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.


Dress For Success: What to Wear for an Interview

When searching for a job, it’s important to look the part. You want to dress like you’re professional, prepared, and capable – not like you just rolled out of bed. But, there are many different dress code policies in the business world, so how do you know whether or not to show up in the latest trends or go for the classic look? Follow these tips to pick out the best interview look that will get you noticed in a positive way.

Call the company first. To find out what an organization’s dress code is, contact the company before your interview to find out how you should dress for the occasion. Speak with the receptionist or your contact who helped set up your interview to get insight into what the firm’s culture is like and ask what employees typically wear to work. They might be able to share some insight to help you get started.

Flex your style level. When you find out what the dress code is, kick your wardrobe up a notch. For instance, if the dress code is business casual, make it a point to dress professional. Not sure what the difference is between these two? Find out here. For example in a professional environment, men and women interviewing for the job could wear a nice pantsuit. Just be observant of the organization’s everyday dress code. If employees typically wear jeans and a polo shirt, the executive look for your interview would be too much. Instead, go for slacks and nice shirt.

Choose classics over trends. It’s a great thing to express your personality through your clothing choices, but for a job interview it’s better to err on the side of caution. Stick to basic colors like white, blue, navy, grey, or black instead of bright neon colors. And it’s still OK to reflect your personal style, but do it in a subtle, tasteful way. Choose one element of your wardrobe to play up. Some examples are a bright tie, a hip handbag, or shoes with a modern cut. If your interview outfit is classic with a little punch of color, you still look very polished and professional. In addition, women should choose simple jewelry like diamond stud earrings and a nice necklace instead of wearing large hoop earrings or several attention grabbing necklaces.

An interview is a time for an employer to get to know about you, your skills, and your personality. You want to stand out from the competition, but not in a negative way.