Get a handle on your handshake

Get a handle on your handshake

By Noelle Capobianco



First impressions are the most important thing when wanting to make a good and lasting impression when meeting a potential employer. When greeting it is customer to start with a handshake.


The handshake is one of the most crucial components of the meet and greet. It displays professionalism, respect and if done well confidence, power and reliability. A poor handshake speaks volumes about your character. You definitely have to go in for the shake though to gain the right meet and greet.


Here’s what not to do when shaking.


1.    The Limp Hand (“dead fish”)

The limp hand also knows as the dead fish is there is no strength in the hand. The hand all of a sudden, automatically falls flat when coming into contact with another hand. It lets the other person take charge whilst your hand is just flapping away. The limp hand gives the impression of weakness or disinterest. It also signals to the other person that you are nervous, uncertain, or uninvolved.


2.    The Fingertip Shake

What could be worse than the dead fish, limp handshake is the fingertip shake. The fingertip shake is where you don’t even reach the other person’s hand, instead you settle for their fingertips. To get out of this tricky contraption ensure that your hand is open and that the webbed part of your hands between your forefinger and thumb are touching before you grasp the other person’s hand. Doing this type of handshake shows lack of an ability to engage, nervousness and shaky. So make sure you get to the hand and don’t settle for the finger tips.


3.    The Arm Pump

This is when a person intentionally pumps the handshake (and probably the arms too) up and down for an extended period of time. As it is a long handshake it makes the other person feel uncomfortable and awkward whilst making them tired because you have been pumping their arm up and down for a while like a lever. This shows insecurity and nervousness along with the impression that the person doesn’t know what to say or do next.  They are stalling. You want to be that person that knows what they want to do as their next move in an assertive and timely manner.


4.    The Squeezer

The squeezer is a dominant handshake that forces the other person to be submissive. The palm of the squeezer is faced down, inviting the other person in for the handshake with their palm facing up which is a submissive position. The grip should not be a hard drip. The squeezer likes to use their strength as a cruncher which is not a good impression. Nobody likes to feel pain. The grip should be the same strength used as you would when opening a door. You should ultimately match the grip and strength used b the other person. This handshake can come across as arrogant, overbearing competitive and domineering.  If it happens to you just make a little comment like, ‘you got some grip’ and usually they back off.

Make an impression and great using the good old handshake correctly to ooze confidence

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