Whether networking, interviewing, or socializing, a good handshake is essential. Unfortunately, we're often remembered by our handshake and sometimes not for good reasons. Does your handshake give the impression that you're nervous, timid, lack self-confidence, have a dull personality, or that you are overly aggressive, condescending or patronizing? Take a moment to evaluate which of these describes your handshake and consider the kind of impression you might be leaving in your business relationships.
Leaves others believing you are a self-confident, intelligent person with good social skills as well as someone with leadership qualities. Whichever way you slice it, a good handshake is a recipe for success.
Take a few moments to brush up on your handshaking skills. It's simply a matter of reflecting on what you've been doing and what improvements can be made in order to leave a positive impression.
A handshake is usually delivered from a standing, face-to-face position and should not be made from a sitting position unless the other person is also seated. Rising will show respect for both yourself and the other person. If seated, stand when a handshake is imminent, and then proceed with the proper handshake steps. Sit once the other person has moved on or joined you at sitting.
The handshake impression you want to leave during an interview is one of professionalism, sincerity and confidence. Practice your opening and closing handshake. It's especially important to consider what you might say during the interaction.
Your opening handshake might sound something like, "Good morning, Mrs. X, I'm Jane Smith and am so glad to meet you. I look forward to learning more about you and your company." You might close with something like, "Mrs. X, I've enjoyed speaking with you and learning about this position. I hope what you've learned about me will help you decide if I'm right for the job."
Always remember to enhance your comments with good eye contact and a warm smile. Never underplay your opening and closing handshakes since they are an essential part of the interview impression.
Now that you've had a crash course in "Handshake 101", don't wait a moment longer. Stand up. Find the nearest person and start practicing that winning handshake. You'll find that the impression you leave with a good handshake will be positive and memorable… and really will make a difference.
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