What’s in Your Handshake?

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Sep 28, 2011 in , , | No Comments

In the American culture, a good handshake at the end of a job interview could seal the deal.

This applies to both genders, not just males–you must have a “confident” handshake. What’s a confident handshake? One that is firm (but does not hurt the other persons fingers), lingers just long enough for you to look the person in the eye, smile and release.

Different Shakes

There’s the two-handed shake, one politicians and clergy usually use to give comfort or evoke trust. The two-handed shake–placing your free hand over the other persons hand being shaken by you–is not considered appropriate for business situations. Professionals use a one-handed, right hand to right handshake.

Ladies, too many of you have the “dead fish” handshake–the kiss of death. Afraid to apply any sort of pressure, possibly concerned you may be viewed as “masculine”, the limp handshake does not convey any enthusiasm or confidence. It’s like shaking the hand of a dead person! Learn how to apply adequate pressure appropriate in business situations.

I also meet men who offer me the tips of their fingers as a handshake, afraid (I suppose) my hand would break. Men, we won’t crumble, even petite women like myself appreciate a firm handshake. On the flip side, don’t apply knuckle-breaking pressure either, you don’t want to wound someone who might be your next boss!

Sensitive Situations

We have many returning veterans with missing limbs, mainly from IED’s. Having said that, you will most likely meet them in college and in the workforce as employers, coworkers, and in networking situations.

If you run across a person with a right hand prosthesis, or no right hand or arm, shake their right hand prosthesis, or the left hand, without hesitation. If feeling unsure, pause to see which they offer you and make eye contact.

Meeting someone in a standard wheel chair, shake their hand by bending slightly (if necessary), making eye contact.

Don’t focus on their missing limb, focus on the human being instead.

Check Your Shake

Ask a friend if you have a healthy handshake. If you don’t, practice a better approach because, it’s a part of the impression you give people you meet.

After a job interview, show an employer you’re the person for the job–give them a confident handshake and seal the deal!


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