Shaking Things Up

Amidst all the seriousness of recruiting, I thought I would have some fun with one of the most important, and sometimes one of the most awkward, parts of the job interview… that first handshake.  It’s amazing the vibe you can get from people by their handshake.  Sometimes fragile fingertip folding, sometimes feisty knuckle-knockers and other times like shaking hands with a snake… I never really seem to know what to expect. I have put together a list of some of the worst offenders.

Slimy Noodle: This one is particularly common and it’s perhaps the worst – a “dead fish”, fingers only, clammy or otherwise wimpy handshake can ruin an interview before it even begins.

Greasy Palm: Pretty self-explanatory. You’re left thinking only one thing, “Disinfectant, ASAP.” A handshake shouldn’t literally leave an impression on the other person!

Bone Crusher: This is where the person tries to prove all their strength and hide all their insecurities behind their handshake. They grip your hand so hard you’re convinced at least 14 of your 27 hand bones have been shattered. You instantly dislike this candidate.

The Hipster: This is the applicant that puts a little something on the end of the handshake: maybe a fist bump, high five or that thing where they try to get you into an arm wrestler’s grip and then some combination of Pat-a-cake and touching shoulders.

I Love You Man: This person believes that a handshake just is not enough for them, and they can tell by the look on your face that it’s not enough for you either. Gimme a hug, you big lug, and they yank your hand and pull you into a full frontal embrace.

Won’t Let Go:  I close this woeful list with the classic move that seems to go on for eternity. You do a few hand pumps…and then some more… and some more… and finally you start to wonder if you’ve just participated in some sort of wedding ceremony.


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