Your wet handshake can make you lose out in job interviews
Don’t be so moist
Bright but wet-handed interview candidates fall flat when it comes to shaking hands with their prospective bosses.
Eager grads hunting for jobs don’t know how to give a proper handshake, according to a new project set up to teach them how not to be a damp rag.
Now job interview experts at mentor group LifeSkills claim our soft handshakes and poor eye contact can cost us job offers and places at good unis.
LifeSkills coach Steve Beckles-Ebusua warns against giving “wet fish” handshakes.
He told The Times: “An interview is a performance. Do your homework and do what you can to prepare before the big day.
“It’s like asking a young lady out. Have a plan. Make sure you look the part. Get a new shirt and a haircut.
“Make an entrance: good eye contact and smiling. Make sure you smell nice. Think carefully about how to make a good impression. Plan your journey — time management says a lot about you.”
LifeSkills boss Kirstie Mackey added: “When I was younger, there was a lot more access to part-time work, and young people worked in shops or elderly people’s homes.
“It gave them practical work experience. Now there aren’t so many Saturday jobs, so young people don’t build up confidence as they’ve never been in that situation.
“This gives them a bit of insight into the importance of body language and making a good first impression.”
Body language guru Judi James gave us her expert advice on how to give the best handshake in a job interview.
She explains: “So many experienced people get it wrong.
“I would offer a medium strength of handshake but it depends on what you grab: if they are very strong, ramp it up or if they are a dead fish, tone it down.
“You shouldn’t go in with a sweaty hand. Don’t wipe it on your trousers because that looks terrible, pop into the loo and wash your hands.
“Make eye contact when you shake otherwise it disconnects you from the interviewer when you should be building a rapport.
“On an etiquette note, the person doing the interview should offer their hand first. It might look a bit rude if you go first: wait for them to do it.”
Specialist Judi, who analyses the housemates’ body language on Big Brother, adds these top interview tips:
• Dress smart: “If in doubt, it would be better to wear a tie. I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t appreciate it and shows you respect the company.”
• Pay attention: “Be a good listener but don’t nod your head like you’re on Mastermind when you know the answer to a question.”
• Act confident: “You need to be authentic, understand your strengths and present yourself under pressurised conditions.”