We’ve got advice on how to execute the perfect business handshake—so that you can make the first impression the best impression.
The secret to getting a job is in your hands—literally.
Whether you’re going to an interview or attending a networking event, your handshake is one of the most important first impressions you’ll make. A good handshake has the power to both diminish the impact of a negative impression and make a positive interaction even better, according to a Beckman Institute study.
In an effort to leave nothing to chance, we want to help you get the handshake right the first time, and every time. So Monster spoke with two experts who have shaken more than their fair share of hands over the course of their careers: Patti Wood, a body language expert who spent three years researching handshakes, and Monster career advice expert Vicki Salemi, who spent 15 years in corporate recruiting.
Their advice? Different contexts require different handshakes—different grips, different timing. They walked us through a few of the essentials.
Step 1: Be the first to reach out
When you first meet someone and exchange hellos, Wood and Salemi agreed that you should be the one to make the first move.
“It shows confidence,” Wood says. “Recruiters are worried you might not have interpersonal skills. They’re looking to see if you feel confident enough to bring out your hand before they have.”
Wood says you can initiate the handshake from between four and six feet out.