Here's How Your Handshake Can Affect Whether You Get a Job

New colleagues shaking hands

By Jacquelyn Smith

We all know that one of the first things you do when you meet a hiring manager is shake their hand.

But what you may not know is that your handshake says a lot more about you than you'd probably like it to.

And given that first impressions are formed in just 100 milliseconds, it's imperative that you send the right message with that handshake.

According to Colin Shaw, CEO of Beyond Philosophy, a customer experience consultancy, handshakes are an "important demonstration of the power of body language" - and they can convey a lot of information.

"From a firm to a limp handshake, each intensity communicates pertinent conscious and subconscious clues about your personality," Shaw explains in a recent LinkedIn post. "It doesn't take an expert to interpret these clues either."

Your handshake, for instance, can tell the interviewer whether you're nervous or confident, if you convey power, or if you're shy, outgoing, friendly, warm, patronizing, or aggressive, among other things.

And the interviewer will likely hold on to the perceptions they gather from your handshake throughout the entire interview. So, even if you answer every question perfectly, she may be thinking, "He is smart and qualified, but his handshake told me he's shy, and that means he won't be a good cultural fit here."

Shaw says it's not just the strength of your grip. Fidgeting and lack of eye contact, for example, are also details that communicate clues about you to the interviewer. "Sometimes [it's] without either of you realizing it, as body language often has subconscious interpretation."

Every impression you make in an interview counts. Take some time to figure out how to give a proper handshake beforehand. For more on that, read this.

Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.

Originally published