Shaking hands can be a stressful thing to do, even if you’ve grown up doing it.
We get it — just look at the human hand. It’s gross and weird-looking, and it makes sense that you’d have some difficulty figuring out how to shake it.
Pictured: the Human Hand, perhaps the most disgusting and malformed of all human appendages. Observe the fingers, the thumb, the horrific palm. Truly disturbing, and upsetting to gaze upon.
But shake it you must, if you hope to ever find a job in the US.
Shaking hands is the dominant form of greeting for most western cultures — it’s not going away anytime soon, and the ability to handshake well is often used in interviews as a sign of an individual’s character.
So how does one go about mastering the perfect handshake?
We’ve put together a few tips to help you figure out just that.
It’s tough to overstress how important body language is when it comes to interacting with other people.
Your posture, how far away you stand when you talk to people, how much eye contact you use, even how often you touch your own face — all of these things can have an effect on the way that people view you.
This is particularly important to keep in mind if it’s the first time you’re meeting somebody.
But this becomes compounded even further if the person you’re meeting is the person who’s interviewing you for a job.
While adorable, this infant’s handshaking technique is all wrong. And we’re all embarrassed on her behalf.
They’re going to be keeping a sharp eye on everything you do, reading as much as they can into the things you say and your general behavior.
As a result, your first impression is extremely important.
And what’s one of the very first things you’re going to do once you enter the room?
You can see where we might be going with this.
So it’s definitely important to know how to shake a person’s hand correctly.
But how do you go about doing so?
What even is good handshaking technique, when you get right down to it?
This is wrong as well. What is even happening here. Two hands in a single handshake? What is this, amateur hour?
Here are the biggest things to keep in mind when shaking someone’s hand:
Now that you know what you SHOULD be doing, it’s also good to remember that there are just as many things you should avoid.
Remember, one-on-one interaction happens at a breakneck pace. By the time you’ve realized you did something wrong or looked weird, you’re usually miles past the point in a conversation where that knowledge might be relevant to you.
That’s why you want to be thinking about these things early on — if possible, you want to know what to avoid doing before you even walk into your interview in the first place.
I don’t know what the hell is occurring in this picture, but I’ll tell you what’s not happening — proper handshake technique. This is just disgraceful.
With that in mind, here are some of the biggest things you want to avoid doing when you go to shake a person’s hand:
That’s all for this one! Just keep one last thing in mind:
Whatever you do, make sure not to wait too long after you shake hands before you start talking to the other person.
Make sure you’re not focusing so much on your handshake that you forget to start talking right away. The handshake is a conversation starter — don’t leave it hanging in the air on it’s own.
That’s when things start feeling weird.
None of these people are even trying to handshake correctly. Not even remotely. I give up.
It happens easier than you might think. Remember that social cues come up quickly, and missing them or not can take a matter of seconds or milliseconds.
Don’t let it happen to you.
Best of luck! Here are some other links to help you on your way: