabs your fingers and not your entire hand it is meant to keep you at a distance. These people are often insecure. If they also crush your fingers they are adding a show of personal power, which is also designed to keep you at a distance or at least create some fear of challenging them.
7. Bone Crusher – The message of squeezing your hand until you cringe is clearly designed to intimidate you. Even when the person may not know how strong they are, there is still a message of intimidation and power behind the grip. You don’t have to pretend to be a wimp with them, and, in fact, they may respond positively to you if you present yourself with strength. Just don’t get into a hand-squeezing contest when you shake because then it becomes a competition and even if you win, you’ll lose.
8. Lobster Claw – Like the claw of a lobster, the other person’s thumb and fingers touch the palm of your hand. The person doing this fears connecting at a deep level and may have challenges building relationships.
9. Hand Wrestler – Your hand is taken normally and then twisted under the other person’s. This is usually done aggressively. Be very careful in your own presentation as this person is absolutely committed to being on top, regardless of what they say they want.
10. Teacup – This handshake feels normal except that there is no palm-to-palm contact. The other person’s palm is cupped, like a teacup. This handshake indicates that the person is hiding something from you. It might just be a serious case of shyness or it could be something more substantial.
Knowing how to properly greet an interviewer takes some practice: So here are the some tips to make your handshake great, and avoid all the pitfalls listed above.
(1) Begin With An Oral Introduction Of Yourself – As you extend your hand to the interviewer, introduce yourself.
(2) Extend Your Entire Hand And Grasp With Your Whole Hand Using A Strong Palm – Shaking hands with a cupped palm, weak grip, crushing, over squeezing, or twisting motion are all signs of insecurity and weakness.
(3) Pump Your Hand Only 2 -3 Times. – The actual handshake should be fairly short; 1 to 2 seconds is ideal, anything beyond that may make the interviewer a little uncomfortable.
(4) Don’t Shake Your Entire Body – Shake hands from the elbow down, without jolting your entire body.
(5) Use Only One Hand – One hand is better than two, utilizing two hands may be seen as to personal and intrusive to an interviewer.
(6) Make Sure Your Palms Or Fingers Are Not Sweaty – Before shaking hands discreetly make sure your palms and fingers are dry. Indiscreetly wipe them on your clothing or with a handkerchief.
The ideal handshake should convey confidence, aid in making an introduction and almost go as an unnoticed action with the interviewer. Practicing these tips will greatly aid in having a success interview and favorable impression of you from the start.
Michael DeSafey is a leading executive recruiter for professionals in the construction, engineering and environmental industries. He is currently the President of Webuild Staffing (www.webuildstaffing.com). To learn more about Michael or Follow his Blog please visit www.michaeldesafey.com