Monday, January 14, 2013

Final Test in an Interview - The Handshake

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There you are, you walk into the room or office that the interview is going to take place. You walk over to the interviewer and they hold out their hand. The type of handshake you give is going to say a lot about you. Not everyone who interviews you will pick up on it, of course, but many people who interview others learn to pick up on subtle signals like hand-shakes.
The First Handshake
When you start the interview, there's a good chance you're going to shake hands with the interviewer. Use this opportunity to learn about their handshake. Is it firm? Loose? Lots of shaking up and down? You want to make sure you emulate their handshake as much as you can, but this is going to be difficult with the first shaking of hands. If you pay attention, however, you can use this information later. You should also be able to tell if the other person puts a lot of meaning or weight into the handshake by the type of handshake they give.

The Exit Handshake
At the end of the job interview, you should offer your hand for a shake. Try to emulate their first shake as much as possible. You don't want to be too firm or too soft, but match their pressure as much as you can. They may be the type of person who gives a quick squeeze or two. Whether you follow suit with this is up to you, but you want to ensure that the grip is roughly the same as theirs.

The Handshake Test After the Job Interview
As mentioned, you should be able to tell whether or not the interviewer is a person who puts a lot of thought into a handshake by the type of shake they give you in the beginning. By using this knowledge for the handshake that you initiate, you can show that you're self-aware and observant as well. Even if the other person doesn't seem to put a lot of weight into handshakes, using proper etiquette can go a long way in making you stand out from the crowd of applicants.


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