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Best Interview Advice: To Shake Hands With The Interviewer Or Not?

Posted by | July 12, 2017 | Graduate Article

For a long time John Achogo has been attending interviews but he always gets confused on whether to shake hands with the interviewers or not.

“I have always felt the need to shake hands in an interview but when I get to the room I stand there and do nothing. My introduction is usually verbal. The few times I have tried handshakes always ended up awkward. Could I be losing out on jobs because of a handshake? In the case of a panel interview should I shake hands with everyone? What is the right way to introduce myself?” he writes in an email.

Handshakes are not everyone’s cup of tea. During an interview, most candidates opt not to shake hands because they are uncertain of how to go about it.

This being the case, should you shake hands with the interviewer or not?

The best way is to let the interviewer guide you. There are some who are not comfortable shaking hands while some will even stand up and stretch their hand to you. Once you enter into an interview room, read the interviewers actions and take it from there.

Don Varney from Expert Village says that after making eye contact with the interviewer the next important step is to give a handshake.

“Most people sometimes feel that if they have a very strong handshake they would be well noticed by the interviewer. But this is not the case,” he remarks.

Mr. Varney advises that. “You need a firm handshake. Firm does not mean that I’m going to squeeze your hand and break it but it also doesn’t mean that it is limp and soft. It’s a nice firm handshake.”

According to him the perfect handshake can be described as one done with dry palms, a firm grip, two to three shakes, eye contact and a smile.

What if it is a panel interview ? Do you enter the room and stretch your hand to each one of them?

It is not wise to enter the room and greet everyone depending on the time of day.

After that the panel will let the interview continue as planned. They are conscious about time so allowing you to shake everyone’s hand will not save on time. For example enter the room and say ‘Good Morning’ wait for the response and follow their lead.

Giving a handshake does not present an opportunity to get personal with the interviewer or narrating everything that happened before you got to the interview.

In conclusion, one goes into an interview room without knowing the type of personalities to expect. So, if you are planning to offer a firm handshake, ensure your hands are dry and your nails are clean.